Tara's Reviews > Darklands

Darklands by Emma Woodcock
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's review
Oct 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, kindle, young-adult, review-copy
Read from October 18 to 23, 2011

The basic storyline is a through-the-rabbit-hole type story about a girl who is kidnapped to a parallel universe – The Darklands – ruled by a tyrannical, if charismatic King, who has just decided he is going to marry Sophie, and that she will go along with it.

I have to admit, when I started the book, I felt like I was reading something I’d read before. Lately I’ve been given a lot of books to review that feature girls being sucked through (or going willingly) into other worlds, and becoming royalty, either voluntarily or not. However, unlike some of the other books, this one had some good twists, especially near the end of the book, which is what pushed this book, ratings-wise, from a 3 to a 3.5.

Talking about characters within the story, Sophie was a strong lead, however, I felt very much like she switched between acting like a spoiled brat (then again, so would I had I been kidnapped in the manner she was) and a very resourceful young lady. I’d also have liked a few more personal details about Sophie, just so I felt like I really knew her. This said, the various family and home tie-ins between Sophie and other characters seemed well thought-out and again, that made the whole story seem more rounded.

King Thorne was very consistent, and actually quite chilling at times, which made him a very good villain. This said, my personal favourite character within the books was definitely Nettle, who was again consistent, defiant, and a general pain, really, but that was all part of her charm, especially when she ends up saving Sophie and the other ‘otherworlders’.

The world of The Darklands felt very well developed, with even humans from our world having their own set place within things, and there even being a religion within the place, and whilst I think this book is probably a stand-alone novel, if there were going to be more, it would be interesting to see more of the actual lands, and maybe hear more about the neighbouring kingdoms - though that may just be the epic fantasy reader in me needing to know everything about everything.

The pacing of the story was fairly good – though at times I did feel as if I were waiting for something to happy whilst the story just wandered along around me.

One of my only other criticisms of this book would be that at times, there were some strange formatting issues, with the font changing sizes from tiny to massive, but that may have been because I received a review copy.

Overall, this was a very good debut, and the twists at the end definitely made the story for me.

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