Fade to Black (Book One: The Weir Chronicles)
written by Sue Duff
published by Smashwords, 2014
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Ian is a complex and believable character. He isn’t your usual selfless hero–he cares more about his own freedom than his nebulous “duty” (at least in the beginning) . . . This makes everything so much more realistic. We see a kid struggling to come to terms with a childhood of captivity as well as having the fate of the planet (literally) resting on his shoulders. Ian grows as a character throughout the book and again, it’s in a realistic and believable way. The events of Fade to Black affect not only Ian’s heart but the hearts of the readers as well. I truly enjoyed his journey of self-discovery.
It’s refreshing to see a book in this genre with a male protagonist! Usually the YA paranormal/fantasy genre is full of mousy self-esteem-less whiny girls (wait . . . why is this my favorite genre again?). But seriously, this genre tends to cater to the female audience and leans heavily on female protagonists. Fade to Black unabashedly backs a strong male character and that makes the story even better! That’s not to say there aren’t good female characters. I love that the twins are Ian’s beautiful, mind reading body guards. That was a neat touch and a great way to show off some kick butt women!
The action is fast paced and switches from one point of view to another quickly . . . this can make things a bit confusing, especially during the climax of the story. Once the main characters split up, it seems like every page jumps to a different scene, timeline, or character. I found myself having to backtrack a couple of times to figure out where I was and who I was following. This could have been a little more fluid in my opinion.
I love the “forbidden love” and can’t wait to see how it pans out. I didn’t think I liked Rayne at first, and I was disappointed she was Ian’s love interest, but thanks to the twist caused by her father I’m totally loving the angle. Lovers that can’t touch! LOVE IT!
The book is a little heavy on action and short on exposition. I would have loved to have a little more world building and background on the Weir, and I’m hoping to see that in the second book. Usually the readers follow a new character into the paranormal world and learns about it with said character, but since our protagonist grew up in the Weir world, readers have to glean information about it from conversations that take place. Even Rayne and Patrick, the outsiders, are clueless for the better part of the story, leaving readers in the dark as well.
The plot is unique and interesting and the story tied up just enough loose ends to satisfy readers while leaving plenty to tempt readers to jump into the next book!
Would I recommend it: I sure would! If you are in to this genre, go ahead and pick it up! I will caution you–you may find yourself NEEDING to read the next book right away. It took me quite a bit of discipline (and sleep deprivation) to go to bed instead of staying up all night to start the second book! Enjoy!
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About the book – from Goodreads: Illusionist Ian Black has a talent for keeping secrets. College student Rayne Bevan has a gift for uncovering them. She suspects that the popular performer’s skills extend beyond the stage and that he’s the area’s mysterious and elusive defender of the innocent. In her efforts to uncover the truth, Rayne is swept into the hidden world of the Weir, a magical race who struggle to prevent Earth from self-destructing. Her inquiries expose Ian to those who would kill for his connection to the planet, and as he fights to keep Rayne, and those closest to him safe, they discover a force behind the Weir’s raging civil war—a traitor bent on launching Earth’s Armageddon.
About the author: Sue has been writing since high school but never became serious about it until a skiing accident laid her up for an entire summer and she turned on the word processor to combat the boredom. A couple years later, her first urban fantasy novel, Fade to Black, was a finalist in the RMFW Colorado Gold Writing Contest. By day, she’s a dedicated speech-language therapist in an inner city school district to pay the bills but her life as a writer is her true passion and the creative outlet keeps her sane.
Sue is a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and The Pikes Peak Writers. Her creativity extends into her garden and the culinary arts. She is the second oldest of six girls with an avid reader mom and her dad, the family’s single drop of testosterone in a sea of estrogen. Fate thought it hilarious to give her a son but maternal instincts swing both ways and she didn’t break the little bugger. She lives in Colorado with her miniature dachshund, Snickers and hears from her son, Jonathan whenever he needs something.
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