Book Review: The Dark Light by Sara Walsh

I didn’t know anything about The Dark Light by Sara Walsh when I started reading it, but the blurb on the back of the book intrigued me. The heroine, Mia, lives in the small Nebraska town of Crownsville, where she claims nothing ever happens. That is, until children begin disappearing from other towns that are too close for comfort to Crownsville. Mia begins to worry about her own little brother, Jay, because he spends so much time alone in their house. Though they live with their uncle Pete, he is often drunk and is never around when they need him. Mia then makes the connection between the mysterious lights which twinkle over Crownsville and the disappearance of the young boys. She becomes determined to find out the mystery behind them when her own brother is taken.

Mia has interesting family dynamics, but it never occurred to me that there might be something otherworldly about them. She makes the connection when she spots a similar tattoo to her brother Jay’s on the new kid at school. The crazy thing is that Jay is 10-years-old, so it’s hardly appropriate for him to even have a tattoo. Once Mia begins to learn more about Sol, the gorgeous new guy, she understands the significance of both of their tattoos.

I wanted to like The Dark Light so much more than I did; it was a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around what was going on in the story. I appreciate that this is quite different other YA currently being published, but I just couldn’t visualize Mia’s world or Sol’s world in my mind the way that I wanted to. Walsh has a vivid imagination and creates so many new types of people and new words that it became hard for me to follow. The Dark Light requires a lot of concentration to get the most out of the story, and I couldn’t stay focused.

I also wasn’t a fan of the romance in The Dark Light. Yes, Sol is hot. But what else? I didn’t really see why Mia would be drawn to him other than for his looks. When it comes to paranormal romance, I need so much more than just an instant physical attraction. I don’t know why either of them would have fallen for one another.

Once things finally started to get explained, I became a little bit more lost. I have been contemplating this book for the last couple of days since I finished it, and it just didn’t stick. I am utterly clueless over what exactly the lights were and why humans were wanted on the other side. The Dark Light just wasn’t the right book for me, but it’s already getting lots of praise from other readers. It may be worth it to you to check it out if you’re interested in overlapping planes of existence and new mythologies.


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