Mar 25, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang (Abby Sinclair #1)

Urban Fantasy
January 25 2011
Mass Market Paperback
343 pages
Pocket Books

Kick Ass Chick – Abby Sinclair

From Goodreads
“The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.”


If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy books – even just a little – you HAVE to read this book!  Yes, it’s THAT good.

End of review.

What, not enough?  Okay then…if you want me to tell you more, I’ll tell you more.

I have a few blogging friends who are my Urban Fantasy go-to people.  Our tastes are very similar when it comes to that genre, so whatever they like, I’ll like (usually anyway).  All of them read and reviewed A Brush of Darkness and each and every one of them gave it five stars.  And let me tell you, these are really picky ladies!  I bought it right away…but it has been sitting there waiting for me to have an opening in my schedule.  When I finally had that break, I was torn between two books to read.  I was told this one was the one I should go with so, like the good little lamb that I am, I listened.  And boy am I glad I did!

End of review.

Oh…you want to know about the story and the characters and all that too?  I suppose…  😉

A Brush of Darkness is the first book in debut author Allison Pang’s ‘Abby Sinclair’ series.  I know what you’re thinking:  “Oh no!  Not a first book in an UF series!”  Typically, an UF ‘first book’ is filled with page upon page of descriptive passages that tell you about the world you’re about to enter and the setting where it will all takes place.  It’s dull and a little mind-numbing, but readers of UF know that, if you can survive the first half of a ‘book one’, then you will usually be rewarded with a rich and excellent story.  There is none of that typical ‘book one’ stuff in this book.  Allison does such a wonderful job introducing her world, characters and situations that you don’t even really notice when you are being tutored.  All of the information you need is given when you need it and usually in the form of dialogue or simple observation.  Abby, the main heroine, is pretty clueless as to what is going on around her – she’s as clueless as the reader.  So as she learns, we learn.  The way that’s done is awesome.  The pace, the story, everything just flows naturally.  Can you tell I really liked this book? lol

Abby was a great heroine, one I am not going to mind reading more about.  She is a TouchStone.  A human who serves to anchor an OtherWorlder here.  She was recently in a car accident that not only ended her dancing career but also took her mother’s life.  She is having trouble dealing with everything so she pretty much jumped into the TouchStone thing head on without thinking.  I really liked how she dealt with stuff.  She didn’t pretend to know it all.  She didn’t think of herself as a super hero.  She did what she could with what she had.  And that’s exactly what she did when Brystion approached her, asking for help in locating his missing sister.

Brystion… *sigh* If I had a list of book boyfriends, he would be on it.  For sure.  Brystion, or Ion, is an Incubus.  I really liked how Allison portrayed him.  He’s not this crazy horny buggar man-whore.  There really were layers to this guy.  Yes, he needs to ‘feed’ but it wasn’t all he was about like some other incubus’ I’ve read.  And he broke my heart at the end.  Tears people.  Tears.

Yes, now I’m going to talk about Phineas, the horny little unicorn.  I had heard a LOT about this little guy.  How he stole the show and how his lines and actions were just hilarious.  I was looking forward to ‘meeting him’.  But as I read the book, I was worried that the unicorn character I had in my mind might almost be too much for the story.  But once I met him and really saw how his characters plays out, I felt better.  He is just right.  Funny and snarky and yes, very horny, but not to the point where it feels like it’s too over the top.  For me, it was always Abby and Brystion who led the story.  Phineas was a wonderful addition and I do look forward to seeing where the story brings him and his role in Abby’s life, but the main two stole the show.

Overall, I found this to be an acceptable addition to the Urban Fantasy genre.  Actually, I found this to be an exceptional addition!  Allison’s voice is wonderful.  A Brush of Darkness did not read like a debut author’s book.  In fact, I can only think of one other UF debut book that read this well.  I can’t wait for the next book in this series.  Unfortunately, I have to wait…a whole year!  ‘Abby Sinclair book #2’ is due out in stores in March 2012.

5+ stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’Er,’ I muttered stupidly at him as he wallowed in a pair of lacy briefs.  ‘That’s quite enough of that…you.’  He rolled his upper lip at me in disdain.  Whatever.  Another chunk of my childhood dreams had just run down the reality drain in the form of a horny unicorn, no less.  Just my luck.”
“I had a naked incubus in my bedroom.  With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard-on.  And a unicorn bite on his ass.  Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning.”

  1. GREAT review of this book…you NAILED it! It’s an awesome book! smiles…

  2. Fabulous review Julie! I’ve seen several people post reviews for this book and like you said, they all loved it. I did place it on my TBR list on GR’s but I probably won’t get to it until March 2012 when the 2nd book is going to be released. 😛 I have 90 books on my bookshelf I have to read first. LOL.

  3. Love, love, LOVE this book. So glad you liked it too 🙂

  4. Welcome to the Club!!!!! I can’t freaking wait for the next book, dammit! I loved your review and the quotes you chose 🙂

  5. Christi – Awesome. Book.

    Deanna – 90?! Is that all?! 😉 Just make sure you get to it eventually. You’ll be happy you did!

    Seleste – Thanks again for suggesting I go with this one. 🙂

    Pamela – Maybe we’ll be lucky and the next book will come out a little earlier…

  6. I do have a amazon gc… 😉 I am thinking that I should get this book with it

  7. Great review. This one doesn’t really appeal to me all that much but I’ve read some pretty favorable reviews.


  9. Is that really all there is to it because that’d be fltisergababng.


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