Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dark Passage (Chosen#1) Review and Giveaway!

Title: Dark Passage (Chosen #1)
Author: M.L. Woolley
Dark Passage ( Chosen (Book 1)Publisher: Self Published
Published: March 20 2012
Format: E-book
Pages: 309
Source: Received from the Author 
in exchange for an honest review
Read: June 6-19th
My Rating: A solid  3 stars
In A Few Words:  Mysterious and intriguing
Goodreads Synopsis:
Jen hides in a rundown mansion when her life falls apart, has vivid experiences with a beautiful male entity who longs to be her soulmate, and must choose reality of living or dead. Her childhood friend Ivy 19, from a rough past, can communicate with the dead, and other supernatural gifts emerge. Ivy will resist the evil that would separate the lovers. 

“With one final glance behind her, Jen urged her horse forward, and toward the safety of the mountains. Her heart was heavy and she immediately thought of the other realm. Her hope was that they were aware of what had happened and would help. Chaos was already breaking out; and the world was in danger of slipping back to a time of great darkness, reminiscent of the Middle Ages.
Melissa's Musings:

Let me start off by saying that although this book was a bit difficult for me to fully engage in at the beginning, it did redeem itself,  and I'm very glad to have read it.

The book starts off with Jen, a woman who is planning her escape from an abusive husband who treats her horribly. The only place she feels happy and safe, is in her dreams, with Bill, a man who she feels is her soulmate. We then find out that Bill is in a coma, and that his only remaining family member is trying to have him pulled off of life support. What follows is Jen's journey to escape from her husband, with the help of her friend Ivy. They also become involved in something much bigger than both of them could have imagined.

Ivy has discovered that she has mystical powers and that she is destined to help the White Ones in their battle. Jen has fallen in love with Bill, a Hafling, even though for most of the story she can only see him in her dreams

There are a lot of interesting elements to this story. It's got a little bit of everything. The battle between good and evil, demons, angels, magical powers, and a love story. Who could ask for anything more?

This book has several positives, and just a few rough edges.

As I mentioned before, it did take me a while to get into this book. I think that this was partly due to the fact that the perspectives switched without much warning, and some of the explanation of the action was done after the fact rather than before the switch. The good thing about the switches in perspective though, is that it felt to me like both Jen and Ivy got equal "screen" time. ( I know it's not a movie but I'm not quite sure what else to call it..."page time" I guess?) So, in that respect it felt like there were two main characters, which was really neat. It made it feel like they were more of a team and that they will be stronger together when they have to face what's to come.

I have to also mention one technical aspect of the writing, that, while engaging, was a little bit difficult to get used to. A lot of the time there were descriptions that were what I would call a bit wordy. In the explanations of key events or beautiful surroundings, these were excellent and descriptive. But in other spots, like in basic dialogue or background setting, these overly lengthy descriptions got to be a bit stifling and detracted from the story. I like strong descriptions to be sure, but in some places I feel that making some cuts could have made the story flow more smoothly and made the dialogue less stiff

The story is interesting enough though that it's easy to move past the stiff dialogue.

I also wanted to mention that I enjoyed the simplicity of Bill and Jen's romance. It's simple, sweet and natural. There are no overly exaggerated declarations of passion or complicated back and forth of whether or not they really care for each other. It's a refreshing break from some of the romance sequences I've encountered in my reads over the last few months.

I have always enjoyed books that have to do with magic, demons, witches, paranormal and supernatural elements. At the beginning of the story it didn't seem like there was going to be much of strong role for the magic/supernatural elements so I was a bit disappointed. But, during the last quarter of the story, the magic element was explored further, which I was really happy to see. I have a feeling magic is going to play a much greater role in the next book in the series. I'm excited to see what will happen next.

I also enjoyed the fact that the author included a preview of book two at the end of this book. While I had some trouble getting pulled in right away with this first book, the small preview of book two had no trouble catching my attention with it's action packed first scenes. I know just from that small glimpse that I'd be drawn right into book two.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes supernatural/paranormal themes, love stories, and history.

I would also like to thank the author for the opportunity to read, and share her work with my readers.
And now for the Giveaway!

M.L. Woolley has very generously offered  2 paperback copies of Dark Passage as well as 20 E-copies. The paperback copies will be limited to US followers only but the ecopies are open to US and International 
readers alike.

For This Giveaway:

There is only 1 mandatory entry and that is to tell me whether you are a US or International reader.
The rest of the entries are entirely optional, do as many or as few as you like!
Please be sure you have reviewed the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the rafflecopter form.

You DO NOT have to be a follower of Melissa's Midnight Musings to win (though I appreciate anyone who chooses to follow)
All entries will be verified
Any false entries will be removed 
Winners will be contacted by email within 72 hours of the end of the giveaway.
Winners will have 48 hours from the time their notification email is sent to reply before a new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Midu Hadi said...

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time now!

Candace said...

New follower from GoodReads. I would love a follow back at


wulf said...

Sounds good, I love paranormal/medieval/magic kinds of books :)

Please count me in for the giveaway!


Melissa said...

@Midu: Good luck in the giveaway!

@Candace: Thanks for following my blog, I'm now following yours as well.

@Wulf: Good luck! :)

KE said...

I want to expand my reading repertoire :)

kimbacaffeinate said...

Great review, i know exactly what you mean about the wordy descriptions, it is a fine line authors must balance and when it fails it makes reading difficult. I am glad that you walked away glad that you read it.