Stacey Marie Brown's paranormal Darkness Series culminates with a war between Light and Dark. There is a prophecy to fulfill and Ember is in the middle of it.
Brown packs a lot in this last installment. Wars are always about endings and beginnings. The same is true of this book. We see the end to some relationships (Eli and Ember, Jared and Kennedy) and the beginnings of others (Gabby and Aliki, Kennedy and Lorcan). We lose characters we have grown to love. We even have friendships restored and new ones started.
Blood Beyond Darkness is about strength. Can you be strong enough to do your job even if means losing what you love? That's the prevailing theme throughout this book. Ember continues to grow stronger with the thought of fulfilling a prophecy in the back of her mind. She's obligated and even compelled to live up to her duty even though it will cost her the love of her life.
I love how Brown dealt with the theme. We get a character who has matured over the four novels. She's still fiercely loyal to her family which has also grown through the series. I've read other female protagonists who started out weak and grew strong by the story's end. But, Ember is strong throughout the series. She's totally likable (unless you're Samantha, Aneira or Sheriff Weiss). You care about her and the people she cares about as well.
Brown did an excellent job with all her character development. Samantha, Aneira and Weiss are the only ones that stayed bad guys and you didn't want them to change. Lorcan becomes someone you can understand and even get to like in time. The Unseelie King really isn't such a bad guy. And, you even feel sorry for Torin in the end. To be honest, I didn't want the story to end. That's how strong the characters and story line were for me.
This is not a Fairy Tale with a happy ending. The prophecy is fulfilled but everything changes. The Otherworld and Earth get merged together. Now humans and fae have to live side by side. Not a good prospect for anyone. It makes for a dangerous world to live in. It gives Ember and her 'mate' new jobs.
Thank you Stacey Marie Brown for a thrilling, visual read! I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the Darkness Series. And, don't worry, the final book does end well. You will not be disappointed.
Be sure to read more about Elighen Dragen in the novella, Beast in The Darkness. You'll only love his character even more after this quick read.
Brown writes more about Faes and the great storm that hit Seattle (thank you Ember and Aneira) in her next series.
City in Embers, due in February, is on my must read list.