Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Rating: 5/5 stars- impressive balance between "reality" and fantasy
Synopsis (as found on Goodreads):
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.
Let me just say this was a very impromptu review. I wasn't expecting to review it. Period. I was expecting this book to be good, even great BUT THEN IT BLEW ME OUT OF THE WATER
I don't understand how Cara Lynn Shultz does it. Her ability to balance teenager reality world with paranormal I want to murder everything world continues to amaze me. She did it once with Spellcaster (one of the most pleasant surprises I had during 2012) and again in The Dark World. I don't understand why I didn't expect this to be absolutely blow up in your face awesome.
I will say that I liked this EVEN MORE than Spellcaster. And I LOVED Spellcaster. Well no I still love it. Wrong tense.
I will say if you don't like a heavy central romance in a YA novel, you won't like Cara's books. Spellcaster is based basically completely on a romance (aka your true love is cursed to die for generations to come have fun motherfuckers) and while The Dark World doesn't come off immediately as romance based, the romance quickly takes centre stage and it becomes basically the point of the series.
In fact, I am like 100 million times more in love with Logan Bradley than Brendan Salinger.
He's practically perfect in his flawed way. He's so sappy sweet and poetic, yet doesn't fail to be a cocky confident sassy guy, and knows when to deliver a punch. He has character depth (more than Brendan Salinger) and his background story is a little clichéd but it rounded out his insecurities. AND ugh so much more that I don't want to spoil.
Normally I would call a girl TSTL when she's LITERALLY depending on the guy to protect her but here's the weird thing: I really liked Paige as a protagonist. She might not be an amazing fighter but a) she's trying to learn how to be badass with a sword b) her courage and loyalty more than makes up for everything and c) she is flawed just like Logan. She is exactly how being a teenager is like. I can relate to those aspects so easily.
except for yenno seeing ghosts and HAVING A HOT DEMONSLAYER BOYFRIEND ugh
The chemistry between the two is INSANE. The hilarious random witty one liners, and the all consuming loyalty and love. The one liners just prove to me the amazing charming writing Cara can deliver. It reminds me a little of Rick Riordan. (I went there guys. I went there.) It does get a little corny, a little cliche, but I LOVED IT. I'm weird. Some cliches work for me sometimes and others don't sometimes. To me, it really depends on the characters and the way the author has written their relationship and for me, everything works in this novel.
The end though. HOLY SHIT MY HEART WAS LIKE IN MY HANDS FOR THE LAST TWO CHAPTERS. I thought Cara would take the cliche route, and I was like PANTING and then wait what.
AND THEN. oh yes in the midst of everything.
In all seriousness guys, this is totally a book worth checking out and I think who really enjoy demons and fun sassy somewhat corny romance will adore this. It's the perfect balance between demons and badass-ery and like a sweet side of contemporary/chick-lit. Am dying to find out about book 2.