Book Review – There Is No Light In Darkness by Claire Contreras

by Maryse on June 8, 2013 · 7 comments

in My Book Reviews

There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness Series)
This one has come highly recommended, quite regularly since it’s release. I kept hearing it was a “crazy cliffhanger but so worth the read” and that was enough to make it a definite TBR asap, on my list.

Jen: Really enjoyed There is no light in darkness. It’s new and has a mystery to go along with the love story. Cole is amazing … you just wish you were Blake!!!!! Can’t wait for book two!!!!!

Sarah: Have you read There is No Light in Darkness yet? I just finished it and LOVED it. It’s steamy, mysterious and really tugs at your heart. It has a cliffhanger but the next book comes out soon I think.

Jennifer: Maryse you HAVE to read Claire Contreras There Is No Light In Darkness! OMG can’t even believe she left the book the way she did! It just is not even fair. I absolutely fell in love with Blake and Cole. The love they have, the history the share and the suspense of it all made it a 5 stars for me. You have to read this ASAP!!! Can’t wait for the sequel.

Christine:  I LOVE this series! Thrilling suspense and the most romantic guy EVER! Hope u enjoy it!

Cliffhangers can drive me crazy… sure, but if the book is really great, the cliffhanger can be such sweet agony, you know?  Kinda like that killer ending in #4 of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series (GAH!! eek Back then I had to wait a whole year for the answer), or even that heartwrencher at the end of book #4 of Karina Halle’s EIT series (ohhhh the delicious torture!!!). Hey! What’s up with book #4′s having cliffhangers?!

Still though, if there’s true-love potential between me ‘n the book, I’ll take a chance on a cliffhanger. Personally, I don’t really like knowing an ending in any way. I really love a surprise. Even a surprise ending that doesn’t end well, or… doesn’t “end” at all. All I need to know is your heartfelt enthusiasm/love for a book, and I’m there.

So what took me so long to read this? I accidentally read a dastardly spoiler!!!evilYep. Again!! I try to avoid reviews before I start reading just in case, so it’s possible this was a comment I came across. It’s one thing to know it’s a cliffhanger, but it’s a whole other thing to know exactly what that cliffhanger is. I can’t remember where I saw it, but I knew how it ended, so… you know. confused*sigh*. So I waited until book #2 was out to attempt this darker journey, because just the fact that a book #2 exists, kind of cancels out the spoiler, right? It’s all fresh and anything can happen again. The “to be continued” has a whole new potential, and so the spoiler loses it’s potency.

I finally read it and I liked it well enough. I enjoyed the dark mystery that was slowly revealing itself. I had fun trying to guess what happened and why, in regards to her childhood memories. And of course, I crushed on Cole’s intensity when it came to her (he’s her best friend). And I hurt with her for a few specific scenes. I got where she was coming from on that front, although it drove me crazy for the first half as I tried to figure out what their “deal” was. They were so obviously into each other, so… what is up with that?

What’s it about?

Okay it’s about… Oh. *whoops* The synopsis really doesn’t let you in on much, soooo… I’m gonna stop there. Let’s just say, Blake is the heroine. She has issues and memories that haunt her. She wants answers, so that’s part of the story. A mystery. She has friends (some closer than others). She has fears. And I had issues. ;)

Or reading struggles, if you will.

My issues? I was “character-ly confused” for a good portion of the read. Many characters were introduced right off the bat, with very few distinguishing features/details about them. Not enough for me to be able to latch on to who was who until I was already halfway through the book. I couldn’t get a good feel (or read) on any of ‘em for awhile, and my frequent backtracking to see if I *missed* something kept me from connecting the way I like to.

It’s really hard to explain… but I’m going to try. There was just *something* about the progression of this story that I couldn’t totally latch on to.

I’ll try to explain how my brain “read” it and took it in:

Blake’s internal thoughts, at times, were narrated as if… I, the reader, already knew what she was talking about. I was in her head, from her POV, so I totally should have known, and yet, I had no clue at times what she was referring to. From tiny details that don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of the story, (no big deal but still managed to yank me out of the story flow) to bigger issues that were mentioned as if “I knew” but only expanded upon in detail later in the story, and kept me thinking I was missing something. Making me flip back a few pages.

At a certain point, since I kept wondering if I missed something, I decided to ask our Facebook crew to help me with this question (so here’s an example, but not the only time this happened to me):

Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m at 30% in “There is No Light in Darkness” – did I miss what Cole “does” for a living? I’m suddenly getting the impression that he’s famous by her thoughts, here…. Or should I not know yet? Would that be a spoiler?

Nikki: He’s a sports broadcaster. No spoiler.

Sandra: I’m around the same percentage

Maryse’s Book Blog: Kay thanks! Did I miss that part? I wonder if it was one of those moments where I dozed with my eyes open and start dreaming that I’m reading the book. That must’ve been it.

Nancy: You kind of have to just assume it…i truly don’t think she comes out and says it but in the next book she talks more about what he actually does.

Kathy: It took me a while to figure this out too.

Anne: I don’t think they actually mention his profession until the second book. I went through the same thoughts that you are. Stick with it. It just gets better, especially with the second book.

Debbie: I was a bit confused about that as well. I just finished it and about to start book 2.

Elizabeth: It’s mentioned on page 5 or 3% in that she turns on the tv to catch reruns of Sportscenter and sees Cole in his suit I finished the first book yesterday and I’m half way through the second. Cole is AH- MAZING! And that’s page 5 of book 1

Ashley: it does not say til later,but I was thinking the same thing……ps love ur blog

Kandace: I’m very interested to read your review of this book. I liked the series but didn’t love it. I didn’t feel a deep emotional attachment to Blake & Cole. I thought there were way too many characters and I found myself getting lost a few times. I dunno, maybe my expectations were too high. It’s definitely worth reading.

Jeanie: I am at 95% now & am still not sure how he is/was famous! It was driving me crazy until it was explained what he does now. But was he always that????

Christina: I’m 85% in and it’s all kind of confusing lol

Juana: I’m soooo glad it wasn’t just me asking the same question; Maryse I’m so giddy you’re reading this fabulous book, the second book is soooooo good; Cole is swoon worthy new book boyfriend for sure!

Leslie: There are some confusing parts with who’s who but Cole totally make you forget that you were confused in the first place lol!!!

Sadie: Haha there were definitely times, especially in the second book, where I thought “wait, who is that? Was that explained?” I was entertained and sort of went with it … the characters are in the dark for most of the books too. Curious to hear your take.

Brandis: Omg! I sent this exact text to my friend tonight while I was reading it!! Too funny

Michelle: Haha felt the same way until the second book. He interviews sports players.

Kaycee: It’s not actually revealed in the book really. I was wondering the same thing throughout as well!

Meghan: Are you loving it??? I am 35 percent in and I am completely hooked!!!

Jen: Love that book, I’m currently reading the second one Darkness Before Dawn.. soooo good

See? It was totally revealed upfront (Elizabeth found us that detail), but I missed it entirely and (apparently quite a few of us did). And I think that’s what happened, to me a few times. Character details revealed but so quickly that I blinked and I missed it? But you guys are right!! Cole was Ah-maaaazing!! Very dreamy.

So I dunno. Maybe it was the rhythm of the storytelling? The need to keep things a mystery and keep us guessing so that it was written in a way that had me guessing more than I wanted to. Instead of trying to figure out the mystery of what happened to her, along with her, I was also trying to figure out who she was talking about. What she was referencing. Why she just thought “that”? Just, all sorts of stuff like that. Trying to keep track of which character was her best friend, which was her roommate, which was the girlfriend of the friend, etc.. In fact, there was one chapter labelled “present” but started off with a memory from her past. A dream. So I was all mixed up for a second or two. And it was only a second, but I figured it out. No biggie. But enough to distract me again.

I “got it” all perfectly, eventually. But keeping track of all of that, along with the memory hints and thoughts, and going from past to present and past again, was distracting me from complete enjoyment.  It was almost as if this story was told backwards, at times. It eventually all comes together, though.

And maybe I was just tired?

All that to say, the last quarter of the book, I really enjoyed. By then, I knew what was going on, I knew the characters well enough to read through their scenes without backtracking in my mind as to who or what I was reading about, and the reveals kept coming. Plus, a very clever little line by a potential enemy that had me going… “ooooooooh” creepy. Hot. But creepy!! ;) Loved that line!

Oh and one of the very last lines in the ending that cleverly ties in that title. WHOA!! Nice!!

So there were just enough reveals to satisfy my curiosity, but still one or two questions that I must have answered. What is going on!!?? And WHY? That’ll be book #2′s job (Darkness Before Dawn). :)

3 to 3.5 stars (but I’m in quite the minority here, as this book has a TON of amazing 5 star reviews). Maybe I was just tired after all.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie June 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM

I actually agree with everything you wrote. I’ve put this book down twice now. I’ll definitely go back and finish it,especially since I already bought book 2 but I’m not ‘feeling it’ like so many others have. I’m hoping that changes as I get further into it. LOVE Cole though!!

Maryse June 8, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Cole and his “Baby”… *sigh*

He made me all melty. ;)

Christine June 8, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Hey Maryse – so glad you finally got to read…Continue on with Darkness Before Dawn because it answers a lot of your questions and you will LOVE these characters even more!! <3

Heather June 8, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I’m with you on this one, Maryse. I was confused and felt rushed. Stopped at 50% :/

Nicky June 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM

I was utterly confused! Too many characters, too many ‘links’ I felt, for me to just enjoy the story without having to stop and think. I hoped book 2 would smooth it out, but no, more characters! I liked the characters and the story enough, but I felt like it just needed some smoothing out to keep me engaged.

Megan June 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM

I definately agree. I was totally confused at the beginning trying to figure out Cole and Blake’s relationship. It’s hard to describe without a spoiler. There was a scene on in, after I thought I had it figured out, (the NY hotel scene) that I was partly confused over since she never did explain their relationship dynamic. Still, by the end, it turned into a 3.5 for me. The 2nd book is better, though. Ahh, Cole. :)

Mandy June 8, 2013 at 10:00 PM

I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one not feeling this book. I ended up reading book 2 anyway because I HAD to see where this story was going. After finishing the 2nd book today I am still wondering where all the 5 star reviews came from. I didnt connect with Blake at all, through either book and that really dissapointed me. My friend started reading it at the same time and she actually quit part way through and asked me just to fill her in on the 2nd book! Maybe I was expecting too much from all of those great reviews?

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