I don't know why I torture myself and read books when I know they have love triangles. I guess maybe I decided to read this because I heard the love triangle wasn't too bad, and in retrospect, it really wasn't. However, if Skye continues to love Devin in the next books after what he did to her, then there is something seriously wrong with her. And that would be a terrible message to send to whoever is reading this book, honestly -_-
A Beautiful Dark starts off in normal. It's Skye's birthday, she has a guy pining after her, WHOO. Enter Asher and Devin, and, well, everything isn't so normal anymore. I kinda liked the way they were introduced into the book :P
I had one huge problem with this book, and it had nothing to do with the love triangle. There was no subtlety. Everything was just too obvious and predictable - except for the end with Devin, I didn't see that coming - and the mystery felt way too forced. It wasn't suspenseful at all, in my opinion.
I won't rant about the love triangle, because it doesn't pertain to this book, but every book with a love triangle, but I will say this - Skye was kind of ridiculous when it came to Asher and Devin. She's always thinking about one of them, but what really annoyed me was how one paragraph she was thinking about Asher and then the next she was thinking about Devin and it was like Asher didn't even exist, or vice versa. It wasn't very often that she compared them. In romance terms, at least.
Another issue I had was the pacing. It felt too fast to me. It seemed like it was just WHAM-BAM-ANGEL TIME. To be honest, I got kind of bored sometimes because the entire middle of the book was either Skye avoiding Asher and Devin or Skye trying to find her powers with them. (With a little romance added in, sure, but meh.)
But I do have to admit that the love triangle really wasn't too bad. I hope it remains that way in the next book. Especially after what Devin did -_-
Overall: This book needed to slow down a little bit, include some more details. Skye wasn't the best narrator to me, because of both her thoughts and actions. She just wasn't interesting. But A Beautiful Dark does seem to have a new take on angels, and the end was a complete surprise. 2.5 stars. (I'm sure I'll end up reading the sequel. Just because I'm really a masochist when it comes to books, it seems.)
Wait for the sequel if you don't like cliffhanger endings
(Updated: December 22, 2011)
Eh. I was SO into this book until I hit the end. What a disappointment. I can't begin to tell you how irritated I get when books end abruptly in the middle of the climax. That is such a no-no. I was fuming. Seriously. My husband was driving the car as I finished up the book (and made my irritated caged animal sound), which caused him to nearly swerve into the other lane. I scared him. He doesn't share the same feelings about books, so he didn't understand why such an ending would evoke sounds of fury and annoyance. But I know other people understand where I'm coming from...
Don't get me wrong, I really liked this book. The characters were great, and the whole love triangle was steamy and downright intense at times. Skye was likeable enough, but she really didn't do anything for me. She was one of those mediocre, wishy-washy girl characters. I think I was supposed to feel more for her, but I didn't. BUT, Asher and Devin... that's a different story. They were certainly polar opposites, and very delicious. Like his name, Asher was the dark, mysterious bad boy type. It bothered me that he was so into playing head games, but he still had that appeal. You just couldn't resist him. If Asher and Devin are opposites, then that would make Devin the sunshine and rainbows character. Except that's not exactly how he works. He emits this sense of calmness and tranquility, but he is VERY conflicted (and moody). I was furious with him in the end, but I know his role is pivotal in the following books. I would bet my lotto ticket on that one.
There are some characters that don't get a lot of face time in the book, but certainly deserve it. Dan is hilarious, and one of Skye's best friends. I loved him. I would really like to see more of his light humor in the upcoming books. And then there is Ian... poor, sweet, overlooked Ian. I almost wish that Skye would see him for what he's worth, instead of overlooking him because of the "friend" value. He was so likeable. Of course, as the book went on it seemed like he completely disappeared, which I did not understand. Characters with such hold in books should not dissolve into the ever after.
As I said, I was all into this book for the entire 280 pages (on NetGalley). I couldn't wait to read it. While waiting on the bus for Disney, I read. While waiting on the kids to finish playing in the arcade, I read. I read at the pool, in the car, and under the covers in the camper after everyone went to bed. The story was that gripping. With all the fan girlness aside, I can't believe how the story ended. Not that the events weren't HUGE and shocking, but that those events were the true end. I can't stand books that leave tons of unanswered questions. I'm all for piecing in the story and guessing (because that's the intent of the book), but never ever ever, should a book end during the climax. I mean, WTH?! How can you do that? I get that it builds suspense and all that, but it's infuriating. When the next book finally comes out, it will probably start (I hope) where this one left off-- which means it will start in the middle of the story's climax. I don't know how I feel about that. I tend to like books that start in the middle of the action, because they typically stay fast paced. But what if that's not how the other book starts? Then what? I honestly feel like my NetGalley file was missing pages. I trully justified the ending that way. I said to myself, "The final draft that's coming out (with 400 pages according to Amazon) MUST have an alternate ending. The NetGalley file (with a measly 280 pages) can't be the final draft." Boy, I hope that's the case. I will be checking the shelves September 27th to see if the book does indeed end this way.
Overall, I liked the book. It was a good read... until the end. I'm still fuming about the abrupt stop in the story. It's just not right! If you can live with a book that ends in the middle of the climax (and wait another year to find out what happens), then check this book out. Otherwise, it would be best to wait until the second book comes out so you won't be filled with angst and annoyance while you wait.
Steamy love triangle
Even paced plot