Title: Darkest: The Marines are coming
Author: Paul L Arvidson
Published by: Independently Publshed
Publication date: 28th May 2021
The marines are coming. A strange ship carries His Majesty’s navy and a young girl on a rescue mission to the planet known as Dark. A young pup who calls Dark her home is growing up in war and is on a rescue mission of her own. When the two meet, who will need rescuing from whom?
A sentient ship and a child who is the only one who can talk to it. Marines who are on colonial expansion expedition unbeknownst to the ship’s rookie Captain, who thinks she is leading them to rescue and explore.
Meanwhile, on the planet below, the Grey Duchy have poisoned One-Love, the organic supermind that controls the Dark’s systems, in order to keep secret what only they and it know about the world that exists outside the Dark.
Our heroes Dun, Padg, Amber, and Kaj are defending the fresh alliance between the peoples of the Dark from an impending civil war.
Will Fluppit and her mentor Sari find a way to cure One-Love and save the Dark before it’s too late?
I was given a copy of Darkest: The Marines are Coming by author Paul L Arvidson in return for an honest review. I am sorry to report that I DNF’d this book at roughly the 35% mark.
Initially, I found the ideas within Darkest rather enticing; this is a new world for me to explore and get to grips with, however, being the third in a Trilogy, I found that I was missing a lot of the vital information about the world setting that would have been established in the previous two books.
While I didn’t finish the book due to lack of understanding, I did enjoy a couple of the characters I met along the way. Long-suffering Procurement Officer Richard Purves was a dreary-delight to read about, his world-weary outlook was endearing and brought a maturity to the novel that I gravitated towards. He is relatable as a character and one that I could find myself looking forward to reading about as the novel developed.
So too did I find the characters that inhabited the world of ‘Dark’ although I found myself lacking what felt like fundamental basics of their character; who and what are they. I did find their individual characterisations well written. They were distinguishable from one another and their personalities stood apart from one another. Again, I feel that I would have gotten more from these characters if I’d started at the beginning of the series, but what I did get through was entertaining enough – if a little vague.
The world of ‘Dark’ – which I get the impression this series of work is based around – had some very interesting concepts that I’d love to spend a bit more time discovering. The central control system known as OneLove only added to the intrigue of the setting, but I truly felt like I was missing something throughout the reading of Darkest.
I feel like I am doing author Paul L Arvidson a dis-service rating his book as I have, but Darkest was explained to me as able to read as a stand-alone novel as well as a part of a larger body of work and I am afraid I must disagree. I felt like I’d missed out on too much of what had come before.
I think this is a series of books that would be best engaged from the very beginning – and should I find time in my reading list, I’d like to go back to the start and re-review Darkest when I come to it’s place in the series.
While the book had some strong characters and well-written descriptions I found it hard to understand and enjoy as a stand-alone due to the feeling of having missed vital information that would have been given in the previous books in the series.