Reviewing a friend’s book is probably the hardest thing I’ll have to do for a blog like this. It requires a precarious balance between the truth of the writing and the respect you have for your friend and their own style. But if they didn’t trust you, they wouldn’t give you this opportunity right? And let’s face it, Lauren Dawes has a style all her own that deserves to be written about.
“Dark Deceit” is her newest novel about Korvain precariously balancing (see what I did there?) between his duty to his guild’s contract and his love and possessiveness of the mark, Bryn. This seems like a basic plotline for the book, but Dawes enriches the entire storyline with its links to Norse gods, Finnish and an array of secondary characters that add depth and richness to this urban fantasy text.
It is these qualities that I particularly enjoy: the time and research it took for this author to make her text work and the dedication to building characters that would be able to connect with its readership whilst holding links to the past from which they have come. The added depth of languages to match the history also gives this book authenticity to its characterisation and mythology.
In saying this, I need to make a note. This book, like her “Helheim Wolf Pack” series, is suited for a particular audience, which generally means no kids allowed because of the heavy sex scenes written in. This isn’t such a bad thing, but allows the author to play with more mature themes for her intended readership.
Yet I found there to be a weakness too. While I understand that American English will appeal to most readers, it is hard to see an Australian author not clinging to her linguistic roots.
Overall this book was well written with strong attention to detail. The characters are intriguing and there is enough death and sex to hopefully satisfy any reader. As a bonus, the novel also comes with a free first chapter from the next upcoming book from this series, which will excite any reader wanting to know more about these characters and just how tensions will be developed.