Review: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

5 Feb

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Mass Market: $7.99
Pocket Books: (January 2011)
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9832-2

Favorite Lines: “You try having a stick of lip balm half up your ass for forty-five minutes and then we can compare notes.” (p. 190)

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Want to read a dark urban fantasy that makes you laugh out loud? A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang is that book. It’s full of nightmares, other worldly creatures (angels, daemons, fae, unicorns…), and hot and heavy, page burning, “do him do him” lust. Hilarious zingers had me crackin’ up while my daughters looked at me like I was psycho. Stuff like:

“Forgive me if I’m wrong,” I said, my voice strangled. “I mean, I know I’m an idiot and all, but I’m pretty sure unicorns aren’t supposed to hump people’s ankles.” (p. 56)


I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning. (p. 179)

The humor is often countered by the darkness of the world. It’s explained early in the story that if the Other Folk knew the Protectorate was missing they might turn on Abbey. So when Abbey’s associates begin to distance themselves, I was surprised at how painful I found it. For the most part she was left to deal with betrayals, danger and possible death on her own because nobody trusted her. They are physically there, but few are there to offer her emotional support.

The story is told from the heroine’s point-of-view, so we are basically learning about the world as she does. The world building and cast of characters is excellent. The balance of what needs to be told and that which has to be told in order for the story to succeed was perfect. It enticed me to read more.

I especially enjoyed the way Pang avoided an easy ending. When you read the book you will understand what I mean. Often books take us for the instant gratification, but that doesn’t happen in A Brush of Darkness. It’s a great introductory book to a new series that I can’t get enough of. At the end of the story you’ll find a sneak peek at what’s to come in the series.


5 Responses to “Review: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang”

  1. janicu February 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Hah, miniature unicorn? I love that. This one sounds worth a look for the mix of humor and seriousness. Thanks for the review!

  2. Julie February 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    I have only heard great things about this book. I am desperately trying to squeeze it in somewhere because I want to read it now! Good review!

  3. scooper February 5, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Janicu: The unicorn will have you crackin’ up. I think most of the humor comes from him. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.
    Julie: I received an ARC earlier in the week and was so excited to see it. But then I got a little apprehensive about it. I’ve been on a bad pick kick. The previous five books I’d read really sucked and I was afraid I’d be disappointed. I wasn’t. It’s def. a book for my keeper shelf.

  4. Jessica February 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    This looks right up my alley. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. scooper February 21, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Any time! Let me know what you think about it when you’re done.

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