Darkness Shifting (Tides of Darkness #1) by Sarah L. Blair #BookReview
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
One of the best things about Darkness Shifting is Sidney Lake herself. This character is the definition of tough. From the very beginning, she establishes herself as a character who won’t let anything or anyone sideline her or silence her. She’s resilient, she’s intelligent, and she’s tenacious. She also loves fiercely, even if there are only a handful of people in her life that she lets get close to her. Her parents’ murder has undoubtedly shaped who she is, but she’s far from being an abrasive character who shuts everyone out. I liked her scrappiness and her courageousness, but I also loved her softer side.
“I don’t want to be a monster”
“It takes a lot more than claws and fur to make someone a monster.”
That’s not to say Sidney is perfect, because she does make mistakes, but that just makes her feel all the more real. All in all, the complexity of Sidney kept me invested in her story. I also appreciated that she’s aware of the supernatural forces existing around her; we don’t have to read about her discovering the existence of magical creatures and we aren’t forced to spend time while she comes to grips with the knowledge. Since she already knows, we get to hit the ground running and get to the action and the romance that much quicker.
The image in the subway came back to her. The ears and the fur, that long tongue and the mouth full of huge sharp teeth, reminded her too much of what stalked through her nightmares.
I also found myself fascinated with the mythology in Sarah Blair’s world. This book is so much more than your average paranormal fantasy/sci-fi book. The addition of Arthurian legend into the narrative was a refreshing take on the genre. I love that this isn’t just a book about werewolves, demons, and other supernatural creatures. It dives into the history of King Arthur and other characters from the legend, and Blair weaves these elements into the story flawlessly. I’m always excited about a story when its mythology is as intricate as it is in Darkness Shifting.
“I’m sort of an Arthurian geek.”
“How did I not know this about you?”
Williams shrugged and suddenly found his coffee very interesting. “It was more of a phase I went through in high school.”
Dimitrius was also a refreshing love interest. There’s enough mystery to his character to keep you intrigued about his background, but I liked how he was pretty honest with Sidney. He wasn’t one of those characters who keeps everything to himself and refuses to tell the heroine things that she deserves to know. He was respectful, charming, and definitely sexy. His and Sidney’s relationship was my favorite one in the book.
“How did you feel when you first saw me? Before we ever touched.”
Sidney thought back to the way the firelight illuminated his hair. The way he moved. The look in his eyes that made chills run down her spine.
“That’s what’s real.”
Williams, Sidney’s partner, was another awesome character and a source of much humor and amusement throughout the story. His comments and his awe at the even crazier-than-usual things happening around him, as well as his moments of geekiness, always made me laugh.
“Is this heaven? Did I get eaten by the shifter zombie and go to heaven? I think I’m dead. I have to be dead because this is heaven.”
“You’re not dead,” Sidney said. “Be cool.”
There is somewhat a love triangle in this book between Sidney, Dimitrius, and Mitch, Sidney’s boss. While I normally shy away from love triangles, I couldn’t find it in me to dislike Mitch. He’s just all around a good guy, totally head over heels for Sidney, and he truly wants what’s best for her. Plus, Sidney didn’t really spend the book being super torn between these guys. She remained pretty loyal to one guy and I respected that about her. Even if you’re not a huge fan of love triangles, there is something about this one that sets it apart from others.
Overall, this series is off to a wonderfully strong start! It’s got a distinct and relatable cast of characters, rich mythology, intense action, and great twists. The overarching mystery of what happened to Sidney’s parents and how she fits into what’s going on in the city is intriguing and suspenseful, and there are moments of heartbreak that add weight to the story. Oh, and of course there’s romance (and heat!) to spice things up. The ending both satisfies the reader and teases greater things to come. I can’t wait to see where this goes next.
*Denotes GraveTells affiliate link