Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Dead by Bianca D'Arc

The most adequate way to describe how I felt about A Darker Shade of Dead is, “Meh...” It certainly wasn’t an awful book, but I found myself feeling rather apathetic about the plot and the characters. This book is actually the third installment in a paranormal romance series, which came as a surprise when I won it on Goodread’s Giveaways because nowhere in the description or on the cover/spine does it indicate that there are two books prior to this one. Perhaps if I had read books one and two before attempting this story, I would have enjoyed it more, but A Darker Shade of Dead gives me only a brief glimpse of the events that lead to the world’s current state before thrusting me into the middle of a zombie war.

The main character, Dr. Sandra McCormick is responsible for unleashing a bunch of zombies into the world when her experiment on improving healing and endurance goes horribly wrong. Overcome with guilt and a need to make things right, she joins a military program hoping that their many resources will provide her with the materials necessary to develop an antidote for the virus. Commander Matt Sykes, leader of this top secret project, proves to be quite the distraction for Sandra with is enticing physique and killer smile. It’s too bad that I didn’t swoon quite like the protagonist did every time Sykes entered the room. I’m sorry to say that the sexual tension between the two was practically nonexistent because the readers spent more time in the character’s heads than witnessing their heated encounters. Even when the two were intimate it just sort of fell flat.

One of the things I found most disappointing about this novel was the massive information dump in the first 100 pages. Between introducing all the characters from the earlier novels, highlighting previous events, describing the evolution of zombies and what measures the military took to keep the situation contained, I’m surprised that there was any page space left for romance. I just kept thinking, “When am I going to get to the good stuff?” A looming zombie apocalypse isn’t exactly a very romantic setting for two strangers hoping to find love, yet if Joss Whedon can somehow manage to make it work, I’d like to think that other writers can too. 

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars


  1. It's too bad they didn't make readers aware that this one is the third in a series and dove right away into things. I always like it when authors give you a refresher on what happened in previous books before getting into the current story.

  2. "if Joss Whedon can somehow manage to make it work, I’d like to think that other writers can too"

    I feel like I could apply this opinion to many different books, movies, and TV shows. Whedon is the man.