Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.
The world building behind The Dark World was interesting and somewhat complex. It definitely kept me on my toes as I was trying to figure everything out. While I did guess some things ahead of time, other caught me off guard, making for the perfect blend of suspense in my book. I especially enjoyed how this book is quite different than most of the paranormal YAs out there. It gave me something new and fresh to read, and I loved it for that alone, nevertheless all the other things that drew me in, like the fabulous cast of characters. I loved how they, just like this world were very unique and fully fleshed out. It certainly made for an enjoyable read.
I loved, loved, loved the slower build of the romance between Paige and Logan. Sure, it's still pretty fast, but compared to many similar books in the genre, it moved at almost a turtle's pace. This allowed me to attach more to the two of them together so much more than an instalove would have. So when roadblocks came into play, I felt the pain and angst right along with them. While I won't spoil things, I will say that by the end this better attachment to the characters and their romance became very important. So that when the whopper of an ending came into play and a certain character makes a huge life changing choice, it didn't lead to an eye roll from me. A definite win in my book.
I enjoy Cara's Spellbound series, but this one steps it up a notch for me. The characterization, world building and romance have only gotten better, and I love getting to see an author grow like this. I'll definitely be on the look out for the next book in the series after that ending, and frankly anything else Cara writes will more than likely be on my radar as well. So if you are looking for a fresh read and a good book to escape into for an afternoon, look no further than THE DARK WORLD.
(Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley)