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The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – November 24, 2009


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The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, Book 1) + The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Charlie Madigan, Book 3)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439109656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439109656
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gay debuts with this captivating urban fantasy. Thirteen years ago, mankind officially recognized the existence of paradisiacal Elysia and hellish Charbydon, and the multitude of mythical beings inhabiting them. Now Atlanta is a crossroads for all sorts of creatures, and the Integration Task Force keeps tabs on them all. Recently resurrected single mom Charlie Madigan juggles her personal life with her career as an ITF officer, searching for the source of a deadly narcotic called ash. When her family and friends are caught in the middle of her investigation, Charlie discovers powers she never knew, and a destiny that could destroy the entire world. How far will she go to save her child and her city? Intricate world-building and richly complex characters mix with a fast-paced plot to create a standout start to a new series. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In an eventful eight months, Atlanta Integration Task Force detective Charlie Madigan discovered her husband’s addiction to dark magic, was killed and brought back to life, got divorced, and then found her nights tormented by horrendous nightmares. Throughout, she maintained her fierce protection of daughter Emma, 11. After the Revelation, when Titus Mott discovered the parallel worlds of Elysia and Charbydon, beings from them have flocked to Atlanta. Partnered with gorgeous Elysian siren Hank Williams, she’s on a case involving a new drug of unearthly origin that’s putting people in terminal comas. This gritty urban fantasy, full of beings seemingly escaped from Heaven and Hell, is extraordinary. --Diana Tixier Herald

More About the Author

Kelly Gay writes the critically acclaimed 'Charlie Madigan' urban fantasy series. Her work has been nominated for a double RITA, an ARRA, a Goodreads Choice Award, and landed on SIBA's Long List Book Award Finalists. Kelly is also a recipient of North Carolina Arts Council's fellowship grant in Literature. She is published in Young Adult fiction as Kelly Keaton. Learn more about Kelly at www.kellygay.com.


Customer Reviews

I just wish I liked the main character Charlie better.
nekojita
Picked this book up to kill some time, it is a nice read and I will be looking forward to the next one in the series if there is one.
K. Todd
Great read and I recommend it to urban fantasy fans galore.
Parajunkee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Lady Rogue (Escape Between The Pages) on January 3, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story starts off strong. Charlie Madigan arrives at her daughter's school, after she overhears a call for paramedics being needed. (As a mother myself, I can relate to the urgency, to make sure that her daughter was alright and safe.) Once there, she discovers the body of her daughter's friend/babysitter on the girl's bathroom floor. The good news, she isn't dead. The bad news, an underworld narcotic called, "ASH" appears to have reached the uptown schools. Charlie, along with her sexy Siren partner Hank, make it thier misson to get the drug and those who are behind the drug off the streets.

Charlie has the mentality, determination, and heart of a good cop. But she is too stubborn and self absorbed. There is too much emphasis on her self analyzing everything, it gets boring. Yeah...yeah....get on with it already. This happens many times throughout the book. What I do like, is Charlie being a divorced mother. It gives her crediablity and makes her a bit more likable. I also appreciate her not being able to push aside years of feelings for her ex-husband and the inner struggles that those feelings cause. Her relationship with her partner is refreshing as well, they genuinely care for each other. Their bickering interaction, is well done. I have come to the conclusion that they are both smartasses. Charlie's and her daugher's relationship is endearing. I do like that, at times, it seems like the daughter is taking care of the mother, than the other way around.

With exception of Hank and Emma, I feel the remaining characters lack depth, substance and are unnecessary. None are very engaging and feel as if they are just thrown in to fill up space. Those who do have a purpose, don't have enough back story to make me find them believable.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Donna on November 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Better Part of Darkness, told from Charlie Madigan's point of view, was an exciting, fast-paced read for me. I finish this book in nearly one sitting. What kept me glued to the pages was how clues were dropped at just the right place, and the mystery just kept building. The pace of was perfect. The unique world and atmosphere of this book had the right combination of dark and gritty paranormal aspects.

The biggest attention grabber for me was the colorful personalities of the characters. From Hank, Charlie's gorgeous off-world partner to Byrn, her eclectic sister who runs a herb shop in the Underground. Charlie, mother of a pre-teen, is a gusty heroine, who has heart. But she's tough as nails when the situation calls for it and it's called for many times. She presents everyone with a tough exterior and acts like she can handle whatever comes her way on her own, but on the inside she is always questioning herself. I could see Charlie as a real person.

The thing that can make a book really pop for me is when the bad guys are truly evil and vile. You get that kind of scary here. So when your reading a scene with the bad guys, your on the edge of your seat with worry and dread. More than once I was wondering how Charlie was going to save herself.

The ending left me feeling very satisfied but full of anticipation for the next book. This was a story that left me thinking about it long after I finished reading it. I will be picking up the next book in Charlie Madigan's universe. This one is going down in my top 10 reads of this year.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By P. Fox on December 6, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what I think about this book. Gay did a good job of creating a believable world with different supernatural figures. Charlie is the kick-ass heroine, a police officer with supernatural talents that she doesn't understand yet. I liked the plot making and the character development. So what is it I don't like? I had a hard time keeping up with all the various characters. Someone would pop up who had obviously been introduced early, but several times I couldn't remember who they were. I was also unsure of several characters' motivation, especially someone (not giving a spoiler) who was supposed to be on the other side, but who wasn't.

There were a lot of hanging events. I think I would have liked it better if the author had wrapped up a little more of the plots. So I guess I'll give it a positive but not glowing rating. I'm not sure if I'll read the next book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kindle-aholic VINE VOICE on June 24, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
It took me awhile to get through this book. The world building is unique, and I can see where quite a few stories could be spun off from all of the threads in book 1, the problem for me is that there are too many threads.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS:
First there is the drug that leads to coma and death in humans, the interaction between all of the different types of beings (mages, sirens, djinn, "demons", "angels", regular folks), Charlie's family drama (the ex who wants back in, her kid in danger), her family history (her twin, her sister), genetic manipulation, politics, and so on. Things came together for the most part at the end, but it was a tangle. There is a lot left hanging, and I'm curious about the next book, but still on the fence since it took me so long to finish this one.

On the plus side, I did find Charlie to be believable as she came into her power, and in her love for her family and friends. That was endearing, and she showed strength as well as vulnerability.
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