The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr
—What darkness lurks in the Darkwater Forest?
Have you ever wished you could read someone’s thoughts? Do a mind meld like Spock? Maybe you don’t.
King Laidir’s reeve, Willet Dura, is unwillingly given the gift of domere by a dying member of the Vigil—a group of gifted individuals who weren’t supposed to exist. With a simple touch he can delve not only into the thoughts of someone, but he becomes that person for a few minutes, and sometimes he has to fight to come back out and reclaim his own identity.
It’s a gift he’d rather not have. Holding on to other’s secrets is a something he didn’t ask for, and his mind has its own hidden locked doors that even he can’t find the key to open. What does he do in those restless nights when he finally wakes and finds blood on his cloak?
Tasked with the investigation of a brutal murder, Willet is thrust into a world of mind melding and deception around every corner. Who can he trust? Even those closest to the King are suspects. Will he be able to solve the mystery and unlock his own mind before it’s too late? Or will the one seeking to steal his gift win the battle and destroy the Vigil?
Patrick W. Carr creates a fantasy world with such great description that it steps the reader into the pages and streets of Bunard. The Shock of Night, book one of The Darkwater Saga, is well written and sets you up for more to come. For background and to prepare the reader for the series, the novella, By Divine Right, is a good place to start. I recommend reading this first.
The characters are dimensional with each holding their own secrets. I liked Bolt’s sayings and the friendship they developed even though Willet struggled to trust his guard. The plot was interesting and kept me reading. I also liked the fight of good vs evil and the symbolic meaning of how each of us has different gifts. This was well done.
What I didn’t enjoy about this novel was the overwhelming pages of prose. I found myself skimming, but the danger in doing this was I found myself lost at times, so I had to stop doing it. I felt the author could have cut down on the prose and added more dialogue. It slowed the pace down for me and I had to put the book down every now and then. I also felt confused by some of the characters and who they were. Some names were very similar. Also, the hype leading up to the battle was well done, but I felt cheated by the actual death of the villain. It was too quick.
I did enjoy this book, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s dark and a bit gritty in spots. Will I continue to follow the series? Probably. I do want to see where the Mr. Carr takes us in the saga as he doesn’t tie some loose ends up in a nice bow. You will want to keep going with the Vigil!
I give The Shock of Night 3.5 stars. You may want to read it in the light of day!
**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.
I would like to give away my copy of The Shock of Night. The contest rules are simple—leave a comment on the blog and you will be entered. Bonus entry– if you leave a comment AND share this post on Facebook you will get two entries (tag me on Facebook or let me know in the comments). Contest closes Saturday, January 2nd at midnight. Enter now! (Open to residents of the USA and Canada only.)