Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: Dark World
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.84
Published: May 27th, 2014
Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.
The Dark World tried to be, and do, so many things that sounded potentially cool but which ultimately were delivered without much style. At the end the novel felt kind of flat, very been-there-done-that. I guess Cara Lynn Shultz is just not my favorite author, I don't find her writing to be very strong or captivating. Interesting ideas but not very good delivery.
Paige is the "crazy" girl at school who turns out NOT be crazy after all. She can see ghosts, in fact her best friend is one of these ghosts (only the word "ghost" seems to tame a word for the background of these spirits). This is normal to Paige, what is not normal for Paige is getting almost burnt alive by a fire demon on school property. That draws the line for most people so I don't blame her. In comes Logan, shy quiet Logan who bothers Paige every day for a pencil or pen because this too-cool-to-come-prepared-for-school ass boy can't seem to buy himself some decent school materials. Guess that is his way of flirting (way to be passive aggressive). In the end Logan has his reasons for staying far away from Paige, good reasons in fact, so I don't blame him for wanting to keep his emotional distance. Anyways, I was talking about Paige. Paige is now in danger because everybody wants to use her connection to the Dark World to open passages from one side of the world to another, a process that might in fact kill Paige. Hence begins the saving, killing, training, flirting, and
To me The Dark World felt like it tried to be the bastard love child of City of Bones & My Soul to Take. I felt like Logan was a distant cousin of Jace, trying very hard to be this awesome demon hunter who is cocky yet awkward at the right moments (he actually nails it, he is interesting though you wont really get to know how interesting he really is until well into the title). Paige was a lovely girl and she has some serious backbone but I just didn't see something that spoke to me and made her stand out from the large never-ending crowd of YA heroines. She can see "ghosts" that live inside the Dark World, she tries to learn how to fight from Logan, she immerses herself into this otherworld without giving it a second thought... All in all she is supposed to be the girl I root for, the girl I fall in love with, but it all seems kind of cooler on paper. I may just have a problem with the writing since it didn't seem to leave me much of an impression.
Another slight disappointment was the fact that we see so little of Dottie (the ghost best friend) after a while. She is an interesting character who has a lot of emotional baggage and is kind of hilarious to boot. But then both girls get entangled in their respective romances and there goes the alone talks full of hilarity in quiet corners of the bathroom. Sad that we don't get much of this after the relationships start to blossom.
I also had some problems with the building of this fantastical world. Some things you were just expected to take by faith. Like, for example, Logan's magical sword (and then Paige's). The sword just magically appears from THIN AIR, no explanations. It isn't invisible because if that was it then you would have to consider this while you move or at the very least sit down, which the characters do not. It doesn't seem likely that the sword is "transported" to the Dark World while they "put it away" in their, for a lack of a better word, invisible compartment because wouldn't the people in the other side get at least a little freaked out from seeing this magical sword floating around? It just doesn't make sense. Convenient yes, but really puts a damper on the whole world building. Also what kind of "magic" does Logan use? It is never really explained. Not even the language that he uses to make spells is ever clearly explained. He just does it, and take his word for it. What are the limitations? Are there any? Can he just do ANYTHING he wants? At one point Logan, for a lack of a better word because the title doesn't provide me with one, compels his teachers to give him and Paige As on their quizzes and school work because... well, because they needed to leave school early. WHAT?
The Dark World is a potentially exciting title, that is if you can look away from the things that make no sense and somehow manage to connect with it's main character. Alas, I did not and was actually more interested in seeing things from Logan's perspective. He is a conflicted character to put it mildly. For me it wasn't anything memorable as I doubt I'll be able to remember the main character's name a few weeks from now.