Title: The Fell of Dark
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing
Length: 384 Pages
Category: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
At a Glance: Excellent world building, a creative use of historical figures, and an abundance of danger and intrigue come together to make The Fell of Dark one of the best books I’ve read so far this year.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: What’s a boy to do when his crush is a hot vampire with a mystery to solve?
The only thing August Pfeiffer hates more than algebra is living in a vampire town.
Located at a nexus of mystical energy fields, Fulton Heights is practically an electromagnet for supernatural drama. And when a mysterious (and annoyingly hot) vampire boy arrives with a cryptic warning, Auggie suddenly finds himself at the center of it.
An ancient and terrible power is returning to the earthly realm, and somehow Auggie seems to be the only one who can stop it.
Review: “I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.” ~ Gerard Manley Hopkins
Caleb Roehrig’s The Fell of Dark is the best YA Urban Fantasy I’ve read in quite some time. Full of suspense, surprises, excellent world building, outstanding character building, sharp prose and dialogue, a deep dive into the realms of sorcery and magic and the undead, and an ending that leaves some cards on the table for a sequel (fingers crossed, though this book is excellent on its own), it all came together to vault this book onto my list of top reads, so far, of 2020.
Fulton Heights, Illinois, isn’t a typical Chicago suburb. Fulton Heights isn’t a typical anywhere, to be more specific. Situated over a convergence of ley lines that makes it the ideal magnet for all things cabalistic, the story’s protagonist, Auggie Pfeiffer, unbeknownst to him, is the epicenter of a millennia-old prophecy … and he’s the only one who can stop a mad being’s bid for world domination. But not without a lot of help from people he’s not even sure he can, or should, trust. At every turn, Auggie discovers secrets and lies that means he’s constantly wrong-footed—and the two guys he’s wildly attracted to are a big part of the dilemma.
Auggie’s got ninety-nine problems, and all he really wants is to pass Algebra. Oh, and also maybe get the chance to kiss a boy before he dies.
As the danger multiplies, so do Auggie’s connections to an entity that is both worshiped and vilified. Some want to kill him, some want to study him, some want to save him, and some want this being to prevail to overthrow humanity—and their leader is a madman who made his own imprint on history. Auggie is getting input from all quarters, which compounds his trust issues, because this input isn’t always given up before it impacts him in threatening ways. Roehrig excels at meting out the suspense and danger alongside the inclusion of a variety of historical figures that gives an interesting twist to the already twisted entity that’s threatening the natural order of things. The lead-up to and then the fruition of the inevitable battle scene was accomplished with a steadily building and precise approach to the storytelling that held me captive and kept me turning pages. The number of times I blurted “oh my god!” and “whaaaat!” was so worth it.
The cast of helpers on Auggie’s journey added so much to the story. Friends and allies come through for him in a big way, and their roles became significant to the outcome whereas they easily could have fallen into the role of simple devices used to prop up his quest. While there is an element of…not a love triangle, per se, but certainly a compelling attraction between Auggie and the two guys I mentioned earlier, I do want to stress that The Fell of Dark is not a YA romance, so gauge expectations accordingly. If you’re looking for a little flirting along with some thoroughly entertaining and smart YA Urban fantasy, though, this book is a great pick.
You can buy The Fell of Dark here:
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