[TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on 'The Dark In-Between' blog tour brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours, Swoon Reads, and Elizabeth Hrib!
"...how could he know what the darkest parts of her grief looked and sounded like?"
'The Dark In-Between' by debuting author Elizabeth Hrib which follows the path of a sixteen year old accident survivor, Casey Everett, as she struggles to adapt to the changes it has wrought on her life.
Reconciling the loss of her best friend Liddy proves difficult, especially as the eyes of those around her either purposely avoid meeting her own or look on her with pity. It isn't easy it seems, becoming known as the one who survived even with the unwavering support of her other best friend and childhood crush, Evan or her aunt Karen.
Her reality seemingly affected by dark shadowy scenes, whispering voices calling her name, and her friend's screams.. she's left reeling. Then the unthinkable happens. She sees a boy fall from the sky. A fallen named Red, sent to Earth to earn his wings back by guiding her through Limbo where Liddy will remain trapped unless they can lead her out.
"..Ancient Egypt, the undead, a hilarious sidekick, a librarian who kicks ass..."
"Is this movie why you wanted to be a librarian when you were ten?"
"Maybe. I also wanted to be able to summon the dead after watching it all summer, so there's that."
I'm a sucker for a fallen angel story, sue me. I'll pick up a book with that trope nearly every time, though that doesn't mean I'll enjoy it. I still probably want to read it and see.
In this case, the story is an unorthodox one. The idea of humans and fallen guides popping in and out of Limbo to save souls.. even one specific soul.. isn't something I've come across much. As a freshman effort, it's not bad. The story is put together cleanly, there's logical progression, character development, and reveals here and there.
Though I wasn't particularly fond of Casey and couldn't relate to the reasons the characters around her seemed to like her so much, Evan had an amusingly sarcastic wit and Red certainly had emotional moments which were very moving. The two boys absolutely made it easier for me to stay interested in the book, as I wanted to know what was going to happen to them.. how things would come out. For better or worse.
"What is this..."
"..it's a friendly conversation between two people who aren't friends because one of them is a supernatural creature of mythical origin."
Limbo itself was of interesting design. I won't give you detail and ruin it for you. I'll only say the concept of how it might appear and what might be happening there was creative.
No fallen story would be complete without some heavy hitting Archangel mythos and I really liked the way the guardian design was written. I loved the transitions when invoking them and the idea of how and why they exist the ways they do. The conflict was worrisome at times and that's as it should be.
I will say, the Limbo sequences at times felt a little more like a tour than a storytelling path in such that they read more akin to formulaic sequences. I wasn't wild about that, but the scenes were intriguing, visual, and sometimes moving as well.
All in all, it was a pretty solid story. The author has a lot of room to grow and seems to have the building blocks to improve with. It's worth a read.
The Dark In-Between