Brightest Kind of Darkness (Brightest Kind of Darkness, #1) - P.T. Michelle,  Patrice Michelle I have often lamented that finding a quality book among the drifts of self-published e-books is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. I am happy to report that I have found one of those elusive needles—and it is crafted of solid gold (which is very impractical for a needle, but explains why it blended in with the hay so well.). I was turned onto this book by an interview and contest on Ilona Andrews blog, and as it was $.99 for the e-book I decided to take a flyer on it. I am SO glad that I did. It is books like this that give me hope that the end-product of and independently published work CAN be just as good as one that went through the publish-house procedure. And while it may be rarer, such gems are worth searching for.

I inhaled Brightest Kind of Darkness in a single day because I simply could not put it down. Deceivingly simple in its underpinnings of a high school setting, this book weaves both light and shadows into a twisting plot that far from feeling contrived remains organic in its creation, and yet still leaves ample room for surprise twists and turns that left me guessing. Exploring a completely new take on paranormal fiction Ms. Michelle creates a truly layered story that, while firmly anchored in the young adult realm and time-scope, reaches beyond age and setting borders to be an exciting a touching tale for all ages. It is a superb example of originality in a genre that I feel is sometimes too bogged-down in recycled ideas and well-trod tropes. Many entries that have come out of the exploding young adult genre today are either trite in trying to capture the audience of a well-received book (Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.) or so juvenile as to only really apply to their click market. Brightest Kind of Darkness is a bird of a very different feather.

I loved getting to know the characters in this book. Full of both strength and vulnerability, I felt Ms. Michelle struck a good balance, making the characters feel real. The main protagonists in this book truly breathed for me. If I could give any criticism, it would be that the secondary characters in this story felt a bit flat. Very few of them do I feel scratched the surface of who they could be; however the story and main characters more than made up the slack. I hope that in further volumes I will get to see a bit more deeply into additional characters and see how they affect and interact with the intricate world that was created.

This book had me on the edge of my seat with anticipation and enjoying every second of it. From the starting gate to the ending I can truly say I did not see coming…I wouldn’t change a thing. This series is going on my must-buy list, and I am eagerly anticipating the release of the next volume. I want to know what happens in this story and to be able to spend more time with the characters I have gotten to know and love.

This is a five star book and a new author to keep an eye on in order to see a rising star in action.