(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
When the newly married Reverend Avery Wentworth embarks on a journey to the Americas to begin a new life, he foresees only joy ahead of him. But along with the shocking evils prevalent in a world of slavery, he comes against a much older, darker evil that steals his soul and turns him into a creature of the night. Cut off from humanity, he wanders through a wilderness of despair. A nameless, faceless creature forced to exist in the shadows, his only hope for salvation is the vision of a beautiful Negro and three words: Wait for me.
Rising Dark is the long awaited sequel to Dark Genesis and takes us from London 1757 to present day America in a love story that defies, time, death and the all-too-human flaws inherent in mortals and immortals alike.
[Full disclosure: I was contacted by the author and received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.]
One of the things that struck me about Dark Genesis was the strength of Luna’s character. In her life as a slave she goes through absolutely horrific things and that really affects her later on, even when Avery proves over and over that he would never ever hurt her. As she learned to trust him, their love developed naturally but at the same time she still had trouble trusting. They go through so many trials together that you can’t help but love them as a couple. But at the end of the novel when Avery (through the eyes of one of Luna’s descendants) reveals that Luna is gone, you wonder what went wrong with the two of them. In Rising Dark, we definitely start to get an answer.
Here in Rising Dark we see both what happened to Avery before and after the events of the first novel. It was very interesting to see his early life in London, his move to America, his marriage and then his horrific transformation into a vampire. What I liked best about his character was that although he goes through some very awful things he still manages to be kind to everyone, especially Luna. When she learns to trust him and love him he is very understanding and caring but as she grew drunk on her power, things began to change between them. Seeing Avery’s heartbreak over the whirlwind borderline abusive relationship between the two of them that develops is just heart-rending. As their mutual happiness turns to ash, it’s very interesting to see how they both deal with it. It really says a lot about both of their backgrounds and their personalities. I can’t tell you much more without giving away spoilers, but Avery (obviously) does not cope very well with his beloved turning into a monster.
The plot was a lot more fast-paced than the plot of the first book. Avery’s life story goes rather quickly so that we catch up to the point where we meet Luna fairly soon. After that, it’s a whirlwind of plot twists and turns as the two of them play out their growing push-and-pull dynamic. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen between the two, A. D. Koboah throws in a huge twist in the plot and forces you to re-evaluate your predictions. This is especially true toward the end of the novel when Avery meets the descendants of Luna’s human children and discovers that a mysterious evil is stalking them as well. Rising Dark ends on a cliffhanger and although in some cases this second book raises more questions than it answers I felt that it wasn’t an unsatisfying ending. It just made me want to get my hands on the third book even sooner.
One of the things that makes the Darkling trilogy stand out to me is the fact that A. D. Koboah has just a beautiful writing style. I have never been to the United States or England but she creates a very believable picture of life everywhere from a Southern plantation to the dark streets of London. Through her descriptions, she not only paints a picture of daily life throughout the past three centuries but she also creates a sort of air of foreboding tied into the dark evil mentioned in the blurb. It makes you want to read on even when you feel like you should probably put the book down and do something productive like sleep or eat. Even if the pacing was slow, Koboah’s writing style would most definitely keep you hooked. I know it did for me and now I can’t wait to learn the conclusion of Avery and Luna’s story in the third book.
I give this book 5/5 stars.