Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Twist, by Dannika Dark

Dark's sophomore effort is a great urban fantasy with more of a focus on relationships and romance than the first in the series.  It's teh hot. I enjoyed it so much, I read it twice.  :)

Twist, by Danika Dark, is the sequel to Sterling (Mageri Series: Book 1), a book about a woman who is brutally attacked and turned into a mage and finds herself part of a dangerous, magical side of the world she never knew existed.

This one starts off with Silver chafing a bit under Justus' tight restrictions. She clearly respects him and understands that's he's trying to protect her, but she has her own ideas of how her life needs to be. Throughout the book, she disobeys him to either do things that she thinks is right or that she has a right to do. This dynamic could have come off like a self-centered teenage rebellion against a father figure/love interest, but I think the author succeeded in crafting an arc for the relationship between Justus and Silver that makes sense for two adult characters. She is a grown woman with very understandable issues about control and independence, and he is a controlling, honorable, very old (very hot) man who is uncomfortable with affection and not really human. They don't see eye-to-eye, but they both want their learner-ghuardian relationship to work. I don't know if it worked evenly throughout the book, but overall I liked it. I also liked what the author did with Silver's other relationships in general. More on that in a minute.

Although Silver's immediate nemesis, Samil, died in the end of the last book, we know that the mysterious Benefactor is still out there, and the action of this plot is driven mostly by Silver's side trying to get the Benefactor and the Benefactor's attempts to recapture Silver. The action is good, and we get to find out a bit more about the Breeds, but those aren't the best parts of the book.

The BEST part is the romance. And, OMG, it has it in spades. There is both a really touching romance resolved early on in the book between a couple of secondary characters, and a great romance for Silver.  I won't spoil it by giving away who ends up with who, even though I really want to.

For a while there in the middle of the book I had my doubts about how it was all going to be resolved. I mean, it seemed like she was surrounded by a bunch of hot guys who all cared for her, and I was worried that she was headed towards a Laurell Hamilton-style series with an ever-expanding male harem. Dark managed to avoid that pit trap though. The relationships in Silver's life are important to her, but Silver doesn't fall in love with the guys around her just because they're good-hearted and and good-looking. She understands the difference between attraction and affection and love. So when she does fall for someone, it makes an impact.

Anyway, I enjoyed the first book, but I think I ended up liking this one even more. It's a contemporary urban fantasy with a bit of a darker edge than most and a strong paranormal romance leaning. The world-building is creative and cohesive, although we still see fairly small parts of it, so I wouldn't read it just for that. The relationships are gratifying, and I like the protagonist. Overall, I definitely recommend it.


  1. Great review - I've had this one on my TBR list and this has just bumped it to first. Thank you for an indepth look at it.

  2. LOL - that's curious. I only heard about your book because she mentioned it on her blog. I think she had entered a self-published cover contest that you won. Now you're reading a book about her that I mentioned on my blog. I suppose to close the circle it's now incumbent on me to write a book so that you can mention it on your blog and have her read the post to read the book. Unfortunately, I'm not a writer. Anyway, I'm glad you like it.