The Better Part of Darkness: An excellent tale

Kelly Gay The Better Part of Darknessurban fantasy book reviews Kelly Gay The Better Part of DarknessThe Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay

I thoroughly enjoyed The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay.

Charlie Madigan is a policewoman and a single mother in a dystopian Atlanta in which we share our world with beings from two magical realms that are vaguely reminiscent of heaven and hell. Shortly before the novel starts, Charlie is beaten to death and brought back to life with a new set of nightmares and supernatural powers she must come to terms with if she hopes to solve the mystery. The story begins when a pre-teen friend of her daughter is found comatose from inhaling a magical drug. Charlie must investigate.

I admired Kelly Gay’s craft in spinning this excellent tale. The plot and gritty world setting had sufficient twists and surprises and details that I didn’t want to set The Better Part of Darkness down. Charlie’s conflicted relationship with her ex-husband was well depicted. And the society of the Djinn was so interesting that I wished it had played an even larger role. The sexual tension, too, kept me wondering if Charlie would end up dating anyone, and, if so, who.

What’s not to like? Well, for readers who crave new story ideas, the premise was not insanely innovative (though several world and plot elements were). And if what you’re looking for is a police procedural, then you might want to shop elsewhere. But honestly, none of that detracted from my personal enjoyment of this imaginative tale. I look forward to the next installment and would recommend The Better Part of Darkness and Kelly Gay to any fans of urban fantasy.


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STEPHEN (S.B.) FRANK, one of our guest contributors, earned a Ph.D. at Duke University and works in the field of education reform. When he needs a break from real life, he likes to indulge in urban fantasy. He has a particular love for humor, so some of his favorite authors are Dakota Cassidy, Mary Janice Davidson, Mark Henry, Julie Kenner, Katie MacAlister, Richelle Mead and Christopher Moore.

View all posts by Stephen B. Frank

One comment

  1. This book is on my list to get from Santa, or if not then I will purchase here in the new year. I hope to read it soon. I have heard many great things on this books and it seems to be tearing up the blogosphere here lately. I can not wait to get into this book either.

    Thanks for the review!

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