author: J.F. Jenkins (Cloud S. Riser)
genre: young adult, fantasy
publish: November 10, 2014 by Blue Tulip Publishing
rating: 2 / 5 stars
Becca Simpson is a not so average teenager, and she knows it. In fact, she embraces it. She was chosen to be a Keeper, one who keeps the gates sealed between the magic world and the "normal" world. The only time she isn't safe from the dark creatures of the Other Side is the Dark Hour. Every night, at the same time, the gates between the two worlds open and Becca is left vulnerable until the gate closes and the minions disappear. But that's why she has Erik Manchester. As her Guardian, Erik is in charge of making sure no one, or no thing, comes after her to take her away. Because waiting for her on the Other Side is a tyrannical emperor, looking to use her status to meld the two worlds into one.
With Erik, Becca feels safe, but suffocated. There are rules she has to follow in order to keep out of the hands of the emperor. Then Kyne walks into her life and challenges everything she knows. Not only does he know things about the Other Side, but he's from there. And found a way to stay in the normal world without frying.
glad that was done.
Admittedly, I don't know what came over me that made me request for this book (aside, of course, from that nice looking cover). I'm betting it's how the world was mentioned in the blurb. I was intrigued by the dark hour and the tyrannical emperor (which we should all admit is such a cliche! ohgosh).
Fate, I hated that word. The idea that my life was out of my control sucked. Probably because life was out of my control even if fate wasn't involved.
Becca is a Keeper. She spent the last seventeen years of her life surviving the 'dark hour'. The dark hour is a particular time of the night when demon-like creatures from another world seek her out. They want to obtain the key her parents told her to hold on to. Why? She has NO IDEA. Erik on the other hand, is Becca's 'guardian'. He is assigned (or chosen) to protect Becca from the creatures that tries to take the key from her. Then enter Kyne, a mysterious guy who came from the other world.
Perhaps the book's biggest disappointment for me is the heroine. I think that Becca isn't very well written. Yes, of course, she's a brave heroine who's got strong will to fight and is also stubborn yet she's also quite inconsistent. Inconsistent how? There are times when she contradicts herself like one time she's fine with her parents not telling her anything and next thing I know she said she's all about finding out the truth and how much she values the importance of knowing everything.
However, I think that keeping Becca in the shadows is the novel's way of making it intriguing. Surely Becca's parents have their reason for not filling Becca with information but then again, it's highly disappointing that she wasn't exactly interested in finding things out until she meets this mysterious guy who feeds her everything she has to know. This made Becca a weak heroine for me.
"Love unbound is love eternal. No gates can divide two souls united," he whispered.
Another thing I did not like here is the narration. Becca's narration did felt like a teenager and that, of course, is fine. She is a teenager. But then, every other character throughout the novel talks like her -- meaning, the characters felt flat and they all sound the same.
Also, there's romance here! Of course you expected that because of the mere mention of Erik and the mysterious new guy, Kyne. And it's a triangle (aahh how thrilling *monotone voice*)!! I don't mind love triangles. I choose sides and that's amusing (I'm obviously #TeamErik here. DUH!). While the story felt flat for me, the romance did developed quite nicely but the writing is purely cliche. Becca develops a small crush on this new guy while she has this conflicting feelings for her guardian, Erik.
Dyin' for a cause is one thing, even dyin' to keep someone else alive is good enough for me. Dyin' because things aren't going your way is something else entirely.
The Dark Hour had its share of twists. The progression was good. It builds the world through Kyne's explanations to Becca -- the idea of the Dark Hour and what the Other World may be all about. But then, the Other World was not exactly explored -- what else is there aside from fairies and magic? What about the other parts of this world?. There's a lot to explore and this novel failed to show more of the world. So now, I'm expecting the next book to delve into the Other World.
The twist caught me by surprise. It was an interesting turn of events and it really made sense of the things that happened before -- the secrecy of Becca's parents and all the things that happened there. However, I was a baffled by the conflict of the Other World -- the intentions of the emperor and Kyne's people. The problem felt like it could have been solved without all these big mess (but then, I might be seeing/reading things wrongly).
OVERALL, The Dark Hour is an intriguing novel with a world that's slowly explored yet still leaving some things out. The heroine felt weak and contradicting but the romance was pretty nice despite the triangle. The story progressed nicely and while it confused me a bit, the twists really kept my interest.