This is a book review for Darkness Falls, the first book in the Reveler Series by Erin Kellison. It’s available here:
I really didn’t know what star rating to give this book. I was wavering between 3 and 4, so I guess I’ll probably cut the balance and call it a 3.5.
I just loved the concept of it. It has the potential to be a truly astonishing series if the world building is done right, but that’s also what really lets it down.
The concept and world of Reve is really complex – there are layers to it and even more layers to the people that travel in and out of it. It reminded me a lot of Inception in many ways. The characters are deeply compelling and you can see that Kellison has built them back stories that should be quite rich with emotion and character building, but it’s all just…lacking.
I finished the book with absolutely no idea what Chimera is or what it does, or if Chimerae are in fact a species. I didn’t really understand the concept of Reve…how things are built in it if it exists in the mind, or how it can be manipulated if it’s not just in the mind. It’s not explained clearly, or in a way that even hints about how it works. I liked how certain parts of it had vernacular, like The Scrape, but there’s just not enough of the weave of the story there to hold it together. There are hints of darkness here and there – mentions of tracking serial killers deep into the dark. I feel like those are the aspects that should have given it depth but weren’t brought to life at all.
I thought the relationship was very rushed too. One minute she’s barricading her door against him, the next minute they’re all over each other. I get that there was attraction, but for all that the fear was made into a mountain, she gives it right up. It was very jarring.
I finished reading this with a feeling like I was trying to catch a dream – the harder you chase the whispers, the more they disintegrate. The more I tried to figure it out, the more lost I got. And that’s sad. Because if it had been written as a full length novel, I’d have absolutely loved it. So frustrating!
I think that’s what lets it down – it’s too short. It just skims over everything without any depth. For a concept this big, it deserves more than a novella. If Kellison took the time to flesh out the characters and the world and the timeline, this book would be something extraordinary. I get that it’s a series, but even in series format you’d expect to finish the first book with some idea of how it works and who the characters are.
I don’t know whether to buy the second in the series.