My Rating – 4 / 5
Before I complete this review, it is important to note that I received an unformatted PDF version of the book, prior to formatting for Kindle and so I have ignored formatting and typing/spelling errors on the assumption these will be corrected prior to final Kindle publication.
I am a HUGE fan of Obligation, Stilwell’s debut novel (released last December) and I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of the follow up, Darkness. I was only hoping as the novel landed on my Kindle that I wouldn’t be disappointed…. Had I built this book up too much in my own mind?
Darkness is a natural follow on to Obligation, but it isn’t necessary to have read Obligation first. It is hard to not compare the two books, but it’s important to note that they do tell two different stories
Darkness follows Vincent, a man who, as a child, suffered terrible abuse at the hands of his father. Stilwell does a great job of describing Vincent’s troubled childhood and this helps form the character in the reader’s mind, empathising with him along the way.
Vincent ends up in the Marine’s where he is later picked up by Will (readers of Obligation will be familiar with Will). I won’t spoil any more of the story…. You really should read for yourself.
Darkness is a really good, solid read and it’s clear that Stilwell writes with honesty, passion and feeling – the honesty and experience drip from the pages. As the title suggests, this is a much darker book that Obligation and in some ways shows little hope… Obligation, for me, had a sense of hope to it’s ending… I’m not sure I felt that with Darkness. Stilwell writes from experience, this is clear. It should be dull and uninspiring to a lay person like me, but Stilwell describes things so well you can’t help but get drawn into the detail of it all.
I was worried that Darkness wouldn’t grab me as much as Obligation – it couldn’t possibly as Obligation is my stand out book of 2012 – but I was pleasantly surprised. Stilwell has created another brilliant character in Vincent, and I can’t wait to see how things progress in the third book of the Obligation series.
Darkness isn’t a technically perfect book, and the characters, for me, don’t have as much depth as Kevin in Obligation but it is a good solid read, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed to read it…
All in all a brilliant read and an author to keep an eye on.