Review: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

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Publisher: Pocket Books

Where did you get this book: ARC from author

Release date: January 25, 2011

This review contains spoilers!

Blurb taken from publisher’s website:

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The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Okay, I must admit, I shamelessly begged the author for an ARC of this book. Yes, shamelessly. Then once I got it, I was terrified. What if I didn’t like it?

I held onto that worry for a little while when I started reading. The world created is one in which the paranormal isn’t out in the open, but isn’t entirely hidden either—kind of like they have one hoof, a tail, and maybe a pair of wings out of the closet. It took a few chapters for my head to wrap around that concept, especially since there was such a cast of supernatural characters.

Around chapter four, I was into it, and then the author started chapter five with a sex scene that curled my toes in a great way…until she used the phrase “turgid magnificence” and I cringed. She totally redeemed herself before the page was out though by making fun of the phrase. It was perfect. That was the moment I quit worrying and just enjoyed the ride.

And it was a great ride. From the horny unicorn (“The unicorn was in my underwear drawer again.” <3 !) to the hot and fabulous incubus to the World of Warcraft playing demon. Any book that handles both steamy sex and humor is a keeper for me, and A Brush of Darkness does it admirably. Plus within all that was a great mystery that wove very neatly into the romance.

If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of this book. Abby is a (mostly) human protagonist thrown into a supernatural world and she stands up on her own merits. Her backstory is strong and woven well into the narrative. Brystion is my new literary love; he’s absolutely yumtastic. And the supporting characters all have very distinct personalities, and considering the size of the cast, I found that really impressive.

Here’s the thing…I can’t believe the author has already peaked. This is an incredible debut that I strongly recommend to anyone who loves urban fantasy, especially if it has really strong romantic elements, but I know there’s more coming, and I need to give the author room to get even better. Therefore, I give A Brush of Darkness an A-.

Comments

  1. says

    I caught this on another blog – but the review has now perked my interest! Putting it on my wishlist – looks good :D

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  2. says

    This book is excellent! I read it yesterday and loved it. I’ve been following Allison’s blog for ages and was so thrilled to see her news when her book got picked up. I always want to really love my blog friends’ books, and am so thrilled to be able to endorse it to my friends as a great new voice in urban fantasy. :) Can’t wait for the sequel, but if I never saw another book in the series, I could reread this one and be satisfied.

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