Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Tour Review and Giveaway: Welcome to the Darkness by L.M. Justus

Title: Welcome to the Darkness (Darkness Trilogy #1)
Author: L.M. Justus
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

A typical teenager, seventeen-year-old Reed Hennessy doesn’t realize how lucky he is to lead a normal life until he loses everything, including his humanity. The attacker who slaughters his family and destroys their home turns out to be a vampire, a creature Reed had considered a myth.

Now a vampire himself, but with the unique ability to walk in sunlight, Reed struggles in the dark underworld he didn’t even know existed. His only two allies in his fight to stay alive are his reluctant mentor, Nathaniel, a vampire with over two hundred years’ worth of emotional baggage, and Sarah, a rookie cop with a secret ability of her own. 

Together, Reed and his companions face a harrowing, cross-country journey before stumbling into a plot which could mean the end of everything for humans and vampires alike.


Lisa Justus' path to becoming an author took a circuitous route through the University of Waterloo where she earned a Bachelor of Mathematics, followed by jobs in quality assurance and technical writing at a high-tech company. With a keen interest in creative fiction, she wrote her first fantasy novel as part of NaNoWriMo as well as an early chapter book for her kids when they were younger.  Her YA paranormal fantasy novel Welcome to the Darkness is the first book in the Darkness Trilogy.

These days Lisa is busy writing her fourth novel, reading, finishing her basement, doing volunteer work, and trying to stay in shape by running somewhat regularly. She, her husband, and their three children live in Ottawa, Ontario.

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Welcome to the Darkness is a interesting mix of vampire lore, romance, and tragedy.  Reed finds out that vampires exist in the worst possilbe way, he becomes one - and he doesn't quite believe it at first.  The confusion and shock were very well written, he wasn't too blindly accepting of what had happened as seems to happen in some vampire books.  To top it all off, he has lost everything and everyone he ever cared about.

Nathaniel finds Reed and realizes he's not your typical vampire.  Nathaniel was actually my favorite character in the book.  He had a very dry wit and humor that I have always enjoyed.  He also seemed to be one of the most dynamic characters - becoming someone almost completely different by the end.  The Vampire Kind is also quite memorable, but I can't say too much about him without giving away too much.

The story was fairly fast paced, but there were times it seemed a little forced.  There were a few scenes that seemed thrown in to make sure the book was advenerous enough, but I think it would have been fine without them.  A good amount of time was spent trying to develop our characters, and it was time well spent.  They were all very well developed and I can still remember the page I fell in love with each of them.

The series has enormous potential.  It looks into an aspect of vampire lore and evolution that isn't mentioned too often in my experience.  I hope that book two continues to develop the characters more and we find out exactly what damage has really been done.  This one ends with a bit of a cliffhanger guys!

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