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The Better Part of Darkness [Mass Market Paperback]

Kelly Gay
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 24 2009
Atlanta: it's the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil....

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim -- but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

Frequently Bought Together

The Better Part of Darkness + The Darkest Edge of Dawn + The Hour of Dust and Ashes
Price For All Three: CDN$ 29.47

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"Better Homes and Gardens provides a basic grilling how-to, along with plenty of photos and enticing recipes. After information on grill types, setting up, cleaning up, tools, and safety, the recipes include Honey-Citrus Pork Quesadillas, Lamb Chops with Blackberry-Pear Chutney, and Feta-Stuffed Pita Burgers. This book makes grilling easy, with step-by-step photos and just enough helpful information to give beginners confidence. Rick Browne's Grilling for All Seasons and Steven Raichlen's How To Grill are also excellent for novices." (Library Journal, August 2011) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY VERY Good "first" Book Feb. 10 2014
By Bootsy Bass TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Kelly Gay is an amazing writer. Especially since this is her first full novel. The writing is superb. She writes like a grizzled veteran of the Urban Fantasy war.
The Better part Of Darkness creates a believable character in Charlie Madigan. A hard working single mum with a pre-teen daughter. Kelly Gay has that fantastic ability to make characters on paper....errr....digital screens....come to life. There are enough twists and turns in her plot line of this book to keep you up and reading WAY past your bedtime. I was so enthralled with this book about mid-way through that I went to the kindle store and bought the next three in the series.
This series is every bit as good as the "Hollows" series with Rachel Morgan and the first 9 of the Vampire Hunter books with Anita Blake. Charlie Madigan fits right in. Very good first book.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  78 reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Better Part Of Darkness Could Have Been Better. Jan. 3 2010
By Lady Rogue (Escape Between The Pages) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story starts off strong. Charlie Madigan arrives at her daughter's school, after she overhears a call for paramedics being needed. (As a mother myself, I can relate to the urgency, to make sure that her daughter was alright and safe.) Once there, she discovers the body of her daughter's friend/babysitter on the girl's bathroom floor. The good news, she isn't dead. The bad news, an underworld narcotic called, "ASH" appears to have reached the uptown schools. Charlie, along with her sexy Siren partner Hank, make it thier misson to get the drug and those who are behind the drug off the streets.

Charlie has the mentality, determination, and heart of a good cop. But she is too stubborn and self absorbed. There is too much emphasis on her self analyzing everything, it gets boring. Yeah...yeah....get on with it already. This happens many times throughout the book. What I do like, is Charlie being a divorced mother. It gives her crediablity and makes her a bit more likable. I also appreciate her not being able to push aside years of feelings for her ex-husband and the inner struggles that those feelings cause. Her relationship with her partner is refreshing as well, they genuinely care for each other. Their bickering interaction, is well done. I have come to the conclusion that they are both smartasses. Charlie's and her daugher's relationship is endearing. I do like that, at times, it seems like the daughter is taking care of the mother, than the other way around.

With exception of Hank and Emma, I feel the remaining characters lack depth, substance and are unnecessary. None are very engaging and feel as if they are just thrown in to fill up space. Those who do have a purpose, don't have enough back story to make me find them believable.

Although, the character depth isn't the greatest, the world building is cleverly done and perhaps the book's strongest attribute. The world is not what it used to be, since the "discovery" of two other planes of existence. Kelly Gay's universe has alot of potential, that has room to grow. I really dig the possible religious ramifications and the idea of a Heaven and Hell on Earth, and the mention of Legend, darkness, demons, angels, aliens, etc... It supports the unending struggle of good versus evil, thus giving it a strong base for a plot. If only, it is the main focus. Unfortunately, to many subplots and not enough main plot.

All in all, it is a good read, but not a great book. Turning the last page, I am left feeling unsatisfied. There are too many subplots still open, that leaves me without closure. Most of the characters lacked depth, substance and purpose. I did feel that the protagonist wasn't so much ass kicking, but smart mouthed. That being said, as urban fantasies go, it didn't suck. For me, it is probably a one time read.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed novel for urban fantasy readers Nov. 20 2009
By Donna - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Better Part of Darkness, told from Charlie Madigan's point of view, was an exciting, fast-paced read for me. I finish this book in nearly one sitting. What kept me glued to the pages was how clues were dropped at just the right place, and the mystery just kept building. The pace of was perfect. The unique world and atmosphere of this book had the right combination of dark and gritty paranormal aspects.

The biggest attention grabber for me was the colorful personalities of the characters. From Hank, Charlie's gorgeous off-world partner to Byrn, her eclectic sister who runs a herb shop in the Underground. Charlie, mother of a pre-teen, is a gusty heroine, who has heart. But she's tough as nails when the situation calls for it and it's called for many times. She presents everyone with a tough exterior and acts like she can handle whatever comes her way on her own, but on the inside she is always questioning herself. I could see Charlie as a real person.

The thing that can make a book really pop for me is when the bad guys are truly evil and vile. You get that kind of scary here. So when your reading a scene with the bad guys, your on the edge of your seat with worry and dread. More than once I was wondering how Charlie was going to save herself.

The ending left me feeling very satisfied but full of anticipation for the next book. This was a story that left me thinking about it long after I finished reading it. I will be picking up the next book in Charlie Madigan's universe. This one is going down in my top 10 reads of this year.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uncertain about book Dec 6 2009
By P. Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what I think about this book. Gay did a good job of creating a believable world with different supernatural figures. Charlie is the kick-ass heroine, a police officer with supernatural talents that she doesn't understand yet. I liked the plot making and the character development. So what is it I don't like? I had a hard time keeping up with all the various characters. Someone would pop up who had obviously been introduced early, but several times I couldn't remember who they were. I was also unsure of several characters' motivation, especially someone (not giving a spoiler) who was supposed to be on the other side, but who wasn't.

There were a lot of hanging events. I think I would have liked it better if the author had wrapped up a little more of the plots. So I guess I'll give it a positive but not glowing rating. I'm not sure if I'll read the next book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get into, picked up near the end June 24 2010
By Kindle-aholic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
It took me awhile to get through this book. The world building is unique, and I can see where quite a few stories could be spun off from all of the threads in book 1, the problem for me is that there are too many threads.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS:
First there is the drug that leads to coma and death in humans, the interaction between all of the different types of beings (mages, sirens, djinn, "demons", "angels", regular folks), Charlie's family drama (the ex who wants back in, her kid in danger), her family history (her twin, her sister), genetic manipulation, politics, and so on. Things came together for the most part at the end, but it was a tangle. There is a lot left hanging, and I'm curious about the next book, but still on the fence since it took me so long to finish this one.

On the plus side, I did find Charlie to be believable as she came into her power, and in her love for her family and friends. That was endearing, and she showed strength as well as vulnerability.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars definitely not love at first sight April 25 2010
By nekojita - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not quite sure what to think of this series. I managed to finish the book, and it did have some good points (world-building elements of Elysia and Charbydon) and some not so good points (did not really bond with the main character, felt the plot was lacking in certain areas). I think my main problem is that there wasn't much to this book that I haven't seen done elsewhere before. Atlanta seems to be the popular choice anymore for AU urban fantasy settings, we have the spunky kid in danger, the tough as nails female protagonist who is pushing everyone away to hide her inner hurt.... I guess the one thing that makes the book stand out from the rest is that most of the attractive male characters seem destined for relationships with other characters than Charlie, which is a refreshing twist in that we have less focus on romance and more on plot (if you're so inclined).

I just wish I liked the main character Charlie better. As I mentioned, she didn't seem very original, and I'm always leery of the set-up of 'no, I'm nothing special' and then '*boom* I have powers' (to try to not give away too much else). There's a bit of contradiction elsewhere in the book, all bad guys/but not quite so, some plot elements that I have some problems with (and seem a little too contrived to make things either too easy or too difficult for our heroine). I guess the most negative thing on the whole I can say about this series is I've no strong desire at the moment to continue it if future books are going to be similar to this one. I'd rather look for something that's more original and makes a bit more sense.
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