In Still Darkness (Immortal Guardians #3.5) by Dianne Duvall
Read: 26th March 2015
Re-Read: 3rd July 2018
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So what’s this book about?
In Still Darkness is a novella (approx 126 pages) in Ms Duvall’s popular Immortal Guardians Series (currently 7 novels plus 2 novellas); a paranormal romance tale that I think could sit happily on an urban fantasy shelf due to some of the content, set in our modern human world – North Carolina to be exact – featuring a new twist on the vampire genre.
Immortals and vampires are both infected with the same virus, which lends them dramatically increased strength, speed, healing capabilities and enhanced senses. Vampires are humans who have been infected, whereas immortals are gifted ones who have been infected. Gifted ones are men and women who were born with extremely advanced DNA that lends them special gifts, such as healing, telepathy, precognition and the like. Vampires rapidly descend into madness when the virus damages their brains but Immortals don’t; their advanced DNA protects them from that aspect of the virus.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Originally published in “Predatory”
In Dianne Duvall s world of Immortal Guardians, the stakes for mortals are high, but the cost especially to the heart might be higher ”
It’s not the first time Immortal Guardian Richart d’Alencon has saved a human life from eternal damnation. Usually, he moves on, a nameless savior like a ghost in the night. But this time he can’t seem to forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he rescued her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist.
Jenna never imagined she’d end up a single mom working overtime to put her son through school. But she might have day-dreamed once that a devastatingly gorgeous Frenchman would sweep her off her feet. Now that a package of tall, dark, and handsome seems intent on doing just that, doctors are telling her she may not have long to live. But Richart is telling her just the opposite. All she has to do is abandon her humanity.
Includes a special sneak peek of Night Unbound
The timeframe for this novella takes place over Night Reigns (book 2) and Phantom Shadows (book 3). The romance aspect of the tale between Richart and Jenna is concluded by the end of this book in Ms Duvall’s signature HEA style, but I’m unsure whether In Still Darkness can really be read as a standalone story; we meet characters from the previous books and there are references to past adventures, and although, Ms Duvall tries to ensure her new readers aren’t lost – pertinent information is weaved beautiful into this story without slowing the pace – I feel that that as with most series, you miss the nuances of knowing the existing characters, understanding the dynamics of relationships and ongoing plot lines when jumping in cold or reading books out of order plus as with most series, there are background story arcs that are left to continue into subsequent books.
So, what did I like about it?
I have become a definite fan of Ms Duvall’s writing style and find her books very easy to read; she writes intelligent, engaging stories with a collection of well written characters within an imaginative world that mixes fantasy and reality creating a world that I can believe in. The pace of her stories is usually fast and full of action without being disorienting and I like that she combines a couple of plot lines to run alongside the main romantic story arc. In Still Darkness did not let me down.
My regular followers will know that I enjoy stories where the characters are not black or white, good or evil but a multifaceted mix of positive and negative traits and I like to see them grow through embracing or overcoming these hurdles; Jenna is human but Richart is not and the fact that he has been written with personality traits that we can see in the real world around us – even though he is a mythical, paranormal being – adds that level of believability to this fantasy tale.
In fact, I liked the way that all of the characters in this story were written – even the villainous vampires – none of them were flat 2-dimensional creations, they all felt very real. Oh, and like most Brits I do love a bit of banter – this story has plenty of it! I found myself COL (Chuckling Out Loud) throughout, especially in scenes that featured Richart’s second, Sheldon!
I loved this novella and thought it was a great way to let us into the secret relationship between Richart and Jenna plus I loved the fact that we experienced some scenes and situations that we’ve already read in the previous book from a different perspective, i.e. Richart’s or Jenna’s, the action definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, the blossoming romance and made me warm and fuzzy, the banter kept me giggling and the passion set my tummy a-tingling. *oooh*
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
I’ve rating this novella 5 stars because there wasn’t anything that niggled or grated on me while I was reading it.
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I didn’t want to stop reading this novella and devoured it in one sitting! It had everything that I look for in a great story; intelligent writing style that’s easy to read, main characters with depth of personality that I can believe and like, depth of character in the supporting cast, believable background story/setting and a good balanced mix of relationship and/or romance scenes to action and/or sex scenes.
Due to the graphic nature of the violence and sex scenes, I would only recommend this book to adults who are not offended by this sort of content, so if you enjoy strong alpha heroes and independent capable heroines, tense often traumatic and brutal confrontations and hot lust/romance scenes then this book shouldn’t disappoint you.
So, has my review of IN STILL DARKNESS (IMMORTAL GUARDIANS #3.5) encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See IN STILL DARKNESS on Goodreads.com
Buy IN STILL DARKNESS through the usual sources, including Amazon