The Dark Wood
I love reviewing indie work—that’s one of the reasons I started The Rebel Christian—but as much as I enjoy supporting indie and self-published authors, I must admit that I’m very particular about reading books from that community. Unfortunately, indie and self-published authors have a very terrible reputation as far as editing and quality goes. There are so many great stories out there, but they fall flat because of poor editing or elementary writing. So, when I was approached by Mann for a review, I had high hopes and high expectations—thankfully, she did not disappoint me.
The Dark Wood is a YA fantasy novel set in a world that is totally void of light. Its really a haunting concept, to live your life in constant shadows, eternal darkness without the sun but Stella has done this every single day of her life. Imagine a world where you are constantly looking over your shoulder, facing an everlasting night full of gripping terrors. Now imagine all of that suddenly being interrupted by a burst of light in the form of a beautiful man.
Stella’s eyes are opened to a new world when she meets Luc, a man who almost seems to be made of light. Through her journeys with Luc, Stella learns there is a light shinning within the darkness of her world, and she sets out to defeat the darkness once and for all. Of course, other characters are introduced along the way, there’s also a love triangle that works really well for me. I’m not one to complain about a good romance, especially if it involves juicy triangles or any other shape!
Although I really enjoyed the romance in this story, my biggest praise goes to the world-building of Darkwood Noctum. First of all, the name Noctum sounds really cool and very mysterious; its fitting for the theme and the storyline. I wish there had been a bit more fleshing out as far as the darkness and the development of the story around it, but it is a YA novel, so I’m willing to let things slide.
Overall, The Dark Wood is an incredibly unique and entertaining story. It will certainly pull you in from page one. The title, the cover art, and the story are all amazing with characters developed enough to hold it all together. I would recommend this book to YA fans and fantasy nerds, plus anyone who likes a well-developed romance.