Friday, 4 July 2014

Review: The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz

The Dark World (Dark World #1) by Cara Lynn Shultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: May 27th 2014
My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home. (from Goodreads)

The Dark World had an interesting premise but didn't live up to its potential, in my opinion. It wasn't terrible, but I think it could have been a lot better than it was.

Paige was an okay main character, but there was nothing that really made me invested in her. She could have failed miserably or succeeded miraculously and I wouldn't have really cared much either way. Everyone thought of Paige as the "crazy girl" because they couldn't see that the wall she was talking to was actually a ghost. She was isolated and even her own family (especially her dad) tiptoed around her, so she must have had a lot of strength to deal with that. Her ability to see and talk to ghosts was interesting but somewhat confusing. She was a Traveller that could travel to the Dark World and that was why she was somehow able to see, hear and speak to ghosts who resided there, but then Logan was able to see, hear and speak to ghosts as well, so why didn't that make him a Traveller too? Considering that Paige only got her powers because she saved some kid from getting hit by a car, flatlined, and then came back, shouldn't there be a whole host of Travellers bopping around? A lot of people have "died" and come back. Why was Paige the only one with these newfound powers? Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention but the whole thing just confused me and I feel like Paige didn't ask nearly enough questions after finding out about her ability. I did enjoy her friendship with Dottie, a ghost who died in the 50s who was hilarious and fun, and they had some funny scenes together in the first half of the book, but then Dottie's presence slowly died out in the second half and she was barely in it anymore, which was a real shame.

Logan was kind of the stereotypical protector "I must save you at any cost!" type and I didn't have any particular feelings towards him. He was just...there. Sometimes too much. Once he and Paige became more friendly, that was when Dottie started to fade out of the picture, so that sucked. And certain things he said just got to me. Like when he was talking about how he punched some guy for talking crap about Paige and then told the rest of the group to speak about women respectfully because "every girl is important to someone". I just had an issue with that because it was clearly meant to be some grand gesture but it shouldn't be "every girl is important to someone", it should be "every girl is IMPORTANT" and "every girl IS someone". The reason you shouldn't treat women like objects isn't because someone else (aka their manly boyfriend -_-) cares about them, it's because they are in fact human beings and deserve respect for that fact alone. Logan did seem like a nice guy in general to be fair to him, and not without some funny moments. He'd had a hard life and was devoted to fighting demons. However, that's why I found his relationship with Paige to be a bit unbelievable. After spending a few weeks with this girl who he didn't really know very well, he was suddenly willing to give up his life's ambition to stay with her. It was just...ack. They literally barely knew each other, which was CLEARLY made obvious when a certain secret was revealed and a certain person's trust was (temporarily, because of course this was an everlasting love -_-) broken. It was just kind of insta-lovey; even though they were actually friends first, as soon as they started a proper relationship, it became all "let me die for you, my love!" and ugh. Paige actually referred to Logan as "my love". Multiple times. Seriously. No teenager says "my love" about anyone unless they are in a play, or are very, very drunk.

Plot-wise, the beginning was a little cliché and there was a lot of info-dumping, but Dottie made up for a lot of that. Then she all but disappeared, and the latter half was more romance/cheesfest based though there were some interesting action scenes as well. One thing towards the end concerning the closing of a portal confused me, because if the portal was able to open with a blood donation, it should be able to close with that too so what happened was just weird and unnecessary I didn't get it at all. There was a kind of a cliffhanger which I'm sure would have made me want to read the next book had I been more invested in this one.

Overall, I didn't really enjoy The Dark World. I didn't hate it but it wasn't what I wanted it to be. The romance which started off okay turned into some cheesy I'll catch a grenade for you lovefest and there was too little explanation on the world and how everything worked. If you do still want to read this book, I recommend borrowing it from a library first.


  1. What a shame. I was really drawn in by the cover. :/ But then I read the summary: "girl is uber weird...blah blah blah...cute boy arrives... more blah.... century old battle that only she can end... *barf bag arrives*... might not survive... *barf bag is utilized*..."

    Then I looked at the publisher. Harlequin Teen, to my knowledge, has not published a single book that I have been able to tolerate, let alone like. But it's such a shame! The cover is so nice.

    Definitely giving this one a pass. Great review! ^.^


  2. You and I know how much I hate typical character BS. That is, if you still remember me LOL. It's Amara originally from paranormal indulgence who now resides at Missed ya, lady!

    I'm really disappointed that Shultz next book follows typical tropes. I actually sort of liked her last series and was hoping for more growth from her as a writer :(

  3. So glad I decided to skip this one, the characters sounds so meh. And oh my gosh, 'my love' gahhh, the romance doesn't sounds appealing at all. So cringe-y! Thanks for the honest review. :)


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