REVIEW: Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla
In the third book of this fascinating series, the villain has surpassed all others, making this book even creepier than the first two. If you love Urban Fantasy with a twist, then grab all three books and settle in for a gripping marathon.
If you haven’t read SHAEDES OF GRAY or BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE, books one and two in the SHAEDE ASSASSIN series, then you might want to do that before reading this review. I won’t spoil CRAVE THE DARKNESS for anyone who has read the series so far, but if you haven’t read the first two books, then there’s no way I can talk about this one without possibly spoiling the first two for you. Read further at your own risk.
Darian threw caution to the wind to solve the issues she faced in BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE. Not following the rules has a consequence in this paranormal society. Darian must face the Pacific Northwest Territories’ judicial counsel for her crimes. She’s still distraught about Tyler because their relationship hasn’t yet overcome their past. That distraction keeps her from defending herself, too absorbed in what has happened to even really pay attention to the proceedings. Raif is beside her, encouraging her to do something to help her case, but it’s Xander, the Shaede High King, who demands that she be absolved for her crimes.
No one is quite sure how he does it, but Xander succeeds and Darian is free to go. Darian had planned on being put away to atone for her actions so being let go gives her free time she hadn’t expected. Darian’s grief over the loss of what she and Tyler had becomes her obsession. She can’t pull herself out of a deep depression until Xander takes control and orders her to report for work. Since he has Darian on retainer, she has no choice but to, at least, find out what he wants.
Xander informs Darian that Anya is pregnant, a first for the Shaede Nation in a very long time because Shaede babies are so unusual. Darian is expected to protect Anya and her unborn child from whoever is trying to kill them. But Anya has secrets and she’s being evasive about sharing them with anyone, including her husband. Darian handpicks a team of Shaede warriors to assist her in this new mission. They’re a ragtag group, especially one very young man who can’t stay out of trouble. Darian has enough to handle just resolving who is after Anya, but when someone on her team is also a mystery, she’s determined to stop at nothing to keep everyone safe. Will she go too far this time and regret it?
To make things much more complicated for Darian, Xander, the High King, escalates his efforts to have her all to himself. He’s hard to resist when all she wants is comfort and to forget what plagues her. Plus, a new villain is intrigued by Darian’s talents as she tries to outsmart his efforts to destroy Anya. Tyler isn’t exactly cooperating and Darian isn’t sure how her whole life has become such a mess. Can Darian stay focused on getting back with Tyler when temptations and distractions are everywhere?
I need to forewarn that if you’re looking for a typical romance book, then that’s not what you’ll find with this book. CRAVE THE DARKNESS absolutely has romance but it teeters, it topples, it dips and dives as Darian tries to figure out what she’s done and where she’s going next. This is a serialized series, so things morph and change throughout it. A lot of hard lessons for Darian occur in this novel and it’s good for her growth. She may feel defeated at times, but she isn’t, and everything that happens to her is making her stronger as well as better able to appreciate what she has. There are most definitely some scenes involving Darian that may make some readers uncomfortable. Evil is beyond despicable in this third book.
Darian is tested beyond anything she has experienced so far. We learn more about her past prior to Azriel making her a Shaede. Her past allows the reader to understand the emotion behind her actions. I like Darian more in every book. Her hardcore attitude makes more sense as we begin to see a soft side that doesn’t lessen her strength. Will her evolution be able to weather the storm?
CRAVE THE DARKNESS is riveting and unexpected. The surprises just keep coming which makes this series absorbing and often times bone-chilling. Just when you think you have figured out what’s happened in the past, another mind-bender is tossed into the mix! The unusual paranormal beings keep this series unpredictable. The twists and turns are relentless, keeping the reader wondering what could possibly happen next. I’m still wondering because my advanced reading copy didn’t have a sneak peek of book four. I don’t know about craving the darkness after walking it with Darian, but I sure do crave the next book!
Don’t forget to read the first two books first!
What’s on your mountain?