Rise from Darknessby Ciara Knight
Series: Battle for Souls #1
Published on March 19, 2012 by Turquoise Morning Press
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
After witnessing the death of her mother, Gabby Moore suffers with psychotic delusions. When fallen angel Alexander Lohr reveals she’s been marked by a demon, she must make the ultimate choice or lose her mind. She can fight alongside her father, an earthbound hunter killing fallen angels and demons, give into the demon blood coursing through her veins and join the underworld, or save the man she loves from both.
In the beginning, Rise from Darkness intrigued me. We meed Gaby, a girl plagued with the memory of her mother’s death and lost in her own reality. She hides behind her art, which even then reveals this troubled past of hers. All she wants is to have a normal life (cue cliche). But that’s not how life works, especially when you have a fallen angel save your life and incite attacks from the local demon. Alexander Lorre has a few skeletons in the closet as well and together, they have enough heat to light a candle (not enough romance there for a bonfire, sadly). Rise from Darkness was a good book, but not great.
It seems to be my luck of late as the books I’ve been reading have characters who lack something. Knight’s cast was very three-dimensional, complete with lots of flaws and issues. That’s great and all but when the reader doesn’t connect with the characters, as was the case when I read the book, there’s too much of a disconnect with the story. The author displayed a talent for the written word with her descriptions and setting, even the characters, but what those words lacked for me was an emotional draw. I didn’t feel anything for Gaby or Alexander. They were merely names on a page. Well-written and thought-out names on a page, but nothing more. Their story remained between the bindings of the book (metaphorically speaking as I read this on my Kindle).
What occurred with the characters also happened with the story itself. Knight is clearly a talented writer but the story didn’t pull me in. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. If anything, I filled in the blanks with similar plots from other novels as well as my own teenage experiences. Rise from Darkness was one of those books that I had no problem putting down for a few hours, even a day, and doing something else before coming back to it. It was a vicious (and unproductive) cycle that finally broke when I finished the book. I wasn’t left with a “book hangover” afterward, however — you know, that mental state you’re in after finishing a great book and you don’t know where to go next. Instead, I felt like “well, finished that one, not really eager to read the next book so now what?”
Rise from Darkness is a good read for young (like middle-grade to beginning young adult) readers looking for a paranormal romance. The romance is clean (and a tad lacking for my tastes) and the story is easy to relate to, especially for young teen readers going through similar emotional situations. Knight’s writing will illustrate the story for you and who knows? Maybe you’ll be captivated by it. I wasn’t and I’ll be hesitant about reading the next two books in the series, but that’s just me. If you’re looking for a light PNR read, give it a shot.