I would like to thank Netgalley, Greenleaf Book Group and the author – Monica McGurk for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Dark Hope was first published on July 28th 2014 by River Grove Books, and is McGurk’s first novel and the first book in Archangel Prophecies trilogy. In June (2015) the second part in the series Dark Rising will be released.
This novel is based in an environment that is similar to Twilight series, but, of course the characters (and races) are different. As one can tell by the title, main characters are humans and angels. And the story is about a girl named Hope (or hope who happens to be a girl) and her efforts to understand (and hide) the meaning of mark she is bearing since an abduction which happened when she was just a child.
As I have read all the Twilight series books, I had an overview in my head about what is going to happen, which is a shame, but at the same time Dark Hope is a lot different and I can sense the fanfiction influence (more action) which is really pleasing for a reader; in regular books there can be some binding chapters and some beating around the bush to make the story longer – that (way too) often happens in novels and is annoying, but never happens in fanficion, because the writer needs to keep the audience excited for every upcoming part and that is what happens in every chapter of this novel.
To be fair, the bad things I say about this book just doesn’t matter, because the never ending action in this book just keeps attention to what is going to happen next and although I do notice the unpleasant details in the book, I don’t have time to dwell on them hence the story is moving on. And this development and feeling that there’s no good place to stop, really did burn my midnight oil.
There are two parts I liked the best about the book, first was before Hope found out anything about angels (I was a bit disappointed by how fast it happened) and the second part was Hope’s school project. I had no knowledge of the topic and no opinion (except as much as I had seen in some movies) and it really got me thinking and opened a new world I had never thought of. I know that the author is particularly interested in the topic and I suppose that her aim was to get other people’s attention to human trafficking, in my case – mission accomplished! It opened my mind for how big of a business human trafficking is and gave an insight into what really happens on American border, I have to thank the author for giving me food for thoughts.
Besides, sometimes this book made me seriously afraid and I think that it still does. I am easy to frighten, so that is no surprise, but while reading it, I was afraid to get out of the bed at night, because of the things that might be lurking in shadows and darkness. And now, when going out for a run, I am starting to be afraid from large circles of birds and get startled from sudden shadows. The book made me a bit more scared of the real world, than I was already. I am not sure, if that is good, but the impact was huge.
Although I have read a lot of people saying that the writing is bad, I do not agree with that. There are some phrases that are repeated more than few times in the book, which is a bit annoying, but, I don’t know what people are really reading, if this is bad for them, the language seemed typical for a young adult book, and parts about human trafficing seemed particulary good, perhaps because of all the background knowledge the author has. And I have to mention that I especially appreciated “the inner goddess” Henri.
All of the characters had flaws and honestly the one character that annoyed me the most was Hope.
Sometimes she acted stupid and made scenes for no reason at all and it reminded me a bit of a girl with PMS, because even when Michael was perfectly reasonable, she still did all these stupid things and did hide plenty of important details! Besides, she knew that he is bound (well not really in a guardian angel sense) to protect her and had a lot of knowledge about what is going on, but Hope still didn’t tell him things! It was just frustrating! I understand that the author did not make her moody to hit the reality harder, but, if I imagine that she had PMS, it is easier to read and understand the story. Hope got into this mood in the second part of the book, so from that moment, it got a bit harder to care about her and that is the moment when my “care” shifted to Michel’s side.
Nevertheless, my favourite character, I think, is father – Don Carmichael. He is always listening to his inner voice and doing the things that seems right to him and he seems so good, pure and caring! The only place in the book, where my opinion about him shifted was when he visited Mona, because he acted then a bit differently from what I had in my mind while reading all the descriptions, but I suppose it was to show how he was before Hope was taken away as a child. At the same time his willingness to protect was extreme and I am not really sure, if he could be my favourite, in case he would just had a mental condition.
Lukas also had the potential to become my favourite, but unfortunately he seemed a bit more immature than I hoped.
As this is first book in a series, I did expect it to end on a cliffhanger, but waiiiiiit! This is a new level of a cliffhanger. As I was turning the pages (in my phone kindle app), I was wondering, how the author will manage to get everything tied up and she didn’t! I am just left unknowing of how the mystery will be solved and, if that wasn’t enough, the author adds more to it – just some tips and feelings, and lets you know that everything smells like danger.
Honestly I actually think that it is a pretty smart way to end a book and as some of the problems that were presented in the book got settled, I was happy enough with the ending.
I think that this is a young adult book and it might be worth a bit more to read this book than “Twilight” or “50 Shades of Gray” hence it gives one a new insight into our world problems that one has no idea about. Also I think that it could be a really interesting reading material for religious people and to be honest, I already did suggest it to one of my friends.
I was thinking a long time, if I should give this book three or four stars and although it is not perfect, I gave it four stars in my goodreads page, even though there are so many little things that are frustrating, the story keeps it up and helps to hide the little mistakes.
Have you read this book? Are you dying to read the next one? What did you think of ”Dark Hope”? Let me know in the comment section below!