Ever Darkening by Janeal FalorPublished January 22, 2015 by Chardonian Press
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed on February 15, 2015
When the skies grow dark, and a stranger from another village pleads for her help, her instincts roar to life. It turns out their perfect world isn't exactly what it seems. Kaylyn's new quest, harder than any she's been on before, will rip apart her friendships, her life, and her soul more than any evil man ever managed to.
I’m here to inform you “burden” is an understatement. A big understatement.
Ever Darkening tells a story of Kaylyn’s destiny as a Zophas, a fighter against Malryx, using her Zophasken power. She is seventeen when there’s only one last Malyrx who goes by the name of Morphac. Once he’s eliminated, her life mission will come to an end and she will be left with no other purpose in an evil-free world. What’s a life with no more killing when killing is her life? How does she live like a normal village girl who does what’s normal— sewing, cultivating livestock and crops, attending parties, dancing, marrying, and having children of her own?
I understand Kaylyn on some level— her sense of uselessness, envy, guilty pleasure for danger, a desire for a calling. She’s only a teenager, who lost the only mother she ever knew and the leader. Now the village looks to her as the head of the Zophas, but Zophas are useless without any more Malyrx to hunt down . . . or so she thought.
An opportunity presents itself for her to fight against evil, but she lacks conviction and confidence in eliminating the danger when she and her group of Zophas don’t even know what or who the enemy is. Nonetheless, she’s determined to make herself useful to the people of a distant village, especially when she feels so useless in her own village.
The description of the forest surrounding Crowin is chilling and it’s gives the reader an impression of being there with Kaylyn and the others. I, for one, sensed their urge to get the job done and get the hell out of there. I grasped the eerie darkness, the suffocation, the dark power, the unknown threat in the forest— and it’s as if I was the one being swallowed up by it all.
The strengths of Ever Darkening is the author’s design of good and evil in this fantasy world and how she juggles with the concept of the balance between them. In addition, she can evoke fear and dread at the very least. Attacking trees? No, thank you, I hate the forest. A group of crazy killing-machine sheep? This is the first I ever heard of it.
That plot twist at the end of chapter 18 though . . . I did not see that coming. I knew Kaylyn was intent on bringing the Maylrx back, but not this way. Not ever. Nicely done, author. The events that followed afterwards, I foresaw.
The weaknesses of Ever Darkening I would have to say are the unexciting characters. I enjoy knowing characters and it’s like I couldn’t even engage with Kaylyn and everyone else at all. I don’t know how to explain it. It was like being thrown in the middle of the story and I was expected to understand how evil Malyrx are, and how heroic Kaylyn and Zophas have been for the past years. Regardless that they still feel like a bunch of kids running around to me, their bravery and sacrifices are duly noted.
Overall: Ever Darkening is a good book, and being good, it deserves at least three stars, meaning it’ll only be a one-time read for me. The story had the potential to be great, but it turned out to be only good. The ending was worth reading the book for though. I almost gave up reading halfway.
I will consider reading the next book Savage Light, which features Kaylyn’s best friend now turned frenemy, Marsa. Hopefully, she’s a more exciting and intriguing character. I take pleasure in bitter, evil, and betrayed heroines (;