Review: A Brush of Darkness

Posted February 14, 2012 by B. in 4.5 stars, Rating A, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

A Brush Of Darkness
Author: Allison Pang 
Release Date: Jan. 25, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Abby Sinclair Book #1
ISBN: #978-1439198322
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Author
About the book:
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.
What B is talking about:
Abby Sinclair is one of the most enjoyable heroines I’ve read in a while. She is lost and imperfect, and is in way over her head, but she is loyal, fiercely protective, and determined to right the wrongs she commits along her journey. But she’s also very aware of the fragility of her own mortality, and unapologetically takes her comfort where she can.
Pang introduces a host of what could have been overly familiar characters in A Brush of Darkness, but by instilling them with such distinctive personalities, she makes each one completely unique. Brystion is a sexy, gorgeous unknown in the game Abby finds herself playing, but she’s unable to help herself where he’s concerned, and I don’t blame her one bit. Phineas, the miniature unicorn, is a smart, hilariously naughty, if occasionally inebriated, surprise, and I’m certain the novel wouldn’t have been the same without him. The other characters are similarly fascinating, and Pang does an excellent job keeping the comfort level low and the pages turning. 
Another thing that made reading this book so much fun is that Abby herself is new to the OtherWorld. As a reader, there’s a sort of reassurance in not being the only one with a lot of questions. I felt a ready connection to Abby’s disorientation, and happily cheered her on as she struggled her way through. Pang does her worldbuilding through the eyes of a character who’s being given a crash course in all things supernatural, and she’s bringing her audience along for the ride. 
A Brush of Darkness was a surprisingly good read, filled with mystery, suspense, and more than one shot of heady eroticism. Unlike some other Urban Fantasy stories I’ve read, there’s plenty of romance, and enough optimism, that I am hopeful for the characters’ fates as well as their hearts. Pang doesn’t burden her story with more drama than it can handle, striking a satisfying balance between weight and wit. It all adds up to a fun, snarky, and endearing tale that’s left me impatient to find out what will happen next. 
Bs Rating:
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)

Purchase Info: