Review of Into the Darkness, by K. F. Breene

Into the Darkness

I grabbed K. F. Breene‘s Into the Darkness from the Amazon Free list. At the time of posting, it was still free.

Description from Goodreads:
I’d always been different. I saw objects in the night where others saw emptiness. Large, human shaped shadows, fierce yet beautiful, melting into the darkness. I collected secrets like other women collected bells; afraid to fully trust lest my oddities be exposed.

Until I saw him. He’d been gliding down the street, unshakable confidence in every step. It wasn’t just that he was breathtakingly handsome with perfect features. Something about him drew me. Sucked my focus to him and then tugged at my body. As his eyes met mine, I was entrapped.

No one had noticed him. He’d been right there, just beyond the light, but only I had perceived.

I had to know if he was real. Or maybe I really was crazy. And even when my secret box was blasted wide open, dangers hurled at me like throwing knives, I couldn’t stop until I unraveled his true identity.

I just had to know.

I quite enjoyed Into the Darkness. Despite it’s humour, it will likely only appeal to a certain few, though. A number of other reviewers have pointed out that it isn’t a book for the faint of heart. It does include a little guy on guy action, but I think the problem is more the issue of  consensuality. What qualifies as consensual could be a whole sub-theme of this book. There is only one fully, unquestionably consensual sex act in it (and there’s plenty of sex). But there aren’t any flat out rapes either. It’s all a little muddled by manipulated emotions and falsified wants. If you’re sensitive about such things I imagine it would creepy you out. Neither the M/M aspect nor the questionable consent issues bothered me. But they are certainly there.

I should probably say a bit more about sex. Sex is graffiti in this novel. It’s everywhere and largely pointless after a while. If the book had been longer I wouldn’t’ have had an issue with this. But as it’s so short, the redundant sex cut into the time for plot and character development. IMO, the book either needed to be longer or the sex needed to be pared down once the Vampires’ Pheromonal effect was established.

I quite liked Sasha. Often when heroines are mouthy it comes off as forced and/or almost suicidal in their insistence on verbal sparring. Shasha pulls it off though. I enjoyed her defiance. Charles was hilarious and Stefan was a true hardass. I loved the fact that he never went all soft and gooey eyed.

My only true complaints are that the whole thing does get a little ridiculous at times and it’s a serious case of ‘girl with magical power that she doesn’t know she has or how to use, but it still mysteriously manifests itself whenever she needs.’ Well, isn’t that convenient? It’s not particularly believable, even in fantasy, and is also a bit of a personal pet peeve.

On finishing the book I immediately went looking for a sequel. One’s apparently due out in March. I’ll be looking for it. I will note that it’s not a stand alone book. It’s not a super cliffhanger, as are so common now. It ends at a logical point, but none of the threads wrap up. None. If I had realised this ahead of time I probably wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place.

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