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 Rising is expected to be published on June 30th 2015 by River Grove Books, and is McGurk’s second novel and second book in “Archangel Prophecies” trilogy. Release date for the third part in the series “Dark Before Dawn” is not known yet.

As this is the second part of the series, the author has worked very hard to explain the main story line and events that happened before, so the readers who haven’t read the first book would still be able to understand what is happening. I guess she did a decent job explaining it, but as the beginning of Dark Rising gives new vibe and different feel, and the characters are not acting as they used to, I would advise to read the first book, before hopping to this one.

This book continues following Hope and Michael in their journey and shows how they slowly unravel the mysteries of their destinies and find out what is the God’s plan for each of them at the same time showing what happens home with Hope’s family and how the search for her progresses.

I think that the closest to be my favourite character in this book was Raphael. I was just a little bit too annoyed when he was called Raph all the time. Michael wasn’t Mike, why couldn’t Raphael just be Raphael? Nevertheless, I could understand his feelings and attitude and liked the bad boy character he had. The only thing I did not really understand was why wasn’t he willing to protect Hope as for me it seemed that it would benefit everyone (except for the Fallen). Was he really as hurt and envious that he couldn’t and wouldn’t step over it? And if he was… How is he any better than the humans he hates so much? Perhaps I misunderstood something about him, but in my view it was just pride and obstinacy that kept him from giving his very best in helping Michael and that just seems wrong and unrealistic. But yay, team Raphael!

The danger that I smell in the last book was unfortunately real – meaning, that I did predict few of the big plot twists that made my reading experience not as enjoyable and I wasn’t hanging on to every word of the book hence I had feelings and thoughts about what is right and what is wrong and kept face-palming when the characters did something that in my opinion was stupid. There were quite a few things I did not predict, but I don’t think that there was anything that I did predict and it didn’t happen.

And the human trafficking… in the first book it made sense and I understand that it is an important topic for the author, but in the second book, it was just out of place, it was mentioned there way too many times and the encounters were just not necessary. I am not sure, but I might think that scenes with the traffickers made the book worse. Unfortunately.

And there’s one more thing – the descriptions of the places we went to were boring. I liked the Turkish baths (though from the ‘people will be all around you’ I expected there to be a bit of queuing), but everything else was just the same to me (all the churches, yeah – the same). I guess I am not the Victor Hugo type.

I think that my favourite part of the book was the talk with the Franklin family. Honestly I thought that Mrs Franklin was quite weird, but everything else that happened made me feel exactly like Mona was feeling – confused and not understanding what is happening, angry that they are speaking in a foreign language and then the clearance when it was explained. I do not know much of religion and I needed all the explanations and a lot! I am not saying that I understood everything by the end of the book, but the author was certainly trying.

In the end of book Hope really was very realistic character and it hurts me to admit it, but I didn’t like that she acted like a real person would in her place, her mind playing tricks and just not caring much and concentrating on one thing that she needs to achieve. It was so real and I did not like it.

The ending of the book was slightly weird. Honestly – the whole last chapter was weird, the baby and the second funeral. I just didn’t feel the necessity for all that. But it left us with hope about what will come and I guess that’s what’s important.

After this book, I am inclined to say that this is a book for religious people, they will understand and be able to participate in the race of clearing the mist around the problem and finding the aim. And actually I don’t think anymore that this is a young adult series, no, I think it is as good for adults.

I couldn’t decide, if I should give this book two or three stars and although it is not perfect, I gave it three stars in my goodreads page, although I have mentioned so many negative things, I think that it is not book’s fault that I do not know enough about religion to enjoy it fully, so I am giving it some credit, we’ll see, if it pays off when the last one comes out.

At the end of the book there was a chapter from the last book in the series. At first I was really excited about what is going to happen and then I started to see an outline. Although I might have not liked second book as much as the first one, after this first chapter of the third book, I definitely want to read the last one in the series!

Have you read this book? Do you agree about the religion? What did you think of ”Dark Rising”? Let me know in the comment section below!

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