Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Dark Heart Forever by Lee Monroe **Review**

Review of Book two: Dark Heart Rising
Review of Book three: Dark Heart Surrender

Dark Heart Forever by Lee Monroe
Series: Dark Heart #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Hodder Children's
Release date: 7th October 2010
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

Goodreads synopsis:
Jane Jonas is nearing her 16th birthday and troubled by unsettling recurring dreams where the same mysterious boy her age comes to her, telling Jane that they are each other's destiny. Her mother is increasingly anxious about Jane's disruptive sleepwalking episodes, but for Jane her dream world and reality are about to collide ... 


When she develops a friendship with an enigmatic stranger in town, the blond, uber-cool Evan, it's exciting, it's new, and Jane wants him more than she's ever wanted anybody - until her mystery dream boy gets in the way. 


Now Jane is caught between two worlds: one familiar, but tinged with romance and excitement; the other dark and dangerous, where angels, werewolves, and an irresistible stranger are trying to seduce her ...


I think what initially drew me to this book was the wolf on the cover of the book - the promise of werewolves (which are, by far, my favourite supernatural). I usually love the different takes on the werewolf that each author takes, and this version is no exception.
I love the idea of the Werewolves being part of an entirely different world to Earth, and it's definitely something I've never seen before in a book like this one.

I really loved the world-building in the novel, both on Earth, and the separate world of Nissilum.
On Earth, the novel is set in Bale which, despite living in England, is a place I hadn't known existed until reading this book. I'll admit, I had to research it to even decide whether or not it is a real place, and have discovered that it's in Norfolk (well, you learn something new every day, I guess!). My geography was never really any good!
But despite not knowing that Bale was a real place, Lee did such a good job with the place descriptions, that it felt very rooted and natural in its setting, and I could really imagine my way around the town and the mountain (although, whether or not there is actually a mountain in Norfolk, I'm definitely unsure!). I'd definitely go for a nice milkshake in Fabio's, if I could!
I also really enjoyed learning about Nissilum. This is obviously an entirely fictional place, and that made it all the more interesting. It's built up as a kind of idealised, fairy-tale setting, but it has some dark and dangerous, hidden secrets, that are only just beginning to emerge!
I love the concept of so many paranormal species (werewolves, vampires, witches, wizards and angels) all co-existing in this place of apparent peace and serenity, under the ruling of the angels. The first in the series only just scratches the surface of this magical world though, and I have a feeling that Nissilum is going to prove to be anything but peaceful. I can't wait to learn more about this world and its species as the series develops.

I am going to take a moment to mention a couple of minor irritations with the book - just for a moment. I do feel that these can be overlooked, and the first I'm going to mention could be even be fixed, just by changing the apparent age of a character.
This character was Dot, Jane's younger sister, who is apparently 9 years old. We discover her age on the very first page of the first chapter, and it ended up sticking out like a sore thumb, for me. I got to know her character very quickly, which is a good thing, and I did really love her character (she's bubbly and a great source of amusement on many occasions - definitely one of my favourites), but she definitely came across as older than 9. I think, for me, she was at least 12 or 13 - not even a mature 9-year-old would speak as she does. Her actions, I suppose, did reflect her age at times (for example, she was a very clingy character, hanging off Jane's arms etc), but this was the only thing that really reflected her age consistently.
I was able to overlook this though, by changing her age in my mind to around 13. Then I was able to get on with her character much better.

My other little problem with the book was that the plot was quite predictable. I can't really recall anything that came as a huge surprise to me. I won't mention specifics, obviously - you know how much I hate spoilers! - but at around page 50, I wrote down three predictions for the end of the novel, and all three were correct. There were, obviously, little details between these that were more difficult to predict, but I had the basics of it worked out.
Saying this though, it wasn't a huge problem. I read this book as a light, fun read - more as an escape, than anything - and it was really good for that, so don't take too much negativity away from this - it's still a really great, exciting and gripping read.

Jane and Luca's relationship is something I feel would be worth mentioning. Luca is the first of the guys in the novel that we encounter, and in many ways, even though Jane feels immediately more comfortable with him than Evan, he is much more of an enigma, and I think that makes it difficult to believe in their relationship, at first.
But the further I got into the novel, and the more times I saw them together, Jane and Luca's relationship seemed much more natural, and I found myself hoping that they'd be able to be together. I can't wait to see how their relationship changes again in the next book!

I'd definitely recommend this book to all lovers of the fantasy, romance and YA genres! It's a fun, light and gripping read, that will eventually have you hooked!


62 comments:

Tiffany Mahaffy said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this book!! I had picked it up along with the second one about a month ago. Then I seen a bunch of really mixed reviews! However I Love your review and now look forward to picking this up!

Kali Skittles said...

I've been seeing this book/series around a lot lately and I really want to read it! It sounds like something I would devour in one sitting.

I don't mind if a story is a bit predictable as long as it's still fun to read, so hopefully it still will be! :)

Suz said...

Great review! This book sounds like an interesting mix of romance and fantasy. Like you, I like the idea of the werewolves, etc. being in a different world - very original! I would love to win this book!

Aimee said...

I haven't read this series and I don't know much about it so thanks for the review! I sometimes like a predictable storyline that I can figure out. It makes me feel smart. ;)

Bridget Howard said...

This series looks interesting the cover is defiantly eye catching and I'm always love a good love triangle. I will have to try these books and see if I like them!!!

Angie said...

Great review! I don't read nearly enough books with werewolves, and this definitely sounds like an interesting and fun book, despite its flaws! Thanks for introducing me to it! :)

Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

_annabelleh_ said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book!

Sarah Kalaitzidis said...

I read the first book of the series and I love it so damn much! The review has the same thoughts as I did! Great review!!

Anubha said...

This book sounds interesting... I do not have problem with predictable storyline if it is interesting and fun to read... :)

Christina Fiorelli said...

I love that there's lots of unique lore in this and that it's got parallel worlds as well:)

Doodle said...

Great review! The book sounds interesting even though you said it was a little predictable. If the book can keep me interested, I'm all game for reading.

Just Another Teenage Bookworm said...

I've been meaning to pick this book up for the longest time. Great review!

kimba88 said...

lovely review..i am drawn to supernatural and wolves too, this sounds like an interesting series!

Kelly said...

I love werewolves too. The different world is a different take on it. Will watch the 9 year old and try not to let it bother me! Thanks for that!

Linda Henderson said...

I'm not familiar with this book, but it does sound rather interesting. I may have to check this one out.

TayteH said...

Werewolves and two worlds colliding make up for the predictability. It sounds really cool. :D

passant said...

i think it was the same with me, the wolf on the cover is what drew me to read the blurb! but the girl on the cover is quite pretty as well!
i love werewolf stories and how each author portrays them and creates the worlds most suitable and creative. since i love escaping reality with a good creative different dimension, i m looking forward for reading this series!!
thanks for the opportunity to read it :D

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I don't mind if it is predictable as long as it is well written.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

It's funny that you should say that the first thing you noticed on the cover was a wolf cause I didn't see it at all! I only really noticed the girl!
Have had this book on my wishlist for ages and really need to give it a go!

Wennyyy said...

I really can't find this book in my country yet and I really want this :)

Szappanbubi said...

As I read your review I feel that I've to read it! A word that's different and full of magic- super-powers and supernatural creatures and top of them Angels are ruling them? Wooh :) Never imagined that Angels will go that far , I mean they're Pure Good and Innocence!
Well, that's a pretty pity that you can easily predict the end of the story..I LOVE surprises and twists!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

sounds fantastic, i'd really like to read this series!

Filia Oktarina said...

I haven't read this series, but Great this book sounds like an interesting mix of romance and fantasy. Sound interesting, make me waant reading this series:)

marybelle said...

This is the first I have seen of this series, but I must say it looks amazing.

AUTUMN GIRL said...

I can't wait to read this book.

Lemari Novelku said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Imel Cullen said...

I'm fallin luv with this book cover, beautiful... luv this and I really want to read that

AmelArmeliana said...

I loved it! I know I'm going to love this book. The story sounds really great. And the cover is totally awesome. Can't wait to read this series.

Sharmaine C said...

Awww.. It's predictable... *sigh* Well, I'll still give it a chance! Great review!

Anonymous said...

I love the cover on this one! After reading your description of the book I was surprised, because somehow I thought it was purely a werewolf book. It's interesting to see that it also contains angel, vampires and witches etc. This definitely sounds like something I'd like to read!

Jaime Lester said...

I had never heard of this series until very recently and since I seem to see or hear about it all of the time, and I have heard nothing but (mostly) good things. Your review is no exception to that. I absolutely love a book that incorporates all or some of the different paranormal creatures in one story. I think it makes for such an interesting dynamic. Thanks for your review. I am itching to get my hands on theses books!

Megan @ Unearthly Reviews. said...

Great review! I've wanted to read this series for sometime, but I just always forget. I need a new wolf book to read and this sounds like the perfect one!

Dark_Calling said...

This book indeed seems awesome...I'd love to see how it is...
some werewolf books r very amazing

Veronica W. said...

Wow, I didn't know this series was set in two worlds!

Marta said...

This series look pretty awesome! It will go to my wishlist!
Really good review by the way! : )

Aki said...

This series looks interesting the cover is defiantly eye catching and I'm always love a good love triangle.

Denice said...

Thanks for the review... And I agree that the plot is predictable... When I was reading this I was imagining the ending and my ending was not that far from the real ending... And I didn't quite expect that it has a third book... Hmm... Thanks again!!!

Kate said...

The cover looks amazing. And a four star first book in the series? That looks very promising :)

Jaime Lester said...

I cannot wait to read these books. I love it when there are several different paranormal's all in the same story and it works. This seems like such a good story. Not necessarily unique in its plot, but if the story is well written then that doesn't necessarily bother me.
The one negative that you wrote about that is definitely one of my pet peeves with stories is when a character acts years older or younger than she is supposed to be. When I read about a 9 year old, she should act and speak like a 9 year old. A 16 year old should dress, act and speak like a 16 year old. Someone my age should act like a 30 year old, not a teenager. Even though it will probably drive me crazy, I still want to read this series. Thanks for your review!

Evie said...

I think just the cover would make me want to read this book. It's gorgeous!
And I really like werewolves as well so I think this one is a must read for me.

Chelsea said...

great review :)

Andriyani said...

this book sounds really tempting to read. cant wait to read this!

Anonymous said...

Ooh this sound great. I love the cover! Also of the other books too. And I really love that guy's name, Luca. :)

Siff said...

This sounds really promising! :)

lexiechan said...

I really want to read this book! So thank you for the giveaway! :))

Dovile said...

This is the first time I've heard of this series, and it sounds great! I'm going to add them to my wishlist!

Jolene and Family said...

I can't wait to read this and I really enjoyed your review. I can understand on the age of the 9 year old coming across as older. I've come across that a lot in books where children are a part of the story. I'm sure kids can be hard to write about. I have three and they are each uniquely different but their maturity is pretty spot on for their age. I do have a neice who is six but I often forget that and place her with my 11 year old. Usually when I come across this in a book and get irritated I try to think of my neice :)

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

I think I'd really love this book. I am so into werewolves myself!

Andrea said...

I was thinking about this book but not really decided to read it. I guess I will now :D

roro said...

fan of wolves
so think it sounds interesting

Michelle Chew said...

Thanks for sharing the review. Appreciate your honesty on this. Although there are some downsides to this book (take the age for example), I still think it is worth a read as the plot is intriguing. And I like the cover!

Jammie said...

Great review :) This book sounds really interesting.

Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay said...

I recently got this book and finished reading it within hours!!

I agree, it was totally predictable, yet a fun read!

Kim said...

Great review! I hope to read this book soon! How you were talking about Jane's younger sister being 9 stood out to me, I don't know why but for some reason ages are so incredibly important to me when it comes to books "/ I'll pretend she's 13 too. haha.

glass said...

I've been looking this books for a while now.

Anonymous said...

Great review! This series looks like it would be a good read.

Nancy Allen said...

I have not heard of this series before. Dark Heart Forever sounds like something I would very much love to read. Thanks for the review and introducing me to the series.

Steph said...

Great review! I just won this book in a giveaway. I'm so glad that you liked it!! I hope that I enjoy it too. :)

Anonymous said...

Great review. I have been looking for some opinions on this book.

Dian Aesha said...

great riview..make me cant wait to reading this books..

thanks

Kimberleigh said...

A lovely review, I will have to check this book out!

Debora B said...

I've been wanting to read the series for a while, because I thought the concept seemed quite interesting, but I had a few concerns like the fact that everywhere you turn these days there's a vampire/werewolf/zombie novel. I think you're review covered pretty much the good points and bad points about the book and it really made the feel of the book clear to me, so thanks for that =) I'll definitely be reading this when I get the chance!

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