Hannah's Reviews > Darkling

Darkling by Yasmine Galenorn
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's review
Jun 22, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: urban-paranormal

The plot has a little more depth in this one, perhaps because this sister has major inner demons to defeat before she can get on with her life. She's a considerably more interesting character than Camille and Delilah, albeit bogged down with the cliches that are becoming a trademark with this author. The way Menolly conquers her dark memories and grows into a more mature character is the best part of this book; we see how she's gradually accepting that the people around her love her and aren't trying to antagonize her at every turn, and she's slowly dealing with the disadvantages her new life holds. This character development is something that didn't exist in the previous two novels, and it's a welcome change.

Menolly, perhaps because she's not as happy and preppy as the other two sisters, has a slightly less ridiculous vocabulary at her disposal. She doesn't walk around town calling everyone "dude", "babe" and "hon", something I'm extremely relieved to find. The developments with Nerissa, Roz and Jareth are interesting, and it's irritating that Galenorn didn't bother to spend any time developing them. They're only put there as milestones for Menolly to reach as she goes on her "journey of recovery."

Now, onto the negatives. Once again, Galenorn's bad writing rears its ugly head, although it's slighly less noticeable here than it was in Witchling and Changeling (perhaps because I flipped through this one even faster than the previous two, in order to avoid some of the said bad writing.) From annoying minor grammatical errors (Galenorn, it's 'Camille and I', not "Camille and me") to absolutely glaring ones ("off of the path"?), these things grate on the nerves of the reader. It seriously hinders me from finding any enjoyment in the book when I'm running across those on every single page. New species and characters are still pouring out of Galenorn's head, all without half-decent treatment before they're either killed off or forgotten because they were only placed there as plot points anyway. Once again, explanations for events occurring between Changeling and Darkling were not given; you're simply expected to accept it and move on. And some of the characters and plot points that Galenorn inserts are bordering on the ridiculous: Loki, the Norse trickster god, a vampire?! And Fenris is his pet werewolf?! We're never told who exactly Loki is, actually; it was only mentioned on one occation, in passing, that he's some sort of semi-god. Somehow, he's the main villain's vampire sire, and anything else? We're. Not. Told.

As previously mentioned, Darkling is rather better than Witchling and Changeling. But it doesn't improve by much, nor is Galenorn offering us anything revolutionary or particularly original. There are much better urban fantasy novels out there, with better character development and better plots, which I'd urge everyone to try before picking these up. At least that way you'd have something to laugh about afterwards.
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