Darkness by Erin Eveland is the story of a young girl unaware of the power of darkness and light buried deep within her soul. When her Nana, the only loving family in her life, dies, Catherine goes to live with her self absorbed, alcoholic mother, Kathy. Her sordid life of poverty in the trailer park of a small town has one bright spot, Nathan, who is patiently waiting for her to graduate from high school before professing his love. There’s a problem, however, with their budding romance, since Catherine is unwittingly being groomed by the mysterious Artros to fulfill her role as the black rose. This infatuation with one so young is due to a love of the power she holds which can strengthen Artros’ role as Master of Darkness. It is only through Catherine, the light, that the mystery of the quest can be unlocked. Artros makes Nathan his apprentice as leverage against Catherine. Their lessons include teachings such as “the father of color is darkness” and “the power of darkness is a tool”. Although Catherine is totally unaware of this planned destiny, others feel the disturbance. It brings Jorgen who has recently recovered from near death after a previous defeat by Artros in a battle over his supposed lover, Esa. Jorgen sees the potential hidden within Catherine and vows to protect her. Thus the contest for dominance over the shadow world begins.
There is a lot of potential for an interesting if not dynamic story, but, unfortunately, the word I would use is to describe this book is cumbersome. This supernatural tale is surrounded by wordiness. It’s as if the author has entered a contest to see how many different ways she can say the same thing, in the most verbose style possible. Why tell us once, when you can describe an event with an infinite variety of explanations, each different, but yet the same. There is also a touch of pretentiousness, with phrases such as “embalming solitude”, “the longing within was quenched”, and “death was just an escort ticket for the soul”. In spite of all the explanations, such as “Darkness lulls the heart to sleep, and in Darkness the heart will be awakened,” and “The mother of colors was light and Catherine in her innocence exemplified that light,” I remained confused about the source of power, although it’s destructiveness was clearly represented, resulting in some gruesome scenes.
Instead of eliminating the repetition and condensing the story, at the end of the unsatisfactory conclusion of Darkness, we discover it is just the first part of a series, with book two, Shadows, continuing the saga. I don’t think I can put myself through this ordeal again – two stars.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Selladore Press for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.