Release: 25 Jan, USA & UK
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Galley Grab
Description: The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn't at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus's whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there's no one she can trust to save her.
I hadn't heard of A Brush of Darkness before I got the e-galley, but a quick search of the internet showed me the cover, which sold me almost at once. When I found the description, I knew I had to read it. Luckily, it didn't disappoint.
Abby works in a bookshop during the day (I'm so jealous!) but at night she runs the Midnight Marketplace, where all kind of supernatural creatures come to buy weird & wonderful things. Only she's not supposed to be running it by herself - her boss, the Protectorate Moira, is missing. People come to her with problems, and when they realise that she isn't there, and hasn't been for a while, there are problems. When Abby and her friends start looking for Moira, things get worse, as more people are kidnapped. And tied into the middle of it all, somehow, is Brystion, an incubus who wanders into the bookshop in the first chapter. Abby is attracted to him, and he seems interested in her, but she's never quite sure whether she can trust him, or what his motives are - it feels like he's hiding something.
I liked Abby's character. She's a Touchstone for Moira, which means they have a contract tying them together somehow that allows Moira, a fae, to be in the human world when she wants to be, rather than just at certain times of day. Some things have happened recently in her past that have changed her a lot, but she's trying to move on and make a new life, even if dealing with supernaturals isn't something she ever thought she would do. I liked the relationship between her and Brystion - it has a very central part in the story, and is a bit of a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.
It gets quite creepy in some places, but there are also some really fun things in the book. And I think Allison Pang has pulled them off as being funny and believable at the same time, which not everyone does. For instance, there's the tiny unicorn who keeps getting into Abby's underwear draw. Or the demon obsessed with world-of-warcraft - I literally laughed for about five minutes over that part.
I like the motives of the bad guys/girls too. Not going to give anything away, but I do think it was believable that they acted the way they did.
So, I really enjoyed reading this book. I had a e-galley, but I'm definitely going to buy a 'real' copy when I find it in the shops - this is a book that I will read again, and I love the cover! I really hope there's a sequel, but I'd read anything else she writes regardless of whether it was set in Abby's world or not. I give it 9 out of 10 stars.