January 29, 2013

Review: Token of Darkness

Token of Darkness (Den of Shadows #6) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Buy Links:

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Book Description:

Cooper Blake has everything going for him—until he wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her.

No one from Cooper’s old life would understand what he can barely grasp himself. . . . But Delilah, the captain of the cheerleading squad, has secrets of her own, like her ability to see beyond the physical world, and her tangled history with Brent, a loner from a neighboring school who can hear strangers’ most intimate thoughts. Delilah and Brent know that Cooper is in more trouble than he realizes, and that Samantha may not be as innocent as she has led Cooper to believe. But the only way to figure out where Samantha came from will put them all in more danger than they ever dreamed possible.

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I have been reading Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’ books since I was thirteen and while I have loved pretty much all of them I’ve always been able to weed out my favorites. I’m just drawn some characters more than others and I’ve got to say Token of Darkness is one of those favorites. This book was different than any of the others I’ve read so far and what I really liked about it was that the main character was a guy.

Rhodes always has a very good array of characters, humans, nonhumans, men and women, but typically her stories are based around one characters perspective and that character is usually a woman. Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s awesome, it one of the reason’s I’ve always loved her books. She’s got all these strong heroines that kick ass on a daily basis and aren’t afraid of what goes bump in the night.

But it’s nice to see her as a writer stepping outside of that box and exploring how a guy sees things and what the inside of his head is like. Cooper Blake is a great character. I loved how we got to see inside his head and see the issues he was dealing with both physically and emotionally. I also think this book had the most perspectives that she’s ever written in one book and I really liked that.

I liked seeing how other people viewed Cooper and how each point of view brought new information into the equation that tied together with the end game of the story. Writing style aside the actual plot was great and I love that Rhodes stepped away from vampires in Token of Darkness and instead used this elemental as this humanized version of a misguided…villain. That’s the wrong word, but you’ll understand what I mean when you read the book.

I wasn’t crazy about Delilah at first, but she really came around in the end or at least it seemed like she did to me. I also really enjoyed Samantha’s character and her interactions with Cooper. Also oh my god I died laughing towards the end of the book with the scene where she, cooper and Brent are in the hospital, you’ll know which one I’m talking about when you read the book, but it’s the best.

I’m so enthralled by the Den of Shadows world and Rhodes seriously knows how to keep a reader on the edge of their seat. Token of Darkness was dark, thought provoking, and engaging. I really loved the humans with abilities angle and I encourage anyone who’s enjoyed Rhodes’ previous works to check this one out. You won’t be disappointed!

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Author Bio:

I grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, where I matriculated through the public Concord-Carlisle school district from kindergarten until my graduation in 2001. The best part of school, from fifth grade until the year I graduated, was definitely chorus. I love music, and I love to sing, and though I never had the courage or the talent to participate in any of the high school plays as a performer, I enjoyed being involved at other levels; the music and drama community at CCHS was the highlight of my high school career. I was also on the fencing team for two years, an experience that actually inspired a couple storylines, and regret that I did not continue with that sport.

I now live in Massachusetts with several pets... as well as, of course, my family. I am a student at the University of Massachusetts, with an English/psychology double-major. I hope to work either as an English teacher at the secondary level, or in special education. I have strong opinions about literacy, education, and how our educational systems are treated- strong enough that most of my friends know not to get me started on the subject.

My non-writing hobbies are eclectic, and cover everything from rather domestic pastimes like cross-stitch and cooking to aquarium keeping, playing piano, gardening, carpentry, Harley-Davidsons, driving, and arguing- there are few things I enjoy more than a good debate with someone who knows how to argue, which might have something to do with a best friend who works in politics. I love to learn, so if I have down-time and nothing to do, it is not at all unusual to find me pouring over some book, website or video designed to teach me some new skill, from belly dancing (something I desperately want to learn but have not yet been brave enough to sign up for classes on) to JavaScript.

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