Tuesday, November 1, 2011

REVIEW: The Darkness by Crystal Connor

Crystal Connor's The Darkness is that rare blend of science fiction and horror, mixing science, magic, religion, and philosophy, that actually works as well as the premise would have you expect.

Initially, I found the first part of the book a little confusing, because it bounces around through the timeline, and between character viewpoints, often without any immediate clues. Once I settled in, however, and got used to the narrative voices, I quite enjoyed the slow reveal of the mystery.

Adam is a really intriguing character, and one that I think is developed perfectly. He spends the first two thirds of the book coming across as a monster . . . spoiled, capricious, prone to temper tantrums, and far too powerful for his own good. Of course, other than the power element, much the same can be said of any child, but it's his potential for destruction that so feeds the monster fears. It isn't until the final third of the book that he really comes into his own, developing a human side even as his monstrous side fully reveals itself.

As for the two adopted mothers of the story - the scientist and the witch, both of whom love Adam in their own way - I found them fantastic characters and viewpoints. Through them we really get to see both sides of the story, both sides of the nature versus nurture debate, and both sides of the empirical versus spiritual exploration of life. There are a few coincidences in their relationship that irked me a bit, but not so much as to impact my enjoyment of the story.

Overall, a very good read, with some truly chilling scenes and some even more chilling implications - kind of like a good Michael Crichton tale, but with a healthy dose of Dean Koontz mixed in.

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