I was impressed by the professional quality of this self-published title. I tend to get a little nervous and second guess myself when I accept to read and review a self-published e-book, but this one was a pleasant surprise.
Brightest Kind of Darkness kind of reminds me a little of a toned down Final Destination with better characters and a much better romance building sub-plot. It also has a wonderful mixture of story-telling, character building, and humor.
"He didn't seem to want to interact with the people around him, yet he'd taken the time to talk to me, not just at school, but here too. The realization made me feel both sad and a bit special. Well, so long as he didn't think of me like a pet."
The pacing in the story was perfect. I enjoyed moving from the dream world to the real world and back and forth through the visions, and the author never made me feel lost during these transitions. I was also happy that the author didn't use the same cop-out a lot of writers use when a misunderstanding occurs and one of the main characters immediately does a complete 360 and no longer believes in the characteristics of the second character that made them fall for them in the first place. In the passage below, even though Nara is hurt and upset by something that has happened, she can immediately tell that Ethan didn't do anything on purpose to hurt her. she still feels the pain, but she is smart enough to realize it wasn't intentional and doesn't immediately flip-flop on her position regarding Ethan and now think he is a bad guy.
"Ethan's face didn't reflect triumph. It held intrigued interest; a desire for my understanding. My initial anger settled, even though I still felt a part of me was missing."
I was very intrigued by a lot of topics introduced in the story, the crows/ravens, the feathers, Nara's father, the radio, Nara's grandmother, Ethan's nightmares and connection with Nara... unfortunately, I felt like not enough of these things were explained enough to my satisfaction by the end of the book. I realize that as it is the first book in the series, some mystery has to remain, but I was left feeling like way too much was left open and I honestly felt a little lost.
My exact reaction upon finishing reading Brightest Kind of Darkness was this:
"Really? That's where you are going to go ahead and end it? /grumble grumble"
But overall Brightest Kind of Darkness was a very enjoyable read, and I definitely will be reading book 2, Lucid, as soon as I can get my hands on it. I really hope more is explained soon...