Claire, the Devil's assistant, knows very little about the world she was dropped into five years ago, when she inherited her mother's unpaid debt to the Demon King. She certainly didn't expect to be a contender for the Fallen Queen's throne, a target for the Druid King's mafia, or a suspect in the murder of Junior, the Devil's oldest hell spawn.
In a last ditch effort to save her life and get out of her deal with the Devil, she sets out to solve Junior's murder only to be taken prisoner by the four most dangerous immortal hell spawn alive.
Not to be out done, the Pagan Queen Mab, claims Claire for entering her realm uninvited. She has an old debt to settle with her brother the Devil. Taking Claire from him after losing her years ago is just icing on the cake.
Will Claire win her freedom, and save herself from the Devil? Or be trapped by Mab forever?
©2008-2014 HD Smith (P)2014 HD Smith
It was hard to warm to the main character Claire as her life seems to go so fast. You want to go on her journey but you don't know where it started from. It would have been nice if the book warmed you to the character before the main story started so you could feel excitement, empathy and sadness.
There are good parts to the book and you certainly see the devil and his children in a new light.
"Lauren Fortgang Can Do NO Wrong!"
Lauren Fortgang is the narrator? Heck yeah sign me up!
What I liked
Dark Hope started out as a kind of light UF story that turned into a complex story that had me wondering where the roller coaster was going to stop. I liked the fact that I couldn't easily figure the plot out by chapter 5 like other books I've read. Dark Hope is an audio you need to listen carefully to because you can find yourself lost if you check out from time to time. A lot of plot twists happen.
What Didn’t Quite Work For Me
I actually took a break with only 2 hours left in the audio because I was as lost and pissed as Claire and just wanted to know what the heck was going on. After I took a break and came back to Dark Hope I was glad I did.
Will I continue the series?
Yes. I enjoyed the plot and Claire enough to give a second book a go. Especially if it's on audio and narrated by Lauren Fortgang. Plus I NEED to know who was taking Claire home at the end. H.D. Smith you left me hanging. LOL
Why I listened
Lauren. Freaking. Fortgang. Seriously if I see her name as the narrator I'm going to give it a try. I could listen to Lauren read the phone book. Lauren nailed Dark Hope's 1st person POV through Claire.
"Wanted to love it (loved the premise)...but"
Ok, I think I might be in the minority with this book. I struggled to finish listening to this because the main character just GOT ON MY NERVES. She was so whiny and seemed to accept the abuse that all the factions: Boss, Druids, Pagans, etc wanted to heap on her. Maybe this is me just preferring more strong characters that are a little more snarky and who attempt to fight back against the bad guys. Her character is probably more realistic (if you were in that situation), but for some reason I didn't sympathize with her like I have with other "underdog" characters.
If you are into YA books you will probably like this as their is a lot of angt for boyfriend that she discusses (way too much) throughout the book that plays really no part in the storyline. If this is meant for an adult audience then I think the main character needs to grow up a little more (which, to be fair, she did appear to do in the last couple paragraphs of the book).
"Really great story with LOTS of twists"
The way the story unfolds and the unexpected twists
There are too many to list
She did a really great job with all the voices and making each different
It took a couple of chapters for me to get into this book, but once I did I didn't want to stop listening!!! I finished it in 2 days.
This is the only book by this author on Audible and I really hoping there will be more to this series soon. The story really draws you in and has so many turns. When I first bought this book I thought it would be a light probably funny read, but it's not that. You really feel for the main character and all she goes through in this book.
I loved reading Dark hope and was thrilled when the audio book was released. I have listened to it twice now and it will definitely listen again!
I love a book that pulls the reader in instantly and Dark Hope does. H.D. Smith has created a fantasy world that overlays the real world in a cohesive believable way. The protagonist, Claire, is both smart and strong but she has been dealt a raw deal. I love the way she kept her head and solved problems, learning to use her emerging powers. I felt her hurt and betrayal; my heart ached for her each time she learned a new truth. The action never slows or stops. The ending was fantastic--everything was tied up perfectly. I think it would be a spectacular movie!
Dark Hope is told in the first person from Claire's point of view and Lauren Fortgang captured her personality perfectly in my opinion. She performs each character in a unique, believable way.
H.D. Smith has woven a compelling urban fantasy and Lauren Fortgang brings it to life beautifully. Don't miss this one!
Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series! Enjoyed the narrator. Love the story!
"Good book, but hard to follow"
It's written in a way that everything is revealed and explained as you go. Usually an ok style to read, but we really needed a bit more of a base, a background. It was frustrating to not understand how she got where she was, why, and how the world around her worked. But, it was still very interesting and I did enjoy it. I just purchased the second book, we'll see how that one pans out.
"I tried...but just couldn't get into it"
The premise seemed interesting and unique. It was well written and I like the narrator. I just found it kinda depressing and dark. Couldn't get through it.
"Ramble ramble ramble Yada yada yada......"
The author goes on and on and on and on using 50 words to describe something. The storyline was good but my mind would wander as the author just kept droning on describing something that really didn't need much explanation. It was like she wanted to make the book longer. I returned it and I wasn't even a third of the way into it.
It's a little confusing so far. The author seems to have blended far lore with demons, Druids and pagans. I'm hoping it starts to make more sense in the next book and that Mace becomes a little more like able because this book was seriously lacking in the love interest department.
"I pretty much loved everything about this book"
Dark Hope by HD Smith is an amazing urban fantasy. The main character, Claire, is the Devil’s personal assistant, but she quickly becomes wrapped up in the politics of the non-human world around her. Sent on a quest to save her life, she encounters troubles in the form of magic, beings that hate her, and mysteries. This quest takes her all over the human and non-human world as she not only has to try to save herself, but also beings that she dislikes as she tries to solve the mystery of who is trying to get her killed, or so she thinks.
I pretty much loved everything about this book. The beginning sucked me in, and I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on as Claire discovered new clues and questions. Claire herself is a spunky 21-year-old with a deep well of sarcasm and skepticism to draw from which she wields with rebellious attitude even when perhaps she shouldn’t. Every character from the big three non-human world rulers: the Devil, Mab, and Harry, to their children and lackeys, are fantastic and have depth. While some characters are definitely evil, many are in a gray area – at least to the reader, which makes trying to figure out motives even more fun. Other than Claire, who is the main character, I didn’t specifically have a favorite character, but I think that I loved and hated, and was unsure about all the right characters. While some of the magic/dream states were a little difficult to follow, other settings were easy to imagine. The end of the novel had a clear wrap-up, but left a healthy amount of questions and openings to lead to future novels. The world building is rich with many different avenues to explore and I can’t wait to keep reading/listening to them.
Lauren Fortgang did an amazing job with the narration. The characterization of each of the different characters, male or female, was spot on. The voices and tones of voice for the characters changed and were well-suited. It was easy forget that someone was even reading the book and to be engrossed with the storyline. The production quality was great. I one hundred percent recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy with strong central female characters.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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