Review: The Brink of Darkness by Jeff Giles


Overall: 3.5/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5
Setting: 4/5
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review In A Nutshell: The Brink of Darkness is a fun read, but didn’t hold up to my expectations after loving the first book.


– Premise –

The Brink of Darkness is the sequel to The Edge of Everything, following our characters after they were left in a pretty bad situation. X is in literal hell, and Zoe is missing him in the real world, but X has a plan to reunite with her and save himself from damnation.

– Plot-

Where the first novel revolved mostly around Zoe and her story, this one focuses on X. I was very excited about that, considering how little we know of his world and the supernatural aspect of this universe. However, this book definitely is slower than the first, with noticeably less action and the stakes feel less grave.

– Setting –

This book really does flesh out the Lowlands and explain further how that system works, which I was really excited for. They explore a lot further and also go on to describe more about the various powers seen in the first book and the rules they follow.

– Writing –

The writing is actually what I had the biggest issue with, which is surprising considering I enjoyed it in the first book. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood for it. Jeff Giles writing style is very humorous and light, with almost a juvenile feeling to it while reading. I loved some of the banter and sarcasm in the dialogue. It’s definitely not as twisted and dark like a lot of popular YA books are leaning to. This makes the book feel very accessible but also cheapens some of the aspects of the book that could really stand out. I felt the first book balanced the humor with the tension a little better. It’s still good writing, and enjoyable, but just felt a little lackluster to me.

– Characters –

The characters in this book are all fun. While some of the side characters were left one dimensional, the main characters were all well rounded and interesting. I absolutely love X. His arc over this series is absolutely amazing. Zoe is another strong character, I loved that her (classic-YA-heroine)reckless behavior is called out for what it is and the almost insta-love nature of her and X’s relationship is addressed. Also I really need to know more about Gloria, the lesbian with anxiety and depression. She is great.

– Conclusion –

Pros– Funny, entertaining characters, interesting and well-developed world building
Cons– Writing didn’t really click with me like it did in the first book (felt more middle grade than YA)
Overall– 3.5/5 stars.
The Brink of Darkness is a satisfying conclusion, that is quick and entertaining but ultimately fell short of my expectations.

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