Monday, August 18, 2014

A Booknatic Review: Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams.

Darkness Watching (Darkworld, #1)Darkness Watching, by Emma L. Adams
Book 1 in the Darkworld series
Young Adult / Paranormal / Adventure
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be


Sky's Thoughts:

 A terrifying yet electrifying ride through a dark, paranormal world!
Before I begin my review, what I LOVED about this book:
This is a young adult paranormal ADVENTURE, action packed and just a perfect dash of romance. 
I also absolutely loved the heroine! She’s well-rounded, intelligent and tough-as-nails. I admire how she does not sway easily toward peer-pressure, and does what she feels needs to be done and how she wants to do it. Actually, all the characters were easy to become attached to as the reader! They were fun/funny, true and helpful– besides the one who was not so keen about the new girl LOL, but you’ll see her intentions later once you read! 
I was thinking how cool it would be to possibly see future installments in some of their POV’s, their own side of the story as they deal with all the danger that has been thrown their way. 
Now, not only were the characters such a win, but oh-my-gawd, the plot. This book is full of unique lore! You could tell the author has a passion and knows it well. It was so well thought out and the world-building was designed so flawlessly that I felt as if I were standing right beside them when things began to get wild. I was completely enveloped within this world!

The story is told in the perspective of a young lady named Ashlyn, and she has not a thing on her mind save for passing the latest exams and getting accepted into her dream university -- even as the whole town is up in arms with paranoia about the world coming to an end. Well, funnily enough, the world survived yet another paranoid doomsday prediction, but her sanity most definitely did not! Coincidentally, shortly after the town’s ludicrous fear dark voids began to appear; and it seemed as if she were the only person who could see them.
She was so frazzled over her exams and worries of college acceptances, that she had started to believe these voids and the amethyst eyes which peered at her from within them, were all figments of her sleep-deprived imagination, causing her to make a complete fool of herself in public.
To her dismay --which she will realize later-- she would be proven wrong. Her imagination was the least of her worries when a peculiar University sent her an acceptance letter, one that she didn’t quite remember applying to.
Seeing as her Oxford dreams were shattered in the shape of an envelope, and a tour to this bizarre and mysterious college called Blackstone University -- set in the town of which the Uni is named after-- she decided to go with it.
Upon arrival, she found that she was not alone when it came to her strange run-ins with the voids and the demons that lurked in between her world and theirs. Needless to say, her calling to this college was undeniably destined.
She finds herself housed with many other young men and women who have a lot more in common with her than she could ever imagine. Oh, can’t forget about the resident-nut, Terence (lol!) He was one of my favorites; always screaming, making loud noises and making weird appearances in the kitchen and making a mess. He played an interesting part in the book. *bites lip* I’ll say no more!
Then you had Claudia who is a badass chick in heels and little black dresses!! The other flat-mates were just as awesome.
Claudia is the one who breaks the news to her: no matter how normal Ash strives to be in her attempts to start a new life in this college, one that doesn’t involve demon hallucinations, is a failed attempt. She’s one of them whether she likes it or not and this madness was most definitely real.
Shortly after meeting Claudia, she is introduced to the circle, a group of other Blackstone students who found themselves meant to be together, in unison of their abilities and family-ties.
With the help of her new friends, Ashlyn is set out to find her place in this mad, magical world and just how deep her roots are set into this chaos, something her parents never clued her in on. Through these trials, one particular moment where Ash is fighting for her life, her powers appear unexpectedly and might I just say without an attempt to spoil, it’s totally cool and chilling muahha!
You know when my review is long that I immensely enjoyed myself as I was reading, sometimes I just can’t shut up, and that’s a bad thing when you don’t want to spoil any of the good stuff, which is basically the entire book . . . yep, I did not find a single thing that I didn’t like about this read other than the fact I got to the last page and realized I was back in reality!!  I have a new favorite author and paranormal top-pick! :D I can’t wait to discover what’s next in this series!


Krystle's Thoughts :

The world that the author created for her characters was very unique, I loved how...dark and mysterious everything was. Not that I'm saying that this was a doom-and-gloom type of book, not at all! It's just different than what I've been reading lately, and I am very thankful that this author asked me to read it. It's full of adventure, MAGIC, sorcerers, mystery, and it flirts with the idea of having a little romance. Maybe as the series progresses, we'll see more to that side.

The story is told from the main character Ashlyn's POV. She's a very strong-minded young woman, who had her heart set on going to Oxford University, but it seems the universe has different plans for where she attends to further her studies. As all of this is going on though, she starts experiencing something other-worldly...something she can't explain, and she's now convinced that she's losing her mind. I mean how normal is it to see incorporeal shadow creatures, that sometimes watch her with their purple eyes, and sometimes even...speak to her.

Which now leads her to Blackstone University. While she visited there, she didn't encounter any paranormal events, so she thought it'd be a fresh start. Somewhere she could discover herself, get over her hermit-like tendencies, and even possibly make some new friends. – I did get a kick out of how Ash is a “Gamer-Chick” and likes to play online mmo's like WoW, I myself can identify with that! – As she moves into her room at uni, and gets to know the rest of her flat-mates, she does start to have a good time and relax...until her not-so-friendly-shadows-pets appear. Then, her adventure REALLY begins!

You're not mad. Just...different. And who wants to be normal?” - Claudia to Ash.

I love that!

Ash learns that there are other students at this university like her, that she's not alone, and she's definitely not crazy. Shortly after she befriends this group of people, I knew that she had to be “special”...and that there was something more to her. I liked reading about the progress she was having with her new found abilities; how she learned to use and control them. She seems like a really smart young woman, that's more than capable of taking care of herself. I'm sure she'll become even more “bad-a$$” as this series progresses. It's books like these that allow us, the reader, dream with our eyes open. I would love nothing more than to have a life full of fantasy and magic. That'd be so much fun! Probably why I enjoy playing those Fantasy themed MMORPG's!

...I'd also like to see Ash take a crack at least once! :)

It goes without saying, that I enjoyed this book very much, and I will highly recommend it to friends in the future!

This copy was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.


Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy novels for children and young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).
Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, and four more novels and a novella will follow. She chats about writing and other book-related things at her blog, From the Writer’s Nest, and looks forward to sharing more tales from the bizarre depths of her imagination.

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