My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.
I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of Taste of Darkness. And yet, I have to admit, I was also a bit hesitant to read this book. I don’t generally finish series as the books comes out, mostly because while I want to know all that happens with the characters that I love and the plot line that left me hanging from the previous book, I also don’t want it to end. Then there is also the worry that the final book in a series just won’t stand up to the prior books and in essence ruin the entire series by ending it. But I told myself to brave the uncertainty of this book and read it so I can find out what happens with certain characters and certain event that had not come to a complete end during the previous book.
Things picked up right from where Scent of Magic ended, which I was glad for because any gap in the story there would have immediately made me nervous and a bit angry. The flow of the story was fairly good at this point. A number of things were happening and character roles were being re-established and introduced again to the reader. It did not take too long for things to set forth in the direction of ending the war and dealing with all the small obstacles that would need to be overcome during the entirety of the novel. I can’t really say much new about the characters, they were very similar to what they were like in Scent of Magic, sometimes I felt they were really well developed and were enjoyable to read and other times I felt like a bit of a rough draft character slipped through the cracks as they felt to raw and underdeveloped for my liking.
But even here I was a bit worried. Could all those loose ends really be tied up and brought to an acceptable conclusion in four hundred pages? I obviously had my doubts. Especially as I read the first half of the book, as I found myself all too often putting it down and then not really wanting to pick it back up again. Part of the reason I kept doing this was the flow of the story just didn’t feel right to be and the other part was that I just wanted to skip over some of the smaller side steps from the main story line. I knew it would all tie in together eventually, I just wanted to get to the end where it would fully be solved and all the pieces could finally be placed down for me to see.
Formatting was a pretty big issue. There were no chapter breaks, no indication of when there were transitions in time or perspectives. When these switches did happen it wasn’t obvious right away as sometimes they occurred within the same paragraph, though obviously that was a formatting issue in the copy that I had, and it sometimes took a few paragraphs to realizing it had switch and then I had to reread thing a few times to figure out exactly where the switch happened. It definitely took something away from the story and I don’t know why the review copy was affected in such a way, but I do remember the same thing happening with Scent of Magic when I read it.
It wasn’t until after the first half of the book that I felt things were finally truly going somewhere and that the events were at last being brought to that final conflict that would make or break everything each character had done and sacrificed over the entire trilogy. But then after this happened it seemed like an ending was more thrown together than actually really planned out to give a truly satisfying ending to the book and the story line. And even now I feel as though there were some things left unresolved that should have been addressed, but perhaps I just missed those by way of the horrendous formatting and unattentive reading.
Overall, I feel this was a pretty good ending to the trilogy. Yes, there were some things that felt off, or poorly done, but there were other facets of the story that were brought together nicely which truly gave that aspect of the story line full closure. I took a long time to decide on whether to give this book three or four stars and even now I’m still not one hundred percent sure it deserves those full four stars, but I shall leave it as is. Those who have read the first two books will likely enjoy this one as well, but I definitely did not see it as a shining moment within the series.