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Book CoverAsh’s review of A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Urban Fantasy published by Pocket 25 Jan 11

I think I have been a bit burnt out on urban fantasy lately, and I have a few series that I love so I am always measuring books against those. A Brush of Darkness comes pretty damn close and I think I have found a new author to love.

First off, there will be spoilers here. There is no way for me to avoid it, just so you know.

I really, really like Abby. She is one of the most realistic heroines I have read in a long time. I feel like she could be someone I know. She talks normal, dresses normal, has normal reactions. She doesn’t have any superpowers, she doesn’t know much about the paranormal world she gets involved with, and she’s been adopted by a leg-humping mini unicorn.

Abby is in over her head, but she won’t ever admit it. Right away we are introduced to Brystion, an incubus with his own agenda. I love the banter between them.  Brystion might make her feel like a school girl with a crush, but she stands on her own with him. She admits she wouldn’t mind being naked with him, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to hop into bed. Considering he is an incubus, this book could have easily slid into erotica territory, but Allison Pang does a great job of not using it as an excuse for them to have sex. There is emotion between them that made it more than just physical.

The world Allison Pang has created is rich and yet uncomplicated. The scene of Abby managing the magical marketplace is one of my favorites. Nothing really happens, aside from the appearance of Phineas the unicorn, but it adds something more to the story.  There are fae, daemons, werewolves, pixies, angels, and so many more different types of beings.

I think my favorite so far is Phineas. He is a unicorn, but not the flowers and rainbow kind. His favorite place to sleep is Abby’s underwear drawer, and he has a thing for biting people in the butt. He is not what Abby or I expected. We are learning along with Abby, and I like that. I really can’t wait to see what else we find out about in the next book, and there is so much to choose from.

The mystery is intriguing and it doesn’t take long to figure out some of the pieces, but the end is surprising enough to satisfy. A big thing is revealed and I never saw it coming.

My one problem with the story is how things are left with Abby and Brystion, and this is where the spoiler comes in. Throughout the book they grow to care and even love each other. Yes, there are betrayals and hurt from both sides, but I feel the way they parted is out of character, at least for Brystion. I really thought he would fight to be with Abby, instead of walking away like it’s no big deal. Their relationship is a huge part of the book, and I feel let down. I know  that there is a Book 2 coming, and I am hopeful it’s not really the end for them, but this is not the ending I’m looking for after such a great story.

ashGrade: B+


The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

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