Release Date: March 14th, 2012
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.
“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.
“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.