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The Darkener
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message 1: by Jamie (last edited Nov 07, 2014 10:00AM) (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
The Darkener by Nathan Calvanese
The Darkener
by Nathan Calvanese

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy


Excerpt Link:

Video Trailer:

message 2: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Thumbs down, but I feel as though the sample size might be too small and potentially misleading.

Cover: A nice and simple concept. The dark red lettering on black is difficult to read, especially in the thumbnail, but given the title, this seems to work. The image gets across the idea that the character is not quite human. Great visual representation.

Blurb: While I feel that some of this could have been cut down, the blurb hooked me. From this, I am expecting something of a dystopian tale that is heavy on human interest and character development. I am a sucker for character driven stories.

Excerpt: What stuck out to me was the use of descriptives. The first two chapters seem dominated by adjectives, but we don't learn much about the characters or what exactly it is they are going to investigate. We see what they are doing, but we don't get why. I'm guessing the man at the end of chapter 2 is the main character and the story will follow him going forward. I would be curious to see how this happens, but for my interest to continue, the focus would have to shift to a narrower scope and give some depth to the character, rather than just tell us what they are doing.
On a technical nitpick, I found the use of contractions to be distracting in some areas. In the second paragraph of ch. 1, the words it'd and they'd appear several times in two sentences. Changing a few of them to it had or they had could make the sentence flow a little easier.
As I said, the blurb does intrigue me. I would definitely read further if there was a bit more of a sample that shows us more of the main character and whether we start to see a focus on character development.

message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyles (gobbledygook) | 380 comments Thumbs up.

Cover: I don't really like the cover. I find it somewhat creepy. It definitely wouldn't have made me want to read the book if I was just looking at it.

Blurb: The blurb completely hooked me.

Excerpt: I found the vagueness of what was going on in the first two chapters intriguing. And the descriptives helped the picture playing out in my head of the events.

message 4: by Sue (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments Thumbs on the fence.

Overall note: I may have gotten some stuff wrong. I only looked once, and briefly, mimicking my behavior when I shop for new authors.

Cover: The text is too dark, disappears in thumbnail size. The picture is cool but struck me as a cruel monster, not someone undergoing conflict, regret, or difficult choices.

Blurb: I was put off by the flowery excess of verbiage and instances of passive voice. Also, I didn't want to know from the outset that she died, but am waffling about this: is the revelation a terrible spoiler that robs the book of a powerful moment? Or is it a bold choice that demonstrates this book will start where others leave off?

Video: Images seemed cliched and many were too dark for me to make out. The messaging of the video confused me. The blurb and excerpt had me thinking that he made a terrible choice/action and now has to live with it. But my impression from the video was that the book is about his grappling with a future choice.

Excerpt: I got lost in the wording. I much liked the mood and overall rhythm of the language but - imo - there were many extraneous words and I soon started skimming, looking for the meat. (The excerpt could be cut by 25-30% without losing content.) I would not buy a book that had me skimming by page 3.

message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyles (gobbledygook) | 380 comments I had problems with the link for the video. Did you find it somewhere else Sue?

Nathan Calvanese (ncalvanese) | 4 comments Thanks for all the feedback so far all, it's been incredibly helpful!

message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
Thumbs down.

Cover: the red lettering is a bit lost against the black background, but it's not bad - nice font and I like the layout.

Blurb: Was going fine until the third paragraph: "are non-existent in his life", "allure of his power", "very life of the city", "snatched away forever" and "The government seeks to have him destroyed" are all either bad grammar or just a bit clumsy. Also, "and rightfully so" is superfluous (he's just destroyed New York city after all!)

Excerpt: In Chapter 1, would the faces of such military specialists/special forces as these really be "pale with fear"? There's some odd wording too, e.g. "tracing the cockpit", "Approach with supreme caution", "saddled up against the western bank", "Yet, directly its opposite". There are spelling mistakes too, for instance "repelled" should be "rappelled" (or even "abseiled" maybe). In Chapter 2, referring to a corpse they've just that moment stumbled upon: "He had looked into that woman's eyes, just as he'd done countless times before..."

Once beyond the first two chapters, the prose is not bad at all - and I was intrigued by the set-up, the vanished New York - but there were just too many mistakes to give it a thumbs up.

message 8: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Cover: Full sized looks good. The thumbnail is illegible with the dark red against black.

Blurb: OK. Enough to draw me in, but not really snappy. Reads more like a romance, not a sci-fi book. I would not have chosen this one, just on that basis.

Sample: This started to intrigue me, but with the feel of the romantic elements, I would have passed it by.

Over all: Thumbs down

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