Until Death requires a little effort at first, but there’s a big payoff at the end. The beginning (the effort portion) was slow and for several chapters I had a hard time focusing because my head kept screaming, “Come on… get to it a’ready!” There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, as a slow build can be quite titillating. But I’m afraid readers might give up too soon. My advice – keep going until the going gets really good (the payoff part). And it does.
The heroine-ish main character is Darla. She’s a bit of a bumbler, a grumbler and has plenty of anxiety to make her interesting. She’s just turning 18, and all that that implies. She’s portrayed very well in the context of the story and readers are sure to adore her as I did. In the book, she discovers something about herself which leads to some very revealing truths that have been hidden from her for nefarious reasons.
Her counterpart, Kael, is a demon. Now, this has some amazing potential. His character doesn’t receive the attention that the Darla character does. Readers will be left wondering over his backstory and details of his personality. But, oooooh, it’s enough to leave me wanting to know more. I believe (and hope) Until Death is just the beginning for this series which will fully develop the Kael character in the next installment.
I started to give this book three stars. Most people seem to be giving it three. Then I realized, despite a slow beginning, a couple confusing character choices (briefly explained below), a continuity issue (see below if you don’t worry about spoilers), I can’t wait to read the next one. That makes four stars in my book. Pun intended.
The continuity issue began in Chapter 23 where Darla can shield herself (and does) for protection, then later in Chapter 28, she can no longer do this. No explanation of her later failure is given. I was also confused by a couple of events. In one, Darla makes a decision regarding her father that seems sudden and out of character for her. The other event seemed like an obvious long-term eventuality, but it reads as if it occurred near instantly. Perhaps the author, Karen Woodward, was “wrapping things up” and a longer passage of time was not as obvious to the reader as it should have been. However, the event I allude to would have been far more fun if we’d had a nice, tortuous wind-up before culmination. *wink, wink*