TITLE : Dark Secret (Darkhaven Saga #1)
AUTHOR : Danielle Rose
GENRE : YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
FR RATING : 3 Stars
There’s no wrath like that of a witch scorned.
Seventeen-year-old spirit witch Ava López is the self-appointed guardian of the witches and humans of Darkhaven, an idyllic village nestled between the forest and the sea. Her watch: vicious and bloodthirsty vampires.
Ava is a novice in the eyes of her coven. If she expects to protect them and the secrecy of their powers, she must gain better control of her own. When a full moon ritual goes awry, control may be lost forever, and Ava is exiled from her coven. Forced to seek refuge among the beings she had always sworn herself to hunt, she vows revenge on those who have upended her life.
But the more time Ava spends away from her coven, the more she discovers a startling truth: the witches haven’t been honest with her. Ava’s quest to strip the truth from everything she’s ever known begins with the toughest realization of all—coming to terms with who she has become.
DISCLAIMER : Thank you, YA Bound Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour and for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dark Secret is the first book in the Darkhaven Saga. The book is a YA paranormal fantasy set in our world and takes place in a quaint little village called Darkhaven. Witches and Vampires have been at war forever. The book is about a 17-year-old witch who gets caught up in the war between vampires and witches. Her family and coven have been around Darkhaven for a long time and protect the village by killing the vampires. Ava is a spirit witch and she sees something in her vision that terrifies her and warns her mom of impending danger that could befall Darkhaven. The only problem is her mom doesn’t believe her nor does she take Ava’s warnings seriously. Her mother brushes it off and tells her not to go out on her usual night patrolling. Ava frustrated with her mother’s easy dismissal of her vision decides to protect her coven from the possible impending danger. She goes out on patrol and along with her friend comes into contact with some vampires who get killed by Ava. Ava meets the leader of the group and he promises to return for them. On the night of ritual, the witches and their coven is attacked by vampires. Witches get killed and Ava is attacked by the vampires. She gets saved from death by another vampire. After the attack, Ava gets exiled from her coven and she is welcomed by the vampires who saved her. Ava learns some uncomfortable truths and her life is upended by the events irrevocably.
The plot and the world were interesting and the way the world is built reminded me of the tv series The Vampire Diaries. We have a small village where all of these paranormal creatures live along with unsuspecting humans. The coven, the different types of elemental witches with different types of powers, the spirit witches, the vampires all add to bring together a simple and intriguing setting for the story.
The characters, in my opinion, were not fully developed in this first book. The main character and protagonist is Ava a teenager. I felt that she was immature, impulsive, often acting like a petulant teen. She is proud and tends to make the worst mistakes often putting herself and people around her in danger. She is also very loyal and committed to her family and though they exiled her she feels responsible and wants to protect them from any possible danger. Her inner monologue is a little difficult to handle because she flip-flops a lot when it comes to decisions and emotions. I felt she was mostly confused and unsure of how to feel about her situation. I am unsure if this was a deliberate decision on the author’s part. The other characters are more or less introduced on a surface level just giving us an idea of how they work and what motivates them.
The love interest introduced in this book is not really something that interested me. I thought that it was unnecessary and not the perfect fit, but more of a convenient candidate.
The writing and pacing were good. The author has done a good job of keeping the reader interested and riveted to the story and also leaving the ending in a way that would make the readers want to pick up the next book. I enjoyed the book and liked how everything was set up for the next book. The whole story is overall a fun and entertaining read. I gave the book 3 stars.
I think this book would be great for young readers who are looking into fantasy for the first time and wants to start off with something small and manageable. The world is simple, accessible and magic is also very much straightforward. The paranormal themes will be great for young readers who love the TV series The Vampire Diaries or The Originals. I liked it and it was entertaining and pretty short and I was able to binge the next two books after this one.
I think this book would be great for young readers who are looking into fantasy for the first time and wants to start off with something small and manageable. The world is simple, accessible and magic is also very much straightforward. The paranormal themes will be great for young readers who love the TV series The Vampire Diaries or The Originals. I liked it and it was entertaining and pretty short and I was able to binge the next two books after this one. Make sure to check this book out.