There Will Come a Darkness

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

I’d put this somewhere between 3 and 4 stars but I bumped it up to 4 to be generous. Speaking of generosity, thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me an ARC.
I want to say that I really liked all of the characters, how their stories fit together, the world that was built around them. The Graced and their powers. The mythology. The conflict. There are so many good things I could say about this book and I’ll definitely look forward to reading the second.
There’s only really two things I didn’t like: the first being lots of betrayal happening and it got kind of tedious to me so I started feeling bored and unsurprised, and the second is the Witnesses and their leader. I’m not one to always try to compare separate works of fiction lightly because I hate that personally (like when one of my characters said the word “always” and then I got a bunch of comments saying it’s just like Harry Potter... come on) but the similarities to Legend of Korra’s first season conflict are too startling to ignore. I mean the Witnesses and the Hierophant are honestly spot on the same as The Equalists and Amon. A group who think the people with powers are evil and corrupt and abuse power and want to level the playing field for people without powers? Their leader wearing a gilded full face mask with a sun/circle on the forehead and having the ability to take away their powers permanently? Amon. I think the author should have at least tried to make it less similar.... that’s really a shame.
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What a fast paced read that had so many twists and turns. There Will Come a Darkness definitely has crossover appeal into adult. This book had the YA vibe if Six of Crows where any age and genre will fall in love with this book and characters. Definitely a new fandom in the works! I adore Hassan and he is my new BBF.
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I read the first 50% of this book the day I started reading it. If it hadn’t been time for bed (because you know, I try to be a responsible adult) then I probably would have finished it all in one day. Instead I told myself to slow down and savor the book a little more, so I made the book last for a few more days…and honestly, it was worth it.

There are five characters we follow in alternating 3rd person POV chapters. Okay fine, I guess I’ll say that the 3rd person framing of the narrative made me feel a little more distant from the characters, but that’s what 3rd person is supposed to do. You’re not in their head and experiencing all of their thoughts and feelings.

The twists and turns of this novel were super great. Each character had their own reasons for what they were doing and why they were doing it, and that led to oh so many “betrayals,” some of which I did not see coming. But it definitely made this story utterly fascinating to me.

I loved learning more about the characters and their world and the magic and the politics and seeing how everything affected everything else. Yes, there were some revelations that were a tiny bit obvious to me, but because of all the wonderful surprise revelations, I’m going to say that this wasn’t a problem for me.

Honestly, I had such a good time reading this book. It came into my life right after I was about to fall into as close to a reading slump as I ever get, and now I am definitely saying that I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. Katy Rose Pool is an author to keep an eye on. Seriously, I can’t wait to have this book in my personal library.
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With There Will Come a Darkness Katy Rose Pool has created an intriguing world filled with magic, betrayal, and adventure. Her use of multiple POVs kept the story interesting and allowed her to extend the story to different parts of this world while also weaving them all together into a cohesive story. Each of the characters is interesting and given enough development to keep them from being the same archetypes we see so often in these types of fantasy novels. The character of Ephyra is wonderfully complicated - neither a true villain nor a hero. I think Hassan will be the most interesting to follow because he is the only non-Grace character so everything that he will accomplish will come from his own strength and determination. I can't wait to see what happens next with all of the characters. 

There were a few parts that I was not a fan of. 1) Jude's actions throughout the story were not consistent with how he was when we first met him. His initial interactions with Anton came out of nowhere and seemed to be more about setting up the final few chapters rather than being authentic to his character. 2) None of the villains introduced here were really dealt with, which just seems like bad decisions on the part of the heroes (primarily with regard to Illya). Jude has a chance to take out two villains and instead lets them get away with only minor injuries. It makes me worry that they were kept alive to keep enough for the characters to do through two more books. 3) Having the big bad's followers called the Witnesses and the mention of the red skies as a sign of the end times reminded me of the show 12 Monkeys which just took me out of this story a few times. 4) I worry that there is not enough story here for three books. I'm keeping an open mind because this first book shows a lot of promise, but as a said previously, I do worry that things will be dragged out for too long in order to fill three books.

Even with those criticisms I give this book two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
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I absolutely loved the diverse cast of characters and the unique magic system in this book. My one complaint would be that the book as a whole is very high fantasy and needs a lot of focus and attention in order to appreciate the entire story.
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THIS WAS SO GOOD! Do not walk past this at the bookstore. Pick it up immediately! The plot followed so many different groups of characters but by the end most of them had met up only to be drawn in different directions once more. The ending set up the next book so well and I can't wait to read more!
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This book was received as an ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group - Henry Holt and Co. in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I could not believe all the excitement in this book. I was expecting this book to go in a very different direction but as I read on, I could not stop. I was hooked from the very beginning. All of the characters were so intriguing. The plot was so fascinating and the theme and conflict was literally to die for. Each page was a new path in the story that lead to unexpected surprises and shocking turn of events. Katy Rose Pool has such an exciting writing style and I really hope she considers making this a series because I know a lot of our patrons including our teen book club will really be invested in the series and will be begging to know what will happen next.

We will consider adding this title to our YFantasy collection in our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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This book was pretty good but there were elements missing that kept it from being great.

Usually I go into my issues with the book right here but I didn't really have any issues so instead I will list why I think this book was good but not great.

Reason #1:
*The Villains-There were several in this first book but two took up more space. I won't say who they were because that is a spoiler. They suffered from what I call the Lilly/Petunia Complex. If you've read Harry Potter, you know that Lilly and Petunia had a great relationship until Lilly became a witch and she got to go to Hogwarts and Petunia couldn't. Petunia wasn't special anymore and she resented Lilly and then resented HP. This trope occurs often in this novel but Pool doesn't do much with it especially in relation to the aforementioned villains. There's nothing wrong with tropes but it's important to put your own spin on it and that didn't happen with this trope and these villains. The main villain, the Heirophat, was a pretty good one. We only got to see his manipulation and we didn't get much backstory but that's okay; I'm sure it will come in book 2.

*The Writing Style-Pool doesn't trust the reader enough to pick out themes or motives. She tells you why characters behave a certain way rather than allowing the reader to infer. A great writer infers and an example is Kaz in Six of Crow. Bardugo gives the reader Kaz's backstory and then allows the reader to infer why he treats Inej the way he does. Pool tells you Hassan's growth rather than trusting the reader to figure it out. Pool didn't do this all the time; there was one character that stood out because she didn't put it all on the page and I will get to that later. I will lower a book .5 star if the author tells me everything and I did it for this book. 

*The Characters-There were 5.5 major characters-Hector didn't have a POV but I consider him to be major. Jude was the standout. He had an interesting voice and his conflict was something I looked forward to reading and analyzing. Jude was the character I was referencing in the previous bullet point. Jude is a conflicted character but Pool allows the reader to infer everything about him which I thought was great. The rest of the cast were good but not as great as Jude. If more of the characters had a unique voice, the book would have been great. I know they can't all be gems and I didn't like all the characters in Six of Crows or Throne of Glass but I liked the majority of them and their relationships so that aided in my love of those books.

The Good Things about Darkness. (That would be a good book title-LOL)
*The Plot-It was a simple plot but there were some complex characters to make it an interesting story. 

*The World-The world was racially diverse but it was never the point of the novel. A kid named Hector and a kid named Hassan and a kid named Anton all lived in the same world and it was normal.

*The Prophecy-I like a good prophecy book and I thought this was pretty good. Pool reminded the reader several times about the prophecy which was fine. I have read books, (ahem, ahem...Wicked Saints) where a character will hear a long ass prophecy ONE TIME and they remembered all of it when it was convenient-UM, NO! This prophecy was short and to the point and the Order knew it back and forth. It was also easy for the reader to remember so when clues arose, we couldn't point them out.

*The Graced (magic-kind) vs. the non-Graced (Muggle) dynamic-This is a trope but Pool does enough with it to make it her how through the world building and the main villain. The Heirophat is basically Hitler who has radicalized all the non-Graced people and made them feel special. They hate the Graced because they have power and they are treated with respect. The non-Graced are jealous and are powerless but the Heirophat makes them feel special and powerful so they follow him. Is this nuanced? No, but it's timely (ahem ahem...Trump). We want to root for the Graced and we want the non-Graced to find out that the Heirophat (Trump) is just using them for his own advancement/agenda and we want to laugh in their face when they find that out. The Heirophat is a manipulator and a narcissist and a liar why can't you see that?! Rant over.

Overall, Darkness was a fast paced novel with an interesting world. There was a pretty good cliffhanger and I'm excited to see what happens in book 2.
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This book fell totally flat for me. It felt like a shallow combo of everything marketable in current YA fantasy. It's a cheap attempt at combining trends, and it shows in the flat, boring writing and one-dimensional characters. Really disappointed.
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Oh my goodness. THIS. BOOK. WAS. AMAZING. EXCEPTIONAL. EXTRAORDINARY. I don’t say that about a lot of books. I also don’t give a lot of books five stars. But this one most definitely deserves it. It might be the best YA Fantasy I’ve ever read. I flew through it more rapidly than any other book I’ve read this year, and that’s saying A LOT because I haven’t been in a fantasy mood for a long time (I definitely am now, though). It was so beautifully crafted, and it managed to bring something new to the table of fantasy books based on prophecies, which I was not expecting. It had so many twists and turns, and although the five POVs were quite intimidating at first, they were spectacularly interwoven to simultaneously pave way for the exhilaration of the building suspense and the shocking plot twists. I would honestly recommend this book to anyone reading this, because I, who would not say fantasy is one of my favorite YA genres, absolutely LOVED it and wouldn’t hesitate to call it the best book of 2019 so far. Without further ado, let’s get into the synopsis and a more detailed (but spoiler-free!) review:

What I liked:
Um…everything? Sorry, here it goes:

The world building – I kind of didn’t notice it was happening but at the same time I wasn’t confused about what was going on…I have no idea how Katy managed to pull that one off, but she did. Little bits and pieces were interwoven throughout the book, and I never felt like there was a whole section of facts and descriptions about the fantasy universe being thrown at me, which is something I really appreciate in a fantasy novel.

The multiple POV storytelling style: To be honest, I didn’t think this was something I was going to appreciate at the beginning because five different characters and their own story lines seemed a lot to keep track of alongside learning about a different universe, but like I said earlier, it was beautifully done and now I can’t imagine the story being told in a similar level of intricacy any other way.

The characters – even though I got quite annoyed at a few of them throughout the course of the novel, I loved that all of their back-stories were explored and each of their hopes, dreams, and insecurities revealed. They all had flaws, and I’m not even sure all of them are going to end up being on Team Good, but Katy gave me enough to feel for each of them and understand their motives.

The plot twists – this book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. It lulled me into a false sense of security, and then BAM, hit me with a huge plot twist (even though I should’ve seen that false sense of victory coming!!!). There were quite a few of them too, and each of the revelations was just perfect.

What I didn’t like:
I actually have nothing. That’s the only way you get a five star rating out of me. 😀

You will NOT regret reading this book. Just do it. Even if you don’t like fantasy. This book might convince you otherwise. I would say it kind of gave me An Ember in the Ashes vibes (the last fantasy I really enjoyed), but it was also completely unique and exciting, and simply wonderful. I help teach a class on Young Adult literature at the university I attend, and Katy’s come in to talk to us a couple times–she’s honestly so inspiring and sweet, and deserves all the success that I’m sure is going to come her way after this book drops. Once again, There Will Come A Darkness comes out on September 3rd of this year (2019), and it’s a book you won’t want to miss!
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~~ I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~~ 

I can't wait to see where this series goes from here. An engaging start, There will Come a Darkness presents a world where a portion of the population have special skills, called graces that provide them with things like super strength and other abilities. I was definitely invested in the progress of the characters and can't wait to see what's next.
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I dnfed There Will Come a Darkness early on in the book. It had an interesting summary/plot and a strong first chapter but the book was really long and the plot took too long to get me 'hooked'. I may try to reread at a later date. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review it.
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*eARC provided by NetGalley, print ARC won through Goodreads giveaway, in exchange for an honest review*

There Will Come a Darkness has a lot going on, as it should with five POVs, so let’s start by introducing them.
-Ephyra, Grace of blood. She kills people to save her sister’s life.
-Beru, Ephyra’s sister. She’s dying. 
-Anton, Grace of sight. He’s great at cards, and he’s got a dark past. 
-Jude, Grace of heart. Captain of the Order of the Last Light. He’s got conflicting priorities, so maybe don’t trust him with anything major. 
-Hasson, (deposed) prince of Nazirah. He’s Graceless, and he’s the prince of a country overrun with anti-Grace zealots (literally overrun). 
They will save the world, or end it, or some combination of the two (or neither?). They’re a strange cast, definitely not all on the same team, and sometimes are actively working against each other. Katy Rose Pool does an excellent job of crossing their storylines and pairing them up with each other (and switching up the pairings) as the story progresses. They are all (somewhat) connected, and the author keeps that connection in her story even while she keeps them apart. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with five POVs that is this well-crafted with their goals. Five characters with five different goals, but somehow all their stories are entwined. Much love for that. On the bad side, however, while she does an excellent job with her plot, the characters themselves are somewhat hard for me to get attached to. And it definitely shows in my character summary above. I don’t really adore any of them. No one really stands out, no one does anything that endears themselves to me. Which is disappointing, but I will choose plot over characters if I have to. 

While I have definitely raved about this above, the plot is fantastic! I’m still not over the fact that Pool has woven five stories into one book, and it works so very well. There are POV characters that don’t even meet, characters that hate each other, love each other, and each one has a different priority! I’m in love with this way of storytelling. 

The book summary gives the tagline of “One of them- or all of them- could break the world. Will they be the savior or destroyer?” and a bit into the book you get the Age of Darkness prophecy. So, throughout the novel, as these characters are striving towards their goals (and plots are twisting) one must keep in mind that the fate of the world is at stake, and any one of them could be the end. I think this book embodies the age-old statement “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. 

TL;DR, I adored this story. I am a big fan of enigmatic last prophecies surrounding the end of days, and the author definitely delivers on that. The five POVs are a lot, but they are not repeating the same information back to us, so it feels necessary. Fans of Furyborn, this is the book for you.
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I loved the premise of this book but the one thing that got me was the multiple POV. I had somewhat of a difficult time following the story because of everything that was going on. Overall, I will say the story was great, reminded me a lot of Bardugo's writing. It's a solid 4 stars in my opinion.
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This book was a pretty early DNF for me. It started immediately with 5 separate POVs right after another. People were comparing it to Six of Crows and I got excited. However, to be a good book, whether multiple POVs or not, the reader should be able to read a passage of prose and know, without being told, that this is said character. There Will Come a Darkness failed at that. I never knew who was speaking as the characters were indistinguishable. They had very distinctly different backgrounds but their voices were identical. This didn't help the whiplash of 5 POVs right out of the gate and I could never get a grip on the story. Nothing held my attention or really grabbed me. The world and its problems were unique and interesting but the characters didn't come close to holding their own. It was a struggle to read any chapter and I found myself having to go back and look for specific details to remember who I was reading about. I had to link defining characteristics to names as I couldn't tell the voices apart. A book shouldn't require that much effort on the reader's end. 

 *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Henry Holt and Co. through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
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Any book that is described as Six of Crows meets Game of Thrones will entice any fantasy fan! Katy Rose Pool’s debut novel There will Come a Darkness attributed with those qualities! In this world, a prophecy brings to life five characters. The point of view jumps between a young prince, two sisters with mysterious powers, a warrior/leader, and a seeker. The characters are complex with good and bad qualities, and the reader is left wondering who will survive and who will bring about this magical world’s destruction.
     Although I didn’t find any of the plot twists surprising, there was enough suspense to keep me reading. One aspect I found inconsistent was the world-building. It seemed to be modeled after Ancient Greece, which I liked, but then one of the main characters was dubbed Hector Navarro and another Jude Weatherbourne. 
All in all, the book is engaging, but not an epic fantasy anywhere near the same class as the books to which it is attributed.
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There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool is a great novel, love the plot super original and interesting
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YA fantasy told from multiple points of view. The kingdom of Nazirah has fallen to the Hierophant and the Graced  (those gifted with special powers) are now refugees on the run. Ephyra steals life from others to keep her sister Beru alive. Anton is hiding from a mysterious past. Hassan is the most prince of Nazirah. And Jude is part of an Order dedicated to searching for the last Prophet to save the world from the Age of Darkness. The multiple narratives were confusing at first but the author did a great job of connecting them over time. There were also some narrative twists I didn’t see coming. First book in a series with a slight cliffhanger of an ending. Curious what comes next!
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At the start of this book, I did not think I would like it. I felt that there were too many viewpoints that didn't last long enough for me to become invested in the characters. I was so happily wrong! This story has an excellent plot that is both intricate and easy to follow. The characters feel real. They make mistakes and have flaws that give them depth. The setting is clear as it moves from place to place. Each character was easily placed in their setting, so that I never had to go back and remind myself of who I was reading, where they were, and why they were important. I really want the next book to be available today.
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If you are a habitual fantasy reader, there is a lot in this book you've read before. Magic ("Graces") which can only be wielded by certain people and in certain ways; prophecies that people are trying to make come true or prevent from happening; "the chosen one," who is supposed to save the world; mystical warriors who are out to help the chosen one; and a couple of unsuspecting kids trying to survive who inadvertently bring about the end of the world.

It also was not unpredictable, in that I knew that the person who was supposed to be "chosen" wasn't actually the person people thought. And I also figured out that there would be a betrayal (and was not surprised in the least by who it was). There were a few surprises which I did appreciate (what Beru actually was, Mrs. Tappan's interest in the girls). 

The story-telling was good, not great. I felt like there was way too much teenage angst going on in these characters (a lot of whom are actual teenagers, but who read as older people acting like teenagers). At times we veered into purple prose territory. The whole thing with Hassan and Khepri threw me because he's only 16, and I'm pretty sure she's older - early 20s? Anton is also only 16, but when his age was revealed late in the book I was a bit startled because he read like someone in his early 20s as well. I did not connect with any of the characters - I couldn't picture any of them, their ages were confusing, and they didn't jump off the page as "real."

Overall an interesting enough story to keep me reading, but I was not interested enough to pick up the next book.

Many thanks to NetGalley for the e-copy to review.
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