Catherine's Reviews > A Brush of Darkness

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
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Dec 16, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-challenge-clear-out-the-tbr, angels-guardians, comedy, contemporary, demons, excellent, fae, fantasy-paranormal-sci-fi, magic-mystical-ability, read-2012, series, were-shifter
Read on January 08, 2012 — I own a copy

I had heard excellent things about this book and it turns out that everyone was right. I loved it! I was quite impressed with the fresh and complex world Pang created. The reader is dropped directly into the story and left to figure things out without any excessive infodumps. That style doesn't always work, leaving the reader too confused, but I think this author pulled it off nicely. The heroine, Abby, was relatively new to the OtherWorld, giving the author an easy way to pull the reader into the world without it feeling clunky.

Abby was in a bad place mentally six months ago and did something rash. She signed a contract making her the TouchStone of the Protectorate in return for seven years of agelessness and a wish granted upon fulfillment of the contract. She also got an enchanted iPod thrown in for good measure. She had no clue what she was getting herself into and the situation is made worse by the fact that the faery she's contracted to, Moira, hasn't bothered to teach her much about the new world she's a part of. When the book opens we see that Abby has been holding down the fort alone for the past couple months. Moira left her a vague note and disappeared. As Abby finds herself pulled into a search for some missing succubi she finds her lack of knowledge getting her into one bad spot after another.

I really liked Abby. Her personality made her very approachable for the reader. She had some baggage that made her insecure and vulnerable, but she didn't let it turn her into a whiner. She didn't let people get close too easily and she tended to lie to herself, but who could blame her? She was witty and occasionally self deprecating and had an easy charm to her. She was fully aware that she was in over her head, but she did her best to keep her chin up and brazen her way through it. She found herself in hot water again and again, the last one to realize how she had messed up, but I think she handled herself very well. She had her moments of ignorance and obliviousness, but she never strayed into the TSTL territory.

Brystion was another surprise. He was brooding and sexy and had his jerk moments (often in the beginning), which I expected, but he also was surprisingly thoughtful and sad. He struggled with his feelings of inferiority and unworthiness. His worry over a future between them rang true for me. Hooking up with someone like an incubus is not going to be easy. They may have laughed about him being a walking orgasm and may have teased each other about the his powers of seduction, but the reality of what he is and what he does is not something to take lightly. The author did a great job with making him likable and sympathetic, despite some of his more mercenary qualities. Actually, maybe because of those very qualities. It's hard to fault someone for intense loyalty.

In addition to Abby and Brystion, Pang created a wonderful set of secondary characters that gave us a glimpse of many different creatures in the four paths. I loved quite a few of them, including Phineas, the adorable little unicorn, but I could have quite cheerfully beaten the crap out of Robert. Man, that angel was a giant douche. I could do with less of him in the next book. I liked that the author managed to make each of Abby's friends have a bit of depth to them. That's quite an impressive feat considering how many characters there were and that the main characters were never shortchanged.

Pang has a very readable voice that made the pages turn quickly. She easily shifted between funny and serious without ever jarring the reader. This one didn't end on a cliffhanger but not everything was wrapped up at the end. I am quite eager to see what she has in store for us in the second book.

Favorite Quote:
"Throw me a goddamned rope!" I wasn't sure if he could hear me, given the howl of the wind, but he signaled my words with a shrug.

"I tried to bring one, but it couldn't come through the *bleep*." His voice was husky, a midnight fury laced with the metallic edge of bullets. He paused. "Hold on! I've got something here, but it won't be quite long enough, so you're going to have to time it with the waves."

"You'd better not be talking about your dick. I mean, you're well hung and all, but it's a Shadow Realm, not Fantasyland," I snorted, trying not to laugh.
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Reading Progress

01/08/2012 page 34
10.0% "

"You're a fool."

"You're making this so hard for me. Do I sit here and bask in the glory of your ego or do I get up and walk out the door?" I drummed my fingers softly on the table. "Let me think."

" 2 comments
01/08/2012 page 58
17.0% "

"No," I told myself firmly.

No.

I was not going to lie here and masturbate to the Prince of Broody Darkness. The horribly sexy Prince of Broody Darkness.

Even I have to draw the line somewhere. And getting off in my sleep to mysterious OtherFolk was where I drew it--especially with ones that insisted on being total asshats the night before. Besides, who the hell ever used [cont'd]

" 7 comments
01/08/2012 page 81
24.0% "

"Bitch."

I rolled my eyes. "Yes, yes, of course I am. Thanks for pointing that out. Now if you wouldn't mind, I've got some forks to stab into my skull."

"He'll use you like a dirty tissue," one of them sniffed. "All you're worth anyway."

"I weep for it."

-LOL"
01/08/2012 page 107
31.0% "

"If you masturbate, would that make you an incubator?"

-Lolol!" 4 comments
01/08/2012 page 157
46.0% "No way. Tell me they did not just start discussing WoW in the middle of the fight. Lol."
01/08/2012 page 304
89.0% "

"Throw me a goddamned rope!" I wasn't sure if he could hear me, given the howl of the wind, but he signaled my words with a shrug.

"I tried to bring one, but it couldn't come through the *bleep*." His voice was husky, a midnight fury laced with the metallic edge of bullets. He paused. "Hold on! I've got something here, but it won't be quite long enough, so you're going to have to time it with the [cont'd]

" 7 comments
01/08/2012 page 332
97.0% "

"Let me guess. You're like a thousand years old, but you've never found love, right? Never found a single woman in all that time who made your loins quiver and completed your soul, or whatever bullshit you happen to need? Well, except one and you had to cheat on her."

He blinked, dry amusement flickering across his countenance. "Actually," he said slowly, "I'm only about thirty-five as far as [cont'd]

" 1 comment
01/08/2012 page 343
100.0% "This was great!"

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Nikki (new) - added it

Nikki I haven't been in the mood for much PNR lately, but this may just break my dry spell!


Catherine Nikki wrote: "I haven't been in the mood for much PNR lately, but this may just break my dry spell!"

You should know that although this has a romance in it--with no love triangle, thank God!--it's UF. There's no cliff hanger at the end, but things aren't exactly settled between them.


message 3: by Nikki (new) - added it

Nikki Ohhhh I can never tell the difference between UF and PNR!! Are you able to advise me what the difference is?

I love the no love triangle, by the way.


Catherine Nikki wrote: "Ohhhh I can never tell the difference between UF and PNR!! Are you able to advise me what the difference is?

I love the no love triangle, by the way."


Well, PNR's have a guaranteed HEA for the relationship. Also, in a PNR the romance is the focus of the book, while the other events are secondary. In a UF the other events are the focus of the book and the romance is secondary.


message 5: by Nikki (new) - added it

Nikki Thanks Catherine, it's nice to have that cleared up. I think even though this is UF I'd still like to give it a go (even given the fact that I'm a HEA freak).


Catherine Nikki wrote: "Thanks Catherine, it's nice to have that cleared up. I think even though this is UF I'd still like to give it a go (even given the fact that I'm a HEA freak)."

Excellent. This one was a lot of fun!

Have you tried the Living in Eden series? It's a PNR trilogy where the relationship is built up through each book. The last one just came out. I thought it was a lot of fun.


message 7: by Nikki (new) - added it

Nikki Ooh I'll have a look for sure! Is there a love triangle though?


Catherine Nikki wrote: "Ooh I'll have a look for sure! Is there a love triangle though?"

Nope! I love when authors avoid those.


message 9: by Nikki (new) - added it

Nikki Yaaayyyy!


message 10: by Samantha (new)

Samantha You should know that although this has a romance in it--with no love triangle, thank God!--it's UF. There's no cliff hanger at the end, but things aren't exactly settled between them.

And that right there has just made me order this immediately from Amazon. Can't wait to read it!!


Catherine Samantha wrote: "And that right there has just made me order this immediately from Amazon. Can't wait to read it!!"

Excellent! I hope you love it too!


Laura the Highland Hussy Great review Catherine. I've just been offered the next one for review, should I read this first?


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