Monday, 5 May 2014

ARC Review: The Dark World (Dark World #1) by Cara Lynn Shultz

The Dark World (Dark World, #1)The Dark World

Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: Dark World #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: 27th May 2014

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

Paige Kelly now has the ability to see ghosts, an after effect from a car accident three years prior; her best friend is a ghost named Dottie who died in the 50’s and whom she spends a lot of her time with in the school bathroom, she is a social outcast with no ‘real’ friends until Logan Bradley, the quiet, considerate pink pen borrowing boy who knows a lot more about Paige than he lets on introduces her to a strange and unbelievable new world after saving her.

Paige was a witty, kind girl who has wonderful, if not over-protective parents, she seems to accept her ability but doesn’t really embrace it because of the problems it causes for her but she did become a little too reliant on Logan who I thought was a real sweetheart, he has secrets of his own that I didn’t see coming, the slow to build romance between them I felt was refreshing but did get a little cheesy in parts.

In The Dark World, Shultz introduces us to a parallel universe and a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons. The world building was done well, we learn about the alternate universe, we have warlocks and a variety of demons each with different powers and there is political drama between the dark and the light – Warlocks and Demons, we also have also magic, slayers and where Paige comes into it, a Traveller.

The concept isn’t truly unique but I enjoyed the spin Shultz put on it, there are a number of YA clichés – mean girls, MC unaware of how special she is but I was able to overlook it and enjoy the overall story but I still have a number of unanswered questions which I’m hoping will be sorted in the sequel. There were also parts I felt were sluggish but I powered through and ended up liking it as a whole, the action sequences did keep things interesting.

There were certainly some fascinating secondary characters; Dottie was stuck in the 50’s and was absolutely adorable and bought some humour to the story, Ajax has me intrigued and I’m not sure whether I am fully able to trust Rego, Logan’s uncle or not, so I’m curious to see how it all pans out in the next installment.

Overall, Cara Lynn Shultz is a great story teller, I enjoyed the characters, the plot and the politics between the Warlocks and Demons, it was an entertaining read that has left me eager to read the next book in the series.


Cara Lynn ShultzAbout the author:

Cara Lynn Shultz is the author of Spellbound and Spellcaster. She's a proud graduate of Fordham University and her work has appeared in Teen People,, Alternative Press, The Guardian UK, and countless posts on Facebook ( and Twitter (@CaraLynnShultz). She lives in her native New York City with her husband, cat, and eight million other people.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I have it coming up soon and look forward to it. I like Cara and her writing, so I'm crossing my fingers.

    1. This was my first book by this author, I'm definitely looking forward to the next book :)

      I can't wait to hear what you think, I hope you enjoy it just as much as what I did.

  2. I think I'm going to wait an see where this series goes before reading it myself. Ghosts aren't my favorite topic, but it looks like there's enough variety with the demons and warlocks, etc. for it to still be something I could like. But YA clichés always send up red flags. So I don't know. We'll see ;)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    1. I'm not a ghost fan as well (besides Anna Dressed in Blood) but I did enjoy Dottie, she bought some humor to the story which I really enjoyed; I'm curious to see where the author takes the series. The YA cliches get tiresome..

  3. This sounds really interesting, Sharon, but I didn't grab a copy from NG because I wasn't sure if I would love it or not. I'm not usually a fan of alternate universes. The world building sounds great though and I think I would like the main character from your description. It sucks about the cliches though. That would drive me crazy!
    Lovely review!

    1. Thx Nick :) This book had a really different take on alternate realities which I liked, I don't tend to enjoy them as well but the dark vs light was interesting.

      The YA cliches are sucky..

  4. I felt much the same way about this one Sharon! I enjoyed it overall, but there were times when Paige and Logan felt really young to me and their dialogue definitely got a bit cheesy. I adored Dottie though, and I'm curious about both Ajax and Rego as well. Should be interesting to see how things unfold:) Fantastic review!

    1. Thx Jenny! I'm sure Rego is up to no good ;) the mushy bits were a little overdone unfortunately so I hope it eases in the sequel which I'm still quite keen to read.

  5. It sounds intriguing. I'm glad you liked it, now I really have to grab a copy. :)

    1. I hope you enjoy it Cassidie, it was quite entertaining! :)

  6. This book sounds super fun, and I really love the cover! I received an ARC of this too, so I'm hoping to pick it up soon.

  7. This one sounds pretty good. Thanks for the review!


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