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The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, #1)
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Member Buddy Reads > The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan #1) by Kelly Gay - Start date September 5th

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Lisarenee | 2046 comments  photo BetterPartofDarkness_zpsaf0dcb05.jpg

This topic is open for discussion of The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay. Be Prepared for SPOILERS.

Synopsis:

Atlanta: it's the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil....

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim -- but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?


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Lisarenee | 2046 comments Start September??


message 3: by Gin (new) - added it

Gin | 338 comments I'm interested in this one. When are you guys looking at starting?


Sara | 860 comments Does today work for everyone?


message 5: by Lisarenee (last edited Sep 04, 2013 01:29PM) (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 2046 comments Sara wrote: "Does today work for everyone?"

you want to do this one instead of Artemis Fowl first?


Sara | 860 comments Sure.


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Lisarenee | 2046 comments Okay.


Sara | 860 comments Thoughts/Comments on Chapters 1 - 2

Warning, Spoilers Ahead...

"Hank was a siren. Particularly useful in police work. Criminals, suspects, witnesses - they all wanted to tell the truth just to please him." - I like the idea of supernaturals choosing an occupation that suits their abilities.

"'I swear to God, Hank, I'll put a bullet in your belly and send you back to Elysia if you're messing with me.' And I'd done it once before, so he knew to take me seriously." -- Nice partnership! Hank is obviously a very forgiving person.

Liz - a brilliant medical examiner and a necromancer -- another example of a supernatural pursuing a career that complements their abilities

Ash, goblin fruit, V - the theme of my reading so far this month seems to be "supernatural drugs"

"Spellmongers from Elysia and Charbydon had become a big problem, selling all kinds of illegal concoctions and substances. Soul bartering, a gigantic no-no, still occurred in dark alleys and private residence." -- Supernatural beings would bring about a whole new level of crime.

"Definitely not something I wanted to discuss with a drop-dead gorgeous siren with all the grace and power of a lion." -- Hank sounds yummy.

I wonder what the difference between Elysia and Charbydon is? Types of supernatural or moral differences. Elysia is similar to the Elysian Fields of Greek mythology - it was the place in the Afterlife where the truly good and heroic went after death. Chaybdyon reminds me of Charbydis which was a sea monster out of Greek mythology.

How did getting beat to death by a ghoul and returning to life change Charlie? Obviously she had regenerative abilities and anger issues. Did the dying and returning cause the abilities or simply activate them?


Sara | 860 comments Thoughts on Chapters 3 - 10

Warning, Spoilers Ahead...

Charlie is unique as an urban fantasy heroine in that she has a job, an ex, and a kid to juggle.

I like Emma - "Atlanta needs you. The very world itself might, one day, need you." - said while striking a superhero pose

Who were the men who resurrected Charlie and why did they do it?

Titus Mott is the resident mad - if not evil - scientist in this universe. We find out he resurrected Charlie but we still don't know why the other two men were in the room.

Charybydon's moon is failing so the heads of the royal houses are in Atlanta - I'm as confused as Charlie on why it ties in with ash and her growing abilities.

Why does Grigori want to speak with Lamek Kral so badly?


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Lisarenee | 2046 comments *******Thoughts and Comments on Chapter 1 - 10******

If I had to sum up what's what I thought about this book thus far in one word, it would be confusing. Seriously so. I feel like I started reading the second book of a series instead of the first. What in the world happened with her ex-husband? It sounds like eight months ago he made a bet and lost so he had to sleep with someone? When Charlie found out she beat the crap out of the person who in turn had her killed? And Will doesn't realize she died? Plus, he says he was raped and the whole near death situation was Charlie's fault? Can we say denial? I truly didn't like the piecemeal we had to do to figure out what happened and I'm still not 100 percent sure.

So the planet was invaded by aliens three years ago and nobody seems to be up in arms? No real back story about how this came about and I feel a lack of world building going on. What we do know is the Moon acts like the sun but not as bright on the alien's home planet of Charbydon and has two ruling parties 'Houses'--the Astarot and Abaddon. How can a moon fade? It reflects light from the sun. It's not like it glows.

What is black crafting? Is it black magic or something else? An explanation would have been nice.

What happened to Charlie's brother, Connor? We know he was killed by black crafters but how and why? I feel like there is a big hole of information missing her. He was her twin? And she feels his death is her fault for not listening to his voice in her head?

Who is Kral? Why are no visitors permitted and what did he do?

How was Charlie brought back to life and at what cost?

What is the legend associated with the drug flower, Bleeding Souls?


message 11: by Lisarenee (last edited Sep 06, 2013 09:14AM) (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 2046 comments Sara said, "Definitely not something I wanted to discuss with a drop-dead gorgeous siren with all the grace and power of a lion." -- Hank sounds yummy.

lol Yes, and I loved finding out his last name--Williams. I started laughing so hard. A country music loving siren.

Sara said, I wonder what the difference between Elysia and Charbydon is? Types of supernatural or moral differences. Elysia is similar to the Elysian Fields of Greek mythology - it was the place in the Afterlife where the truly good and heroic went after death. Chaybdyon reminds me of Charbydis which was a sea monster out of Greek mythology.

My hubby and I just saw the movie Elysia a couple of weeks ago and had looked up that information. :)


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Lisarenee | 2046 comments I almost forgot to mention Bryn's ability. That's pretty cool. Did you ever read Poison Princess by Kresley cole? It reminded me of the protagonist's powers.
Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) by Kresley Cole


message 13: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 860 comments I have not. Is it good? I've always been fond of characters with plant abilities. It started with Poison Ivy (the Batman villain) and has continued ever since.

I'm a bit confused on the blame thrown Charlie's way when it comes to her death. She yelled at the woman who slept with her husband (I'm not buying the rape angle, he willingly made that bet - he was looking to cheat and wanted an excuse for his actions) - and that justifies said woman hiring a hit man to beat her to death? I don't think so!

The jinn - I don't understand how they get away with what they do - I would think humans would quickly disabuse them of the notion that they can enforce their laws that violently contradict the native laws.

I have no idea how all the various plot threads are going to come together - we have Charlie's death & resurrection, Charlie's powers, ash, the Mott brothers, the heads of the Charbydon's houses, Charbydon's moon failing, and whatever Grigori and the jinn are up to - did I forget anything?


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Lisarenee | 2046 comments Sara wrote: "I have not. Is it good? I've always been fond of characters with plant abilities. It started with Poison Ivy (the Batman villain) and has continued ever since.

I'm a bit confused on the blame t..."


Well it must be some super kind of ending because this one is highly rated.

I totally agree that Will is putting the blame on Charlie so he can make her feel she was wrong. His lack of realizing what he did was wrong shows he's not owned up to what he did and she should not get back with him. He'll just do it again and wonder what her problem is.

I also agree that it seems like the world is letting the alien beings walk all over humans there seems to be little regulation of it. I truly wish the author had started this series with the invasion and how in three years time it seems to be universally accepted. I would have loved to have seen how Hank and Charlie's respect and trust for one another had grown. That would have been interesting.

I'm wondering if her brother's death will come into play?


message 15: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 860 comments Will's a total weasel. Why go back to a slimy cheater when you have a hot, funny, and loyal siren standing right next to you?

I think three years is too soon for the world to be reconciled with the aliens, The unveiling in the Mercy Thompson and Rachel Morgan series happened decades ago and their worlds are still struggling with the adjustments.

I think the brother's death will come into play - the author has mentioned it at least three times so far. She has to be reinforcing it for a reason.


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Lisarenee | 2046 comments Sara said, "Will's a total weasel. Why go back to a slimy cheater when you have a hot, funny, and loyal siren standing right next to you?

lol I thought the same thing, but I think Hank said something about having all those woman fall for him but couldn't do anything about it. Could it be his kind can only get amorous around their own kind, hence his going to the Bath to seek them out?


message 17: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 860 comments I didn't think of that possibility - it would be an interesting twist.


message 18: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 860 comments Thoughts on Chapters 11 - End

Warning, Spoilers Ahead...

Will obviously didn't learn his lesson from the first time he used magical means as a shortcut. Rex, however, is hilarious.

Due to genetic manipulation, Charlie is now an all-powerful vampire?

I would rate this book 2.5 stars. I thought the plot was too busy and all over the place. Maybe the author should've focused on the ash drug trade, hinted about Charlie's abilities, and kept the rest for a later book?

I liked the majority of the cast - Hank, Bryn, Emma, Rex!, Aaron, Gizmo, and the chief.

I didn't like Charlie manifesting all these abilities without much difficulty or training. I prefer having the character learn and struggle - compare Charlie to Rachel Morgan, Nikki Glass, or Kate Daniels. Rachel, Morgan, Nikki, even Harry Dreseden, have all developed and increased their skills/power levels throughout the series.

I'll probably read the rest of the series eventually - Hank is yummy and Rex is hilarious - but it's not at the top of my "to-read" list.


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Lisarenee | 2046 comments *****Thoughts and Comments for Chapter 11 - End****

I agree with you, Sara, about Will. He didn't learn. I have to wonder if Charlie is going to find some way to bring him back. I fear we haven't seen the end of him.

Sara said, "Due to genetic manipulation, Charlie is now an all-powerful vampire?"

I know, right? An all powerful vampire. Does this mean she'll need a steady diet of blood? Plus, the genes aren't compatable so she's going to self destruct at some point? Is this some sort of Dr. Jeckel Mr. Hyde remake? She's got both light and darkness within her? I am curious where the author is going with this.

Was it Aaron who suggested she get training? Perhaps there will be a gradual increase in her powers. We'll have to see if we read the next book in the series.

You know, when you suggested the book, I thought I'd read a book by Kelly Gay before, but I hadn't. I was confusing her with another author and I'll need to see if I can figure out who that author was. Anywhoo the funny thing was that I was convinced this was a spin off from that other series. I swear I remember a character being ripped apart and being in a world where gargoyles were real. I need to figure out which series it was. Maybe my mind is combining two stories into one. I don't know, but I am totally shocked this is a first book in Ms. Gay's only series. It felt like the base of the series was missing. Like it should have started prior to her death experience.

I wouldn't mind continuing the series either at some point, but I agree I have others on my list I'd probably read first.


message 20: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 860 comments It might have been better if she started off with the attack and the resurrection. I would've preferred if the author had saved some of the plot threads for later books - the plot was too busy and all over the place.


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