Published by HarperTeen on September 27th 2011
On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.
In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.
For me, A Beautiful Dark was neither a hit nor miss. It kept my attention and was enjoyable. But it’s not the kind of book I’d run around screaming about. In a way there’s three main key ingredients a book must excel at for me to love it.
Ingredient #1: A smooth and pleasant writing style. ABD’s writing style was spot-on. There was a good mix of both dialogue and description. Ingredient #2: Unique and/or highly interesting storyline. ABD was also once again, spot-on with this. Since the synopsis doesn’t give the paranormal aspect away, I won’t. However, I will say that it’s a very popular one that has been making huge waves in the YA genre lately. This is also one particular genre that I’ve really enjoyed lately. I was very impressed when the story started to heat up and big secrets were divulged. Ms. Davies did a wonderful job at taking a popular sect of paranormal entities, reshaping their mythology, purpose and overall reason “to be” in order to create a unique and fresh storyline.
So far 2 out of 3 important aspects have passed my check list. Now onto the characters. Well… I’m going to attempt to describe this although I’m sure how much sense it will make. See, I both loved and hated the entire cast of characters. First lets start with the “hate” part. Although “hate” may be too strong a word. My main problem is that I just couldn’t find a connection to any single character. This comes at such a huge surprise because well, I do like them, at least the idea of them. First off you have Skye, our main character. She’s portrayed as this athletic, confident and uber-smart girl. However I would say that she’s just “book” smart because when it comes to common sense she’s severely lacking. I could tell from the beginning that there was a love square in the makings, even though Skye adamantly refused to see or admit the fourth member throughout the book. It’s a slight spoiler but, this guy I’m talking about is one of her good friends, Ian. Even though Skye’s other two friends repeatedly tell her Ian like-likes her and other obvious signs occur, Skye just flat out refuses to acknowledge Ian’s feelings. I totally get that she may or may not feel the same way but it felt like instead of diffusing the situation from the beginning; she was leading him on.
Then there is Devin and Asher, both smoking hot and mysterious. We’re led to believe that one is dark and one is light but Ms. Davies once again does a great job by blurring the lines between good and evil. Honestly, throughout the book I wasn’t sure who or what to believe. Devin comes off as a very zen and reserved character, although there are those times when he has a tendency to lash out. Then there’s Asher, sexy and extremely flirtatious. He’s pegged to be the reckless one although the majority of the time it seemed as though he was the one with the best control. These two boys have been raised in entirely different ways with strikingly different rules and protocol. The only thing they have in common is their job to watch out for and monitor Skye. On paper I really loved these two characters, the ideas behind them and the part they played, but by the end I just never felt any connection to them. I felt like the story had been building towards this big breaking moment that just never really came, at least not in the way I’d hoped or expected.
There’s a few other characters, some friends of Skye’s and an aunt who seemed to flicker in and out of Skye’s life. This is one of those books where strange things happen to our main character and because they don’t share it with their “normal” friends and family, those friends and family take a backseat the majority of time. I was sort of bummed out because I really would have liked to see more of Skye’s bffs, Dan and Cassie. When the three of them were together it was extremely humourous and heartwarming.
All in all I did enjoy A Beautiful Dark. I feel like the storyline was fresh and unique, although not fully excuted. I think that the way book one ends, book two as the ability to branch off into some great and therefore I’ll definitely read it when it comes out in a few months. However, this is just how I perceived the book. If you are or think you might be interested in reading it; I’d definitely checkout some more reviews on Goodreads.