Sunday, February 16, 2014

Review: Valley of Darkness Part 1 by A.B. Whelan

After months of amazing adventures and secrecy, Molly and Victor find peace in each other’s arms. Adam’s memory has been erased. The secret of the Arkanians is safe. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But Molly is robbed of her short-lived happiness when a devastating tragedy strikes her family, shattering her entire existence. Faced with a terrifying future, she feels that there is nothing left for her on Earth but an insensitive aunt and her little brother, while Arkana promises a place where she might find happiness and purpose again.

Victor tries to convince Molly to move to his village in Arkana, where they can live together in secret. But Molly refuses to live in the shadows. She wants to be a Sentinel and join the fight against the Terrakas. But getting into the Academy requires more than a pretty face.

My Thougths: I was asked by the author to try her second book in the series and to give it an honest review. The world that Whelan created with Fields of Elysium was quite beautiful that it made me wish that it actually existed, but I did struggle to read the book. To be honest, I was a little hesitant about reading this sequel, which has been broken up into two parts. I finally gave it a try and I have to say that I enjoyed it more than the first book.

What I immediately noticed when I started reading was how much Whelan's writing improved. There were hardly any grammar errors and the scenes flowed smoothly than in the first book. I was quite delighted to see that. I found myself more engrossed with the story versus concentrating on editing errors like I did when reading the first book. So congratulations to Whelan for showing a great improvement!

Now, the story mostly concentrated on Molly's relationship with Victor, but it did have a couple of twists. The first one had to do with her parents. I was not expecting it at all. In fact, I put the book down for a day after reading the scene because I couldn't believe what I read. I could not wrap my mind around it at all and could not decide how I really felt about it. The other twist was the ending. Molly's character changed and she did something that had my jaw dropping. This ending had me looking forward to the next book.

Though I liked this book more than the first, I do admit that I was not completely in love with it. The main reason was Molly's character. In this book, she became selfish and self-observed. It all became about her obsession over her hunky boyfriend Victor (by the way, the emphasis on how hot he was irritated me) and how she could not wait to be with him. I felt that the story dragged because of this in the first half of the book. The next half was about Molly's depression and again, it was all about her. Her hatred towards Terrakas was absurd and her goals in wanting revenge were ridiculous to me. Molly did embodied how teenage girls usually act and think: the world revolves around them. Whelan did a great job capturing the persona of a teenage girl. Unfortunately, I do not like reading about teenage angst.

As a whole, this was a better book. It had its good and bad. I do wonder though why Whelan decided to break the book up into two parts instead of having the next book as a third book. I guess I won't know until I read it. I rate this:

About the Author:

 A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California. While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.

Website * Facebook * Twitter


  1. Hi Vonnie,
    Thanks for the review. Quickly I just want to explain why I published book 2 of the series in two parts in ebook. It takes about 8 months to a year for me to finish a book this size and while as I was writing I kept receiving emails from readers asking me to hurry up with the sequel. So once the rough draft was done, I revised and edited the first half than sent it off to my editor. When it was ready to be published I released it and resumed work on the second half. I tried to please my readers by giving them something to read but it seems I actually disappointed some of them. :( The paperback version includes the entire sequel, however, Amazon won't combine it with the ebook editions. I guess I messed it up big time.

    1. That's too bad that Amazon won't combine the books. It might give your readers a different reading experience.

  2. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this book more than the first one. :)