Enter the Darkness by Sarah Budd

Stars: 2 out of 5.

I don’t understand all the glowing reviews for this book on Goodreads. I found it boring as fish. For a relatively short 200 page book it, it draaaaged and almost put me to sleep several times. I felt like just reaching the ending was an uphill battle.

My biggest issue was the multitude of grammatical and stylistic errors. I mean, English isn’t my first language, but I’m pretty sure having verbs both in present and past tense in the same paragraph isn’t grammatically sound. It’s jarring to the eye when you read the book, that’s for sure. It creates a cognitive confusion that took me out of the story completely a few times.

Add to that the head hopping that happened in a few places, when the chapter was clearly titles as being from the point of view of one character, but there would be paragraphs that described how another character felt or what they thought. As far as I know, none of the protagonists are omniscient, or telepathic, so how could they know that?

My second issue is that I didn’t care for any of the characters. Yes, they had issues. Yes, the author tried hard to make us understand what moved them and make us empathize. Unfortunately, she failed, at least in my case. Being privy to their inner monologues didn’t make me like them more, but made me annoyed with them at times. Especially Garth. The thoughts that went through his head were downright creepy and disturbing at times. He is certified stalker material. No wonder he had no friends or girlfriend.

Finally, as I mentioned, the story drags. The pacing is very uneven. The first 50-60% of the book is basically set up, then the events unfold at breakneck speed. Honestly, we didn’t’ need that much set up. We could have spent more time in the caves to advance the actual story instead of flashbacks into the pasts of our protagonists. A lot of that information wasn’t necessary. What little we actually needed could have been woven organically into the narrative. As it was, I almost DNFed the book at about halfway point. 

I added one extra star for the description of the caves. You can see that the author did her research. That place is fascinating. Now I really want to visit.

I guess if you did “mesh” with the characters and didn’t mind grammatical errors, this books could be a good read for you.

PS: I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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