Blog Tour: ‘When Darkness Begins’ by Tina O’Hailey

This is a prequel / sequel to O’Hailey’s ‘Absolute Darkness’, and is a time-twisty mashup of Fantasy, SF, and a paranormal romantic kind-of-vampires-but-not. The reason I say ‘prequel / sequel’ is that with something as non-linear as this, it is somewhat difficult to definitively state.

Not having read the first offering, I had no warning what to make of this one. However, the characterisation is strong, the world-building by turns horrific and heavenly. I was also pleasantly surprised by the depth of the intertwined timelines and plots. I feel O’Hailey should have more faith in her readers and not keep explaining everything, though there were times that it seemed she was almost explaining it for her own benefit. Perhaps a device such as different graphics or drawings showing what the protagonist ‘sees’ when they view the different timelines, might have worked more clearly and less repetitively. This is utilised in a fashion in the chapter headings but might be more useful if it were at the top of every page, to ground the story.

It was an advance reader copy that needs a little tidying up (as most of them will) but all in all, I really enjoyed the originality of the tale, and would like to go on to read the novel which spawned this prequel. Or sequel. Whatever!

If you like time-travel-based mashups and are looking for something which is not your average YA fare, you could do worse than this book, which is indicative of even better to come. If this is what her books are like, imagine some of her favourite computer games!

Cool cover, too.

A writer of whom young adults could become real fans.

For the YA market, 3.5*

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Blurb:

If you could change time to save your first love—even if it meant turning your back on the universe—would you?

It is time for the Vechey youth to earn their place as time-guardians. The near-immortal Vechey protect the universe from the devastating Manipulators—devourers of souls, mindless seekers of chaos. First, the youth must survive a mysterious and deadly ritual created by the all-powerful clan leader Eterili. Having regenerated thousands of times with the birth of each universe, Eterili is taking this one as hers and bending all in it to her grand designs.

Catha’s time-slipping skills are underdeveloped. She is time-blind—unable to see through time, unable to protect herself from the ritual. The Vechey shun her for being different. Her parents ignore her as if she were already dead.

Aithagg loves Catha unconditionally and will do anything to save her. He tries desperately to unlock the ritual’s mysteries and find a way to help Catha survive with him. Or will saving Catha enable the Manipulators to destroy the universe?

Buy now from Amazon

I do not get paid for blog tours or giving my opinion, and this is my honest review.

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