A Monster Like Me (Heart of Darkness Book 2) by Pamela Sparkman – Review by Cynthia Ayala

A Monster Like Me (Heart of Darkness Book 2)A Monster Like Me by Pamela Sparkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A powerful novel that follows a band of characters as they try to navigate their way out of the darkness that almost swallowed them up. As a fantasy novel, this story had to be unique in some way, especially in dealing with fairies, and the way the story functions is pretty unique. There is a coldness that emanates from the story as it talks about the Unseelie court, brutality that makes the story jump off the pages and infect the reader with fear and anger. It’s good when a story makes the reader feel so strongly for the characters and the story, not to mention the world that is being built here.

Sparkman did an incredible job building this world and recreating this fantasy and these fairy creatures for the reader. The essence that surrounds them, the plot and definition of the characters is unique and truly stands out. Not to mention the message the story holds the message of perseverance.

The base of the story is all about hope; it’s about having hope and finding the light even in the darkest of times. It means that even when someone loses themselves to darkness the way Zeph lost himself to the darkness that they can find the light and find a way to save themselves from the overwhelming darkness. That message is so incredibly powerful. Zeph found his way out, but this story is all about him and his newfound friends trying to pick up the pieces, to repair themselves and their relationships with one another, to repair everything damaged by the dark with love and hope. And it is an incredible journey to follow because it allows the characters to move about the story with dimension, to jump off the pages and litter the reader with their emotions and thoughts, making the reading experience even more compelling. These characters grow together; they form this bond that allows them to face the darkness head-on once more, adding tension and action to the novel.

There is another thing that makes this story so good, and it’s Sparkman’s use of language. There are some scenes that are triggering, and thankfully Sparkman does give the reader notice before even beginning to read the story, but what makes those scenes as powerful as they are triggering is her limited use of language. These are scenes that have every opportunity to be explicit but are not, and it’s all due to Sparkman’s impeccable use of language. She uses the minimalist of words to get the scene around, playing on the slightest of details to make the scene pop. And pop they do. The reader isn’t dulled by the excessive use of language, there is enough provided to lure the reader in, keep them grounded, and focus on what is happening in the story rather than be distracted by the detail and words. These scenes carry so much power and that’s how they should be. Admittedly they are uncomfortable to read, but they should be, but that only serves to give them more weight, lending to the creation of a powerful novel.

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