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After the Darkness*

Grown-Up Hogwarts, Though Not Quite a Romance or Standalone

Chloe has a painful family past and seems to be in danger. She lives partly in a shadowy world of magic and vampires, in fact, working for a vampire in a bar. To keep her safe, she is sent to an institute in Scotland where magical people learn. Think of it as a Hogwarts for grown-ups. She meets a variety of supernatural beings, including vampires, huntsmen, and dragons.

I thought the first part of the book was a bit of an information dump, trying to set up Chloe’s backstory. Chloe’s relationship with Levi didn’t feel as developed as it should be, and it certainly didn’t feel like a full-on romance as it is said to be. The book is supposed to be a standalone, but if it is supposed to be a romance, it ended before that really got much underway. We get a sense that Chloe and Levi’s story is just beginning rather than at a natural stop point where we can see the rest of how their relationship will turn out, which is more common for the romance. Also, I thought there were too many unanswered questions at the end of the book to call it truly a standalone.

Still, this is a complex and intriguing world. Chloe is smart, and it is fascinating to watch her adapt to this new world she has been thrust into.