Review of Dark Child Episode 1 by Adina West

coverRating: 2.5/5 stars

Series status: First of five episodes forming a stand-alone novel

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Kat can run a marathon without breaking a sweat. Catch anything you throw at her. Differentiate blood types by smell alone. And she’s spent years hiding the fact. But secrets from the past have a way of slipping out when least expected … and a simple blood test is enough to turn her quiet life in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains upside down forever … 

Pathology technician Kat Chanter isn’t looking for trouble. On a good day, the most exciting thing in her life is the iridescent violet nail varnish on her housemate Tiffany’s manicured fingers. But lately, Kat’s been craving raw meat, and her dreams – always weird – are getting so realistic it’s scary. When she visits a psychic she’s told her life is about to change forever. Kat isn’t so sure change is a part of her plan, but a blood test at work raises more questions about her unique heritage she has no idea how to answer, so when a fabulous job offer comes her way – one that will give her the chance to research others just like her – she’s tempted to say yes and make the move to New York.

Will her dream job bring answers to all her questions or will it lead her into more trouble than she could ever imagine?

Review:

  • Characters: 3/5 – the characters were average; none fell completely flat but likewise none really stood out as unique or interesting. Mediocre but not bad.
  • Premise: 3/5 – an interesting take on vampires. Not extremely original but neither overly cliché, standard for a paranormal work dealing with mythological creatures. Kept a sufficient amount of original mythology with a few creative new ideas.
  • Plot: 3/5 – as it’s an episode forming part of a novel (46 pages in my .pdf file copy) the plot does not undergo huge development. This episode consists mainly of introduction, introducing characters with foreshadowing regarding mystical danger in later episodes.
  • Pacing: 3/5 – again, as the beginning section of a larger work it is mainly introduction, but it holds interest well.
  • Dialogue: 3/5 – nothing glaringly unrealistic but it never caught at my interest; it was there to support not shine and did an adequate job.
  • Imagery: 2/5 – again, average, some imagery, enough to place scenery and scenes but no standout descriptions or other imagery.
  • World building: 3/5 – In this first episode there is mainly foreshadowing of the paranormal world introduced in later episodes. The real-world setting is fairly detailed and believable.
  • Voice: 4/5 – written from the third person point of view in past tense. Mainly from the perspective of Kat, the main protagonist, with some scenes showing other characters to lend foreshadowing. Kat’s voice is believable, the other character, Amarok, has very well portrayed emotions. Not overtly noticeable voice, more action based descriptions.
  • Romance:
    • Amount: none
    • Explicit scenes: none
    • Love triangle: none
    • Notes: In the first episode there is no romance but from what I’ve read there promises to be romance in later episodes.
  • Other: This book is overall not bad. It is decently written and well paced and I had no trouble with reading it in one sitting. However there is something lacking, a certain intensity that would make it great rather than merely okay and as a result I wouldn’t really recommend it.
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