Reading Level: Young Adult
eARC: 332 pages
Publisher: Entangled DigiTeen
Release Date: August 19, 2013
Series: Darker Agency #1
Source: From Publisher for Review
Reviewed by: Lili
Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...
When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.
Seven deadly ones, in fact.
They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...
There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.
I enjoyed Accardo’s first book, TOUCH, so I was eager to dive into this one when I received it for review. But, in all honesty, this book was more of a struggle than anything else. It took me nearly a month to read it in sporadic bits because I hated the characterization that ruined a potentially amazing plot. The execution of nearly everything, especially the romance, had me cringing. And when I finally made it ⅘ of the way through, I had to skim the ending because I just didn’t have any desire to truly find out what was happening. I made it through this one out of sheer will.
I think that my disappointment in this book was, in large part, due to my inability to connect with Jessie Darker--our main character. She has a very unique sense of humor that was more annoying than anything else. She often curses, but instead of using any real curses she has to exclaim “craps!” at the most inopportune times. Her thoughts are full of pop culture references that will quickly fall out of date and, on top of that, I found most things she said that are meant to be hilarious rather childish. An example of such a thing was her reaction to meeting Lukas when she said, “Holy house of hogs getting blasted by the blue birdie brigade.” That’s her way of saying he’s something nice to look at. And we’re reminded several different times throughout the book that the love interest is sheer perfection physically, vocally, and emotionally. One such instance is the exclamation that his voice has the ability to make an Eskimo melt. I’m sorry, but the perfection was so unreal to me and made Lukas fall just as flat as Jessie because I couldn’t really believe anything about him.
The romance angered me as well because this is a serious case of insta-love. When there’s only a week to save the world from the Sins, any romance would obviously move fast. But the first kiss was a mere sixty-two pages into my eARC. Lukas was in pain, battling the sin that inhabits him while he was curled up on the ground and Jessie’s brilliant plan to save him was to, completely out of nowhere, smash their faces together. And then a mere four or so days later she realized she was falling for him. But of course there’s another guy thrown in there who is affected by Lust so he is evil and out of control for a bit. He even goes as far as to throw in an attempt at rape in there, which just made my already deflated mood in regards to this book turn outright sour. And the declarations of love kept coming.
While the premise was promising, the terrible characterization, bad pacing, and intolerable romance made me really dislike this book. I was so excited for it, but I just couldn’t handle anything. I found myself repeatedly getting frustrated and had nearly no desire to read the book. Finishing it was like a miracle. And while I know many people have enjoyed it, this one was simply not for me. I will not be continuing this series.
This book will be for those with a unique sense of humor that do not mind insta-love. I think it will be more appreciated by a younger audience as well.