So, when I pick up new PNR from a debut author, I read it very slowly and carefully, sometimes while peeking through my fingers, waiting for some really awful writing to jump out of my Kindle and smack me in the face. Well, I’m VERY happy to report that nothing jumped out of my Kindle and smacked me in the face this time. Air of Darkness was a GREAT paranormal read from a really talented debut author. (I feel like I’ve found a unicorn or something! Maybe I should play the lottery today…I’m certainly feeling lucky!)
First of all, I ADORE reads featuring kick-ass heroines. Alayna is a kick-ass heroine of the highest order. She’s smart, a powerful mage, an accomplished fighter, and she leads her own team of other powerful paranormal types. She’s also feminine and emotionally vulnerable when she’s not working, which makes her a very relatable, well-rounded character. There wasn’t really anything I didn’t love about Alayna.
Alex was a great hero, too. He wasn’t as physically powerful as Alayna, but he still managed to be protective, badass, talented, and smart while avoiding the general assholery that happens with so many heroes in PNR. He was a genuinely nice, caring guy, without being a wuss. I LOVE nice-guy heroes, and Alex fit the bill nicely.
The side characters were fascinating, too. They could all have their own stories at some point in the series, but they never came across as obvious sequel bait, and they all had a solid purpose in the story. (I hate sequel bait characters who serve no purpose other than to let me know I should buy their stories when they become available. The characters here weren’t like that at all.)
The world building in this book is solid, too. Fans of urban fantasy and PNR alike will appreciate complexity of the world this author created.
All in all, this was a really fun PNR read that I’d highly recommend to fans of the category.
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from the author free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It’s stigma-free. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions
Since this is a debut author, I can’t recommend her backlist like I normally would. But, we do have PLENTY of great PNR suggestions…