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I have been a writer for nearly 30 years. I've written numerous full length works of fiction and non-fiction, as well as many short stories and anthologies.
on June 22, 2013 :
Night Realm is a paranormal, young adultish book that incorporates a crime/detective story in too. The criminal side of the story was quite well researched and I thought it was believable, although not too intricately written. I would have liked to see more of that side of the story.
The paranormal side of the story leaves little to the imagination. It is much the same as any other vampire book, if you've read Twilight or Vampire Diaries you'll likely know just about everything there is to know about being a vampire in this book (alas - they don't sparkle).
The side stories and characters were flat, it was fairly obvious that they were created and introduced for the purpose of being killed or used in some way in the story. While the main character (Ryan) was fairly developed, his sister Chelsea, left quite a bit to be desired. Her thought processes seemed scattered and some of them completely out of character, or the character I created from my understanding of Darren's writing at least.
I had issues with the haphazard way in which Travis (Chelsea's mysterious boyfriend) was willing to do as Chelsea asked after such a short period in time of them being together. This 'Oh, I've just met you but I will die for you, you must be my soul mate' crap that's cropping up in young adult books these days is seriously insane! It doesn't work, it ruins an otherwise reasonable story most of the time and despite the fact that falling in love at that age does feel like that, it still leaves this reader with a very unnatural feeling.
The story in itself is not that bad. I probably would have given this a 3 out of 5, but I struggled immensely with the crazy amount of detail given to mundane every day things.
Each time Ryan entered a room we were given a run down on every piece of furniture and person in there, in intricate detail. Every time Ryan felt the need to have a shower, we knew every step of the process.
I get that certain chracters are habit driven, some are very alert and observant, but the reader simply does not need to know all that stuff UNLESS it adds to the character, further develops the plot or ties in later in some way. To me, this felt like there had been a word count total set and Darren fell about 10,000 words short. Seriously not needed.
An example of this was at about 23% in, I'm paraphrasing here, but each thing listed is mentioned in the story:
Ryan lathered himself up, danced around under the water, patted himself dry, brushed his hair, sprayed on cologne, put on his undies, picked black slacks over a suit, debated on a white, black or charcoal shirt, put his wallet in his back pocket and his keys in his front pocket.
This level of unimportant description was rife throughout the entire story. It is not needed.
I did notice a couple of other things:
55% - Why is it that no one even slightly thinks about the bite wounds being made by a vampire? Yes, we all believe they are not real, but just about everyone knows what one is and despite the immediate feeling of being stupid that would come from thinking it could be a vampire, it - to me at least - seems to be the first and most natural conclusion. They could of course then talk themselves out of it, but really, the fact that NO ONE says "Oh hey, that looks like a vampire bite" to me seems completely and utterly unnatural and unbelievable.
96% - 'but I'm not (no) match for him, unfortunately.'
The ending... what can I say?!
It was cheesy and made me want to throw up a little in my mouth.
**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Nov. 12, 2012 :
Murders are happening in the town that Detective David Marks is in and they have similarities of two puncture wounds in the neck. Ryan is a PI working for Selena and has been assigned to find out what Dr. Becker is researching. His sister, Chelsea, has met Travis and he’s different from the guys she’s dated in the past. With a vampire running around who only cares about what he wants, is anyone safe? I liked the mystery involved in this and how so many characters’ lives intertwined. I would definitely recommend this story.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
on July 08, 2012 :
Very nicely written. I liked the mystery paranormal angle. Chelsea drove me crazy, but I liked all the other characters and thought all of them made the story really interesting. It had everything I can think of to want in a vampire book and look forward to reading more.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on June 30, 2012 :
Not the average vampire tale.... I loved that it was set in Australia - the places were actually familiar! So that was a nice change. I was a little confused by the introduction of characters early on as there seemed to be so many but once I got into it I couldn't put it down! Lots of action, blood, gore and mystery. Just what I like to read! just wish I knew the answer to the final question!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on June 29, 2012 :
I love how every line, page and chapter of this story keeps you glued to the book. As the story unfolds the pieces of the puzzle fit together in an unexpected manner. It's so descriptive that it's easy to block out the rest of the world and just lose yourself in the story. I enjoyed this book even more than the Twilight series and there were certainly no boring bits!
I hope there is a sequel soon as I would definitely buy it.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on June 20, 2012 :
I thought this book was very well written and it kept me wanting to read more and more. Not usually into vampire books, however, I found myself wanting to keep turning the page to see what happened next. Great read.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on June 15, 2012 :
This is not Twilight in Australia. Because in the real world there are no vampires.
There are hungry private investigators, ornery teenagers, used-up cops, beautiful women, mad scientists and a family of killers that keep moving around the country. Killers that no one believes in.
Well, you'd better, cuz these serial killers have fangs.
I liked Night Realm. Somehow he made it real.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)