Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Darker Days

DARKER DAYS
The Darker Agency #1
Jus Accardo
Paranormal Young Adult
332 pages
Entangled Teen
Available August 26th
Source: e-ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...

When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

Seven deadly ones, in fact.

They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...

There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.


MY THOUGHTS
Darker Days is a laugh-out-loud, thrilling start to a new series, gifting us with a protagonist whose sarcasm charms and whose acknowledgement of her own flaws has us falling more and more in love with her with each page. In addition to a standout young heroine, we are also treated to a well-executed mystery and romance, ensuring any of our small nitpicks along the way are vastly outnumbered by marks in the story’s favor. Though this is the first installment in a series, we get a complete plot arc wherein events are nicely wrapped up for us, but there’s also numerous legs for this series to stand on, a veritable centipede of young adult fiction ready to move forward and usher us along for the non-stop ride.

As mentioned previously, Jessie is full to brimming with snark, and while many times an abundance of something as tricky as dry wit and sarcasm can grate on our nerves if not handled with care, Jessie remains firmly on the amusing side of the line. She wields her snark with consummate skill, intending it to sting those who dare I say deserve it, while at other times using it to defuse tense situations, infusing her words with warmth and humor and bringing a smile to our faces every time. She does have a tendency to repeat a few phrases such as “hell in a hailstorm” with more frequency than we might like, reminding us she’s a teenager despite the very adult battles she fights side by side with her mom, but that minor quibble doesn’t detract from the success of her character as a whole.

Another highlight of this story is the presence of family in Jessie’s life. Her mother is neither an absentee parent nor someone who’s completely oblivious to what’s happening in her daughter’s life, instead she’s involved at every turn without being smothering or controlling. She and Jessie have an extraordinarily healthy relationship, one that’s certainly not perfect as both make mistakes, but one that’s full of respect and genuine heartfelt affection, leaving us excited to see how the two of them are going to continue taking on the world in the next installment.

Overall, Darker Days is a very strong start to Ms. Accardo’s new series, the romance daring to leave all instant declarations of love at the door, and progressing instead at a nice pace wherein they neither develop feelings too quickly nor fall into a vicious cycle of push and pull that leaves us a seething mass of frustrated reader. The concluding events leave us extremely excited to see how things are going to progress for the Darker women and the men in their lives, and book two simply cannot release soon enough.

Rating: 4/5



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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

31 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of this series for some reason, but it sounds like something I'd like as well what with a snarky heroine, no insta-love and the inclusion of family. Thanks for the recommendation, Jenny. I'll be adding this one to my wishlist.

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    1. It's her new one! I hadn't read anything by her and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so I definitely need to go back and read the Denazen series now:)

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  2. Awesome!!!! I totally need to get a copy! I love her Denazen series so bad- Now I'm even more excited since you loved it so much!

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    1. You will love this one Danny, I just know it:)

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  3. I reviewed on my blog yesterday and you and I pretty much had the same thoughts towards this book, Jenny! I had so much fun reading it and I loved Jessie's snark and humor. She was one loveable character. I also loved the involvement of her parents in her life. I think I might have written an entire paragraph praising Jus Accardo for that.
    The only aspect I didn't agree with you was the romance. I actually thought it progressed quite fast because of the time-scale of the novel, 5 days, right?? But still, I enjoyed Lucas and Jessie's banter, so it didn't bother me too much! Anyways, fabulous review, Jenny! :)

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    1. You're right Nick! From a time standpoint their relationship happened quickly, but for me, the way it unfolded in the story didn't seem fast I guess. There was no "I love you" on page 80, you know? So yes, 5 days is quick, but I felt like a lot happened to them in those 5 days so it worked for me:)

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  4. Oh I love snark, especially when it is done well! I think this will be a must read for me, great review as always Jenny!!

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    1. Yes! I adored Jessie's snark. I can't wait to spend more time with her in the next book:)

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  5. I haven't read anything by Accardo yet but it looks like she does paranormal well! Jessie sounds like a really smart-ass character that I'd like; I have to bow down to the author for pulling the humor off! I love strong mother daughter relationships, and the fact that Jessie and her mother cooperate well is just another factor of intrigue for me! This sounds like a really great read, thanks for the brilliant review, Jenny!

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    1. This was my first book of hers too and it will definitely not be my last. LOVED how involved Jessie's mom was, it just made me happy:)

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  6. Nice cover, looks fun..ok it's the colors, I like the colors

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  7. OOhh Now I want this badly! I loved Jus Accardo's Touch and this looks great as well

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    1. I definitely need to read that series now! I'm a total Jus fangirl:)

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  8. As usual, I haven't heard of half the titles you review on this blog, Jenny, and I love that. I'm curious to try this one out myself, so thanks for putting it on my radar.

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    1. I like that we introduce each other to books we not know about otherwise Keertana! And then we occasionally overlap which is fun too:)

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  9. Aw, I passed this one up! But it sounds like I need to go back and read it now. I love a good, snarky character -- as long as it's not mean snark, yanno? I like that it's a family affair, their hunting and such. SO many YAs avoid families, leaving them out of the picture altogether.

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    1. No mean snark. Well, unless it's called for in a particular situation, but she doesn't cut people off at the ankles with it:) And yay families! It's definitely a family business and they're such a great time.

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  10. Um. I'm pretty sure this book has my name written all over it. It has all the things I love. Snark! Mystery! Romance! Paranormal! YES.

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    1. YES AMANDA. Yes. That's all that needs to be said about this book.

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  11. This sounds like a promising series. Thanks for sharing your review.

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    1. I adored it Savy, hope you give it a try:)

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  12. Ah, yes! Finally a great relationship among family members. Btw, this book totally goes with your blog name -- it's supernatural and it's snarky, yay! The way you describe this one totally makes me interested and if it wasn't for you hon, I wouldn't have discovered this book. At least not so soon. I have heard great things about Jus's other series -- Touch is the first book there, I think? Yes? No? Maybe? I'd love to read that one too and I hope I'll get to them soon. Lovely review, my friend!

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    1. YES! This book and I were clearly meant to be:) I haven't read her other series but Touch is the first book. I need to read those:)

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  13. I haven't read anything by this author before, but this book sounds like a great place to start. Dry, witty humour and sarcasm can be so hard to get right (like you said, it can easily become frustrating if not handled well), so I'm glad to hear that the author knows what she is doing. And a great mother-daughter relationship, too? I haven't seen one of those in far too long! Lovely review, Jenny. :)

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  14. Wait... an involved parent and snark? Where do I sign up for this book? :D This sounds perfect for me and I'm in the mood for something fun. Also, the fact that you are wanting that second book bodes so well. I think you found another book for me to want. Stop eet! ;)

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  15. I am trying to snag an ARC copy of this because Jus is an author I have been wanting to try and I could use a laugh out loud paranormal YA series. I love that the mom is involved you don't get that often in the YA genre. Happy weekend Jenny!

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  16. I've read so many promising reviews for this book in the last few days Jenny, that I'm glad to see another enthusiastic review from you too. Jessie sounds like a wonderful character who I can't wait to meet. Lovely review! :)

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  17. Something about this cover didn't speak to me, Jenny but after reading your review I'm thinking the insides are better that the outside! I love a girl with some snark, but I agree, there's a fine line where it can become annoying so it's nice to hear this is just right. Wonderful review, Jenny. You're always adding to my TBR as well! :)

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  18. Oh awesome review Jenny..i love everything from the characters to the plot. Snark and things that make you laugh get me every time, I am so adding this to my list!

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  19. Ooh I hadn't heard of this one yet, but I do like her Denazen series, and this sounds wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it, it's definitely going on my TBR pile now. I think I'm going to love Jessie, even if she does use one too many catch phrases. :-) I can totally overlook that and enjoy the snark. Awesome review!

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