Hello fantasy lovers. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts about Darlings Of Darkness. A box-set of ten stories all about those creatures of the night, vampires!
I actually read this vampire anthology way back in 2015. However, as it doesn’t appear to be in my review archives, I thought I’d better post it again. 😉
What’s Darlings of Darkness about?
What did I think about Darlings of Darkness?
This book is a collection of ten “bestselling” full-length urban fantasy and paranormal romance stories with the common theme of all the tales being about vampires. My favourite mythical beasts. I love paranormal romance, especially those with vampires, so I downloaded this Kindle version for free from Amazon UK in the hope of finding some “new to me” authors. I’ve written mini-reviews for each story as well as my overall thoughts at the end.
Book 1- “Once Bitten” by Trina M Lee
I’ve already read this book and really enjoyed this story. It is well written, has an intelligent, strong and funny lead female character, fast-paced story, bit of mystery, hot lust/romance scenes and left me wanting to read the rest of the Alexa O’Brien Huntress series.
Book 2 – “Crush” by Chrissy Peebles
This is the first book of a Young Adult series called “The Crush Saga”. Teen/YA books are not my choice of reading material. I found both the plot development and character development and the writing style juvenile in its execution. It read as though a teenager had written it. I suppose sometimes as a reader you click with a story and sometimes you don’t, it didn’t click for me with this one.
Book 3 – “Raven” by Suzy Turner.
This is the first book of a Teen/Young Adult series called “The Raven Saga”. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised by this book! I loved it; very easy to read and beautifully written from the viewpoint of our thirteen-year-old main character, Lilly, but without being juvenile in the plot. This story is about family relationships, dealing with tragedy, experiencing first love and heartache, with a paranormal twist that includes werewolves, shifters, witches, vampires and, of course, magic. This book made me laugh as well as shed a few tears and I liked that some of the story’s mysteries were solved by the end while letting others remain elusive. I am duly impressed and will put book 2 “December Moon” and Book 3 “The Lost Soul” on my Goodreads “want to read” list.
Book 4 – “Vampires Rule” by K.C. Blake.
I found this a bit of a struggle. The writing style isn’t as smooth as the other stories so far. Although I know new authors often have to find their feet as their experience grows. However, I felt lost with the story too. I’m assuming that the time frame of this novella is well into an established series that has seen major storylines.
Book 5 – “Blur” by Kristen Middleton
This is a very short ghost story that plunges you right in the middle of the action. A team of U.S. Federal “Retrieval” Agents undercover in a house to remove the rebel ghosts. I found it easy to read and understand the concept behind the plot. Great story with an unexpected twist. I found myself thinking and coming up with my own “what happened next” scenarios.
Book 6 – “The Vampire From Hell” by Ally Thomas
This short ghost story is set at a séance in an old haunted house. The writing style was easy to read and I enjoyed the building tension of waiting for the ghost to appear. However, I didn’t feel engaged with the characters enough to want to find out what happens in their lives next after this story. I am happy & satisfied leaving this as a quick standalone ghost story.
Book 7 – “Vampire in Denial” by Dale Mayer
Not what I was expecting, in a good way! I completely fell in love with Conner Francis and think Shane Taylor is a great supporting character. I loved the story and would definitely buy a paranormal series if they were the main characters! It made me laugh and I actually shed a tear at the end which I think is impressive for a short story!
Book 8 – “Thirst” by Claire Farrell
This is a Teen/YA short story. Plots revolving around those early relationships and life angst is not my choice of reading even in a paranormal setting. However, the writing style is good and it was a nice change to read this very short story about magical adolescents.
Book 9 – “The Vampire’s Warden” by S.J. Wright
I really loved this story. The writing style was easy to read and the world-building was believable. I felt a connection to the main character, Kyle Smith and enjoyed being plunged feet first into his life. Although this story is in the paranormal genre, the dynamics and complexities of living as part of a huge family are brilliantly captured and will resonate with many readers and could have easily taken place in many a family home at Christmas (or Thanksgiving). Lol! I loved the ending, it left me wanting to find other stories about Kyle Smith and his usually talented family 😉
Book 10 – “Courage Runs Through It” by W.J. May
I didn’t get involved in this story. It left me feeling “meh”. The writing style didn’t flow for me, the build-up felt complicated & I couldn’t connect to the characters. It’s a shame really because the concept was good. I suppose sometimes as a reader you click with a story and sometimes you don’t.
Basically, what I’m saying about Darlings of Darkness is…
I’ve enjoyed having Darlings of Darkness as an ongoing back-up. To be able to pick up and read when I’ve had a bit of free time. I’ve enjoyed reading 2 out of the 10 tales. I think it’s got a nice collection of different settings and sub-genres under the vampire-themed umbrella to suit most tastes.
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read my thoughts. Have you read Darlings of Darkness? Sadly, none of the authors made it onto my favourite authors’ page. Are any of them on your auto-buy list? Drop me a comment below.
Stay safe : get lost in a book!