Review: Becoming Darkness by Lindsay Francis Brambles (Spoiler Free)

becoming darkness

Title: Becoming Darkness

Author: Lindsay Francis Brambles

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Paranormal/Dystopian (This one was hard to place)

Number of Pages: 496

Publication Date: October 1, 2015

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

Like everyone else living in Haven, seventeen-year-old Sophie Harkness is an Immune–a carrier of the genetic mutation that protects her from the virus Hitler unleashed upon the world more than half a century ago. A virus that wiped out most of humanity and turned two-hundred million people into vamps. But after her best friend is brutally murdered and several attempts are made on her own life, Sophie becomes determined to find answers to what seems to be a conspiracy running generations deep. And when she questions the peace treaty that keeps her small community protected, Sophie begins to discover terrible truths about herself and what it means to be human in a world ruled by darkness.

I have a confession about this book.. I committed a sin, and totally thought I wouldn’t like this one before I read it. I mean, Nazi vampires? Seriously? Needless to say, that came back to bite me in the ass, and I ended up loving it. Like, sobbing and flailing into the wee hours of the morning kind of love. My soul was entirely destroyed, and I REALLY need the next book in the series immediately.

Becoming Darkness is an alternate history novel that explores what would have happened if Hitler won World War II by releasing a virus that had one of two effects: death or vampirism. Our main character Sophie lives on an island called Haven, which is full of the small group of people who are Immunes and unable to catch this virus. Through a dramatic series of events, Sophie is thrust into a conspiracy that’s even bigger than she ever could have imagined. Nobody is safe, and I seriously mean nobody. The author is *not* afraid to kill off characters.

The main element that I want to address is the romance. I’ll be honest, it’s an ick ship. Like, there is no logical reason for me shipping the main couple as hard as I did, for a few different *spoilery* reasons. Just trust me, it’s an extremely problematic ick ship. It reminds me of The Wrath and the Dawn because you *know* that this couple really shouldn’t be together, but you just can’t stop rooting for them. BUT I JUST COULDN’T STOP LOVING THEM TOGETHER. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED TO ME.

Becoming Darkness has something for everyone, in my opinion. Not only is there romance, but there’s action. Crazy, insane, high speed action. There are parts of this book that read like a crime novel, or even a James Bond type spy story. On top of that, we have vampires, for those of you who love paranormal elements like myself.

Although I totally misjudged it in the beginning, I ended up loving Becoming Darkness. Five out of five stars.

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6 comments

  1. Hi,

    I just read your review and loved it (of course).

    With respect to the central relationship, it was always my intention that it be unsettling, otherwise I would have never featured some of the aspects I did. Most writers of vampire-related fiction tend to ignore the disparity in age when dealing with vampire/human pairings, but I wanted readers to think about it and consider this in the framework of our own world and how we might regard such things. It also was a way for me to emphasize how individuals can sometimes be driven to make bad choices and decisions when under the influence of love, and to draw attention to the fact that in many ways Val is a very broken man — largely due to his history and all that he’s been through (which readers will get to see to some extent in the third book — and, no, there’s not a resurrection or anything involved).

    Anyway, thanks so much for taking the time to read my book — and even more thanks for taking the time to write so splendid a review. It made an excellent cap to my day.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask; I’m only to happy to answer. (You can also find a lot more about me, how the book came about, more about Sophie’s world, and download a free PDF of A POCKET GUIDE TO HAVEN at my website.)

    With warmest and sincerest regards,

    Lindsay Brambles

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    1. That makes sense. At first, I had a hard time getting past the obvious *family* issues, but as I read on, it become less and less of an issue for me. That’s the most important part to me. In my review, it became a bit difficult to describe my specific issues without spoiling anything for anyone who might be reading, so I guess my phrasing came out a bit awkwardly. I did want to let readers know that they may have some qualms with the romance, but not to be discouraged and to carry on. I’m very excited to delve deeper into Val’s character and past as the series plays out, because I was utterly fascinated by him.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my review. I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

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      1. You’re welcome; but again, I’m the one who has to thank you. If the novel achieves any success in the market it will be because of devoted book lovers like you who help to get the word out. Word-of-mouth remains one of the most potent means by which a debut author like me can become known to readers, so I am beholding to you and all the other wonderful book bloggers who have taken the time to read my book and write about it.

        Provided the first book does well, then the sequels may see light. Publishing is a business, however, and publishers need to get a return on their investment, so we’ll just have to wait and see as to whether or not Switch Press exercises its option to pick up book two (and hopefully book three, the concluding work in the trilogy). I can tell you that book two will take the story in a direction I’m not sure many people will anticipate, and it is very much related to the fictional novel within the novel, NO HAVEN FOR DARKNESS.

        Anyway, thank you again; I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate your review.

        Happy reading!

        Lindsay Brambles

        Like

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