Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be..
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).
Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural/urban fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.
Darkness Watching is a YA urban fantasy, although it could also be NA looking at the age of Ash the protagonist. It has a cool storyline and a fun main character.
It was so lovely to read an English book, by an English author set in England. There are soooo many books coming out in this genre, and most coming from the US, it was pleasure to read something that felt instantly familiar to me. The first couple of chapters that talk about getting into college and moving into dorms made me a little nostalgic too, from when (many moons ago) I moved out of home for the first time and into student digs – although in real life, my room was the size of a kennel and the communal kitchen was infested with Daddy Long Legs – ahhh, good times!
From a writer’s perspective the scenes were sometimes a little jerky, with characters suddenly appearing out of nowhere, and settings morphing without warning – so perhaps it could have done with one more edit for continuity sake. But, in saying that, it was, in the majority, very well written and I really liked the first person narrative. I’ve been reading a lot of third recently and I must admit that first still remains my firm favourite.
The front cover is very pretty – I really love the purples and blues and it really does seem to capture the essence of the book. I also really liked the extra touch of the pretty flounces at the start of each chapter – something often forgotten in eBooks.
Overall I’d give Darkness Watching 4 out 5 stars – a great read and a perfect one for us in the UK.