Love to read dark magical realism?
Destruction (The December People #1) by Sharon Bayliss is the first in a young adult urban fantasy series where magic may be closer than you think.
” David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.
Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without.
Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.
Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.“
Genre-wise, Destruction was a very back-and-forth novel. There are two types of focal points: David (the dad) and the kids. When we were following David and Amanda, the writing style was very adult / new adult. Especially during the first few chapters, there were a few racy scenes. But in the kids’ points-of-view, the book felt young adult. The author was very successful in showing these different personalities through her characters.
But overall, I would put this series in the young adult category. But the reader should be cautious. There is a trigger warning for rape in this book as well. It isn’t touched on in detail, but it is still addressed in a more young adult viewpoint. With that being said, the events fit in with the darkness of the book.
This is definitely a dark book. Not only are there tragic events that occur, the characters themselves constantly struggle between darkness and light, evil and good. A lot of secrets are unveiled that lead the characters to develop in ways that they didn’t even know.
I will say that the kids annoyed the crap out of me! The original kids won (hands-down) the BRAT award which made me root for the new kids (even though they were dark too). Even though what happened to them led to some crappy events, they spend 90% of the book with me wanting to shake them. And then when the main secret is revealed, they take their actions to the next level with some CRAZY stuff. Dysfunctional is all I can use to describe their family at the very least.
But when things start to calm down, they do become a teeny bit better.
The ending was not what a typical climax is like. Usually when there is the big fight scene at the end it is an epic battle.. not here. It literally went from being in the middle of the struggle and then it IMMEDIATELY cuts off and its over. That seemed eerie to me, but the last few chapters as a whole felt satisfactory.
I liked the idea that there are summer and winter witches and the polar struggles they have to face with themselves. The insertion of magic changed their lives with what seemed to be for the better.
After I got passed the affair, rape, and darkness then the overall book is nicely written. I give this 4 out of 5 stars.
The characters are interesting to say the least, and they develop DRAMATICALLY from cover to cover. You really feel their emotions through the strong writing. It helps to push yourself through the content. The events are crazy, the magic is unexpected, and the ending is satisfactory.
With the first few chapters, I wasn’t sure if I would even finish this book, let alone enjoy it as much as I did. I recommend pushing through if it is a harder novel to read. It is a great, fast read.
More Book Information:
Published: 14 April 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
How I Read It: eBook from Publisher
**Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Everything I say is my opinion ONLY**
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