Book Review: The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz

21882090Title: The Dark World

Author: Cara Lynn Shultz

Format/Length:Paperback/368 pages

Publisher/Date Published:  Harlequin TEEN Australia/June 1st 2014

Category/Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal

Source: Library

Description: 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.

2/5 stars —


I’m not sure where to begin with this one — this is a novel I think you’ll either like or you won’t. Honestly, I only picked this novel up because me and the author have a similar name . . . I mean really, who could resist that?? Otherwise, the plot wasn’t something I would usually go for these days, especially with the YA market in particular being saturated with paranormal. I considered giving The Dark World only one star, but I didn’t hate it. There were some redeemable factors. For example . . .

1) I really loved the main character.

Simply put, she was awesome. So okay, maybe I didn’t link her to begin with, but eventually as the novel progressed I found that I actually liked her. Yet my positives for the novel probably does end there. She was sarcastic, snarky, and didn’t always have to rely on Logan. The fact that she actually took the inititive to want to learn how to fight made me like her that much more. Perhaps she did fall for Logan too quickly for my liking, but overall, I thought she was a decent protagonist.

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2) A solid writing style.

(For the most part, anyway.)

Shultz does have a solid writing style, I suppose, though there were points in the novel where I felt like her prose was a bit basic and bland. I felt like the author excelled in the area of making Paige a likeable and decent character, not prose. However, a pet hate of mine is when authors use exceptionally extravagant tags (can we just stick to ‘said’, please??) which bothered me a little to be honest. Of course, different dialogue tags can be used, but I feel like it’s always better to use them sparingly. Not in almost every piece of dialogue.

I always aim for some positive aspects to review in the novel, but I really didn’t feel as though there were anymore. There were a few things in particular that either a) bothered me for some reason, or b) just didn’t work.

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1) At the end of the day, though, this novel was just published too late.

If I had read this a few years ago — when paranormal was at its peak — I would have enjoyed this a lot more. But because pretty much all readers are over paranormal novels, then it’s likely that this one isn’t going to be a hit. I wanted something new and different, but The Dark World failed to give me that. I got the same of demon and ghost story, sightly reminiscent of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. In saying that, I would be inclined to read the rest of the trilogy.

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2) I didn’t feel as though Logan was a likeable love interest.

He was okay, but a bit . . . bland. There was an intriguing plot point toward the end of the novel in regards to his character (no spoilers, promise) which made me think he was slightly more interesting, but I couldn’t see why Paige was so infatuated with him. There wasn’t enough chemistry and feelings between them — and so, it felt forced and fake.

Overall: Not a bad read, just a bit dull and clichéd.


7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz

  1. I too hate when a million different dialogue tags are used – J K Rowling does it a bit in Harry Potter but, you know, it’s Harry Potter. Easily forgiveable. I love the voice in the blurb of this book, and it seems like the protagonist is awesome, but like you I steer clear of paranormal for the most part. Cool that the author has your name though :)

  2. I really love how you mentioned that most readers are over paranormal now and looking for other things, and it’s so true! What a keen observation! Too bad with the great main character and writing style it didn’t go down better. Lovely review Kara!

  3. I agree with Jeann – the ‘paranormal phase’ in YA seems to have lost some of its momentum, and while there are still some out there being published not that look unique – sometimes it can feel like reading almost the same story over again. I’m not sure that I’ll read this one, but great review nonetheless! :)

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