Author: Sara Walsh
Series: I sure hope so!
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The Dark Light is quirky in that nothing about this novel is typical. It's not your typical fantasy realm with a bunch of crazy-sounding names and places, though those are there and they are hilarious. (One guy's name is Bromasta. BROMASTA. Bromasta? Seriously?) This book is set in our world and a fantasy realm with a ridiculous name. And though this book packs as much as it possibly can into 500 pages, I still felt like both worlds/settings were described more than adequately for me to envision them clearly.
The characters are anything but stereotypical. Upon first inspection, they might seem it, but as Sol helps Mia to unlock the secrets to her past -- her heritage -- pieces fall into place and nothing is as it seems anymore. I connected with Mia immediately. Her voice was realistic and though she's had a less-than-ideal upbringing, she's making the most of it for herself and for her younger brother. Mia's friends are all a bit quirky, as well, and though they give her a hard time, they endeared themselves to me, much the same as Mia did.
When Mia's brother goes missing, she enlists the help of the new guy. Sol is mysterious and keeps to himself and because of a strange tattoo, she thinks he might have something to do with -- or at least knows something about -- her brother's disappearance and the disappearances of the other local boys. Sol isn't very forthcoming at first, but Mia kind of forces his hand. I loved that they got off to a bit of a rocky start, but eventually Sol comes clean with Mia and a whole new world has opened up to Mia. Literally.
As with a standard fantasy novel, you have to pay attention. So much information is thrown at you, and it can be hard to keep track of. I love fantasy novels, and I had no problem with this aspect. I don't think you have to love fantasy novels to enjoy The Dark Light, though, because for all of its otherworldy idiosyncrasies, there were lots of real world facets thrown in there, as well. I found this novel extremely fun and engaging, and if you give it a chance, I hope it surprises you, too.