Title: There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1)
Author: Katy Rose Pool (Debut)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: September 3rd 2019 from Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (MacMillan)
Format: Kindle ARC (NetGalley)
The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it?
For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.
All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:
A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.
**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no quotations will be used**
I was SO stoked for this book, since I DIED over the color scheme and cover for this book. I also like books surrounding prophecies, since they can always be taken in different directions and I was curious to see how this author would handle it in her debut novel. I was also curious that this was an ensemble cast book, since I’ve been liking them more over the years. This was also longer than I expected, so it’s a hefty new release. To put it simply, this is a solid debut that I did enjoy but didn’t completely love. Here’s the breakdown:
- Atmosphere: This book definitely has an atmosphere that actually reminded me of Mistborn at times, with the hanging dread of knowing that the Age of Darkness is coming and also the emerging power of the mysterious Heirophant, a masked person whose followers are spreading chaos and murder. The author really created an atmosphere of cities that have lost hope and just do whatever they want, while refugees that escaped their country are trying to make a new life in the City of Faith. This was a highlight of the book that enhanced the world building.
- Mystery of the Prophecy: I think the way this prophecy is handled is SO well done! I like how the prophecy was kept secret and also how its interpreted to people once it’s explained. I feel like it’s shown in a way so that it’s not clear cut how the characters need to heed it. I like that it has layers to it and even can be interpreted in different ways. Also, the way the book ends as far as the prophecy is very well done. While some could predict the ending as far as the prophecy is concerned, I think it was well done and sets up the second book very well.
- Couple stand out POVs: In this book, you get 5 points of view: Beru, Ephyra, Hassan, Jude and Anton and they’re all connected to the prophecy in ways they never expected. I think that personally, the best POV chapters were from Beru, Ephyra and sometimes Hassan. Those chapters felt the best fleshed out and balanced. Beru and Ephyra are sisters, with one of them carrying a dangerous Grace power and the other on the verge of death. Both of their chapters offer feelings of doubt, anger and fear and I loved seeing each other’s interpretation of their sibilng. Hassan’s chapters were also good. He’s the prince of another kingdom and he escaped after a coup sent so many people fleeing from their lives and their country taken over. His chapters were interesting, since he gets involved with the prophecy and the Heirophant in an unexpected way. His chapters deal with him wanting to help his people, but he’s also afraid for his family back in his home country and not sure what his destiny is. I liked seeing how he did his best with his circumstances and I hope that this story arc will continue to be satisfying in the next book.
- Great beginning: The first chapter, who is from Ephyra’s POV, is such an amazing beginning! This first chapter shows you what kind of dark story/world you’re getting into. It also shows you what kind of person Ephyra is. I was pretty hooked from the beginning, so it does its job well to immerse you into the world right from the beginning.
- Ending: The last quarter of the book was the best and most entertaining besides the opening chapter. The action really picks up and the author pulls out all the stops, since the story is building to quite the conclusion. It was very well executed and there were a couple small surprises as well. The ending provides quite the predicament and cliffhanger for the next book, but in the best way.
- Too long: To be honest, one of the cons was that this book was 100 pages too long! Many chapters felt repetitive with some information, since some are traveling together. Also, the plot felt stretched out, since not much happens other than world buidling exposition and not as much action as I expected. This book could’ve been cut by 100 pages to speed up the plot and make it feel more concise and consistent.
- Grace powers?: Even though this fantasy world has people with Graces (different powers like scrying, healing, strength and a couple others), they’re not explained or used much in the book. The only ones that use their powers often enough are Ephyra and Jude, especially Ephyra being the Pale Hand. Anton uses it a couple times, but it’s very brief. But overall, I never felt like these powers were very common in this world. It seemed like only the main few POV characters used them and that’s it? I wished they were expanded upon and that them all used in action at different points. I am hoping that the powers are used more in the next book.
- Not everyone is developed: Out of the five main POVs, Anton and at times Jude were the flatest characters and I didn’t really care for them much. They felt very one dimensional except for small spots in the book where they seemed to act a bit more fleshed out. Anton was just a whiny coward who kept running away and Jude was a Paladin destined to keep the last Prophet safe, but that’s about it. He is loyal to his cause, but I didn’t see much more than that. I also wish we got more layers from some side characters that showed up and maybe a bit more from the Heirophant. So parts of this book did feel boring due to some of the characters outshining others.
Overall: This is a solid book that I do recommend, but it was too long and some of the 5 POVs were both boring and repetitive. I think a decent chunk could’ve been cut to help the plot feel more concise and exciting. I also feel like the Grace powers didn’t feel like they were integrated into the world enough and weren’t that explained or used much. While some of the book did stand and both the beginning and the end did pay off, I hope the second book will be much tighter and more thrilling.
Rating: .5 stars
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it? Do you agree or disagree with this book? Let me know in the comments!