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Review: Darklight by Lesley Livingston

WARNING: If you haven't read WONDROUS STRANGE, then you probably shouldn't read this review. Especially since it may contain spoilers!

D a r k l i g h t
Author: Lesley Livingston (Site Bio)
Release Date: 12/22/09 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 310
Source: Public Library (Local)
Overall Feelings: Utterly, completely fantastical!
Summary: Goodreads
Kelly [Winslow] stretched out her arm. Her fingertips crackled with eldritch energies as she wound up and threw a handful of unformed magick like a fastball at the surface of the stream. The water erupted in a boiling geyser, and when the roiling subsided, the nyxxie floated motionless, stunned by the blast, its seaweed-black hair spread wide...Kelley's breath came in gasps, her muscles ached...lacertations on her leg from the nyxx claws stung fiercely. But she knew she was grinning from ear to ear. Kelley hadn't felt this truly alive in months" (16).

I have to say that Darklight took me by pleasant surprise as this novel has more...just, more compared to the first novel in this wonderful series. Darklight's predecessor didn't captivate me as well as this one had. There was a greater, bigger intriguing mystery festering behind the plot, a brilliant, fascinating adventure, a possible, brewing love triangle, a stunning romance between the two main leads, and a whole heck of a lot more unanswered questions and hardships to be faced. New power...secret plots...boiling resentments...suspicious persons around every corner...I tell you, the novel was a delicious, enchanting read that I'm almost sad to put down!

I admire Kelley far more now than I had before...her growing Fae power dazzles me and her developing strength as a fellow teen who has to endure the burden of her heritage, her origins amazes me. She commands so well, and her stubbornness both amuses me and leaves me exasperated. Still, I must say that I love Sonny, Kelley's love, a great deal more. He's just such a beautiful person AND he's great in battle, in a fight. *grins* I just delight in that aspect of a guy, especially in this guy.
"Sonny pulled Lucky up short and swung around to face Fennrys. 'I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to die surprised. And I swear to all the gods, if the last thought that goes through my mind is What the hell was that? I will hunt you down in the afterlife and punch you in the face throughout eternity" (178).
The side characters made for an excellent, well-thought-out array of individuals, including those newly introduced in this novel. There was not one that I deeply disliked. I adore Queen Mab, her likeness to Kelly, and enjoy her exquisitely dark, twisted nature that seems to continually provoke chaos for not only Faerie-kind but humankind as well. King Auberon reminds me of Kelley as well, which is also fun. He makes an interesting, dubious king, to me at least, but he's pretty neat all and all. Puck Goodfellow, or Bob, is an entertaining, whimsical, humorous boost to this novel. But, my favorite of the side roles bunch would be Tyffanwy, or Tyff, Kelley's stylish, sarcastic roommate who knows how to crack a hilarious joke or kick some serious butt...my kind of gal pal indeed.

"Tyff came stalking through the loading doors, carrying a lead pipe in one fist and trailing a hulking menace in her wake.
'I heard there's a party going on in here,' the Summer Fae sang out. 'I forgot snacks, but I brought my own ogre...' With Tyff and Harvicc's arrival the fight intensified" (282).

"Tyff's brow furrowed in concentration. 'Well there was four or five of those trashy goat bimbos in my direct line of sight when blank when all apocalypto with the light show...'" (294).

The two new Fae additions were the only other monarchs that hadn't been introduced in the last novel: Titannia, Queen of Summer, and Gwynn ap Nudd, King of the Court of Spring. An intriguing duo if you ask me, though I met them separately. They both make me suspicious, though neither one has done anything to indicate they mean any harm. In fact, more in Titannia's case at least, they seemed friendly which right away sets off alarms of suspicion in my mind.

The Janus Guard had less of a strong appearance in this novel; Darklight didn't really focus on them as much as the first one, apart from Fennrys Wolf, Kelley's current protector and possible...hm, attraction. I would say I liked him if that were the case, but I don't. He, too, set off numerous warning bells in my head. I don't trust him, not in the slightest. But, on the bright side, he is pretty handy in a fight which he coolly proves repeatedly throughout the novel. There most definitely is a lot of fascinating, fast-paced action scenes in this second installment of Livingston's current series and it made Darklight all the more thrilling.

As far as seeing a sparkling romance, love I was absolutely not disappointed, so much so that I encountered an immense amount of sadness by the time I got to the ending (which I will touch on briefly in a moment). There are truly no words to describe the way Sonny loves Kelley...and I just adore Kelley's fierce protectiveness of Sonny as well. There relationship is based on devotion and contains so much emotion, passion and tenderness, it's charming, touching even.
"'Sonny?' She looked up into his face, certain she was dreaming.
'Firecracker,' he whispered, his silver-gray eyes sparkling.
His voice in the dimness was music. His arms around her were the feeling of coming home as he tightened his embrace. And his kiss...
His kiss was joy" (244).

"Sonny ran his fingertips over Kelley's cheek and through her hair. She was so beautiful to him, and when he had seen her hovering the air, surrounded by the darklight glow of her wings, he had felt his heart swell in his chest" (245).
Darklight's closing left me flustered; a tangled mess of volatile emotions. I was frustrated, upset, confused, astonished all at once, while enjoying the sensation of excitement and anticipation for what's to come. I'm far beyond anxious to bring home the finale, Tempestuous, of this fantastical series.

Thanks for reading!

Look out for the final installment of the Wondrous Strange trilogy,
(to-be-released: 12/21/10)


Miss Bookiverse said...

I think I would've enjoyed this book way more if Sonny was more interesting. I just don't feel the chemestry between them. Kelley is such a cool girl, Sonny looks kind of bland next to her. Fenris would be such an exciting possibility :)

A. Knight said...

Hah! I very much disagree! But, that's cool. Everybody has different opinions, and I kinda like when that happens.

And Fennrys most definitely does have some appealing qualities, but I love Sonny more! Thanks for the comment by the way!

Miss Bookiverse said...

You're welcome.
I usually enjoy reading about different opinions, too. It would be boring to only read reviews that think just alike me ;)

A. Knight said...

Haha, *high fives* my thoughts exactly! *smiles*