A Brush of Darkness (Abby Sinclair, Book 1)

A Brush of Darkness (Abby Sinclair, Book 1) - Allison Pang I had two separate experiences with this book: the beginning, where you are mired in a world that you know nothing about and are in a state of near constant confusion; and, the second half where you're so riveted by the story you can't turn the pages fast enough. Funny how my feelings seemed to mirror that of the heroine, Abby Sinclair, and I believe this may have been the designed effect of the author and pretty brilliant. I suffered through the beginning, almost to the point of quitting but was utterly hooked by the second half of the story and settled in for a very interesting ride. The story begins with Abby continuing to behave as if everything is normal, even though it's been four months since she's seen Moira, Protectorate of the Faery, her employer and the person she's responsible for as a TouchStone (mortal who provides those immortals or OtherFolk the ability to cross between worlds). Abby's pretty clueless about her role and Moira's world and those around her thinks she's pretty lame as a TouchStone for the most important immortal residing in the human world. When things start to get dicey, it becomes impossible to keep Moira's disappearance secret. It also becomes clear that something more is amiss when other disappearances come to light. Abby might be hapless initially but we end up seeing she has lightning sharp instincts that become invaluable. While this is considered to be fantasy, there's much more paranormal romance than expected when Abby becomes involved with Brystion, a daemon incubus who infiltrates her mind but also gives her the awareness that she's a Dreamer. I normally don't like dream sequences but after a bit, they become such a natural part of the action and are seamlessly woven into the fabric of the story. Brystion and Abby's relationship is sensual and unusual, but one that is often problematic. Pang has created an utterly fascinating world with layered, complicated characters and if you can be patient through the first half, you'll get your payoff with the second. Abby is both frustrating at times and insightful at others. She's an enigma with a snarky sense of humor and a big heart. Oh, and there's a perverted unicorn that shows up that will keep you in stitches. The ending was a surprise and had me jump right into the next book so be forewarned.