Cover Image: Dark Intent

Dark Intent

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Member Reviews

As with most books on NetGalley, this book is a great read. Captivating and intriguing. Thematically beautiful. Gorgeous writing.
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‘Dark Intent’ is a novel which features a piece of the fantasy world Godkissed Continent the author has set a few other books in.  It’s a story about a conflicted healer and her fate in a hostile environment which is not only scary but also surprisingly appreciative of her gifts.

I liked the setting. The idea with the takeover is very well done, and as someone of Bulgarian descent, it really hit home (Bulgaria was under Ottoman rule for over 5 centuries and many people were forced to abandon Christianity and become Muslim).

It is obvious Ms Endacott was very aware of the world and navigated the characters effortlessly in it. The world-building is well-scattered along the pages and I didn’t feel lost having not read the companion novels. The pacing however, is a bit off making the book easy to put down and difficult to pick up again.

The plot is overall okay, with the ending coming quite abruptly but realistically. ‘Dark Intent’ is primarily a character story, the action happening around the protagonist in order to prompt them to think or do something. I don’t usually mind this, as long as the characters are well-developed.

This is where I feel the book failed. The characters, despite Ms Endacott’s best efforts to provide them ample opportunities for growth, remained quite simple and one-dimensional. I wanted to know more about Symon for example – he had an interesting start then was completely overshadowed by the generic beefcake that was Ashtyn. I couldn’t engage with Freya as a lot of her actions had me internally screaming. Her character was inconsistent. I hope she grows more in future books.

The writing style is good. It’s easy to read. The ARC copy I got from NetGalley, however, was poorly formatted, making it very hard to read. There were some typos and repetitions which could have been cleaned in the proofreading stage. 

Overall, it’s a good story which raises important questions about humanity and faith. I do not regret reading it as it made me think about my own history and experiences.

Review will be posted on my website and formatted on Goodreads on 31st May.
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I like dystopian/fantasy type novels and was happy to receive an advanced copy of this book.

This is my first book by this author so I don’t know if this world had been mentioned in other books, but reading this book was like being late on your first day of school. Everybody has already taken their seats, has made friends and are talking about what they did over summer.

The writing was fine, but lacked drama.

I received this ebook copy from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm a little sad this book didn't work for me. It got everything that I love, but something didn't work. The story intrgued me enough, but the characters were really bland, there was no suspence and there was the one thing I now hate: justified cheating. A pity, it had so much potential with a story like this.
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Dark Intent
By:  AB Endacott

Freya is a Pious healer trying to survive in a world where the Kade have taken over and she is forced to live according to their laws, forced to worship their gods, and hide thoughts and beliefs deep down to the point where she has nearly forgotten who she is.  Her main focus is to fit into this new way of life and stay safe.  That is until there is an attack and she meets Ashtyn, a Pious man who is tired of living under the Kade and just wants to worship the Pious Goddess freely, and Zarech a follower of the dark gods who planned the attack, whom she is tasked to heal.  She begins to question her way of life, to do things like having an affair with Ashtyn that can endanger her safety.  

I really enjoyed reading this novel, AB Endacott truly knows how to engage the reader into the story.  I think she portrayed Freya very well and we see a lot of character growth, the only thing that I did not like was how abrupt and anticlimactic the ending was. I can’t wait to read the next book.  However to be frank this is the second book I have read from AB Endacott and in the first one I read Freya does an appearance.  So I know the destination of the story just not the journey.  Nevertheless I will be reading the next book as soon as possible.  

Thank You to NetGalley for allowing me to read this novel for an honest review
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This was not my favorite book, and I think partly that could be due to a lot of overly descriptive, meandering attempts at creating a fully realized fantasy environment. Perhaps this is because it is a companion book to Endacott's other fantasy books set in the Godkissed Continent, which I haven't read and didn't know about when I picked up this book. But even Freya's motivations throughout the book stay fairly one-dimensional, and the insta-romance with the rebellious Ashtyn was a little eye-roll inducing. 

An unchallenging fantasy that, for me, was unfulfilling.

*I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.*
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I found this book extremely interesting in its theme. It made me remember American Gods by Neil Gaiman and the struggle the Roman empire faced when the Christendom acquired power and was busy forcibly erasing the old gods out of other people memories and prayers. Throughout the entire book, the theme of religious and ethnic oppression is ever present in the reader's mind and that is sadly familiar to our real lives, with the rise of fascist, racist and dictatorial movements all around the world. I also found the fact that the main character is married to be quite refreshing: normally these YA novels always bring us single girls that will eventually meet the love of their lives and Freyana already has a husband and even if he is not the love of her life, the scenes in which they interact like the two people that have been living together for years they are, are really refreshing to read and are my favorites.
Thank you to Net Galley for this ARC.
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My personal opinion of this book sits somewhere between 2 and 3 stars. I started to care for the characters and kept expecting something more to happen. Some big event, some disaster, and was disappointed when nothing happened. It was just a bunch of drama.

The summary got me so excited for this book. I started getting attached to the main character, Freya; then things would happen from a metaphorical distance. She would have conversations with people, or hear of things going on and would then ponder what she discussed, or what she had been told. She would reconcile what she had witnessed and experienced with the new discussion or new information. This was basically the entire book.

I have absolutely no interest in going back to the beginning of this series, it's not my cup of tea. It's a drama fantasy, heavy on the drama.
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I did enjoy this but I’m left a bit conflicted with it. I enjoyed the start and middle but felt the end tailed off a bit and was then abrupt. I liked Freya and understood her reasons for the way she was but felt her changes were quite sudden, even with the reasons. I did enjoy this but the end dropped it to a three .

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest review
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This was an interesting reading, not something I use to read... but I liked it a lot! This is written in a beautiful world and I liked the characters, yet I felt something off with the book at the end.
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I was given this ARC by the Author for an honest review, Thank you Alice!

"But fear wasn't sufficient to excuse doing nothing. Not anymore"

Freya is a Pious healer living under strick Kade law and constantly fearful of being punished her for not worshiping their gods enough. She has spent the past 6 years being the perfect kade citizen.. Until one day the market square is blown up by the Dark Gods followers. In the aftermath of the attack Freya is put in charge of healing the man who planned the attack and meets Ashtyn, a pious who wants to be able to worship the Pious goddess freely. Suddenly she is questionening everything she has worked towards for safety and whether going against the Kades rule would be worth her happiness and her life.

✅Australian Author
✅Wonderful writting
✅Beautifully blurred lines between the good and the bad
✅Secret romance
✅Religious elements

❌Ending was a bit anticlimactic but I'm sure this will be resolved in the next book.

I enjoyed this read very much. Alice has a wonderful writting style that pulls you right in. I had a little trouble understanding what was going on at 1st as i havn't read the books before but they went necessary to read this. I really liked the religious side if the book and the way it was implemented into the world. My favorite parts were when freya was with Zarech, i really wanted to know more about him and the dark gods followers! The affair between Freya and Ashtyn was very sweet and the pull between Ashtyn and Symon represented more than just a love affair. I'm really looking forward to the next book to see whats going to happen!!
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The start of Dark Intent immediately grabbed my attention. A description of a violent takeover was given yet there were still many questions left unanswered that I hoped would become clearer throughout the book. However, a lot of it still remained very vague to me. Instead of focusing on the bigger picture, the story zoomed in on one character: Freya. Many details were given about her life, but this kept the story very small. I think things would have been so much more interesting if more information about the rest of the city or even country were involved.

Our main character, Freya, is joined with Symon. This is some strange version of a very pragmatic and loveless marriage. A bit further into the story, Freya starts a relationship with another man, Ashtyn, who it turns out actually betrayed her. Generally love triangles always work well to keep a novel interesting, but in this case I disagree. Even though there is obviously no real intimate love between Freya and Symon, it still feels wrong to cheer on the oh-so-scandalous relationship between Freya and Ashtyn. It is still a marriage after all, so Freya is nothing less than a dirty adulterer.

Another thing that put me off a bit was the fact that there were many mistakes in both grammar and spelling. As a teacher my hand quickly started aching for my red pen, which I obviously couldn’t use on my computer screen.

It might sound like I didn’t enjoy Dark Intent at all, but that is most certainly not the case. Even though I thought the plotline could have bene thicker and the love triangle was not my favourite, I did enjoy the fact that the novel showed a blurred line between good and evil. Not everything is always black and white and that shows. At the start Freya is very certain that she knows right from wrong, but as her character evolves, it becomes clear that she really doesn’t. I loved to see that evolvement. 

Finally, it is very clear that there will be a sequel. The story ended much too abruptly for my liking and it has to continue to make any sense. Many loose ends were left unconnected. So much so that I felt I had read an incomplete book. Rather strange.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it was a quick read but a very enjoyable one. Wasn't too sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised.  The characters are well built and complex in a good way; there are blurred lines between good and bad; lust and love. There is action, adventure, and so many amazing things combined into a great read. Took me less than a shift at work (8hrs) to get through this from start to finish.  

Would definitely recommend!
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This was okay, some parts were really interesting and other parts not so much. There were lots of things that kept me questioning and I'm not sure if everything was wrapped up in the end.
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The start and middle of the book had my interest, but the latter half of the book was slow and didn't build enough intense or conflicting moments to really keep me entertained until the end.

I liked Freya, the protagonist, in her healer moments and when she showed she was conflicted between her true faith and the oppressive regime of the Kade. She came across as caring, although her relationship with Symon didn't seem like a real conflict to me when she starts to have feelings for another man, Ashtyn. 

The story would have also benefit more from a clearer antagonist. While i understand it was the Kade (and those who would betray others for favour with the Kade) as a whole who are the villains here, i think having someone who really represented this group and their actions would have allowed me as a reader to generate more feeling against the Kade -  and imagine what kind of people the worst of them are.

I also felt like the ending of the book was a little anticlimactic. While i like that it showed Freya has had enough of the Kade putting themselves before the pious people, it didn't leave a big impression as Freya was too reserved against going against the Kade almost the entire book. I also didn't feel the scenes engaged me enough as they lacked action, i would have like to the the main character really DO something to fight back. Hopefully, if there is there is a sequel in future then Freya's actions after this story will be more daring.

Overall, it wasn't a bad book - but the most important things i would have liked to see more of are a stronger villain figure and presence, and more daring or adventurous actions from the protagonist that aren't just secret meetings.
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Freya, a talented healer living in a world of oppression after a brutal take over, goes about her days conforming to the routine dictated to the Pious. Forced worship of Gods not their own, fear, control of information and supplies. The Kade government commands the population to obey or suffer grave consequences. Freya just wants to blend in. She doesn’t want to stand out which may draw dangerous attention to herself.

Her carefully hidden thoughts and beliefs are challenged after she’s entangled in an attack by followers of the Dark Gods. Especially after she meets a handsome green eyed man and is assigned to heal the leader of the attack. Suddenly she finds the security she thought she had by just fitting in may be a lie.

There are a lot of echoes in this book to real life oppression and how challenging forced ideals changes a person. The story is interesting and the writing draws you in. Which is partially why the ending feels so abrupt. You not only want more, but you need it too. 

This is why I struggle with my rating. It’s so close between a 3 and a 4. I had to take a few days to consider before writing this review. This book is definitely worth the read and I enjoyed it, but I did have some issues with how easily Freya sacrifices some of her ideals. At the same time I understand it.
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This was an interesting read. I felt as though the affair Freya had with Ashtyn was a little much. And so many questions went unanswered. Freya was quite the wimp. She’s scared of being who she really is because of the Kade. Overall the writing was great and I will read the next book in the series because I wanna know what happens.
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I highly recommend the work of AB Endacott, and this book is no exception.  She’s creative and working on building a literary world worth visiting.
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