Title/Author: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang.
Publisher: Pocket Books.
Favorite character: Abby Sinclair. Phineas.
All in all: Full of intrigue and great characters.
Synopsis: The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her. ~Goodreads.com
My Thoughts: Right away the voice of main protagonist Abby in A Touch of Darnkess sucked me into the story. I liked her and was drawn to her. I wanted to find out what happened to in her past and how she became entangled in her present life of being involved with the Fae. Abby is a character that is refreshing in the fact that she is not like a lot of UF female characters out there. She isn't a black belt, a sniper, or able to kill people with her eyes. The only magical ability she has is she is a Dreamer. This special ability manifested through her dancing, but she no longer dances and now her dreams are stronger because they have no where to go. Plus, now she is haunted by nightmares by the accident that left her without a mother and unable to dance anymore. In steps an Incubus, Brystion, who wants to find his missing sister and thinks Abby is in a position to help him. Also, because of her Dreaming abilities, he is of course drawn to her. Although she is attracted to him, she thinks he's a jerk at first but of course through working together their relationship changes and he shows her there is more to him than just being sex on a stick. Abby is also sarcastic and smart and hurt and sensitive and this is manifested in how she remembers her past and how she treats those she cares about in the present.
Never in a million years would I think I would like a unicorn character. I had thought I left those behind when I was very young. But Phineas can talk and is funny, snarky and kind of lecherous. He is as well drawn as the other characters. There are quite a few characters to keep track of, but they are all unique enough to be able to differentiate.
The plot is deep and complex, with mystery and deception. I love how things tie together and the mythology and rules created. I find it hard to believe that this is Allison Pang's debut novel. The imagination and heart that went into this story shows with each chapter.
The world created is beautiful. Magical, surreal and I get the feeling I can't quite touch it, I can't quite see it clearly which lends itself to the fairy feel. The reader sometimes gets an explanation of locations and sometimes is just pushed into it. Although sometimes I got a little confused, I didn't mind this. The events are really what is important and I appreciated that the setting wasn't "told" to death.
If you like your sex scenes steamy, then this one fit the bill. Although in all honesty, I don't have much of a point of reference since erotica is not my usual genre. But if I compare it to other books I have read in UF, it is very stormy and there are more than enough. To be honest, more than enough for me but I somehow prevailed and read through them. I guess the romantic scenes classify this as a PNR as well. But I can't help think of it as UF. Ah well, what's in a name?
What threw me is that at times, I didn't understand what characters were hinting at or what they meant with their observations and dialogue. But it didn't cause me to pause for long. For me, it actually lent itself to the mystery of the action and did not hinder the reading experience.
I really also loved the end. It didn't end up where I thought it would and I see it perhaps going somewhere else, which interests me more. I really enjoyed this book and I felt the plot and the mythology as well as the characters were complex and rich.