Book Review of Darkness Falls by Jessica Sorenson

Posted November 2, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 27 Comments

Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: March 14th, 2012
Pages: 288
Genre: Young Adult-Paranormal
Source: I bought a copy for my Kindle.


Blurb from Goodreads: When the disease spread through the world, people had no choice but to go into hiding. The Colony is hidden deep underground, far away from the vampires—humans that were transformed by the disease. The vampires are hideous, starving, and they will kill any human they come across. Seventeen-year-old Kayla is a Bellator, a warrior that protects The Colony. In order to survive, there are three rules she must follow:


Rule #1—Never go out after dark.Rule #2—Always carry a weapon.Rule #3—No matter what, never EVER get bit.


But what happens when the rules Kayla has always lived by can no longer apply?

The Highers run The Colony and accept nothing less than perfection. One slip up can mean death. Kayla has always worked hard to follow the rules and strive for perfection. But during a moment of weakness, she lets her imperfections show. Her punishment is worse than death. She is chosen for The Gathering and is thrown out into a world full of starving vampires. No one has ever survived The Gathering, at least that’s what Kayla’s been told. But when she runs into a group who insist they were once part of The Gathering, Kayla discovers the Highers have been keeping secrets. Secrets that could lead to a cure.


Review: I’m confused. I had everything planned that I wanted to say, but then I just read through the blurb and realized something didn’t mesh. It says in the provided blurb that The Colony is underground but I don’t remember it that way. Maybe it was, but there was also mention of a walled city in the book! So which is it? And if you can’t even decide what your setting is going to be, no wonder this book was so unsatisfying. And so now everything that I had planned to talk about will be out of order. But because we are already mentioning a major inconsistency, let’s go ahead and talk about the rest.


The first big problem I had was the lack of a proofreader. I am not sure this book was professionally edited. I am guessing not, but it definitely wasn’t ran through a proofreader because there were grammatical errors on nearly every page. It isn’t by any means the worst self-published book I have read as far as editing goes, but it was enough to hinder my reading experience. Dialogue was not punctuated correctly; commas were where periods should go and the reverse of that was also true. There was also an issue with incorrect capitalization in dialogue. Words were capitalized that shouldn’t have been. There was also misuse of words, though this only happened a couple times. 


I came across a lot of technical issues in this book. The other big one I had was lack of sense of place. There was a lot of telling in the writing, and so I was not able to picture the setting like I should have been able to. And this was a great setting so that was pretty disappointing, but it was clear to me that the sensory language and imagery that should have been present was severely lacking. This gave me a hard time, because as a reader that gets very into the setting and feeling of escape reading provides me, it was not enough. I wanted to picture The Colony and the caves and the desert and it was pretty hard to imagine the author’s vision because even the blurb doesn’t make it clear.


Oh, plot holes. Plot holes galore. I don’t feel like reiterating myself, so I am going to copy a few of my Goodreads status updates here with minimal paraphrasing:

“Okay, I am enjoying this book but that was a monster plot hole. How is Kayla able to claw her way out of a body bag but the other two people weren’t, one of which is a teenage boy?”

We find out the reason for this and it is because Kayla is a Bellator, and Bellators are stronger than other humans. But that doesn’t explain much, because the other two people were ALSO Bellators. This is never fully explained, so what gives? This is a plot hole. 

Also:

“You can’t just inject your blood into someone else’s body! They could go into shock and die! What if you aren’t the same blood type? That’s really dangerous to take that risk! I know he’s dying, but…this just wasn’t researched well.”


Yes, that actually happened. Kayla actually injected her BLOOD into another person without checking the type. Now it is true that the dude was about to die, but I still think the complete lack of explanation as to WHY she was doing this when he could die anyway was necessary. And it was not there. 

Next?

“The timeline of this novel just isn’t working for me. It’s supposed to be 2031. You mean to tell me there are no ADULTS that remember the world like it was and how the vampire disease spread? Not buying it. That would mean that Kayla was born at or around 2015. There are OLD people in this colony and no one remembers? It was not that long ago. This book is losing steam fast. Sigh.”

I’m not sure whether to call this one a plot hole or not. It was definitely an inconsistency in the writing. When I found out that the virus spread in 2031 and that is when everyone had to go underground, I had an issue with the timeline because based on the number of people still living, there should have been numerous people alive who remembered how and why everything happened. Yet no one did. This is just not logical. There are old people in this Colony, so how can they NOT remember? It makes ZERO sense. So yes, I guess this is a plot hole. 

Finally, not really a plot hole, but I have to discuss the cover. There is an Asian girl with a katana on the cover. One would think that would mean there would be an Asian girl with a katana in the book, right? WRONG. There is NO katana and I am pretty certain that Kayla is not Asian. She could be, but with all the telling in the writing, I must have missed the author stating that she was Asian. All I learned was that she had black hair. Was I supposed to assume from that that she was Asian? I do not know. 


So, good things about Darkness Falls? The story and plot were pretty damn suspenseful. If you are looking for strong characterization, this is NOT the book for you. It’s a few days later and I can’t even remember the characters, but the story was pretty bad-ass. It flowed well and the pacing impressed me. Not that much got accomplished in the plot, but it was enough to pull me into the story and get invested in the world-building and the universe this author created.  I was originally going to give this book 4 stars until I reached the last one hundred pages. And then it dropped to 3 because i was just so disappointed with how the book had let me down. And now that I have had a few days to sit on it and think, I’m dropping it down even further to 2 stars. There is just not enough good to outweigh the bad. What started out as an awesome reading experience turned into quite an unfulfilling one. 


If you are not a reader that pays close attention to editing and minor details, you may enjoy this book. So I don’t NOT want to recommend this to anyone. I am a particular kind of reader because I edit for a living. So, I sometimes notice things that other readers may not. Keep that in mind before you cross this book off your list. Because there IS a lot of good here. It just wasn’t enough to get past my editing filter.


2/5 Dragons




27 responses to “Book Review of Darkness Falls by Jessica Sorenson

  1. I think I’m not gonna read it based on your review, Kara. I’ve just read Legend by Marie Lu and had the same problems with people not remembering anything from the past and lack of characterization. I loathe that. Thanks for another great review! 🙂

    • I am so glad we agree on Legend. I KNOW I am getting pickier as the days go by and I read more, but I can’t help it. I REALLY liked the first hundred pages of this one and then it fell apart for me. THAT was disappointing. And thank you for reading!

  2. Whoa, I will be steering away from this one. Actually, I just checked and I DID have this marked to read. Well, not anymore. You know how constant grammatical errors irritate me. I don’t mind them so much in ARCs, because whatever, but it’s irritating enough finding the one or two mistakes in finished copies by big publishers. The Testament of Jessie Lamb drove me up the wall, so this would probably push me over the cliff.

    Also, no characterization? BOO!

    • Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this one for you. You are just as picky as I am (sometimes in different ways), but I KNOW you would have a ton of negative things to say about this one. Good choice to skip it.

  3. Amy

    This sounds very inconsistent and odd. It also really bothers me when a finished book has a lot of errors. I get it in ARC’s but when it’s the completed book you would think it wouldn’t have so many issues. Great honest review babe!!

    • It was a very odd book. I loved the first hundred pages and then I started to read on and think more and things were not adding up. And then there were the issues with the grammar. No thanks. I wish I could get my day back.

      Thank you, Amy!

  4. Well, that sucks! I have this one on my Kindle tbr right now. I guess I’ll still give it a go sometime in the future. Maybe. It’s definitely not a priority tbr anymore.
    Thank you for the honest review as usual.
    DeAnna Schultz

  5. Uh-oh, this doesn’t sound good. I haven’t heard of this one before and wasn’t planning to read it, but I’m convinced now that I’ll never pick this up. Lack of proofreading annoys me to no end when it comes to ebooks and plot holes? *shudder* I hateee plot holes! I’m definitely steering clear of this one, so thanks for the honest review, Kara! 🙂

  6. Oooh this is a bummer! I think I’ll be holding off on reading my kindle copy for awhile. I got it free so it’s no big loss…I’d read a few decent-ish reviews about it but from what you mentioned above, I can tell the same things will bother me. *sigh* …oh well, not like I don’t have other books to read first haha! Thanks for the great & honest review 🙂

    • I got it for free too. It is not a horrible book, there are just a lot of things that didn’t add up for me. Unfortunately, it had a TON of potential and it just fell apart for me which is the worst kind of disappointment for a reader.

  7. Umm those are some pretty serious freaking plot holes. I can’t believe the injecting the blood one. Wow. Also, It’s not good when the grammar is so bad that it hinders your enjoyment of the book. I can handle a few issues throughout, but on every page? That’s no good. Sorry you had to plow through this one. Great honest review. Love it!

    • I know! The plot holes were ridiculous. The grammar was borderline. For me, it was too much. For someone who isn’t as picky as I am (because I do that for a living), it might not be too bad.

      Thanks, Jenni!

  8. Oh gosh, this book sounds pretty disappointing. I can’t believe you noticed such a big inconsistency just from reading the Goodreads description again. I don’t know if I would have been able to force myself to read through so many grammatical errors, either. Good on you for sticking through it.

    Yeesh, these plot holes are pretty scary, too. Thanks for writing this review; now I know to steer clear of this book.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. There were a lot of inconsistencies in this one, unfortunately. It actually read pretty quickly in spit of all the issues. I’m actually pretty used to reading through flaws since that is what I do for my job. But thank you so much!

    • You really do. Editors and beta readers are highly recommended. Preferably multiple. And skilled. Put out your best product or don’t put it out at all. Thanks for commenting!

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