Saturday, 20 August 2011

Review: Earl of Darkness

Earl of Darkness by Alix Rickloff

Pages: 341, paperback ( + sample of next book in series)

ISBN: 9781439170366

Publisher: Pocket Books

Release Date: December 28th, 2010

Genre: paranormal / historical / romance

Source: library


The magic she tries to hide . . .

Born a lady, but reduced to surviving in the slums of Dublin, Catriona O’Connell has been hired to steal a mysterious book from Aidan Douglas, Earl of Kilronan. But Cat is secretly Other, an age-old mixture of Fey and human—something Aidan recognizes immediately when he surprises the lovely young burglar in his library, about to steal a magical diary.

. . . is the magic he desperately wants.

From the moment Aidan sees her, Cat’s spirited beauty enchants him, but her uncanny abilities are what he truly needs, for Cat can understand the mystical language in the diary he inherited from his murdered father. So Aidan makes an offer: translate the book or be thrown in prison as a thief. And as Cat slowly deciphers each page, she and Aidan are drawn together by passion . . . and into the violence of the Other world that is the Kilronan legacy. Can they defeat those who seek the book, or are their lives in even greater danger than their hearts?
(Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it From: Book Depository / Amazon

The premise sounded so interesting, that I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and start reading. And it's a really good book, just as the premise promises.

Right off the bat, there's action and intrigue. In the first chapter alone, we find out so much about the characters, Cat and Aiden. This book is certainly not lacking in characterisation and building relationships. The chemistry is especially steamy. It's easy to understand why Cat and Aiden have such immediate feeling so each other, and it's even easier to want them to just jump each other already.

I don't know how I felt about the writing, on the one hand, I liked it, on the other, I disliked it.
I liked it because it was witty, hilarious. For example:
"I've found it!... And the last place I'd expected, under 'authors who died under mysterious circumstances."
... Aidan scanned the entry, his face hardening into grim lines. He looked up. "And you say this"--he flipped to the flyleaf then back to the proffered page--"Dudley Squires met a sticky end?"
Ahern nodded, his smile dimming. "Found dead in his bath."
"What's so mysterious about that?" Cat asked.
"He was fully dressed and missing his head."
 - pg 209-210
Now onto the bad part of the writing. There's just something about it that made me feel weird while reading it. Also, all these terms for magical things that are thrown about, with little to no explanation as to what they meant, it made things really confusing.
One thing that I felt restricted the pacing of the story was the sex. Now, I realise that this is paranormal/historical smut, but once they had sex for the first time, all the other times are lacking, and it feels like Rickloff just gave up trying to add any more chemistry and sexual tension between the two, and all other sexual situations felt boring.

The story is fairly fantastic, and definitely not lacking. It was filled with great world-building, and awesome, gripping plot.

10 Second Review: A satisfying blend of paranormal and historical romance, with plenty of plot, action, chemistry and wit.

Cover Art: 3
Plot: 4
Characters: 3
Writing: 2.5
Level of Interest: 4

Total Rating: 3.5 stars

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