Title: Dark Prophecy Series: Soul Storm #1
Release Date: November 29, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Trevor Denoble has secrets, but he shields them well with a stunning body and a boatload of British charm. The airline he works for folds because there’s no fuel for the planes, and Lara’s changing into someone he barely recognizes. Though he doesn’t know it yet, the rest of his carefully crafted life is about to come crashing down too.
Living in a world teetering on the edge of anarchy, Trevor and Lara are faced with a series of painful decisions. Is the love between them enough for Trevor to swallow his distrust of Lara’s burgeoning paranormal ability? Will their personal demons tear them apart in a world gone mad, as shortages of everything from electricity to food escalate?
Also by this author: Highland Secrets, To Love a Highland Dragon, Witch's Bounty, Witch's Bane, Witches Rule
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*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
Dark Prophecy is an interesting story about a therapist named Lara who has paranormal abilities. She and her fiance Trevor have to face several threats, including the world’s environmental crises of global warming and fuel exhaustion. The story is well-written with no grammatical or spelling errors that I noticed.
The main characters are likable and evoke sympathy. Trevor and Lara are a cute couple.
The world-building and research was sufficient for the purposes of the book. I particularly liked how much information was provided about Jungian’s concept of the collective unconscious (not to be confused with Durkheim’s collective consciousness) and Jung’s method of dream interpretation. There’s also a lot to be learned about Celtic mythology and the Sidhe fae.
As a whole, Dark Prophecy is a good book. There were just a lot of little things that concerned me.
First, I had a hard time identifying an overarching story goal that is pursued throughout the entire book. If I had to guess, I would say it is to figure out the significance of the dream Lara and others share. But, more than half of the book is about how Beauchamp wants to hurt Lara. I didn’t see a connection between that, her powers, her dream, or the environmental situation. So, how does anything with Beauchamp contribute to the goal of figuring out the significance of the dream? If the goal is to deal with Beauchamp, then the dream and environmental situation become irrelevant. Either way, there’s really not a main plot line I could follow from start to finish.
Second, along those same lines, there seemed to be a lot of filler in the book–scenes that didn’t progress the plot. For example, a therapy session with a non-essential character doesn’t do anything to move the story forward or help Lara figure out her own problems. It is extraneous.
Third, Lara lost credibility as a therapist with me early in the story. She tells a client that all cutters hear voices. I thought this was ridiculous for anyone trained in psychology to say, because anyone with scientific training should know never to say all of anything is a certain way. On virtually every variable, there will be an outlier, someone who is an exception. Furthermore, I thought it was ridiculous because none of the peer-reviewed journal articles I have read on the subject say anything about voices telling people to cut themselves. For most cutters, the behavior is a form of catharsis. Others do it as a form of self-punishment. I imagine there are some people who do hear voices, but they certainly aren’t all.
Fourth, I was confused about the relationship between Lara and Trevor. I thought they were husband and wife for more than half the story, but then Trevor calls her his girlfriend and Lara calls him her fiance. I went back to see what threw me off about this, and I found that the scene where Lara introduces Trevor to Dr. Morgan is where I began to think they were married. Lara introduces him as her husband. But, she says “um” before it, so I see now that she was lying. I didn’t catch that the first time through. Still, I don’t understand why she lied about this, especially considering Dr. Morgan was an old friend.
There were some other miscellaneous things that confused or bothered me. For example, how could Lara set the alarm in her building if there wasn’t any power or a generator? Another example is that this was the fourth or fifth book in the last month I have read where the character made an Alice in Wonderland reference. It’s really starting to get on my nerves.
Finally, the cover totally threw me off. This is not a romance novel, so why the shirtless male embracing the female? Yes, there is romance, but it’s a minor part of the story. The cover doesn’t represent the theme or content of the story.
So, what is the bottom line? Would I recommend this book? Actually, the answer is yes, because I know not everyone will be bothered by the same things that bothered me. I think the depth of information about the Sidhe fae and Jungian theory will draw in a lot of readers. It’s not a typical urban fantasy–the heroine doesn’t kick any butt–but it’s worth checking out.