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Darkworld #0.5

Fear's Touch

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This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it doesn't contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come into play later in the series).

When university student Claudia's life takes a turn for the weird, she finds her new social life revolves around fighting sinister shadow-monsters and trying not to get arrested by the creepy organization which hunts them down. As a rogue sorceress, no one trusts her, and when she helps out another magic-user, she finds herself caught in a web of secrets and impossible promises.

The Darkworld takes no prisoners...

98 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2014

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About the author

Emma L. Adams

77 books907 followers
I'm Emma, a fantasy author, book collector, gamer, and restless dreamer. I write urban and epic fantasy novels, including the Changeling Chronicles, the Gatekeeper's Curse trilogy, and the Order of the Elements series.

*Note: I am not a professional reviewer and I use Goodreads only to record my reading progress. Please don't send me unsolicited review requests.*

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,372 reviews9,445 followers
July 13, 2016
So I'm having this reading slump and my friend Figgy mentioned today that I should read some short books or graphic novels and I thought... well I'm going to go over and look at some novella's etc on kindle unlimited and I found this little gem :-)

The book had me at:

I saw my first demon at a Halloween party.

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Claudia is at this Halloween party and after the power goes off some yahoo thinks it's a great idea to get out the Ouija board! Yeah! Right?


I forgot to mention Claudia is a sorceress. She's the only one that sees a demon that appears while the board stupidity is going on and she takes a tumble off the balcony. Fun times!

Claudia's parents decide she needs to go to the University of Blackstone to be more protected from demons etc. This is also home to the Venantium, they supposedly watch the magic users to make sure they are not summoning demons and to take out demons that come into the world. You can join them but then they rule your life and bleh. Claudia's parents were with them but they left at one point.

Anyway, Claudia meets Berenice at the bus stop to the school when a dark shadow is after her and Claudia is going to try to help her.

Okay. Time for action.
I mentally called the shadows toward me--one thing I'd got the knack of pretty quickly, even if it had freaked me out almost as much as the demon had, the sight of every shadow in the room zooming over to me as though I'd activated some kind of shadow-sucking hoover. Right now, thought, I felt a spasm of relief when the dark, swirling shadows came out from under cars and people, swarming over me in one motion. I flicked my hand up, still holding the fan, and the shadows complied, forming a wall between us and the shadow-beast.

Claudia and Berenice end up being flat mates and make some cool friends, Cyrus and Howard. They are forming their own Scooby crew and keeping away from the Venators. That's what you become when you join the Venantium, you have to be a guard. They all have powers of course.

I had a fun time with this book and look forward to reading more of the ones in this series!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive).
2,360 reviews50 followers
January 24, 2016
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

Intended as a prequel set before the events of the first book in the series, Darkness Watching, I decided to read this one first. However, even though it doesn't spoil the first book, in hindsight I'd recommend reading the first book before this one, since everything will make more sense that way.

It was kind of a short novella focussing on Claudia, the year before the real story starts. Basically it bottles down to her experiencing a lot of the same things as Ash in the first book.

I think it was a nice addition to the series for those who like to know a bit more about the background of some of the characters. Not having read, at that point, anything else from the series I felt a bit lost at times, but it didn't bother me that much. The story was interesting enough and I was looking forward to reading the rest of the series (which I'm reading as we speak).

Fears Touch is the prequel novella to the Darkworld Series, the first book is Darkness Watching.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Naturalbri (Bri Wignall).
761 reviews86 followers
January 8, 2015
What I Thought:

I absolutely loved this little novella! It gives a great insight into the fresher year of Claudia and Berenice. We also learn about the beginning of of the group Cyrus started.

As Claudia starts to see the Darkworld, she goes from well-liked to headaches. Within one evening, she has dropped off the social ladder and even lost her best friend. Previously, she wasn't that interested in uni, and well...she still isn't, but she has to get away from her first demon sighting. She aims for other universities, though her parents push her toward the uni near the small town of Blackstone. It's not that she didn't want it, just she wanted an option, but she tried to push away all ideas of attending Blackstone, just like any child would when their parents want something! After she is rejected time and again, she finds herself in the pouring rain, at a bus stop, waiting to get to the uni her parents wanted. With her demon tragedy at the party, this god-awful weather and a world she didn't want any part in, life couldn't get worse...or so she thought.

Enter Berenice, well, at this moment she's squealing, running, save me I'm being chased by a shadow creature girl, but soon she'll be Berenice. With an attitude that spits knives and a tough outer shell, we instantly take an odd dislike yet like affection to her. We watch as the encounter between the two escalates.

Soon we are thrown into a blundered up mess of secret magic gatherings, demons, shadow creatures a fortune teller and the 'organisation.'

From the first page I found this novella grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I couldn't stop reading. It was like a page-turning addiction.

Personally, I would read it as the second part to the series (i.e. 1.5). Yes, it is a prequel and takes place the year before Darkness Watching, but I love feeling as though I know the future and am getting a rare moment to look back and see what led to now. I also think it helps you to understand Berenice more and actually opens up a thousand more questions about both girls and the organisation. If it were read first, I think you'd miss out.

I found that, once again, the writing style of Emma Adams was perfection. I had a fast-paced fantasy adventure, with enough detail to make me feel as though I was art of their world. There were slower moments, where you felt caught in that exact moment, only to be whisked away into the next part of the adventure.

The character depth was brilliant. You didn't get too much, as this was only a novella and an insight into those we already know, but you did get enough to make the novella an important read.

What can I say? I loved every page and highly recommend this novella. I would suggest (very much so) that you purchase the entire series (book 4 is out this year!) and dive in. You won't be able to put them down.
Profile Image for Lola.
1,470 reviews242 followers
January 13, 2015
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

I got both this one and the second book in the series for review, so I decided to start this one first to get back into the world of the Darkworld. It's been awhile since I read the first book, so I really liked getting back into the series with this novella. I couldn't really remember Claudia and which exact role she had in the first book, but that didn't matter and this book was easy to follow and understand and as the book progressed I remember more about the first book. It was fun to read about Claudia her introduction to the dark World and how she deals with it and how that's different from Ash. This novella takes place one year before the first book.

The the start of the book felt a bit off, like there was a recap of past events and only then the story starts about how she goes to university and it got better. While the recap was nice, it felt a bit too much like a recap. The pace didn't feel rushed though and I felt like a novella was the right length for this story.

I thought Claudia was a fun character to read about and I liked how she did her best to become friends with Berenice even though she wasn't always pleasant to be around. She also was a helpful person who got way more involved with the magic aspect then she hoped, but it fit her. We also meet some characters from the first novel here as well. And there was a character named Lola, it's always fun and a bit weird when a character in a book has the same name as you, especially when you're nothing alike. Although I do have a four poster bed just like her, lol.

There not much that this novella adds in terms of world building, but it does add some background and gives a new insight into Claudia as a character and her past. It's a nice addition to the series and it was a fun read.

To conclude: This was a fun and short novella and a nice addition to the series. The first part of the book felt a bit like a recap, but after that it got better. I liked seeing more from Claudia and her part of the story.
Profile Image for Magda Żmijan.
300 reviews49 followers
October 14, 2015
Check this and other reviews at: https://maginibooks.wordpress.com/

Eh, prequels. How is it that some of them are so good! Let’s take this one – if I haven’t intended reading the other books in series before I’d surely want to read them now.

This story was written after the first books in series came out. It shows us how Claudia learned about her powers, the Darkworld, the Venantium and how she joined Blackstone college. And I even liked the opening line: "I saw my first demon on a Halloween party."

It simply fits here. It means the beginning of the new life for Claudia.

On her way to new school Claudia protects Beatrice from a shadow beast attack. Even though she’s not allowed to use magic, she has to do something to protect the two of them. Unfortunately, Claudia’s actions don’t go unnoticed. Two members of Venantium save the girls, but also warn them never to use magic again or they will be arrested.

I admit, few times I had this kind of Harry Potter vibe. It was a good vibe, but kind of “been there, done that” feeling. But it was good, I liked it. The author made a good job of keeping the tension. Action just kept on going.

And can I just mention my favorite scene? The flaming fan fights! Got it? Claudia uses fans to help her channel her skills to blast the hell out of those monsters. AWESOME! Yes, I totally pictured it in my head.

What else can I tell you other than: Go, read it! I’m not going to convince you any further. I’m too busy reading book 1 of the series ;)

I received this copy from the publisher via Curiosity Quills in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for MaykenAlanna.
106 reviews
December 30, 2014
FEAR'S TOUCH is part of the DARKWORLD series that exposes the back story of a secondary character the reader meets in DARKNESS WATCHING, the first book of the series. I'd really liked this character, Claudia, in the first book, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her better in this novella which takes place not long before the main story of book 1 starts.
I recommend FEAR'S TOUCH to anyone who enjoyed DARKNESS WATCHING, but it definitely should be read after book 1. You don't want it to spoil the experience.
And then on to book 2, WAKLING SHADOW.
Profile Image for Diane.
Author 15 books12 followers
January 12, 2015
Received a complimentary copy to read and review. Great read for anyone new to the Darkworld series. I couldn’t put it down. Love the characters and the world Emma has created. Although short it gives a great introduction to the series. Readers who love YA urban fantasy will want to add the series to their TBR list. I look forward to reading more of Emma’s books.
Profile Image for old account (rl).
394 reviews
June 4, 2018
I don't tend to read a lot of prequels, despite my love for them. One of my favourite things in reading is falling in love with a story and a set of characters, and then being able to pick up their prequel and being able to backtrack their journey to see how their progress how they've changed. Reflecting on their development and their progress always gives the story an extra sense of depth. It usually makes the reader (or at least me) fall in even more in love with the characters and story.

Fear's Touch was a "standalone" prequel so it didn't actually follow Ash directly in any way, but that isn't a bad thing. This story was the 'origin story' of Claudia, Ash's friend from Blackstone who we met in Darkness Watching... and I'm happy to say that I think I actually enjoyed reading about her even more than I did Ash. We got to see how Claudia discovered her heritage (and her powers), and how she got to Blackstone. We follow her in her first few weeks of university and meet Brianne, Howard and Clyde for the first time. I liked seeing more of these characters. Howard wasn't nearly as annoying as he was in Darkness Watching and I loved Clyde.

While it didn't think this story was exactly necessary to the series, I still really enjoyed it. I would have to recommend picking it up after reading Darkness Watching though. The world-building is a little lacking. I think you're almost expected to have a little knowledge of the Darkworld, which you wouldn't have if you hadn't read the first book yet. You could probably pick this book up and be fine, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Review copy provided by Curiosity Quills Publishing for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sarah-Jayne Briggs.
Author 1 book47 followers
October 7, 2015
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

(This review may contain spoilers).

I'd give this novella 3.5 stars. Although I found the plot fairly intriguing, I did think that too much of the story's events were summarised at the beginning of the story. It would have been nice to see more of Claudia's interactions with her parents and some of her learning about her abilities.

I did find Berenicia to be an intriguing character, even though I couldn't understand why she was so hostile most of the time. Even by the end of the book, it didn't make it clear why the demons were after only her.

It was interesting to see Claudia also trying to learn about the history of the society, though I was really confused about why they had the registry in the first place. I really didn't like Jude as a character and I felt he fell really easily into the trap of a two-dimensional villain.

I liked the hints of the society and it would have been good to learn more about the world. It was nice to see Claudia's interactions with the other students and I was a bit amused by one of the guys she met. Although he came across as a thug to begin with, I thought he was shown to be a character with more depth than he first appeared to have. And I did find him to be a bit amusing at times.

I would have liked a bit more detail about the university and how the students end up joining. I also would have liked to see more of Claudia's flatmates. I do have to say... Claudia has a lot more patience than I would have with certain characters.

This novella was really easy to read, but I felt the storyline and characters weren't expanded upon. While this could be because I haven't yet read the other books in this series, I do think the world could have been explored more than it actually was, especially in regards to the other characters' families and the fortune-teller. I found her really interesting and would have liked a bit more detail about her.

I do have the other books on my Kindle... and I am hoping that the next books will have more details on the world and the characters.
Profile Image for Nay Denise.
1,518 reviews82 followers
April 22, 2016
I received a copy for review from the publishing company.

Wow this was an awesome novella to the Darkworld series. I mean I really enjoyed the ten chapters I read in about 100 pages. For a novella, this was a very in depth and detailed story about Claudia's life as a new magic-user. I absolutely loved Claudia because even though she wanted no part in the magic world, she dealt with it to the best of her abilities. Claudia is definitely the kickass kind of character to beat down doors and save those around her.

I found Bernice to be a little weird. I wonder what her deal is. Jude was a true douchebag, abusing his powers was just ridiculous. Howard was just your typical alpha male jerk -- he just wanted to enjoy the college life. The fortune teller seemed cool, but creepy at the same time. Cyrus was really cool. I think he would be a perfect love interest for Claudia. Biker Guy was cool too.

Really great novella for the series.
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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