Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: The Darklands Saga, by Autumn Dawn

I came across this little treasure while searching to Were stories online. I don't tend to read reviews on books, movies or songs, since what I get out of them is hardly what a professional critic sees. I did read the summary on the first book, The Charmer, was intrigued, and ended up spending the day and night reading the entire series.

The first thing you should know about The Darklands Saga is that its a series of six books with central characters that interact in an intricate web throughout the stories. It's also MOSTLY about shapeshifters from a parralell plane/world and their interaction with humans . . . females for the most part.

The Darklands series is about a alternative plane of otherworldly inhabitants, and the drama, betrayal, love and loss that occurs among and between different species. They're stories about identity, community and the things we do, the sacrifies that are called for, in order to feel like we belong – to someone, somewhere. They're aslo about the predjudices held between people of different cultures, beliefs and appearances, and the painfully slow process of circumventing such ingrained , ancient and outdated distrust.

What worked: The blending of different species and cultures that make up this 'new' world added a degree of realism to the saga. One recognizes current fashions, cultures, beliefs and trends in modern living in this world amongst the supernatural and futuristic setting of the stories.

A sense of pride and confidence in the way of life and mannerisms of the inhabitants of the Darklands, a standard in every good Were tale, is always prevelant. The strength of their convictions is often tested by the earth humans, which makes for some real “HMMMM” moments as well as emotion tension between the characters.

There's a sense of spirituality in Autumn Dawn's writings that calls to me. I enjoy the thought that Werefolk have an affinity for a Higher Being, as well as mores and laws beyond the pack mentality.

I also liked the way we are presented with a window into the world of the Darklands and its inhabitants, the battles between the species both emotional and physical, and the connection to this world. Autumn Dawn paints a clear image of the individual characters that was unforgettable, as well as well scripted. Their interactions were quite believable. And I liked the romances in the story lines. You bet I did.

What didn't work: While I liked the romance, I was not in love with the aspect of kidnap and forced bonding of the central females in the stories. I also hated the idea that the future, and other worlds, hold the same amount of predjudice and hatred or intolerance of differences in species that is prevelant between races in the here and now. The last two books weren't as enthralling for me, whether because I should have been tired of reading by then, or because they centered more around Non-Were characters is a toss-up.

Overall: I'm glad I read this series. It was unique in regard to both plot and the structure and entertaining. I definitely recommend reading Autumn Dawn's works!