The Darker Agency #1
Paranormal Young Adult
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.
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.
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.