June 5, 2013

Spotlight on: Escaping Darkness by Theresa McClinton

escaping darkness
Escaping Darkness

She may have spent years in an asylum, but that didn’t make her crazy–just fearless.

Dropped in Moscow with her friends on an impossible mission against underworld forces, Tara is left to her feelings of overwhelming inadequacy. Her boyfriend is a healer, her best friend is “the Guardian,” and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. The only thing she has been able to contribute are her memories, which has left her with nightmares of her time spent at the mercy of the evil Sarian–who everyone has gone to fight.

Alone with her emotions, Tara finds herself falling into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.

He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground rings of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…


Light shined through the windows, waking Tara in a cold sweat. She had almost gotten used to the feeling of damp hair stuck to her forehead and neck.
Thankfully, she recognized the gold and burgundy drapes of Peter’s room, and her muscles relaxed into the down feather comforter.
Peter’s room had become her favorite, no matter where in the world they were. Not the room itself, but his energy in it. It blanketed the space with tranquility.
Her inner peace vanished when she allowed her mind to wander to the last time they spoke. She’d broken his heart—and hers. He probably thought she just didn’t want him, which was the furthest from the truth.
A man cleared his throat. Tara startled and sat up, facing Renato who rested on a fabric chaise on the opposite side of the room, his ankle crossed over his knee and a pipe in his mouth.
Tara gripped the blanket and pulled it over her chest. She still had on her tank top and jeans, but for some reason felt indecent, just waking up and still in bed.
Good morning.” His tone seemed calmer than normal while he examined her with a placid stare. “Tara, why did you keep this from us?”
She swallowed. “I guess Peter told you.”
He did. But he waited much too long.”
She hung her head. “It’s not his fault. I didn’t want him to tell you.”
Renato sat silent for a moment, puffing his pipe. His gaze was lost to the view of Moscow through the arched window. He seemed to be contemplating his next words. “Do you not trust me?”
She sighed. “It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s just that…I just didn’t want to be the crazy girl again. I spent my whole life with doctors telling me I have PTSD, and that my self-confidence was stripped away by…well, what happened.” She pushed locks of curls away from her face. “I just wanted to keep my clean slate, I guess.”
And Peter? Do you have any idea what kind of stress you put him under, asking him to withhold that kind of information?”
Peter,” she whispered, the fresh wound in her heart tearing open again. “Where is he?”
In the lobby. I asked him to allow us to speak privately.”
She exhaled, hoping some of the heartache would lessen with it. No such luck. “As long as he’s okay—”
I did not in any way imply that he is okay.” Renato uncrossed his legs and placed both of his feet firmly on the floor. He leaned forward. “What you did to assist us in finding Sarian was a brave act.” He slowly rested his back against the chaise again, his fingers gliding absentmindedly over the etchings of his bone pipe. “But refusing to inform us of your deterioration has come at a price. I spoke with Marzena and there is nothing she can do to lock them away now. There is nothing anyone can do.”
So…” She bit her lip. “I’m stuck with them?”
Unfortunately, yes. But now—” He stood and walked toward her, stopping at the foot of her bed. “Now we are faced with yet another question. Who is the boy?”
Flashes of a dark alley, the gleam of a blade, and the metallic smell of blood. “Malachi.”
How do you know him?”
I don’t. I mean, not really.” She glanced at the door. “Why? Is he here?”
No. But he did press the panic button on your cell phone. Peter and I tracked the satellite signal to a bus stop, nearly three miles away.”
She hung her head. What she must have looked like when they arrived. She twisted the blankets in her hands, hoping Renato hadn’t noticed her cheeks flush with heat. It served her right. She didn’t have anyone to blame but herself.
Malachi was following me around. Then Mr. Green and those guys…” She could still hear the Russian’s blood curdling screams.
There was a knock on the door. Renato glanced over his shoulder. “I believe that’s Peter.” He peered at her with a chastising stare. “It would be humane of you to offer him some explanations. I have never seen him so torn.”





My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This novella was a quick read that follows up Theresa McClinton's Stone Guardian. I haven't read Stone Guardian yet, but I will check it out. The world that McClinton has brought to life in this series is very interesting. I am especially intrigued by the fact that both Tara (MC in this novella) and Ashley (MC in Stone Guardian) grew up in a mental institution. And from the excerpt I read about Stone Guardian Ashley seems like a very cool character.

I liked the fast pace of the story and the plot in Escaping Darkness, but overall it didn't really give me enough of the "supernatural" world that I wanted to know about. I understand the fact that Tara is the only human surrounded by others with crazy powers and that this story was about her, but I wanted to hear more about what Ashley, Jayden and the others were up to. Plus, Tara eventually started annoying me with the way she refused to seek help for the problems she was having, and the way she kept pushing Peter away. I gathered from her recurring nightmares that she had endured horrific torture in the first book, but I was looking for her to find a way to move forward and take control of her life instead of remaining a victim.

I liked the twist with Malachi, and the glimpse into the world of human trafficking was heartbreaking. However, I just wanted Tara to be a stronger character, and for me that was what this story was lacking. I don't know - the fact that she doesn't have any supernatural powers, put together with her frail physicality just really made it hard for me to connect with her. I like strong, capable female characters. I hope that since Tara was able to receive some sort of closure at the end of this novella that maybe she will be able to come out in the next book and start to be someone to be reckoned with.

View all my reviews

Author Theresa McClinton
A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa started her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and features articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult paranormal romance.

Since then, Theresa has gotten married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having stepped foot on the soil of over a dozen countries, traveled to sixteen U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, she will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.

The Stone Guardian

When myth becomes reality, reality becomes a nightmare.
Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse.

Probably because they’re not nightmares.

When Ashley’s mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else—she’s no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She’s the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk’ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian—Ashley’s mother. Without the stone, all will be lost.

When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it’s up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince…

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for having me on your blog and reviewing Escaping Darkness. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you have the chance to read The Stone Guardian for some focus on Ashley, Arwan, and Jayden. I think you'd really enjoy that.

    Book three, Lights Of Aurora has just been completed, and I'm super excited to share it with everyone. If you love strong female characters, be prepared to see Ashley take the front seat.

    I'll be hanging out on your blog today to chat with you and your readers if anyone wants to leave a question or comment. Thanks again for having me!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your comment! I read each and every one of them, I swear. :)

 
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