by Rachel Van Dyken
Published by 1001 Dark Nights Press
A Dark Ones Novella
I see everything. I feel everything.
I watch people fall in love. I watch them burn with hate, anger, rage, and I see the cycle repeat over and over again. I take it on every night I work at Timber, aka Anubis’s bar in downtown Seattle, and then I help the rest of the immortals keep the very intense balance between Heaven and Earth.
I see everyone's future but mine, and when I try to look, all I see is darkness, despair, need…
Until she walks into my bar with bruises on her face, getting pulled by one of the lesser demons. I do what any good bartender would do… I beat him within an inch of his life and turn my eyes to her.
By then, it’s too late.
She already has me in her grasp.
A succubus that has no other plan than to suck me clean of every inch of power that’s been bestowed on me by the Heavens.
I never thought my future involved getting kidnapped and tied up or that I’d die by way of sex—then again, maybe that’s for the best. Dying at the hands of my enemy rather than being one more burden to my already mated friends.
After all, giving into one last need before death, while selfish, may be exactly what my darkness means.
My need is great.
And she’s about to find out just how much.
Before I begin, I would like to thank 1001 Dark Nights and Blue Box Press on sending me an arc of Darkest Need by Rachel Van Dyken, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Okay, so I am not going to lie ... I ended this novella very ... confused.
Let me explain what 1001 Dark Nights is if you are not aware.
1001 Dark Nights publishes novellas written by authors that introduce new readers to their other books in some way. Whether it's by writing a standalone story related to a book series they have written, or just introducing the reader to their writing style with a completely original story, it is a way to make new readers aware of them, and give their current readers a little extra of their favorite stories and characters.
For example, Jennifer L Armentrout wrote The Summer King Bundle - The Prince, The King, The Queen - through 1001 Dark Nights, which are spin off novellas from her Wicked series. She also wrote a novella called Dream of You, which is connected to her Wait for You series. Audrey Carlan wrote Madam Alana, a prequel novella connected to The Marriage Auction series.
So when I read the synopsis for Darkest Need, I was intrigued.
Rachel Van Dyke is a new author for me, so it would be an introduction read to me.
And I was left ... confused.
It started out promising. I was liked the characters, and the story seemed interesting.
Then the confusion started.
For a novella, there were too many points of views. I think that if you were already a reader of the series - Dark Ones - you would love it. You would already be connected with those characters because their books have already been written. As a new reader to the series, I was left confused because I couldn't keep track of who was who. Rachel put some information in the book to explain who these characters were, but definitely not enough for me to understand the novella.
Mix multiple points of view with a back and forth in the past and present with those multiple characters - well, it's a mindfuck.
Considering I was looking forward to a novella featuring a werewolf and a succubus, I got so much more than that, and was left ultimately ... confused.
I wanted to like it so much.
From a technical stand point, the writing is good.
I just don't think I will continue with the series.
If Darkest Need was written in a way that introduced me to the other characters without their POV's, I think I would have enjoyed it way more. There were definitely aspects I loved in her book - like the uniqueness of "The Creator". Instead of "God", having an entity with their physical description change with every blink into different types of humans - regardless of gender, body type, skin color, etc... - was great. As an atheist, I liked that description. No one religion to rule them all sort of thing.
Rachel Van Dyke has written a story here for her current readers. Something they will enjoy. But if the synopsis above intrigues you, I would suggest reading her other books before getting into this novella.
Coming soon after release on Oct 10 2023!