Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

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On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers.  Complete opposites – like fire and ice – Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof.  Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin.  She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move – only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events.  Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world.  Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

I liked Skye.  She’s athletic, confident, gets straight A’s at school and she’s the champion skier on her school ski team.  Her only insecurity is that her parents died when she was very young leaving her with a hollow feeling all her life.  She is very fortunate in that she was adopted by her mother’s best friend whom she lovingly calls, Aunt Jo.  Yep, Skye is a pretty normal teen with some pretty normal friends living in a normal town.  So "overwhelming" would be the understatement of the year when Asher and Devin show up and all these crazy, mysterious things start manifesting.  And they always seem to appear wherever she's at.  Under normal circumstances, any time there’s a “creeper” no matter how hot following you around everywhere, you’d be likely to be a bit jumpy.  But this is YA world.  Why call the police?  Why file a report?  Why talk to an adult? Why hike up an isolated trail on a mountain in a group when you can encounter said stalker on your own and just continue to be creeped out?  Oh the amount of suspension of disbelief it requires to not throttle a character for stupid moves.  (Yes, I know I said I liked Skye but it doesn’t mean she’s infallible.)

When Asher and Devin finally reveal themselves and their purpose, Skye is well, shattered.  While she needs time to digest the information that has ripped apart whatever she has known about her family, they're quite adamant that she pick up the pace and learn about her true nature and how to harness her powers.  She is essentially at the crux of a battle that has been slowly simmering for ages.  She's the "wild card" so to speak and the decision she makes about which direction to go in i.e.  with Asher or with Devin, decides the fate of the whole world.  She has no idea what to believe and who to trust. Time’s a tickin’ and things are happening that she cannot even begin to comprehend.  And you thought acing that chemistry test was the worst thing on your plate! 

There are so many things I enjoyed about A Beautiful Dark.  I loved the slow reveal.  While certain events happen fast I had fun trying to guess who was good or evil and watch how they'd try to outmaneuver each other at every turn.  Then there’s also the mystery surrounding Skye.  Once she finds out who she is, she still has to learn to fit into those big, big shoes and it doesn’t come easily.  That I found to be very believable.  And finally, the beautiful descriptions of River Springs, Colorado where this story is set were just breathtaking.  Believe me, it was beautiful enough to make this BiblioJunkie who is averse to all things cold-weather related, want to visit.  Don’t get me wrong.  No skiing down the slopes for me.  I’ll just happily sit in the foyer of the resort next to a warm fireplace with my hot chocolate in hand staring out at the gorgeous snow while contemplating if I'm Team Asher or Team Devin.

Jocelyn Davies delivers a different take on the currently popular angel theme in this lovely debut.  She has created a slightly different mythology that I'm very keen on reading more about.  Go silver!

- Bel

1 comment:

  1. A Beautiful Dark was definitely not what I was expecting after reading the synopsis. It was, however, a book that I really enjoyed reading!
    Skye is the main character in the story. I found her to be a very likeable character. She was very smart, and very responsible. She¿s definitely a girl that you can trust. When she finds out that her life isn¿t what it seems, she doesn¿t act all crazy and freak out. She takes it in stride and rolls with it. In the end, we find out just what she¿s capable of, and it¿s pretty impressive.