Friday, June 4, 2010
TOKEN OF DARKNESS Review
Cooper Blake has everything going for him—until he wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her.
No one from Cooper’s old life would understand what he can barely grasp himself. . . . But Delilah, the captain of the cheerleading squad, has secrets of her own, like her ability to see beyond the physical world, and her tangled history with Brent, a loner from a neighboring school who can hear strangers’ most intimate thoughts. Delilah and Brent know that Cooper is in more trouble than he realizes, and that Samantha may not be as innocent as she has led Cooper to believe. But the only way to figure out where Samantha came from will put them all in more danger than they ever dreamed possible.
I entered in to reading this book having no idea what it was about, not even reading the cover flap until after I had finished, but during reader, it became obvious that the story revolved around five main characters.
The first of these characters, and the most prominant, is Cooper, a high schooler who returns to school after a serious accident which haunts both his waking and sleeping hours. The accident is something he cannot forget, and something that terrifies him. No longer able to play football as he had done before, Cooper withdraws from his friends over the summer break. He uses the accident as an excuse for his absense when there is more reason for him to keep himself secluded. Ever since the accident, a ghost by the name of Samantha has been following him around.
Samantha remembers nothing from before she appeared at Cooper's side in the hospital after the accident. Cooper is the only person who had see her, and she seeks him out for help, wanting to have a both of her own and to live again. She is plagued by dark shadows which circle her and Cooper, and wants to find a way to escape it all, but everything changes the day someone else is able to see her, if only for a moment.
Through a series of events, Cooper and Samantha run in to Brent, a student at another school who is able to see Samantha for a few moments, and wants to help Cooper. Able to hear other thoughts, Brent believes that a friend of his will be able to help Cooper with Samantha and figure out who she is.
This friend is a sorcerer, a man by the name of Ryan, who has taught Brent about magic and how to control powers. Unfortunately, he does not believe that ghosts exist, yet agrees to see Cooper to sort things out, though the group runs in to another of Ryan's students in magic on the way.
Delilah is a cheerleader at Cooper's school who has worked with dark magic in order to gain power and becomes increasingly interested in Samantha and what Samantha is.
Head spinning yet? Yeah, mine was too. Trying to keep the characters straight was alright at the beginning, but towards the end things became complicated and it was challenging to keep them apart as they tended to blend together.
Regardless of the characters, the plot was slow to develop, though once events began to happen, they happened in easy progression. One thing I enjoy in books is a mystery, and the author gave mystery at the beginning in not explaining what happened to Cooper in his accident until about a forth of the way through the book. Beyond that point, things in the book were pretty straightforward and left little for the reader to wonder about.
As a person who loves characters, the characters in Token of Darkness didn't come through strong enough for me. They appeared as paper characters without the substance or depth, containing little flaws. Towards the end of the novel, Samantha gained depth, though she was the only character who stood out to me, the others remaining simple.
The book comes to a solid conclusion, though the ending turned out to be nearly completely happy. Happy endings don't always happen in reality, and it is a frustration of mine when a book ends without leaving the reader hanging or making them worry about a character.
Regardless, the book does contain strong moments if the reader discards the way the author explains everything without giving the reader a chance to think for themselves. This is a book for someone who want's a light read, and I am not one of those people.