Review: Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla

Posted March 7, 2013 by B. in 4.5 stars, Rating A, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Crave the Darkness
Author: Amanda Bonilla 
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Signet
Shaede Assassin Book 3
ISBN: # 978-0451239556
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: NetGalley

About the book:

      Nothing comes easy for Darian. Her heightened powers make her indispensable to the Shaede Nation, but dangerous missions have driven her lover, Tyler, to his breaking point. Darian must salvage their bond, but a new assignment to protect Anya—a fellow Shaede and the first of their kind to become pregnant in centuries—stands in their way.
      It doesn’t help that the two Shaedes are longtime rivals and share nothing besides mutual hatred. But when it becomes clear that someone—or something—is bent on destroying the expectant mother and her unborn child, Darian must put her feelings aside and track down Anya’s would-be assassin.
      As she probes into Anya’s past, Darian digs up long-buried secrets—and a connection between Tyler and the mission that could destroy everything between them…

What B is talking about:

      Crave the Darkness is my favorite Shaede Assassin novel so far. As the novel opens, Darian has hit rock bottom: she’s apathetic about the impending punishment for her actions in the previous novel, Blood Before Sunrise, she’s drinking too much, sleeping too much, eating too little, and her beloved apartment is a pigsty. Although she had good intentions, she made some very bad decisions before, the worst of which cost her the love of her best friend, lover, and Jinn protector, Tyler.
      Fortunately, after falling so hard, the only thing left to do is to climb back up and dust yourself off. And that’s precisely what Darian does, albeit with some help from her friends, and a new introspection that serves her extremely well. Trading her former solitary arrogance for a tentative self-confidence, Darian is less rash and more considerate, as well as more apt to analyze all the angles of a situation before rushing in and putting everyone around her at risk. Darian has suffered one hell of a growing pain, but the entire story is better for it.
      That’s not to say Darian has gone soft. Despite her own self-doubt and second-guessing, she has surrounded herself with a lethal team of her fellow Shaedes, and she proves herself to be a good leader time and time again. Which is absolutely essential, as she has to set aside her rivalry with Anya in order to defeat a more insidious evil than anything she’s seen yet. She still makes mistakes, some of them deadly, but she shoulders her responsibilities and learns from them, then jumps into the next battle, refusing to quit until the job she’s undertaken is finished.
      Ms. Bonilla has written a fascinating story filled with plenty of action and suspense going for it as well. There are sword-fights and magick, subterfuge and manipulation, and creatures both fascinating and terrifying. Darian is facing an enemy with astounding power, no conscience, and a vendetta he’s willing to slaughter for, and although she gives the fight everything she has, there are still heartbreaking losses that affect everyone in the story.
      Having read this series from the beginning, I’m very happy that I’ve been able to continue with it to this point. Darian has become a wonderful heroine, surprising me over and over with both her regret and determination. She is beautifully imperfect; yet she’s truly deserving of the faith and love she’s given by those she’s allowed to get close to her. While Crave the Darkness has enough background information woven into it that it could be read as a standalone, I think there are too many references to previous novels to really understand the history behind many of the characters’ actions. Plus, Darian’s journey has been a painful, hard-earned one, and I highly recommend starting the series from the beginning in order to fully appreciate who she’s become.

Bs Rating:

Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)

Purchase Info:
Crave the Darkness (Book 3)

Reviews in the Series:

2 responses to “Review: Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla

  1. This was a tough read for me. It was hard to watch Darian hurt so much. Ty frustrated me and I just wanted him to cut through the misunderstandings and fix things!!

    I thought it was a good book, but… it made me sad.

  2. B.

    It made me sad, too! but I just really saw Darian growing in this one, even though it was tough to read in places. I’m hoping they’ll both be back and happier in the next one. Darian and Ty together are SOOOO good!