Title: Darkling (Port Lewis Witches #1)
Author: Brooklyn Ray
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 8, 2018
Page Count: 101
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Port Lewis, a coastal town perched on the Washington cliffs, is surrounded by dense woods, and is home to quaint coffee shops, a movie theater, a few bars, two churches, the local college, and witches, of course.
Ryder is a witch with two secrets—one about his blood and the other about his heart. Keeping the secrets hasn’t been a problem, until a tarot reading with his best friend, Liam Montgomery, who happens to be one of his secrets, starts a chain of events that can’t be undone.
Dark magic runs through Ryder’s veins. The cards have prophesized a magical catastrophe that could shake the foundation of Ryder’s life, and a vicious partnership with the one person he doesn’t want to risk.
Magic and secrets both come at a cost, and Ryder must figure out what he’s willing to pay to become who he truly is.
Something wicked this way comes, oh my.
It’s a first book in series and the opening gives us tantalizing glimpse of what is in store for readers in the rest of the book. We met Liam and Ryder, see the easy familiarity between them and are aware of dangerous secrets lurking in the background. I was expecting friends to lovers story but somehow didn’t get that vibe for all that connection between Ryder and Liam is obvious. The storytelling is smooth and the world with its witches and their powers is unusual and interesting.
Ryder’s world is dangerously unstable as multiple forces try to impact his path. He himself is unsure where to turn and his interest in Liam makes him cautious. He doesn’t want to risk his friend.
I’d have appreciated a little more clarification about what was going on since I was feeling a little lost. But the story is compelling and part of it is not serving all information on platter. It’s a tease designed to make reader hungry for more.
There is heavy focus on paranormal plot so romantic relationship stays in the background. The scenes are detailed but without more context the story is little disjointed. We get only Ryder’s POV so that might be why romance is underwhelming. It does feel it’s a first book in series but it’s a very strong beginning.
This could have easily had higher rating, but I got spooked by subject matter. To give credit to the publisher, their site has all the warning, but the blurb, which is what is on most retailer sites, doesn’t give that information. There is bloodplay, temporary character death and trans character. Definitely read the warnings if you chose this one!
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