Stand-alone novella/short story
"Tessa James has never been able to figure out the puzzle that is her life, until a mysterious key and a hidden closet lead the way to a realm beyond her imagination. The Fae are real. Magic exists. And Tess’s world has just drastically changed.
Nyx Steele, the leader of the Fae, is ruthless as he is beautiful, especially when it comes to keeping the humans out of his realm. Their role in slaying his people will never be forgotten, even if they stumble on him in the form of an alluring being like Tessa. No matter how strongly he's drawn to her, Nyx must never forget what Tessa's ancestors did to his.
Lost in a land filled with wonder and dangers, Tessa cannot resist her attraction to the enigmatic Nyx. The most breathtaking love she's ever found may also bring her ultimate ruin and death."
Thank you to the author, Lillian Cartier, and Shannon @Once Upon An Alpha for gifting me with a copy of Dark Fae in exchange for an honest review!
I'm a sucker for fantasy. So when I saw that Shannon was covering a fantasy/romance book, I jumped to sign up to review it. I read this book/novella about 4 times before I got my thoughts together enough to write a review. The thing was that I had forgotten that this is a novella. So the first time I read it, I thought it was way too short and there was no development whatsoever. However, when I reread it, I realized that it is, in fact a novella so it isn't supposed to be that long at all. With that in mind, let's get into the review!
1. The plot. So, like I said, this is a novella/short story. With that short of a time frame to outline a clear plot, I thought the author did a commendable job. In my opinion, the first half is definitely the best half. The author took a bit more time to detail Tessa's life before she comes into contact with the fae and it was really intruiging to me and helped build up her character. But more on that in the next bullet! The second half of the plot was slightly rushed. Something you have to know going in is that this book is mainly focused on the romance plot line and not really about Tessa. There is some of her learning about the fae world put in too. All in all, the plot was all right for me. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't terrible either. With the short word count the author had, it was good.
2. The characters. The best character, in my opinion, by far is Tessa. We have so much more time with her to learn about her past and her thoughts and dreams. For a novella, we actually get a pretty good picture of her and what kind of person she is. The other characters were all more flat (naturally, again given the short word count). I would definitely be interested in a more extended story to learn more about the fae characters that are introduced.
3. The romance. The main focus of this book is the romance that develops between Tessa and Nyx. When I say develops, I mean that it happens within 2 pages. This, of course, isn't ideal and would fall under the category of insta-love in a regularly-sized book. However, in a novella, I'm a bit more forgiving although the book would have been much improved if the romance was developed over more pages.
4. The world-building. Again (I feel like I've said this so many times but I want to be clear!), because this is so short, there wasn't much world-building to be had. However, I do feel that a little more explanation could have happened in terms of what the deal was with Nyx's 'friend' that kept randomly popping in and what the significance and meaning of things was. I felt like everything just was happening rapid-fire in the last half of the book and none of the events were explained with anything more than a line of dialogue.
The Final Verdict:
While this review seems rather negative, I think the author did a wonderful job crafting a story with the word count available. I'm still keeping my rating at a 3 however because of the pacing issues at the end, the crazy insta, insta romance, and the unexplained events. Tessa, our MC, however was a wonderful bright spot.