A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Surrender the Dark (The Dark #1) by Tibby Armstrong

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This story appears to be the beginning of a new series, and as such, the author spends much of the time world-building. Unfortunately, I found this incredibly boring and after a while it became difficult to focus on the pages. From the blurb, I thought this would be a paranormal romance with the protagonists, Benjamin, the hunter, and Tzadkiel, the vampire king, immediately attracted to one another and eventually becoming lovers and going against the bad guy. In this case, the bad guy is The Morgan, the head of the witch coven and father of Benjamin’s BFF, Nix.

But the blurb doesn’t begin to describe the scope of this story. The book starts out with gruesome details of torture and then segues into deep animosity between the two chief protagonists and then—lo and behold—zombies enter the picture! To be honest, if I wasn’t reading this for review, I would have DNFed it at 33%. But I decided to persevere to the halfway mark before making a decision. And then I kept going since there was a hint of sexual attraction and it looked like there might be some deep emotional attraction between Benjamin and Tzadkiel in the future. Maybe there’d be a romance after all. And there was—though it was one of those push-and-pull romances where the characters continued to disappoint each other nearly to the end of the story.

The biggest issue for me was that I didn’t feel connected to either of the MCs, and quite frankly, I really didn’t care if they got together, or even if they won the battle and lived to see another day (or a sequel in this case.) I just didn’t feel the love between the two, and what’s more important to me—I didn’t get hooked by either character, so this one fell flat.

I did admire the writer’s craft and imagination in building this world, and the complexity of the hierarchy of paranormal beings and their powers. For that reason, I gave this two stars. It was okay. But overall, from the perspective that I would have enjoyed some bonding, especially after there was some blood exchanged, and I surely would have enjoyed caring about one or both characters—no. This story just didn’t do it for me.


Cover design by Lynn Andreozzi and photo by Ingram Publising/Agefotostock depicts a naked male torso—back view—with his arms out and head tipped back—against a dark background. I didn’t find it attention-getting, but it can be applied to any vampire or dark story, though not necessarily specific to this one.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 251 pages
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Loveswept
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Dark #1

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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