Review of The Shock of Night




From the back cover:

The Darkwater Claims All Who Enter It.
All But One.

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded, Willet Dura, reeve to the king of Bunard, is called to investigate. As he begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to his task, but the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers, and his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, as though he can divine their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he's been passed the rarest gift of all--a gift that's not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he's pulled into a dangerous conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world--a conflict  that will force him to come to terms with his inability to remember how he escaped the Darkwater Forest--and what happened to him inside it. 

My thoughts:

Willet Dura is a reeve to the king, which from what I gathered was like the king's personal detective. He has an uncanny ability to ask the questions others don't think of, or see the details lost in the shuffle. Despite his ability, this was not the life Willet had originally sought. He wanted to be a priest, but the king called every man to arms. When Willet went to war, the blood on his hands forced him away from the priesthood. Willet was also one of the only men to survive a night in the Darkwater Forest, a place were evil practically leaks from the branches. As a result, the story deals a little with Willet's PTSD. Now thanks to an unknown priest's death, the way he looks at the world and the happy ending he thought he'd finally found are changed forever.

When the story started, it had a detective vibe, which was kind of fun. It was like reading about a cop in another world. I also liked the idea of "gifts" being handed down from God. The society was completely built around who was gifted and who wasn't. It was an interesting concept, and it has a lot of potential.

The story felt very dark to me, but Patrick Carr did a great job with layering the details. The first book in a series often seems slower because there is so much new information being given to the readers. I LOVED that Willet's perspective was told from the first person. It made a big difference for me. However, I had a hard time relating to Willet as a character. I often couldn't follow his thought process until he was back from his latest scheme.

Bottom line is that I want to know more. I have questions that still need answers, and the story drew me in enough that I need to know the answers. The first book of The Darkwater Saga ended on a somber note, so I pray that the series has happy endings for the characters. I'm a happy endings kind of girl.

I received a copy of The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

Hope you all have a Merry, blessed, joyous Christmas! God bless and see you guys on January FIRST!! Oh, my goodness! Goodbye 2015! :)

V. Joy Palmer