Beckoning Darkness (The Damned and The Pure, Book 1) by J. D. Stonebridge

Beckoning Darkness Book Cover Beckoning Darkness
The Damned and The Pure
J. D. Stonebridge
Young Adult Fantasy
November 27, 2014
Kindle E-book
232

God left humanity in the care of the angels. Centuries have passed, and Heaven is preparing for His return.

After centuries of imprisonment in Heaven, Ariel is given a chance to redeem herself in the eyes of the archangels. Years after her last descent, Ariel must return to the mortal land to fulfill her mission for the coming of God. But the memories of her past sins catch up to her, and Ariel must decide where her faith truly lies.

The city of Chicago was the chosen residence of the eccentric demon, Caelum. His taste of entertainment sets him apart from the rest of his kind, driving him to walk amongst the mortal men. But when he is presented with an opportunity to have a hand in Hell’s grand plan, temptation beckoned him to take the risks. Walking through shadows and nightmares he crosses paths with an angel from Heaven, and the memories of his forgotten humanity begin to resurface.

Both Heaven and Hell have plans for the End of Days with the angel, Ariel, and the demon, Caelum, at the center. When faith is threatened, two natural enemies become unlikely allies in a war for all Humanity.

free copyThe Beckoning Darkness was just me falling asleep….

I really wanted to like this book. Really, I did. So much so, that I kept pushing myself to keep reading even when I was bored to tears, having already pieced together most of the plot and guessed the ending several chapters in. But with the exception of the last 10% of the book (and that might be being generous), I just didn’t feel any connection to this story. In fact, I was so dissatisfied, that I do not plan to read the second book in the series, which is highly unusual for me, in terms of my reading habits.

This is an abnormally harsh review, and for that part of me wants to apologize, even though the whole point of writing reviews is to provide other book-lovers with unbiased, and honest opinions, to help them make their own decisions regarding which books to spend their time on. That being said, I would not recommend this book, for the following reasons:

  1. When Deana died the angels wept, cried and mourned. Almost a decade later her loss is still felt. Despair and sorrow linger in our hearts as we miss her every single moment. www.adealwithGodbook.comThe storyline is not original, hence my ability to piece the whole thing together almost immediately. Reading a book that holds no surprises is not fun.
  2. For the most part, the characters are one dimensional, and just not likable. The sole exception to this is the demon Caelum, who starts to show some duality in his nature towards the end of the book, but for me, it was too little, too late.
  3. The word choice is awkward through most of the book. I felt like I was reading a paper written by one of my students at many points. This may be due to trying to make Ariel sound old fashioned and stiff, but it was taken too far in my opinion, making the book difficult to read.
  4. The action scenes were repetitive. They were well-written, but seemed to have the same substance over and over again. Which is too bad, because they could have been the book’s saving grace.
  5. The romance, or lack thereof, was also a huge let down. Again, the tension between Caelum and Ariel could have been the book’s saving grace, but this realization was left until too late, and not fleshed out enough to be satisfying.
Overall, this book had the potential to be good. Things were just dragged out too long, or not developed enough, leaving me feeling very let down. Much of this might be resolved in the next book, for those of you who would like to give the series a go; you can get this book for free on Amazon, and the sequel for .99.
As a final note, I do think that J. D. Stonebridge should keep writing…there were moments when I thought the book was going to turn around, and if those moments could be capitalized on, then future books might be excellent.

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