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Daughter from the Dark

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  189 ratings  ·  44 reviews
In this extraordinary stand-alone novel, the authors and translator of Vita Nostra—a "dark Harry Potter on steroids with a hefty dose of metaphysics" (award-winning author Aliette de Bodard)—return with a story about creation, music, and companionship filled with their hallmark elements of subtle magic and fantasy.

Late one night, fate brings together DJ Aspirin and
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Harper Voyager (first published 2006)
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Miriam The adult protagonist has relationships with different women, and the book mentions that him spending the night without going into explicit detail.…moreThe adult protagonist has relationships with different women, and the book mentions that him spending the night without going into explicit detail. (less)

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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
I was so excited when I saw this, thinking it was to be the translated sequel of Vita Nostra. It is not... but then I read the synopsis and um HOLY HELL I NEED THIS THANKS
keikii Eats Books
To read more of my reviews, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books!

"Don't call me silly! Stop condescending to me! I'm the adult here, and I don't care if there is a monsoon outside: you're still going."

Absolutely perfect in every way and I won't hear a bad word about it.

I didn't intend to read this in a single day. The book had other ideas. Wow. it made me pull out my violin from storage. and I suck at that thing. I loved this book so much. I couldn't put it down at all. I
Robin Bonne
4.5 Stars. Part fairy tale, part horror story. DJ Aspirin helps a girl in the street and gets sucked into a sort of alternative reality where he becomes her father. At first, he treats her brutality, which adds to the horror of the story. The main question at the surface of the book is who or what is she. The theme of how a man-baby becomes an adult is also explored.

Music plays a key role in this tale. The girl must learn to play a perfect song to find her brother. Whenever she practices this
Jul 11, 2019 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
After reading and enjoying the hell out of the mindfuckery that is Vita Nostra, I'm so ready for this and also, it sounds amazinggg
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

Daughter from the Dark was an exceptionally odd book and I really am not sure how I feel about it. When I say this is an odd book, I'm not exaggerating--there's weird characters, an uncertain plot, and a variety of other elements that make this book a tough one to decode. This is the second book I've read by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, the first being Vita Nostra, a book that I completely fell in love with. Daughter from the Dark didn't quite live
Lois Young
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. As mind bending as “Vita Nostra,” but more focused on the prose and on the characters. The ending was not what I was expecting and there were not obvious (fantasy) tropes.

"Daughter from the Dark" is the latest translated work by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, and the focus is on music instead of a hidden school. The narrative and the plot are more relatable and more action-paced than "Vita Nostra," but fans of metaphysical fiction will enjoy this book the most. "Daughter from the Dark"
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, 2020-read
DJ Aspirin has a fine life hosting a radio show by day and performing as a DJ at clubs at night. But his world is turned upside down when a strange young girl takes up residence in his apartment and refuses to leave until she finds her long-lost brother.

The Dyachenkos are back. Or rather, the English version of the Dyachenkos are back. It will never not rankle that the Russian-speaking public get to read all their works while we English-speaking losers have to make do with the shreds that
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**I received an advanced copy of this book on Netgalley.**

While this didn't have the full throttle what-is-HAPPENING factor of Vita Nostra, this book was still satisfyingly weird. The mental gymnastics that Aspirin went through to justify said weirdness could be a little bit exhausting at times, but in general I thought that the book's black humor helped to make the more repetitive bits readable. I was actually surprised by how funny it was - and by how much I ended up like Aspirin.

The ending,
Margherita Abitino
3.5 stars... I really enjoyed the story, but I had to keep reminding myself that it's been translated as there were times I felt like I was reading a Grade 9 English assignment. The translation definitely needs some work in helping the story flow, but otherwise a really cool, contemporary whimsical tale.

A great combination of fantasy and horror.
Kylie Corley
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I won an uncorrected proof through a Goodreads giveaway. I wanted to really love this, but I was left so confused throughout the book. It was still a delight to read, because I've not read anything like it. I think it's one of those books that you'd need to read again, maybe, to grasp everything.
Probably loved "Vita nostra" more by the same authors but I really enjoyed this so much. This is just my type of story. Being thrown in, trying to find things out, not getting clear answers (in a good way) and something magical included. Can't wait for more translations (or to learn Russian) so I can read more of the Dyachenkos.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Daughter from the Dark

In the opening scene of Daughter from the Dark, Aleksey Igorevich Grimalsky – AKA DJ Aspirin – returning from a late-night shift at a local radio station, takes a short-cut through back-alleys to his apartment and encounters a 10-year-old girl standing in the shadows clutching a stuffed bear. He asks what she’s doing there, believing she’s a runaway, but can’t make sense of her responses. He is about to leave when a group of teenage toughs appear and after a brief exchange
Vladimir Silchenko
This book is like a good Jazz melody: slow, a bit strange a makes you wanting it never stop
Calvin Park
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Dyachenkos, Marina and Sergey, are perhaps best known in the English-speaking world as the authors of Vita Nostra, a dark and compelling tale that mixes metaphysics and philosophy with urban fantasy in unique ways. Joined again by translator Julia Meitov Hersey, this new English translation of Daughter from the Dark returns readers to their dark and compelling way of telling stories, while swapping metaphysics for questions of creativity, music, and creation.

This is one that just demands to
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Daughter from the Dark is a dark modern urban fantasy with a touch of horror by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko. First released in 2006 in Russian, this translation 11th Feb 2020 from Harper Collins is 304 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

Michelle Kenneth -
[I received a copy of this book via the publisher/Edelweiss.]

This is one of those books you can't put down, because you need to know what's going to happen. What is the truth? What is a hallucination? What is real and what is a fantasy?

Did that teddy bear really attack people, or was Aspirin hypnotized to think he saw/felt these things? Is Alyona really some kind of fairy child/angel looking for her long lost brother?

The Dyachenkos really know how to hook you in. You'll be racing to the last
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
While I didn't love every moment of this book, I loved the atmosphere. It was a little gothic in the sense that you knew something darker was looming somewhere, but the writing and sweep of the story never quite give anything away in clear light.
Alexey is DJ Aspirin and one night he stumbles upon a little girl in danger with her teddy bear. After that, his life is filled with terror, bloodshed, random bouts of intense selfishness, odd strangers, school shopping, an incredible amount of violin
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: on-kindle, arc
I think I found a problem with these authors - their modern day stories don't do anything for me. I was spoiled by reading The Scar. The translation and the story behind that, merged with their interesting way of tackling the magic with the psychological insights remains one of my favorite fantasy stories.

This was not only confusing but very ick territory for me.

The DJ of this story is abusive, crass, and frankly rude. At times he hits the girl - the strange, distant, and probably supernatural
Daughter from the Dark is the latest offering from Ukrainian husband and wife team Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, translated brilliantly from the Russian by Julia Meitov Hersey. Their 2018 release, Vita Nostra, is one of the most bizarre, exhilarating, mind-bending things I've read, and while I cannot wait for the next installment of that series to be available in English, this standalone was a lovely treat in the meantime.

For those who haven't read Vita Nostra yet, I'd argue that Daughter from
Feb 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do you want to read a book about a middle-aged DJ who hates his job, goes to a club, drinks and sleeps around with young women every day, while a 10 year-old girl refuses to leave his apartment or explain who she is, says weird stuff and plays violin all the time? Oh, and sometimes they are randomly attacked by teenagers, police or some strangers with absolutely no consequences to anything.

Well, this is a basic description of this story. I've never been this disappointed or shocked after reading
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and am so grateful for the opportunity to review it.
Daughter from the Dark hooked me in fast. This story starts out with the sometimes loveable and sometimes disgraceful DJ Aspirin ( AKA Alexey), who stumbles upon an adolescent girl hiding by the street on his walk home. All she has to her name are the clothes on her back and a very unique teddy bear. When Alexey has a dog set upon him by a group of teenagers nearby, the teddy bear seems to come alive to protect his owner and,
Kenzie Cooper
Dec 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
As with all of the Dyachenko stories, there was a surrealist fairytale vibe interspersed in a visceral, dark atmosphere. What I like about their books is the complexity of the characters - both loveable and difficult to relate to. There isn't a "perfect" character, they are raw and real, which helps build to the modern setting of the story or speak to a modern audience.

As for the story itself -it's bizarre and difficult to fully explicate. But, I liked it. Prose, here, is unencumbered by
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book as a Giveaway here on Goodreads. It was a fast read and it drew me from the first page. However, I felt as though the story dragged on and on without any real end solution for some of the characters. I do have my theories as to the ending but do not want to spoil it for those interested in reading. I am one of those people that prefers a tight, neat end to a book- do not go looking for that here. A lot is left to the imagination as to what happened. I do have to say though ...more
Daria Marshall
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really probably should have DNF'd this if I were being honest. It just isn't my type of book. And I think the translation did not help because I just didn't vibe with the writing at all. I only read the whole thing because I had been given an ARC at a NYCC panel and wanted to see it through to the end.

My main complaint is that it felt like the same thing over and over again with the conversations between Aspirin and Alyona. And the ending was frustrating because none of the questions were
Pauliina (The Bookaholic Dreamer)
I was provided a free e-copy in exchange for an honest opinion. Receiving a free copy has in no way influenced my opinions on the book

After loving Vita Nostra, I'm so upset about Daughter from the Dark

We have an annoying main character who does a whole bunch of problematic stuff, and is just literally the worst He doesn't get any better towards the end and I hate him.

The plot goes from this has so much potential and it will most certainly be a wild ride , straight into a 250-page-long
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This is a weird novel. It has pieces of magical realism, horror, and mystery all wrapped up in one. Who is Alyona? Where does she come from? What does she want? What will she do? These are all questions that are raised from this reading. While the book is told from DJ Aspirin's point of view, it is most decidedly a book about Alyona.

The prose is simple and direct and used to create a foggy atmosphere while reading. It put me in the mind of "Let the right one in" by Ajivde Lindqvist. The heavy
This book disappointed me a little, ngl. The writing was decently ok, but the characters were a little confusing throughout the story. It's pretty gripping in the beginning, but towards the end it starts to go kinda downhill from there. Aspirin (interesting name), was a confusing and questionable protagonist. They bring up weird and sensitive subjects out of the blue, which kind of shocked me a little. However, what I did like about the story was that it was very whimsical and unique. THAT I ...more
I gave this a 3.5 stars. I was given the opportunity to read this early copy through Netgalley. The premise of this book sounded so good and I did like it. But throughout the book it was very confusing and psychologically twisting. For me it felt like I couldn’t tell what was happening or what was real. If you enjoy psychological twisting stories then definitely give this a try!! It was good and kept me on my toes.
Feb 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways-won
Unfortunately I was not won over by this somewhat odd book. The characters were strange at their best, the plot not well defined and the flow somewhat choppy. The story's genre is a bit complex to explain and I truly struggled to complete this reading challenge. 3 stars

My thanks to goodreads and the book's giveaway sponsors for the opportunity to obtain and read a copy of this book.
Taylor Munsell
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
The premise of this book sounded so intriguing. When I first started reading, I had a lot of trouble following what was going on, which I believe is the point. The problem was when I reached 1/3 of the way in and I still had no idea what was happening and no stake in any character. Again, the idea of this book is great but it just isn’t readable.
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Марина Дяченко
Marina and Sergey Dyachenko - co-authors of novels, short fiction, plays and scripts. They primarily write in Russian (and in the past also in Ukrainian) with several novels translated into English and published in the United States. These include, Vita Nostra (2012), The Scar (2012), The Burned Tower (2012), and Age of Witches (2014). The primary genres of their books are modern