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Darkride Paperback – January 9, 2012
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"Darkride is one of those books that you sit down to read, and find yourself physically incapable of stopping until it's done - and when it is, you still are burning to read more." ~ Ricochet Reviews
"The story was filled with action, tension, difficult decisions, and touching romance. I was swept away by the story..." ~ Ms. Martin Teaches Media
"Darkride keeps you guessing from the moment you read page one. Author Laura Bradley Rede does a great job of keeping you hooked till the very end. There is a major love triangle... but this is no Twilight romance." ~ ParaNormal Romance Party
"I really loved this book with its fairy tale qualities mixed in with real life/fantasy. It was done beautifully and it still seemed fresh and new in this ever growing popular genre." ~ Once Upon a Twilight
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Top Customer Reviews
So let's see...here we have yet another YA book about vampires, werewolves, and the girl who loves them....a girl who may be harboring some special powers of her own. And a love triangle. Ho-hum, right? Thankfully, no. Let's discuss.
Main characters. Cicely, Ander, and Luke are deep, complex, compelling individuals. This is a multi-point of view novel that alternates between the three leads. I usually avoid multi-POV books because I find the change in speaker/perspective distracting and rarely done well (as in all the characters sound like each other). But each had their own distinctive voices, quirks, and motivations which helped me dive into their respective chapters without a hitch. Cicely is strong without being over-the-top about it. How refreshing to come across a female lead who has a spine and a brain but doesn't suddenly turn into a martial arts expert or a pile of mush around the male leads. Ander and Luke seem to be headed for the "rival supernatural guys" category a la Twilight but the similarities are surface only, especially as we get detailed glimpses into their backstories. Luke slowly becomes more sympathetic without losing his hard edge, and Ander's boy-next-door vibe gets turned on its ear as his story unfolds.
Supporting characters. Generally speaking, this is where many books go from great to good. Authors often get so caught up in the main characters that the supporting cast comes off as two-dimensional and only seem to be there to push the plot along. Not so here. The parents (or parent figures) are believable and don't simply fade into the background when needed. The friends (and frenemies) break out of the stereotypical molds with some interesting (and often surprising) backstories of their own. Many of them show unexpected depth and complexities not often found in secondary characters.
Plot. This book reads like a film. It's action packed with smooth transitions from chapter to chapter, tons of clever humor, tragedy (but no melodrama), some truly harrowing suspense scenes (I'll never look at the Mall of America in the same light again), and elaborate world building without any huge, gaping inconsistencies. It's hard to imagine someone could possibly come up with a fresh, new take on werewolves and vampires without making them aliens from outer space (and I think this may already have been done somewhere), but Ms. Rede takes things in some new directions without losing the tried and true elements many of us have come to expect from these supernaturals. And the ending? Well, prepare yourselves. All I can say is I can't wait to read the next book.
Chemistry. Yes, it's there. In spades. The whole love triangle thing is an overused plot device...but I enjoyed it here. I never felt like one character was the obvious throw-away (like Jacob was to Edward) and I'm genuinely having a tough time choosing between the two of them. But I imagine each will garner his own fans. I also was pleased to see that Cicely didn't just toss her common sense out the window when the boys expressed interest in her...certainly, her judgement is lacking in some areas but nothing beyond what I'd expect to see in a teen. And she works hard to stay loyal to those who have earned her trust...the "big misunderstanding" plot device is rarely employed in this book because Cicely is too honest and direct a character to go for any of that nonsense.
If vampires and werewolves are your thing (or were your thing but you can't imagine there's anything left to say about them), give this book a try. You'll likely be surprised, as I was, that this is Ms. Rede's first full-length novel.
What happens when Ander has to separate himself from Cicely even more in order to protect her? What happens when the vampire who is out to kill Cicely starts falling in love with her, jeopardizing the curse that could make him Immortal again? And what happens when Cicely falls for both guys? *Sheesh* What is a girl to do?
When I first opened Darkride up I saw it was over 500 pages on my nook, I thought `good grief this is going to take forever to read'. But once I started the pages flew by. I was grabbed right from the start until the very last word. I loved the characters and the whole plot was positively appealing. Each chapter was a different POV of either Luke, Cicely or Ander; getting their take and feeling what they felt. And just when I thought I was rooting for one guy, I would have a change of heart for the other. I absolutely adored both guys in the story.
Rede brings a new take on Vampire/Werewolf/Loner Girl Love Triangles. It was kinda refreshing thinking `Huh there is no way out for any of them...they stand no chance'. *Insert evil cackle here* But is there a happy ending for any of them? Well guess you're just going to have to read it ain't ya?
So I did, even though I was sure I had no interest in vampires, werewolves, and love triangles. But she was right. When I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I don't want to say too much, because there isn't much I can say that wouldn't be a spoiler on some level. I cried at one point. The end made me... angry. I didn't want it to end that way. I didn't want it to end at all! That's how immersed I was in the lives of these characters. It's scarier, sexier, more well-written, and far, far less vapid than that *other* vampire/werewolf/love triangle you've heard tell about.
The plot twists are intense. It's hard to pull off this much action without feeling forced or silly, but nothing in this book felt forced or silly to me. I loved it. This particular vamp world is a lot different from other stories I've read or seen on TV lately, and the background info is delivered beautifully. The world-building is great.
There are *some* elements that might have... flowed more smoothly (?) if this were a traditionally pubbed book instead of a self-pub. Some of the "edges" are just a tiny, tiny bit rough. For me, this was a bonus, not a detractor. I'm tired of overly predictable, cookie-cutter, safe YA. Again, I can't go into details without adding spoilers, but suffice it to say that some of the plot twists would probably not have survived an editor's red pen. Especially toward the end. But, as I said, these are bonuses for me. In the YA genre especially, the best I've read lately has been self-pubbed.
For those who fear self-pubbed books, don't. Especially in this case. The editing is near-perfection. Honestly, there are fewer typos here than in many traditionally pubbed ebooks.
Now I just have to wait for the sequel.
(There is going to be a sequel, right? RIGHT???)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
- The writing itself was very good, I couldn't put it down!
- The characters. They were great.Read more
Very well written