Review: After Dark (The 19th Year #1) by Emi Gayle

Friday, January 25, 2013

After Dark (The 19th Year, #1)
Title: After Dark (The 19th Year #1)
Author: Emi Gayle
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing
Date of Publication: October 31, 2012

What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists—which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.



My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I won an ecopy of After Dark from J. Taylor Publishing but this in no way affected my views. Thank you Emi Gayle and J. Taylor Publishing!

I am not familiar with changelings and this is the first time I actually read a novel about them. So I don't know if this definition of a changeling in here is the common one so I'm not really sure if the idea's fresh. But for me, it's definitely a fresh and unique idea. Changelings can take any paranormal form they want. Why choose when you can be anything? Mackenzie can be a vampire, siren, fairy, demon, angel, dragon, any form she wants as she's a changeling, a rare form which only arises in the population every 50 years. It's really cool. But like all conflicts, if you can be anything, you have to choose. Mackenzie should pick a form by her 19th birthday, a form she'll stay on for the rest of her life. Changelings govern the paranormal realm of this world and the council is on her tail to choose her final form already.

Let's start with the characters. Mackenzie is so cool. She's that elusive popular girl in school. She's famous because she's gorgeous and rich but she also stays to herself aka she doesn't have friends or a boyfriend. Winn, her love interest is a hot geek. Cute and handsome at the same time with a to-die-for body but so studious and intelligent, he's my dream guy. Haha! So on the character front, we have two really likeable (and idolizable) characters with sizzling chemistry. They're so cute at the start with all the banter and then hot in the end. Hee. Moreover, there were a lot of side characters and they were all interesting. Mackenzie's mother and father were hilariously mismatched and Winn's sister 

The world building was great. I had no idea whatsoever from the start but never did I feel like I don't know anything. I wasn't confused and Emi Gayle has made the world of After Dark really easy to grasp and I can actually imagine it. The cool factor didn't hurt though. In a breath, she can be a vampire and in the next, she can be a siren.

I was planning to give After Dark four stars at first. But at the end, the pace got so rushed that I'd suffered from whiplash and had to go back a lot. Moreover, upon examining the book more closely, I found some characters only serving as exposition fairies. Like, it's not organic to their character to say or do this, but he/she says it anyway because secrets must be revealed and the plot must move. Upon realizing that, I felt like some plot arcs were forced into the story. Don't think I didn't enjoy these plot twists and arcs. I really did. But the way they were introduced wasn't a hit with me.

Lastly, I like the cover! Except for the tombstone superimposed, I think it got Mac's beauty and cool demeanor and kickassery and the feel that this is an urban fantasy. I really enjoyed reading After Dark and it helped me pass time while I was waiting in line THE WHOLE DAY. I am certainly looking forward to the next book (though I'm not the biggest fan of its cover)!

About Emi Gayle

Emi Gayle just wants to be young again. She lives vicariously through her youthful characters, while simultaneously acting as chief-Mom to her teenaged son and searching for a way to keep her two daughters from ever reaching the dreaded teen years. 

Ironically, those years were some of Emi's favorite times. She met the man of her dreams at 14, was engaged to him at 19, married him at 20 and she's still in love with him to this day. She'll never forget what it was like to fall in love at such a young age — emotions she wants everyone to feel.

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