Release Date: August 12, 2014
Publisher: Forever Yours
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
A GIFT AND A CURSE
Mala LaCroix sees dead people—really. After using her psychic gifts to catch a killer, she's locked in a psych ward and must strike a deal with the devil to secure her release. Apprenticed to a dark arts practitioner, Mala vows to free herself and save her loved ones from danger. But she doesn't know who to turn to when her crush on Landry Prince turns into something more serious.
A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH
Landry has sacrificed everything to protect Mala. A near-death experience changes him forever, and now he, too, possesses supernatural powers he doesn't understand. Mala and Landry must band together to defeat the dark forces—both human and otherworldly—who would use their abilities for evil. Even as they fall for each other, they must prepare to battle for their very souls
Trust me, I'm more disappointed than probably Angie Sandro herself by my DNF call on DARK SACRIFICE. I liked Dark Paradise enough so I was excited to read the sequel unfortunately reading book 2 fast became a chore and I can no longer go on after the 65% mark. I know that I stand corrected on some points that I will raise below and my answer to that is: let's agree to disagree.
- The melodrama had me rolling my eyes to the point where I was worried I might have a permanent involuntary muscle movement. On Mala's last day at the psych ward where ONLY family members can visit her, a wild card managed to sneak in and drop a bomb on Mala, fingering who her father is which unfortunately involved George. The angry lash outs and subsequent hugging with Mala's new found Aunt was like a scene from Days of Our Lives, it felt too plotted, convenient, and staged to me.
- The love triangle between Mala, George, and Landry is too juvenile to the point where Mala is coming across like a hussy to me. Two guys want her and because she can't make up her mind she strings both along. And THEN because George initially rejects her due to the abovementioned bomb, Mala turns to Landry instead. This is why I quit YA.
- As Dark Paradise is labeled New Adult-Paranormal, I feel ASandro tried too hard to inject angst to her series. After all, NA is infamously popular for it's angsty stories so why not do that here right? I don't really mind it if said tumult feels like it belongs but it felt forced here and I'd do away with emotional storms if I can.
- Landry's dad is the perceived villain in the series but after a conversation with Landry, the Reverend presented a plausible explanation to redeem himself which Mala overheard and somewhat accepts. That said, why would you let the poor man lurk around to "protect" y'all when you can help him clear his name and correct another mistake especially when the case involves murder?
- I wish there was more of Magnolia, Mala's hoodoo priestess aunt, at this point she's the only character holding my interest.
- Mala's deceased/ghost mother apparating and giving you "the talk" at the most inopportune time meaning when Mala and Landry are trying to get it on, is not only awkward but again juvenile. Really, Jasmine?! You decide to do this post mortem instead of maybe sharing your expertise as soon as Mala got to an age where she understood what you do for a living and what a prostitute means?
- Too much obvious plotting. Supies, you know what I'm talking about here. You know when a story is flowing organically and the characters are telling the story as opposed to the very visible strings the author is pulling to get the plot from point A to Z.
- I'm not sure if there's a series plot or not. It seems DARK SACRIFICE is a continuation of Dark Paradise plot wise while at the same time it also feels like it's a new story. Is Mala and Landry up against an invisible villain that's been after them since the beginning or did they suddenly turn into bad luck magnets?
Don't get me wrong, I do love the premise of Dark Paradise as a whole. The swamps of Louisiana doesn't need much to up it's creep factor so adding ghosts, hoodoo, and other deadly stuff to the mix? Can't get any better than that! Alas, I'm one of the very few who didn't like the direction this series is taking, the more I read, the more I find it hard to suspend my disbelief. I wish you better luck with Dark Paradise than I did.