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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Token of Darkness - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes If I have to give Amelia Atwater-Rhodes credit for anything, it’s that her writing’s really improved since In the Forests of the Night. She could always plot fairly well (although she rushes her conclusions with too little build-up; more on that later), but in the Den of Shadows books, the prose really bordered on the purplish side. In both this book and Persistence of Memory, her prose style feels a lot more natural and flows a lot better. The main thing that drew me to this book is the characters. First of all, I liked that they’re different from her normal “human” main characters; while Cooper and Brent definitely have some darkness in their past and push people away, they don’t really fall into the trap of “I HATE ALL OF YOU NORMAL PEOPLE” that her earlier books tended to have. This is especially present with Cooper. You can really tell how much he just wants to be physically fine and normal again, but he also doesn’t want to abandon Samantha to reach that goal. His interactions and occurrences in his day-to-day life really underscored this—the scene in the library, he basically blue-screens at the thought of having to take the stairs, and knowing that he just can’t do it, despite that he looks well enough to climb a staircase. Loved that moment.Brent gets a little closer to the typical human protagonist of her earlier books, but he’s still a very different character then what’d you expect. As I said above, he’s someone with a lot of darkness and hasn’t had an easy life like Cooper and Delilah have. But there’s still that striving for normalcy and wanting to be a part of a group (and not just “Why can’t I be one of the popular people woe is I”, Brent just wants friends who like him for him).There’s really not much to Samantha or Delilah, unfortunately. I like Samantha a bit better, but that’s only because we see more of her throughout the book. Her frustration over not knowing her past and wanting to be alive again runs a little on the cliché side, but I liked her early relationship with Cooper and their genuine friendship. Delilah, on the other hand, comes off as a one-note character with a slightly more intriguing backstory, but she’s really only to serve the purpose of figuring out what Samantha is, and doesn’t do much else.My one problem with the book as whole is my same problem with a lot of Atwater-Rhodes’s books that I’ve read: she throws in a resolution and explanation for everything that happens way too quickly, and the conclusion feels jarring. I liked the revelation of what Samantha really is, but how she came to be and how it ties back into Cooper’s accident comes out of left-field with no prior set-up. There’s several places where the revelation could have been worked in earlier, but it never comes and the pay-off doesn’t work for me. I liked this book a lot, but the if she had expanded the ending a little further and put in a explanation earlier, so that it would make more sense, I would have liked it a lot more.