Monday, October 26, 2015

Reader's Review: "Out of Darkness Rising" by Gillian Bronte Adams


Synopsis from Amazon:
For the villagers on the accursed Island, life has only one meaning – death. Bound to the Island by the curse, the villagers suffer beneath the iron claw of the serpent, daily breathing the poison of his breath and dying to appease his insatiable appetite.
When Marya’s parents are slain by the serpent for their belief in a legendary king, she becomes an Outcast. Struggling to survive and avoid the vengeance of the Tribunal, Marya is torn between legend and the harsh reality of the Island. Yet when a forgotten promise springs to life, she cannot help wondering if the old stories might in fact be true. And if they are, will the promise prove stronger than the curse?

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My Review:

I just love a good allegory! I was intrigued by this one in particular because I'm friends with the publisher, and she was showing previews of the cover... I am a sucker for anything with dragons or mermaids.
A sucker, but not a pushover; I just mean that if you're going to write a story with dragons or mermaids in it, it better be GOOD.
Out of Darkness Rising was definitely GOOD. I love the character development that went into it. Sometimes, an author writing an allegory wants to start with a message; sort of like "telling them X without them knowing it's X"--but at the same time, they use generic comparisons that result in cliche-ridden plots and stereotypical characters.
The story of Out of Darkness was basic and simple, but not cliche. Hence, the characters and the setting became vibrant, not blase. I could see, hear, taste, and feel everything that was going on all the way through. I love the "total immersion" experience when I'm reading!

My only objection (and even then it's not much of one) was that it was "too short"! The development of the setting, the plot, and the story was so awesome, it made me wish it had taken longer, so it didn't feel so rushed! I almost couldn't believe how quickly everything happened; I felt like I had just finished chapter 1 and I was already halfway through the book... and then it was over. Which made me miss it. But it also made me intrigued to read Gillian's other, longer novels, to get more of that great storytelling and vivid fantasy!

I'm giving this story a ****FOUR STAR**** rating, but that's pretty much just because a full five-stars seems too hefty for such a short thing! I really did like it though, so I'm also adding an Upstream Writer Certified HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, and I would encourage any and all to check out books by this author, because if Out of Darkness Rising is any indication, you're in for a good, wholesome adventure!