A Beautiful Dark (A Beautiful Dark #1)

 
3.0
 
3.3 (7)
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A Beautiful Dark (A Beautiful Dark #1)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
September 27, 2011
ISBN
0061990655
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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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A bit of a different twist on "fallen angels"
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I kind of have this thing for "fallen angel" books, I'm not going to lie. I figured that is what this book was about (spoiler), and it is. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the unique twist that this author put on the "common" tale. Usually the light angels (white angels) are all good and heavenly, and the dark angels (black angels) are fallen angels and aren't all that 'good'. However, in this book, there isn't a Heaven, there is not mention of God, it's just angels that watch over us and decide our fate. I thought that was a unique twist and found it interesting to read. I won't go into further detail because I don't want to spoil too much!

I thought the characters were well written. I enjoyed being surprised as to why the main character, Skye, was starting to notice changes in herself. I found it refreshing that we didn't get to find out what was going on with her right away, or couldn't tell what was happening to her right away. Asher and Devin are the two angels sent to look out for her and the two were mysterious and not your average angels. Asher is more of the 'bad boy' type, however Devin could be bad when he wanted to be, and Asher could be sweet, gentle, and kind when he wanted to be. I liked that it wasn't all or nothing with each of them.

I do have to say I'm a bit tired of the "missing parent" in a lot of YA books. Skye lost her parents when she was only 6 (this is key to the storyline) and her "aunt" takes care of her. But, guess what? Her aunt is amazingly gone most of the time on business trips. Now, I will say that at least when her aunt was home she was very well attuned to Skye's life and was interested in what was going on. I just feel like sometimes authors make it easy by making a parent figure absent. Just sayin'.

Overall I liked the book and I will be reading the sequel when it comes out. If you like "fallen angels" series and are looking for a bit of a new twist, this might be your book!
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User reviews

7 reviews

5 stars
 
(0)
 
(4)
 
(2)
2 stars
 
(0)
 
(1)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0  (7)
Characters 
 
3.7  (7)
Writing Style 
 
3.2  (6)
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With steamy romance(s) and a main character I felt for so I devoured even though the premise isnt th
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
N/A
I really enjoyed this one, but there wasn't anything that completely made it original. I mean, I connected with Skye, and I liked the tension with the triangle being Devin and Asher. I personally liked Asher a lot more because he is dark, handsome, and the banter and on the other hand the tender moments they have. Devin just never really seemed to get his chance to really shine, and though they have moments they seem to come too late after Skye and Asher connected.
But Skye is conflicted so there is still the triangle, but my personal choice has been made, and it would take a lot to change my mind in the next one.
I enjoyed Skye coming into her own and learning and mostly being really frustrated by her powers and learning about her history. Her parents died when she was little so of course there were things that she didn't know about them, but the two new boys, that are vying for her heart and her destiny shake everything in her life up and make her open her eyes to who her parents were and what that means for her.
I will def be continuing with this series.

Bottom Line: With steamy romance(s) and a main character I felt for so I devoured even though the premise isnt the most original.
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Hobbitsies Reviews: Very engrossing
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Alright. This is a book about a slightly overdone paranormal sub genre. There’s a love triangle. It sounds like it should be kind of cliche, right? But A Beautiful Dark is actually really very good. Like read 400 pages in one day kind of good.

For one thing, I really liked Skye. Her character made sense to me. She was polite, she obeyed basic rules, she had friends and she had fun, and she really just a normal high school girl.

Also? It turns out I’m not over love triangles just yet. I kept going back and forth between Devin and Asher and I was with Skye all the way with “wtffff do I do!” Both of the guys are dynamic and interesting.

I was so intrigued by the storyline and romance that I literally read A Beautiful Dark in one day. It’s definitely an interesting twist on an almost overdone paranormal, and I really loved all the characters. Although I do wonder – how come the dorky best friend never gets the girl?

If you’re looking well-done love triangle with an equally well-done and interesting storyline, definitely check out A Beautiful Dark. Detailed and engrossing story with an ending that left me wanting more.

Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2011/10/a-beautiful-dark-by-jocelyn-davies/
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Fun read
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
A Beautiful Dark is a fateful tale of forbidden love and twisted fate--I can't wait for the next installment.

What did I like?

1.) Asher--the dark, mysterious, is he good or bad?, guy. I couldn't get enough of Asher--he melted my heart!

2.) Devin--the other mysterious, is he good or bad?, guy. Devin had me on edge the entire time. I don't know whether to love or to hate him.

3.) The blurring lines between gooda and evil. Many times in books, you have the clear cut good guy and the clear cut bad guy. I love when books walk the line with this distinction! From beginning to end (and still), I have no idea who to root for!

Davies kept me guessing over and over again,and I look forward to her next book.

Davies builds a world that doesn't reside in dichotomies. There is no black vs. white, good vs. bad, or love vs. hate. Even though the characters themselves try to insit that this is exactly how the world is, everything they do, everything they say, is riddle with shades of grey!!!!

The only downer? At times, the action did drag. It's almost 400 pages, and it probably could have easily been 320 pages of non-stop, thrill-seeking love and action; but instead, there were some duller moments I just wanted to skip through.

And the end? I don't know how I feel about it yet. I like the cliffhanger ending, but I still find myself saying, "It ended there? What the geez?
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A surprising page-turner with an intriguing plot and characters
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I pretty much finished Beautiful Dark in one sitting. Now that’s not to say it was an epic story that you have to read right now, but for some reason I was compelled to turn the pages to see what would happen next. The characters were fun, the plot original and different, and the story didn’t drag on.

I liked how there was the “big mystery” about Skye’s past and who she really is, but that Jocelyn didn’t drag it out like some authors like to do. She left enough clues and answered enough questions along the way to keep me interested and happy until the “big reveal”. And the guys?! Oh, I am SO Team Asher. Sure, he’s the pretty boy, player type kind of guy, but he does SO well. What can I say?! I’m a sucker for the bad boy! But Devin has his share of swoony moments. He’s a really nice guy and you need really nice guys around.

I do have to say that the whole angel part of the story was a bit confusing and I don’t think it was developed that well, but since this is a trilogy I’m guessing Jocelyn will delve into more of her version of the angel lore as the books progress. She definitely spinned the angel lore in her own way and made it very different from how I usually know it to be, which is great and I’m interested in seeing where she takes it. Forewarning, there is quite a cliffhanger, which I always hate because I want to know what happens next, so if you’re like me, I’d suggest waiting until you’ve got both or all books in your hands so you can tackle the whole trilogy.

Overall, a great book and start to an interesting trilogy. I’m excited for the next book and to see what happens to Skye.
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For Twilight Fans
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Plot 
 
1.0
Characters 
 
1.0
Writing Style 
 
1.0
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.
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Wish it had been more original.
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
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.)
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Wait for the sequel if you don't like cliffhanger endings
(Updated: December 22, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
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.
Good Points
Great characters
Steamy love triangle
Even paced plot
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