Monday, October 29, 2018

All Things Halloween Review - The Beauty of Darkness

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, # 3)

By: Mary E Pearson

Publication: August 2nd 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

688 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Personal Kindle Library

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Goodreads description--Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.

With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.

In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.

Ok guys, so I literally just moments ago finished The Beauty of Darkness. Usually I wait a day at least before writing my review simply because of time. But I had to get some thoughts down about this book before going to bed.

But first let me backtrack. My MIL bought this series ender for me the Christmas after it released. Unfortunately she bought me the hardback copy whereas the prior two books I'd read on my Kindle. (Don't you hate when that happens?) Being a new mom at the time reading a hardback book is almost impossible. You need two hands for that. I can barely remember a time when I had both hands free for something like that. This coupled with the fact that this book is almost 700 pages long had me putting it off. Husband actually bought me the Kindle edition later and with the upcoming release of Dance of Thieves, I finally decided to finish this series.

The epicness of book 1, The Kiss of Deception, has been difficult for the remaining books in the series to live up to. It is easily in my list of favorite books. The Heart of Betrayal was good, but just not as good. But it did leave the characters in a place of precariousness. The Beauty of Darkness picks up immediately where The Heart of Betrayal left off.

I struggled with a few areas. 1) The history which plays into Lia's role in this book and her destiny. I really never get the full benefits of fictional texts being quoted within another fictional book. It usually confuses me. Gaudrel, Venda, Morrighan... Who they were as people in the past and what their books say about history and their story. Ugh... I'm not a fan of this in books. It requires too much effort to figure out what the author wants me to get from these quotes.

2) Even though I'm a big fan of Mary E Pearson's writing and especially considering the way she wrote The Kiss of Deception, I'm surprised that this is a complaint of mine but here we are nonetheless. I got confused at narrator switches on multiple occasions. I can only lie fault with the character voices not being distinct enough. The writing was completely the same no matter who was narrating.

3) I told my husband that even though I was enjoying this book and it was written in such a way that made me want to keep reading and had me thinking about the book constantly even when I wasn't reading, there was something about the writing that made me uninterested in re-reading it in the future. I wondered why and I think my issues stem from the characters' lack of hope. I can't go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil anything. But there's a way to write a book that has me devouring pages to know what's going to happen while providing me hope of a positive outcome, and then there's writing a book in negative way that gives you no hope but you pray that you and the characters are wrong and things end up differently than it appears. Both have you hooked to know what's going to happen, but one isn't exactly the most pleasant experience and doesn't leave me wanting to re-read. When I tried to explain this to my husband he didn't understand what I was saying until I added specifics so I hope you guys can just get what I'm saying without needing that. Because of the way conflict was handled even though I got an ending I was satisfied with, the process to get there in ways wasn't exactly satisfying.

Despite my issues, I did devour this book as quickly as I could considering it was again almost 700 pages long. I loved the inclusion of Pauline narrating as well as the original Lia, Rafe, and Kaden. The side cast was diverse and most of them easily loveable.

The main conflict was built up over 90% of the book, but only took 4ish% to resolve. For me this is also a bit of a negative because it means that things wrapped up too quickly for having been strung out for so long.

I know my review might seem like I didn't enjoy The Beauty of Darkness, but I did. I am so glad to have finally finished this series ender and know how it all ends. The Beauty of Darkness gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Beauty of Darkness? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

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