Release date: Out now
Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission; go forward in time to save the world and his life. Of course, her future self doesn’t tell her who he is, just sends her into the abyss and straight into an alien invasion.
He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting Commander of Earth’s army and the world’s last defense. There’s only one way to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy, slice her throat. Except, he didn’t anticipate the heat he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman. For a man whose sole focus has been survival, she’s more temptation than he can handle. But a world on the brink of destruction leaves no room for love;and time is running out.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
Kris Davenport didn’t expect her ordinary life would be yanked out of its normal axis when she’s awakened by her future self who claims that the future of the human race is in her hands. Kris is also not prepared when she’s thrust into the future in the midst of an alien attack, and becomes captured by a group of human rebels who are the last defence for earth. Kris is linked to a prophecy that can help to save and defeat the alien invasion, but can she persuade the mistrusting commander, ConRad Smith, of the rebel defence force who shares an unwelcome sexual attraction that she’s genuine and not a trap.
The main aspect I didn’t love about the book — and usually I would love this type of snark with sniping — characters was the romance. ConRad Smith, the leader of the rebel force, starts off straight off the bat in the book as a smarmy hero. He really comes on strong to Kris when she’s found and rescued before she becomes a juicy snack for an alien. ConRad lost a few of his men in the rescue and is suspicious that Kris is part of a trap.
Now, I can understand there would be an attraction between them even if it’s unwelcome at this point of the story, and ConRad cuts her throat to test if she’s human — although he doesn’t hurt her fatally. But soon after this they literally have a heavy makeout scene with their first meeting and which I assume is still part of his interrogation technique, but this didn’t make the romance or the premise believable for me. If the book was more campy, or had a lighter tone it might have worked, but the tone is pretty gritty and dark and this really threw me. And this didn’t help the fact that ConRad is also very smarmy and unlikable for me, and instead of being serious on why there was a strange woman found near the rebel compound, him trying to get into her pants first thing didn’t make him feel like a competent commander. I also couldn’t understand why Kris would feel so attracted to a guy like this and this hate/love/hate sums up their relationship with ConRad being a total prick in their relationship. How the romance was resolved was slapdashed and the transition for them to commit in a HEA didn’t was rushed.
The world-building was another problem for me, and although I really liked the setting and tone, I just felt too many elements over the course of the story made the plot pretty much convoluted. And add the time-travelling factor, it really felt like there was too much going on. The rebels role is to primarily protect women who have magical abilities which can defend against the alien attacks, although they have to isolate themselves from men because this affects their powers. But I was kind of confuzzled with the fact that the future world is run by a group of male Elders whose influence and grip on power isn’t benign on the human survivors, and although this added a twist to the plot. I just couldn’t figure out how this would make sense especially since the human race was just about surviving or how this element fit into the main plot.
I think for me that with the time-travel, aliens, rebels and patriarchal malevolent group of elders, and a romance that needed more time to evolve. I wished the romance was given more time to develop as well as with the plot with the Elders, which had an interesting dynamic, but I felt it distracted from the main plot of the invasion. Dystopian fiction has to be realistic with its world-building and when that doesn’t work, then the believability goes out of the window. However despite the problems I had with the book, I did enjoy the author’s voice and I will probably look into her next book. I just wished the plot was a bit more polished and was expanded to layout the world-building, because it would have been for me a really good paranormal gritty romance which I really love.
I give Dark Future a D+