55 points, 3 stars.
Warning: Depictions of Rape
Menolly D’Artigo is half human, and half-fae, and a vampire. Along with her two sisters Camille, a witch with unpredictable magic, and Delilah, a werecat, they have been assigned to Earth from the Otherworld. Dredge kidnapped, tortured, raped, and killed Menolly, and now she is a vampire. And Dredge is on Earth, and he wants to make Menolly pay for escaping him.
“Hey, you guys made me deal with things when Zach’s tribe was getting slaughtered. And Camille had to take the reins with Bad Ass Luke. It’s your turn now, Menolly.”
The good thing about the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon series is that it is very stable in quality. Which I really, really appreciate. Even if I do find that quality mediocre. Readable, but not something I eminently love.
Darkling is our first book with Menolly at the helm. She is the most broken of the three siblings. Twelve years after her torture, rape, and death followed by turning into a vampire and being told to kill her family, she still isn’t over these events. She is still reliving them in her mind. Which means we, the reader, get to see it, for good or ill.
The most troubling part, for me, is that I cannot connect with Menolly through her journey of healing throughout Darkling. Most of this book is centered on her healing in some form or another, and I just didn’t connect to it at all. This should be the most interesting part about the character, and it was the part I least wanted to see.
The book itself is about vampires. Vampires vampires vampires. Vampires killing people here. Dredge looking for Menolly there. Vampires vampires vampires. Because Menolly is a vampire, the book has to be about vampires, I guess. I just found the story of the book lacking, compared to the previous two in the series. It didn’t feel tied into the rest of the story, but I guess with 21 books I couldn’t expect that of all books. I just didn’t expect it this early.
One of the best things is simply the attention the author spends on the world itself. She adds in some interesting bits to the lore and world with every book. And it doesn’t actually feel slap hazard. It does feel like care is taken for it, and that the author genuinely cares for the world itself. It is really one of the few things I truly love about this series right now.