4 out of 4 stars
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Brian Porter used to have friends, a normal body size, and a spot in his family. When he was nine, his family dog bit him and ballooned him up to what could only be called “morbidly obese.” Since his weird allergic reaction to a dog bite, his friends turned into bullies and his family started hiding him from the rest of the world, leaving him out of family photos and making him stay home while they go on vacations. It’s during one such vacation that Brian is dared to go inside an old abandoned house, but he doesn’t come out the same as when he entered.
Out of Darkness is not your typical YA paranormal novel. Richards obviously put a lot of thought into his monsters, giving them entirely new histories and backgrounds. What starts out as a silly, “Oops, I got bitten by a werewolf,” story soon thickens into prophecies and betrayal. The reader is taken on an emotional rollercoaster ride, laughing one minute and empathizing with the characters the next.
The thing I most enjoyed about this novel was the character interaction. Each character was well thought-out and had a purpose in the overall plot of the novel, and it was so interesting to see how they all worked together. Brian especially has a few laugh-out-loud lines directed towards other characters, which makes him easily likeable to both the reader and other characters.
The one thing I do think could use some improvement was the writing style. Admittedly, it is very fitting for a YA novel, but I would have liked a little more description throughout the novel. Actually, I thought the pace of the novel was quite fast, and that the author definitely could have included more of Brian’s everyday lifestyle after getting bitten without boring the reader. I felt like he barely had time to get used to one thing before another new and exciting thing came up.
Since the novel’s pace was so fast and the novel itself is so short, I felt like I was missing part of the overall story. Despite that, I truly enjoyed the novel and am looking forward to the sequel, whenever it may come out. For these reasons, I give Out of Darkness 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to YA readers who would enjoy a twist on their favorite supernatural stories.
Out of Darkness
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