A Brush of Darkness

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang is the story of Abby Sinclair, touchstone to a being who holds the title of Protectorate, but inadequately trained for the role that she holds.  Abby is still recovering from the horrendous accident that has altered her life forever but she has entered into a contract with Moira who is not only her boss and the Protectorate but is also far more important than Abby has ever dreamed.  An incubus enters her life and draws her into the search for missing succubi while seducing her both with his potent allure and his ability to alleviate the frightening nightmares that plague her.  Abby is caught in the power struggles that she inadvertently triggers when Moira disappears and has difficulty identifying friends and foes.  A miniature unicorn with an affinity for her underwear drawer, startingly lifelike portraits and a friend who is able to create Doors to the CrossRoads that traverse the worlds all add to the complications in Abby’s life as she struggles with the burgeoning powers that threaten to overwhelm her.  It will take a concerted effort by a very disparate group if she is going to live long enough to utilize her newfound abilities.

An intriguing mix of inventive concepts juxtaposed with quirky characters.  A few too many mysterious threads that are not resolved make the story a bit cumbersome to read but this is nonetheless a very promising beginning presented by a delightfully imaginative author.  There are an almost overwhelming conglomeration of otherworldly personages who have their own rules and hierarchies but hopefully these will be fleshed out in subsequent books.  Among the many fascinating characters who could use more exposition is the purring furry unicorn with an affinity for asses who is unusually tolerant of non-virgins, even if they are particularly fond of Hello Kitty undies.  An entertaining read.

Book Blurb for A Brush of Darkness

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.

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 as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts.. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading 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 Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2011 4.00