PJV Quickie: Now, normally I avoid historical books of any type like the plague, but No Shelter From Darkness was a welcome surprise. While the pace was a bit slow at times, I enjoyed the paranormal aspect and felt like it set up the rest of the series nicely.

 

Review: It’s been a long time since I’ve read a paranormal book that didn’t have a main element of romance as well. At least it feels like it has been a long time. It’s been even longer since I ventured to read any sort of historical novel. The synopsis of No Shelter From Darkness sucked me in, and even though it was a departure from the usual books I’m attracted to, I knew I had to read it. The setting is 1940s London in the midst of war with Germany. I have to admit, I am no history buff, so I have to assume that the details included throughout are accurate. The protagonist is a 13 year old girl named Beth, who not only has to deal with the threat of war, but also some changes in herself that can’t be explained by simply growing up. Her vision, hearing, and sense of smell are all heightened and she finds herself having strange, frightening cravings.

Beth gets the most page time, but the story is also shown from the point of view of her adoptive parents, Bill and Lynne, as well as Mary, a neighbor girl who comes to live with them as a result of a tragedy. Sometimes changes like these can make a read unenjoyable for me, but in this case I enjoyed it. I think it was necessary to be able to get inside these characters’ heads individually to really get a sense of how they think and feel. This is especially true of Bill, who plays a major roll with Beth and the mystery that surrounds her.

I found some of the terms sprinkled throughout a bit confusing, since the book is set in the ’40s, and in London. I’m not familiar with some of the phrases that are common there, just as I’m sure people from other countries aren’t up on all of the Americanisms we use. Regardless, it didn’t occur often and it wasn’t during moments that were crucial to the story line, so they didn’t affect my reading experience that much.

If you’re looking for romance, you won’t find it here; that’s part of what I liked about it though. It was nice to read something so different from my norm. I did feel like the pace was a bit slow throughout this novel, yet it’s completely understandable. No Shelter From Darkness essentially laid all of the groundwork, so to speak, for the rest of the series. It introduced us to Beth, the development of her “symptoms” and subsequent unveiling of her background, and gives promise of more action and excitement in the future.

According to the website for the series, The Cruentus Saga, the author has planned four sequels, with one book set to release each year. It’s also interesting that while book 2 is also set in the 1940s, book 3 is set in the 60s, book 4 is set in present day, and book 5 is set in the future. So, sadly we will have to wait until next year to get our hands on the second installment in the series. No Shelter From Darkness definitely piqued my interest and I am looking forward to reading more about these characters.

 

Recommended for:  readers who don’t mind the absence of romance in their paranormal novels and are in the mood for something new.