What drew me to A Beautiful Dark is probably pretty obvious: there's a girl wearing a dress on the cover. That said, the more I look at it, the less I'm sure I actually even like the cover. The dress isn't all that flattering, and I hate the way it goes up at the shoulders. Clearly, the pointy shoulders were to suggest wings, which they do, but they also look like crazy evil-witch-queen shoulder pads.
From the very beginning, this book reminded me heavily of Personal Demons, although this book was definitely better. Both are about a girl being pursued, because of her super secret powers she doesn't know she has, by two hot guys, one light, one dark. In both books, the guys appear from out of town and infiltrate her high school. Both heroines are torn and want both guys. However, this one works a bit better, because at least it's not told from the POV of the heroine and one of the guys, which made the love triangle more stupid than most.
The main problem I had with this book was that the characters were all flat, failing to resemble real people at all. First of all, there's Skye. At first, I thought I might like her, because she was focused on good grades, totally not looks-focused, and not boy crazy. Of course, this level-headed girl goes out of the window as soon as the hot boys show up. For all that she's supposed to be incredibly intelligent, she fails to make any but the simplest deductions about the situations in which she finds herself. Although possessed of a lot of power, she doesn't try very hard to learn how to use it, and spends most of her time crying about how she just wants to be normal. Wouldn't a girl who loves to study want to figure out how to make use of her talents, rather than moping to lessons? Despite all that power, she has no control over at all, and thus does nothing useful with it ever.
In addition to Skye, there are three boys panting after her. First, there's Ian, the requisite best friend in unrequited love. He ought to be sympathetic, but he has no personality. He merely alternates between trying to buy Skye's affection with tons of free beverages from the coffee house where he works and being a dick to her because she doesn't like him.
Asher, the dark angel boy, is the one she feels an immediate lust for, even though she quickly decides that he's a playboy. The heroine has correctly identified that this guy is a bad place to put her heart, yet she spends most of the book wanting him. I will never like a male lead who winks as much as Asher does. Oh yeah, and did I mention the part where he totally was watching her secretly for most of her life? I thought Edward watching Bella sleep after they met was creepy, but Skye didn't even know him and he was watching.
Devin seems the best of the lot, assuming you have a thing for boring rule-followers. Not to mention the ordained to be with someone else part of the equation. His main qualification as boyfriend material is that he has a calming effect on Skye. This could be romantic, I suppose, but it's not here.
Skye's friends, Dan and Cassie, could have stolen the show. Several series that I love/hate have awful main characters but keep me coming back for the sidekicks (prime example: Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments books). Unfortunately, Davies didn't care about them all that much, and they don't do much of anything interesting either.
The plot, too, is lacking. Honestly, despite the fact that it's almost 400 pages long, not a whole lot happens to move the plot arc along. It feels as though this could have been the opening to a novel (assuming you cut out the unnecessary stuff), rather than a complete novel itself.
Fans of Twilight will flock (punned!) to this series, but if you're in it for plot, a strong heroine or originality, I would recommend looking elsewhere. That said, I might end up reading the sequel, because it has a pretty cover. Hopefully not though.