Review: Running into the Darkness by D. A. Bale

Running Into Darkness - DA BaleTitle: Running into the Darkness (The Deepest Darkness #1)
Author: D. A. Bale – Blog | Twitter
Genre(s): Adult Thriller
How To Purchase: Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Note: I received a free copy of Running Into Darkness in exchange for an honest review.

“I never intended to kill the President. As a doctor, I swore an oath to protect life – not take it. But that was before…”

Second year resident, Dr. Samantha Bartlett, is swept from the frigid New York winter to once again confront the sting of death back home – and face those she left behind. But she’s not alone. A strange man she dubs Shades haunts her every step as she seeks answers to the inferno which claimed her grandmother, an eerie reminder of her parents’ deaths. The secrets Samantha uncovers forever changes her image of those she only thought she knew.

Confronted by Shades, Samantha joins a secret underworld known only as the Elite, where a web of power and control is woven deep within governments worldwide. Their sights are set on the power structure of the United States, and Samantha becomes the unlikely key to infiltrating the White House at its most intimate levels.

The quest for blood threatens to destroy Samantha. From the darkness there is no escape.

Running Into the Darkness is a thriller with medical advancements and tech that, as far as I’m aware, are just outside the range of what’s possible now. Then again, what do I know about what the most shady government divisions have? Probably some interesting stuff, just like the tech in the book. I guess it says something more about me than about the book to say that I wish there was a little more of that. But the story itself is about Samantha and her world getting turned upside down when her life starts to crumble around her.

I’ll get this out of way early on, since no review would be complete without mentioning the incest. For other reviewers, this was a complete turnoff. I can’t say that I liked it–I mean, ew–but it served a purpose. It showed how the main character Samantha was able to become another persona. It also opens up a question as to what constitutes incest. She never knew her father, so he wasn’t a “dad” to her. He was just another guy, one who’d done a lot of bad things, and one she wanted revenge on. I still can’t wrap my head around why the Elite would insist she go through with sleeping with him, but she is the perfect person to hate him enough to kill him.

While incest is a darker subject, I didn’t feel like the book was dark enough, especially for one with “Darkness” in the title. I didn’t quite feel Samantha’s angst with her. I understood it, but it wasn’t gritty enough for me. I saw it, from the outside, but I didn’t have much of an emotional reaction. I wasn’t there with her. I did like the book well enough, so maybe the sequel brings us into the depths of emotional despair.

If you’re looking for a thriller-like contemporary read with elements of sci-fi, you’ll like Running Into the Darkness. The sequel, Piercing the Darkness, is out, so if you hate waiting for the next installment, fear not, it’s available. The third and final book is releasing soon, so you hopefully won’t have to wait for long until it’s out.

Have you added my forthcoming release, Guarding Angel, to your Goodreads to-be-read list? You can also find me on Twitter and Pinterest.

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Review: Acts of Violence by Ross Harrison

Acts of Violence by Ross HarrisonTitle: Acts of Violence
Author: Ross Harrison
Genre(s): Sci-Fi Thriller
How To Purchase: Kindle | UK Kindle | Smashwords

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Note: I received a free copy of Acts of Violence in exchange for an honest review.

My name’s Jack Mason. I made a mistake. Took home the wrong girl. Now she’s dead. Cut up. And they’re telling me I did it.

It’s the same cop that tried to take me down ten years ago. Now he’s coming at me hard. And he’s not the only one. Cole Webster, the city’s crime lord, thinks I stole from him. Broke me out of custody just to ask me about it. Then I killed his son. Now he really wants me.

Add to this equation a government agent, and I’m a real popular guy right now. Pretty much everyone I meet wants me dead, lawfully or otherwise. There’s nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. I’ve got till morning to uncover Webster’s trafficking operation and take the heat off me. And all I’ve got to go on is a pissed off homeless girl with a thirst for revenge.

Guess it could be worse. Can’t quite figure how.

Acts of Violence is more thriller than sci-fi, which isn’t quite my cup of tea, but in the end, it unveiled a shocking twist–and that’s always sure to make me love it.

Jack Mason is a guy with a purpose, although his purpose is veiled in mystery. He’s hunting a bigwig in a backwater colony whose shady business dealings, quite frankly, just piss him off. He’s not a cop or a private investigator–though for years, he’s tried to get his license. He’s a guy with a mission. Maybe just a guy seeking redemption.

I was hoping for a bit more science fiction when I decided to read it. I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy/urban fantasy and wanted some awesome tech that I could really get wrapped up in. Alas, the sci-fi is a backdrop to Jack’s hunt for the truth, gadgets and vehicles that help him along his way but never come to the forefront.

The thriller part was interesting. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not something I usually care to read, but the details of the fight scenes were so realistic that I’m convinced the author has spent time in combat situations. The details about taking care of his gun, about when he has time to aim or not aim, and keeping a picture of the layout of the room he’s fighting in–Well, I would never think of those things, which is probably why I don’t write thrillers.

Besides the fight scenes going on for too long (but then someone who likes that sort of thing would probably disagree), my one small gripe was the writing style. Jack’s voice was what drew me into the story, but after awhile, it started to annoy me. He spoke in clipped sentences. Wrote without a lot of commas. Used a bunch of phrases. Got a little annoying. But maybe that was just Jack, since I could never decide whether to trust him or not.

If you like thrillers with a dash of sci-fi, this is the story for you. I hate to overplay endings because then you end up over-anticipating, but I really did not see it coming. Then again, I never do, so take that with a grain of salt.

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