Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review: Brighter Than the Sun (Charley Davidson #8.5) by Darynda Jones @Darynda

About Brighter Than the Sun:

All his life, Reyes Alexander Farrow has suffered the torments of the damned. Only one thing has given him hope: the woman who radiates a light that no mortals can see; a light that only the departed can see…

Told from his point of view, BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN chronicles the first time Reyes ever encountered Charley, and how their relationship has been the one thing that can either save him or doom him.

My Review:

Brighter Than the Sun is actually more of a prequel to the entire series than something that occurs between Book 8 and the upcoming release of Book 9. As such, reading it before starting the series or anytime in-between books is acceptable.

I am a huge fan of Darynda Jones' Charley Davidson series. I absolutely love the storytelling and plots of each book in the series. The sarcasm and wit are just perfectly conveyed and wonderfully inserted into the proper places. You will NOT find that in Brighter Than the Sun, however. 

We get Reyes' point of view in Brighter Than the Sun. We learn about his horrific childhood, how he came to live with Earl, and who Kim is. We watch Reyes grow up through the pages and I'll be honest - I was both horrified and fascinated with the entire story. The wonderful part about this story is how he viewed Charley from the moment she was born into this world.

I completely enjoyed Brighter Than the sun. The narration didn't flow as well as Darynda's book usually do and the POV is first person (which isn't my favorite) but you get used to it and I couldn't put the book down once I began reading. The story is riveting and will keep the reader engaged.

Thank you, Darynda, for letting us see the other side of the coin and letting us into Reyes' world, as awful as we knew it was. You help us appreciate who Reyes is and provide us with a much needed understanding of his POV.

**Content warning:  There are disturbing scenes/content in this book and it should be read with caution.

Review copy courtesy of the author, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions about Brighter Than the Sun are my own.

My Rating:

Read an Excerpt:

I’m curled in a corner of the basement, shivering like a little bitch and licking my wounds from the latest encounter, when I hear my sister crying at the door. I try to assure her I’m okay, but the edges of my vision darken and a beckoning light appears in the distance. I collapse and drift toward it. Weightless. Ethereal.

I always drift toward it.

Not literally. I’ve been locked in the basement by a psychopath. I don’t get out much. But mentally.

You should probably know that even though I’m twelve, the circumstances of my existence are not normal. The things that happen to me are not normal. The things in my head are not normal. And the light that I’m drifting toward, the warmth I feel from it, the . . . forgiveness for all my abnormalities, is as abnormal as I am.

I’m three the first time I see it, and in a very similar state. I follow it. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and drift toward the white-hot pinprick of light burning the back of my eyes. The closer I get, the brighter it becomes until, just when I think I’ll never see again . . .

. . . she appears.

This tiny being peeking out from between a lady’s legs. I don’t know what to think at first, besides I shouldn’t be looking between a lady’s legs. But she is dying, the lady, so I figure it’s okay. I wouldn’t look at her bad anyway. My head doesn’t always work right, but even at three, it knows not to look at a lady bad.

Anyway, she’s shaking. The lady. Not shivers like if she’s cold, but deep shakes like if something’s wrong. Her head is thrown back and her body is stiff. The nurses hold her down as a doctor pulls at the light. At the thing. The tiny being that was in the lady’s belly, and suddenly it all makes sense.

Not the light, but that whole “Where do babies come from?” thing.

It’s disturbing, but not so disturbing as the lady. One of the reasons my head doesn’t work right is because I feel what others feel. Could ever since I was a kid. A littler kid. I can feel other people when they’re mad or pissed or in pain. That’s how I know when to stay away from Earl. When to run and hide. It doesn’t always work, but it’s damned sure worth a shot.

But right now, I feel the lady’s pain and it hurts and I almost leave if not for the light. I try to catch my breath once more. To be near it. Near her. Just a little longer.

She comes out in a whoosh of baby and liquid and a light so bright, I can hardly see—and I’m mesmerized. Then the pain stops and I can breathe normally again. The lady is still. A solid, constant note sounds in the room, and people gather around her and the baby. Everyone except the man holding the lady’s hand. He is doubled over. His shoulders shake, and I realize the people around the baby—most of them, anyway—are dead. They’re people from the past come to see the light. Ghosts. Whispers.

Their faces are full of wonder, but they are blocking my view, so I push them aside and drift closer. She is wailing like babies do. Then she sees the lady. Her mother. The woman standing beside the doctor, looking down at her. I’d never seen anything like the emotion in the mom’s expression, and I think how it must be love, because it’s soft and caring and tender.

I’m glad for the baby and sad at the same time. The mother touches her face. The baby’s. Tells her to be strong. Stronger than she was. Then she kisses the man’s bowed head, and I think about how I didn’t know ghosts could cry. Then she does the impossible: She steps into the baby’s light and is gone.

For More Information and to Purchase:

Amazon:  Brighter Than the Sun

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