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Darkness of the Light (The Hidden Earth Chronicles #1)

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  262 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Peter David, a creative force in television, and a best-selling author of comics and novels, has created a fantasy world sure to delight his legions of readers.
The Damned World is home to twelve races, each of which has fought the others for survival for generations. What none of them knows is that they are all creatures of Earth, a world of legend. On Earth eleven of the
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Tor Books (first published 2007)
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***Dave Hill
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: text
(Original review:

Overall: Good
Story: Good
Re-Readability: Good
Characters: Good

Story: This is the first volume of a new fantasy series, “The Hidden Earth,” by Peter David. It’s an ambitious job, as he balances a storyline that spans over eons and includes — even in just the main setting — a cast of several dozen scattered among multiple races and around the world.

The First Wave of the Banished (from another dimension) showed up during the reign of the din
B. Zedan
Jul 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Folks who like their mythological beings a little more human
Shelves: tor-downloads
A classic view in sf is that the only things humans have going for themselves are their creativity, cruelty and luck. Everything else is against them. Here, what they have against them are banished creatures from mythology (who'd arrived before in small groups, creating such mythology). Fauns and dragons and cyclops, similar to tales but different than the myth of ages have painted them. Humans have nearly been wiped out, but those dubious qualities, listed above, are still in place.

This is one
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
love it
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
After a slow, rough start, I really got into this book and I am actually planning on reading the next in the series because of the fun plot and likable characters.

I got this as an eBook from Tor, but I am not sure an eBook is a good vehicle for this particular book. At least, not on a Blackberry (where I read all my eBooks). It took me a hundred pages or so to really get into the story enough to know what was going on and who was who and where the story was going. It would have been nice to be a
John Kirk
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a long novel, so you definitely get your money's worth. I initially assumed that it was fantasy, but arguably the premise is more sci-fi; I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of this in a Star Trek novel. Still, the genre doesn't make much difference to the story.

There's a large cast, and the key characters don't all meet each other. Some of the names are familiar from the author's other work, e.g. there's an amphibian called Orin (the same name as Aquaman). The book mentions 12 races, b
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is pretty awesome… there’s multiple stories going on in it but they begin to slowly converge on each other… as people are searching for answers and trying to save their own world… as you get deeper into it you begin to truly discover the truth of this world and there’s a lot of twists and turns that make this an epic adventure… and it’s kind of awesome because it flashes back to explain where some of our myths came from and I like how it ties in different tales but it doesn’t make it p ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it liked it
It's hard to give this book a rating. It was entertaining, amusing, and nearly thought-provoking...but it was also rambling and cliche. Essentially it is a very long set-up for a series of novels. You get the world's backstory, the major characters, and (after more than half the book) an idea of the over-arching plot, all of which could have been done in half the words. As a bonus, you also get a long section of exposition about how human creativity, imagination, desire, and dreams predict the f ...more
Eric Juneau
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book, but I was intimidated by its length. Although it's quite the doorstop, it's also a sprawling fantasy epic that encompasses multiple storylines and races - human, troll, merpeople, cyclops, vampire, etc. I don't read much high fantasy, but I've been meaning to get into it. I read it because it's by Peter David, who I've been meaning to read more of ever since Tigerheart.

But this story's great because it always keeps you going, and all the storylines are set evenly, with i
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's a bit confusing since it follows about 8 different stories and character groups. As the novel proceeds, some of the stories touch to create a growing tapestry of mystery, intrigue, betrayal, and conflict. The confusion lifted for me once I'd gotten further into the book. Or at least I understood who the major players were and what they were striving for.

Some peeks into the past of the "Damned World" and the coming of the Third Wave are intriguing, but I'm not sure if it is enough for me to
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Peter David, so I was pre-supposed to enoy the book. A unique mix of classic elements of horror and fantasy races in a post-apocolyptic world that we are all pretty familiar with. I enjoyed recognizing our world through very different eyes. Peter handled the many multiple storylines well, keeping them intersecting from time to time and making their own progress as well. This is clearly the first of a multi-part storyline, and I look forward to catching further installments.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I haven't read a lot of PAD outside of comics, but he certainly displays a mastery of the grand myth. In this book he repackages cyclops, vampires, mermaids, minotaurs and dragons and sells them back to us in a delightfully new medieval-futuristic-post-apocalyptic yarn with cosmological implications. A fun read.

My only regret: I should have paid more attention that this was another fantasy book that is #1 in a series.

Minor spoiler: The plot lines (view spoiler)
Aug 29, 2010 marked it as to-read
I might actually read this in the future when I'm feeling particularly patient; I couldn't get into it at the moment as there were too many disconnected characters and not enough plot development for my thin patience at this time. Normally, character development, plot, and humor are the top three characteristics (mixed in a good proportion) of a fictional book that wins five stars from me. As far as I got into this one, it was heavy on character development, medium on the humor, and extremely li ...more
Jul 26, 2008 rated it liked it
The Damned World (Earth?) and its humans have been overcome by 12 very different alien species that are based on world mythology. This is obviously the first of a series and I'm interested enough to read the next one to see how all the stories will intersect. Lots of detail and a good bit of humor set the scene and the human woman Jepp and her "rescuer" Karsen (furry lower half and cloven hooves)are fun to follow.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic-fantasy
I was a little slow getting into the book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Peter David has created an interesting world, populated with new takes on classic fantasy creatures (the Twelve Races), and given each of them believable motivations and recognizable politics. He has also created sympathetic characters in the most unexpected places. I look forward to reading the sequel, The Height of the Depths.
Jul 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Some very interesting concepts (3 waves of fantastical creatures on "Earth") that for some reason didn't grab me. While David's characterization and dialog were as great as always I was never in the mode of turning the page and desperately wondering what happens next.

I think in large part it was due to too many characters with shifting points of view throughout the book, making it hard to connect to the book or develop any sort of empathy for any of them.
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great fantasy adventure on the Damned World (formerly Earth), which has been taken over by the Twelve Races, beings that are the stuff of human legends, with humans an endangered species. It follows several key players, including a rare human, as they strive to change their warring ways, go on an epic quest, free an enslaved people, or plot to defeat their enemies and live in peace, depending on who’s doing the talking at any given time.
Nov 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book definitely had an extremely slow start. I downloaded it when it was a free download, and at first my thought was a snarky, "You get what you pay for." It definitely picks up towards the end and the last few chapters just flew by. However, the ending raised almost as many questions as it answered, and I am disappointed that Peter David hasn't seemed to want to continue the series.
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
First, the mother of all slow starts, and just as it picks up speed... it ends, expecting you to follow the series.

Dear series authors: the first book of a series HAS to have an ending. If it doesn't, the reader will expect that all the others are the same, and feel cheated.

The middle book of a trilogy CAN be a cliffhanger, but not the freaking first one.
chris fidler
Mar 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Let me start off by saying Peter David did my favorite run of the Incredible Hulk. So, when I hated this book, I felt bad. I wanted to think it was just me, so I kept at this book. I kept putting it down after a few chapters and not touring it for months. The book just doesn't do anything to male me care about the characters or want to figure out what's going on in its world.
Maxyne Haybron
Oct 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Not very interesting until you get to the very end, then suddenly full of action and it ends with no real resolution. Very annoying.
Jon Snow
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
Shelves: adult
Great writing, great story. Sometimes a little bit gory, but still a good book; looking forward to the second one.
Sep 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Currently reading as a free ebook from our scifi friends at - Found it ok, but more like something I would buy in the airport because I forgot a book than because I wanted it.
rated it it was ok
Apr 16, 2014
Hyrum Tuttle
rated it liked it
May 19, 2011
trevor williams
rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2016
rated it did not like it
May 11, 2012
Michael O. Wells
rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2015
rated it liked it
Apr 16, 2012
rated it it was ok
May 05, 2013
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aka David Peters

Peter Allen David (often abbreviated PAD) is an American writer, best known for his work in comic books and Star Trek novels. David often jokingly describes his occupation as "Writer of Stuff". David is noted for his prolific writing, characterized by its mingling of real world issues with humor and references to popular culture. He also uses metafiction frequently, usually to hum
More about Peter David

Other books in the series

The Hidden Earth Chronicles (2 books)
  • Heights of the Depths

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