Review: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

Title: Pretty Dark Nothing
Author: Heather L. Reid
Pages: 321
Genre: Paranormal, romance, fantasy
Series? Yes, #1 of Pretty Dark Nothing
Publisher: Month9Books (April 2013)
Rating: 3/6 – It was good

Synopsis from NetGalley: It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and teasing of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: This book had a lot of potential to be brilliant, but it was bogged down by insta-love and vaguely explained abilities. I know that the latter is due to it being a series and whatnot, but I don’t want to wait till book two to figure out what’s really going on! That being said, I do love me some angels and demons, so the concept redeemed itself enough to get a solid 3 out of me. Possible Spoilers Ahead.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Pretty Dark Nothing from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What did I think about the characters? Like I said: insta-love ahoy. Coupled with a whip-lash inducing love triangle, some parts of the book were a bit hard to swallow. And with none of the characters being too well developed, it was hard to find it in myself to care about their problems, as far as the romance went.

Quinn starts out heartbroken and paranoid from her breakup with Jeff and her demonic nightmares. She’s flighty and rude for no reason, and really emotionally unstable. Maybe if I had a bit more background story, I could have sympathized, but all I’m told is that Jeff is a douche-waffle and Quinn’s utterly shattered by his betrayal. Unless I see it, I can’t believe it – thus, not a lot of caring on my part for Quinn’s romantic struggles. Especially when she then turns to Aaron and tells him she loves him on their first date, then two days later is in love with Jeff, sleeps with him, then leaves him again because “NO – Aaron is my one true love!” Like I said: whiplash. I just wish that Quinn was defined by more than her boyfriend, grew a spine, and defeated the demons on her own.

Aaron was actually the most engaging character out of the two main protagonists, but I wasn’t given a lot of background on him either. From page one, we know he has a psychic ability, but it isn’t explained what it is or how he got it until the last ten pages. And the death of his mom and sister, and his subsequent suicide attempt, though it explained some of the story, was also not revealed soon enough for me to really get a good hold on his character. And he was a little too insta-love-y for my taste as well… But the better qualities of his character redeemed that a bit more than Quinn.

And the concept and plot? And here are where my points come in for this book. It really is a great idea, what with the demonic nightmares and amnesia-stricken angels. It’s compelling, and I wanted to know more about the history of the angels and their positions as Sentinels, protecting certain children. 

As far as the plot, there was far too much exposition. I know I’ve complained about too little exposition before, but this isn’t what I meant! It took about 1/2 of the book to really get into the story, and even though it was a shorter book it was still too much. The plot was good, just really unbalanced.

What about the writing style? A bit too teenager-stereotype for me, but nevertheless I was at least entertained by Reid’s writing. I can say this: despite the pitfalls, I was still sucked into the book and read it through to the end. 

Anything else you’d like to add? This book was a lot like swimming in dark water until the last 1/3. I’m glad I held on, because I really was interested in the concept, but I just wish the plot had been less romance, more paranormal. Come on – who doesn’t want to focus on angels-gone-bad and demons and an angel-hell-bent-on-redeeming-himself? Guys, I love angels *coughRaffecough* I just don’t want them coated with angsty teenage lust/love! I’ll keep an eye out for book two, because I want to know what happens to Aaron – and keep my fingers crossed for a more independent, strong Quinn!

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5 thoughts on “Review: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

  1. The idea does sound promising but I hate series that are filled with unexplained plot teasers that drag out for books. And ewww insta-love

  2. I actually really liked this book, despite its flaws. For me, it was just such a fun read. Quinn annoyed the heck out of me, she was just so stupid sometimes. But I loved Aaron. I am really hoping for an Aaron POV chapter in the sequel.
    How good were the last few chapters! I swear they were the best, albeit confusing. I definitely want to learn about the angels and the protector people (I can’t remember now, it’s been a few months, haha).

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