Darkness of Light
by Stacey Marie Brown
Published by Twisted Fairy Publishing
Book 1 in the Darkness series
After Ember Brycin finds her mother brutally murdered, her mind begins to see things that shouldn’t exist, like creatures that belong in scary fairytales.
The more she feels her sanity slipping, the more bizarre and inexplicable things start happening around her, even burning down one of her schools, turning Ember into an outcast.
When she and her stepfather, Mark, move to Olympia, Washington, they think it will be a new start. However, things only continue to get worse.
When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for troubled youth, she meets Eli Dragen—a hot as hell, darkly mysterious, bad boy from a notorious biker gang. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that lead her down a path she never imagined, exposing her to a world hidden in the shadows...
Where she is hunted by deadly beasts that dwell in the dark.
Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown is the first book in her Darkness series, and centers around Ember, who finds herself in trouble after another mysterious electrical event that happens around her. Not welcome back at her high school until the police and principal are convinced of her innocence, she is forced to attend a school for troubled youth. This is where she meets Eli Dragen, the bad boy from a brutal biker gang - and her partner in teaching a youth group. The connection with Eli is strong, and infuriating. But he isn't her only problem. She thinks she is going crazy, but creatures are hunting her down, and its becoming harder and harder to convince herself of what is real and imagined. And it all leads to answers of her past ... and more questions left unanswered.
Savage Lands has been on my tbr for a while now, and I constantly see it recommended on #booktok. When I saw that The Bookish Shop was doing special editions of the books, I decided to read it ... until I saw that its part of a whole open world, and there are three other series' set before Savage Lands. And if there is anything I'm anal about, its reading books in order. So this lead me to the Darkness series. And it was .... interesting? It was certainly something. I liked the plot points. The writing is chaotic though. The romance is not romantic at all. I don't get the allure between Ember and Eli at all. And the story kept going from slow to too fast. It was just ... hmmm. A mess. Everything felt very YA, until we got to any steamy scenes, which felt gross.
While I would DNF this series after this book, I want to give it more of a chance before I do. Because I DO want to see what the fuss is about for Savage Lands, and it will pain me if I can't read all the series' in the world.
Josh: “Don’t let my charming looks fool you. I am terrifying. Okay, so maybe only in the World of Warcraft. But there I am feared.”
He looked away, blushing.
Josh: “I just proved I’m a dork.”
Ember: “Don’t worry. I’m one too.”
I grinned. Kallie: “Oh, look who it is. The Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys. How is the school for the mentally disturbed?”
Ember: “Better than the wicked bitch academy I recently left.”
I smiled mockingly at her. Eli: “Problem?”
Eli’s voice had a cruel taunting tone to it. Picking my head up, I gave him a sharp look.
Ember: “You’re fuckin’ kidding me, right?”
He leaned closer to me, his mouth only an inch from mine.
Eli: “I don’t kid about fucking.”
Inhaling sharping at his words, the unwanted visual of him tossing me up on her desk, his body between me legs, jerked my head away. The last thing in the world I wanted was to show him he could embarrass me, especially with his sexual innuendos. I pressed my lips together, fighting back the desire rising in my body.
Ember: “You may not, but I’m sure most of your girlfriends found it a joke.”
Eli: “Ouch.” Ember: “What the hell is your problem? Is being a jackass another one of your many talents?”
I glared at him.
Eli: “I won’t deny I’m good at it, but it’s definitely not one of my top talents. Or so I’ve been told.” Eli: “I’ll be waiting eagerly for a good retort from that wicked tongue of yours. I’m sure you will come back with some mind-blowing licks for me.” Ryan: “Oh, holy hotness, Batman!”
Ryan’s look was directed out the window at Eli.
Ryan: “I don’t know why you’d want to hang out with us when you have playmates like him at school. Now, there’s a Happy Meal I’d like to order.”
Eli was straddling his glistening black motorcycle. Hands wrapped around the bars and feet still planted on the ground, his gaze set on me, shattering any barrier between us.
Ember: “Some playmates bite,” Oh, holy hell.
Eli: “You want to grab something here, Brycin?”
he asked, bending over again.
Um... yeah. Your ass. If I deck him, how many more community hours would I get? No matter, it would be worth it. Ember: “Where did you go?”
Eli: “I had to take a leak. I’m sorry. Did you want to watch?”
I knew he was deflecting, but something about his attitude kept me from pursuing it. I turned to follow, then stopped short. The back of his T-shirt hung in shredded pieces.
Ember: “What the hell happened to your shirt?”
He halted, twisting his neck to look over his shoulder at the ragged cloth. An odd look flickered across his face.
Eli: “Oh, I must have snagged it on a branch.”
Ember: “That was some branch. Did it have a vendetta against your T-shirt?”
Eli: “Guess so.”
Ember: “I hope you showed it who is boss.”
Eli: “Yeah, I peed on it.” Ember: You are such a bastard.
Eli: It’s so hard being this good at something
Ember: Kiss my ass.
Eli: If you want me to start there.
I ground my teeth in irritation as opposing emotions rolled around in my stomach. The height of my maturity reared its ugly head. I stuck my tongue out at his back as he headed up the trail.
Eli: “I can think of many other uses for it than that,”
he replied, never even turning around. Ember: “I’m going through a lot lately.”
That’s an understatement.
Josh: “If you stop trying to make Sheriff Weiss happy, you might find you have more time on your hands.”
Josh cocked his head at me, a smile playing on his lips.
Ember: “I know, but when I see his face and how happy he gets when he can add on more hours of community service, I can’t seem to help myself. What can I say? I’m a giver.” Sam: “You slutty little whore.”
Her lips twisted. The sun hit her eyes and reflected a flaming red color, her pupils narrowing. I should have been terrified, but instead I merely felt exhausted and really, really annoyed. I took a deep breath, anger wrapping around my muscles. I was done—so done—with this bullshit. I strode toward her.
Ember: “If you’re going to insult me, at least make me a big slutty whore. Little makes me sound so incompetent.” Eli: “How are you feeling?”
Ember: “Like I’ve had the crap beaten out of me.”
I looked up at him again. A slight smile curved his lips.
Eli: “I’m thinking about signing you up for the WWF.”
Ember: “The World Wildlife Fund?”
Ember: “Yeah, jailbait, the World Wildlife Fund. You can wrestle those scary panda bears to the ground.”