Series: Mortal Machine #1
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Format: ARC from author
Length: 291 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace (March 10, 2014)
Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.
Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.
Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.
Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.
Normal was overrated, anyway.
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Darkside Sun is the first in what will assuredly become a series of books that follows Addison Beckett, a new adult who has been watching the world literally come apart at the seams since she was six. Now that she’s in college, what’s on the other side of those seams is about to crawl out and change Addison’s life forever.
This book has a very interesting and unique premise. The world building is expansive, as the reader must learn about alternate realities, the things that exist in them, and who the gatekeepers of those realities are. It was done in a way that I could follow, although the beginning was a bit abrupt. One finds oneself at times as excited, bewildered, and worried as Addison does herself as she navigates her new world.
Addison’s ability to see the rifts in the world and the creatures that come out of it is a unique skill - one that separates her from the other guardians. We go through the book unsure if this is an asset or a liability until nearly the end of the book. It also serves to confuse things between Addison and her hunky professor-turned-sensei Archer Green, our troubled hero. I wasn’t sure if I liked Archer or not until the end, which I think was deliberate on the author’s part.
In addition to multiple realities and dangerous otherworldly creatures, this book also has a mystery to solve. This was, to my mind, the one weakness of the book. I enjoyed the mystery of what was wrong with the Mortal Machine and how it got that way; I hated the whodunit aspect since the bad guy was exactly who you knew it was the entire time. The reveal of the antagonist was anticlimactic, and his explanation of motive was underwhelming. I’m much more interested in seeing how the Machine gets fixed in future books than in discovering how it was broken to begin with.
The best part of this book, to me, was the relationship between Addison and Archer. There was a metric ton of push-pull between the two, of them denying what was there while being unable to stop themselves the next moment. This serves to make the final scene in the book absolutely heart wrenching and has me eagerly anticipating book two.
“So you’re going to pass your energy into me so you can take inventory of what’s in my mind?” It was hard to be skeptical of mystical crap while tied to an altar with a man glowing at my side, so I decided just to go with it. My weird-shit-o-meter just found a new notch, that’s all.