Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: Earl of Darkness by Alix Rickloff

Title: Earl of Darkness
Series: Heirs of Kilronan
Author: Alix Rickloff
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: December 28, 2010
Publisher: Pocket
ISBN: 1439170363
ISBN-13: 9781439170366

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?

My rating:

Do you think it's possible to become so jaded by too much reading that nothing "wows" you anymore?

I liked Alix Rickloff's narrative style and voice, it had a refreshing newness to it, and it most certainly was different from the other authors' out there. The pacing was also good and the characterization amazing.

That said, she apparently didn't know whether to write an angsty, emotionally-dark, and thought-provoking historical romance, or a paranormal romance with a Fey twist, so she did both.

The historical romance would've worked by itself. A destitute former-rake (he can't afford to be one, anymore), an educated lady down on her luck, forced to steal, hiding a deep, dark secret in her past, a murder mystery, a disappeared brother, a planned marriage-of-convenience thwarted by passion...I loved it.

The paranormal romance didn't have the kick it could've had, but that's probably me, fresh from reading KMM's Fever series. Still, it had potential. A secret society of Fey and human descendants (the Other) with magic abilities, hunted by mere humans that didn't understand them, a secret society within the society involved in black arts and trying to resurrect King Arthur to lead a brand new world, the permanent cancellation of said secret society withing the secret society because of their dabbling in the black arts, an indecipherable journal someone would kill to possess (and did), a resurrected creature doing his master's bidding...As I said, it had potential.

Unfortunately, while the two genres separately would've worked, the mixture of the two didn't. There was too much "vying" for supremacy, the historical and paranormal aspects didn't compliment each other, but constantly overshadowed one another. The passages between the genres seemed rather choppy, making the story very tiring to read.

While I did appreciate the separate genres, the story as a whole didn't wow me.


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