Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review of Dark Hope by Monica McGurk

A new young adult saga in the Twilight tradition about the love between a human and an archangel.

For years, Hope Carmichael, survivor of a shocking child abduction, has lived a sheltered existence under the protection of her fanatically religious father. Now, liberated by her mother, Hope prepares to start life over as a normal kid in an Atlanta, Georgia, high school.

Normal, that is, until Hope meets Michael, a gorgeous emancipated teen with a mysterious past and a strong interest in Hope. And soon, Hope’s life is filled with questions. What’s behind the angry looks Hope gets from Lucas, leader of a gang of students? Who’s responsible for sending Hope a strange valentine inscribed with Bible quotations? How does this relate to the sinister business of human trafficking that operates on the periphery of Hope’s suburban world? And is Michael really a protector, or something more sinister—and just why does he seem so familiar?

In an epic narrative that takes readers from the back streets of Atlanta to the height of Vegas penthouses and beyond, Dark Hope introduces readers to The Archangel Prophecies, a new young adult saga that blends the feeling of Twilight with a vast mythological scope and moral urgency, as well as to Hope Carmichael—a young woman instantly memorable for her endurance, heart, and determination—and Michael, Hope’s dangerous companion who’s fated either to save Hope—or to kill her.

I'm extremely conflicted as I write this review. The story is about a sixteen year old girl who suffered an abduction in the past and has grown up with her extremely paranoid father. After an incident, Hope is sent to her mom to live.

So far, at this point the story is interesting. The mystery surrounding Hope draws you in. I kept expecting to find out just who abducted her in the first place. While the author does add memories that tie part of the story together, we never get the full story.

Then there is Lucas. He's obviously not a good guy. I'm still left with a few questions about the unrealistic nature of his role. He was already at the high school when Hope came, so she wasn't the reason he was there. Add to it the fact that he was a part of the deeper issues and I just couldn't picture him being involved in the things he was. He just didn't fit.

Finally, let's talk about Michael. I couldn't connect with his character. He didn't seem to have what it took to be the love interest. While the author dances around their attraction for each other, she made it feel really one-sided.

Michael was hot and cold all the time and it drove me nuts. He was like a moody girl. Once the truth finally comes out, I think the guy will be a little more intriguing.  NOPE. 

I wanted the romance the author promised when she claimed the book was written like Twilight. There was no real connection until about 68% of the way through the book. Then their feelings go from tepid to sudden insta-love. There was no build up to this, so it seemed forced. Then, once it happens, there is such a severe consequence, that it ruined any romance the story finally showed.

The end, left you hanging. It was just an abrupt stop. Less of a cliffhanger and more like she just decided to end the first book there. There wasn't much in the way of a resolution. 

I will hand it to this author, the writing was well edited. She wrote the story she wanted to tell and it is an admirable trait. BUT, she tries to hard to turn this paranormal romance into a story chalked full of much deeper issues. 

Yes, it's good to spread awareness of the real problem plaguing our society. I felt it read more like a well informed issue piece. The seriousness of the topic took away from the paranormal aspect of the book. 

Overall, while the author is definitely talented, there were just too many things that didn't jive or were too intense for this type of book. It should be noted that due to the sensitive nature of the issues prominent in this book, nobody under the age of 16 should read this. It needs a warning label.

As much as I wanted to like Dark Hope, I just couldn't overlook some of the major issues with the plot. This book gets three glittery stars. It's good, but not fantastic.

Sequel to Dark Hope:

About the Author

Monica McGurk started out writing fan fiction based on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Series under the pen name Consultant by Day. She has been recognized for her prequels and alternate versions by her fans, winning the Twific Fandom “Undiscovered Gem” award for Morning Star in 2013. Since her fan fiction days, she has left the consulting firm at which she was a senior partner and remains a full-time business executive based in Atlanta. While this is her first novel of any sort, she has been published in the business press on numerous topics.

She is married and the mother of three children, for whom she creates elaborate bedtime stories that sometimes last for over a year. She has already completed her sequel to Dark Hope, which she hopes to publish soon.

Monica's Website
Like her on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter
Follow her on Pintrest
Monica's Amazon page
Monica's Goodreads page

No comments:

Post a Comment