Happy book birthday to the amazing J. Leigh Bralick!
Today she’s releasing A Dark So Deep, the second book in the Madness Method. I’ve been lucky enough to meet the awesomeness that is J. Leigh and to actually beta-read this new release! The fact that I got to see this story before its release for free has no effect on my review, it’s simply awesome, free or not.
If you haven’t read book 1, The Madness Project, check it out here, and here’s my review. If you have, and you’re ready for A Dark So Deep, it’s here.
This review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read The Madness Project, but I’ll try not to spoil anything from A Dark So Deep.
||Cavnal stands on the brink of war. With the threat of insurrection from within and the threat of a world war from without, peace seems a fragile, distant dream. At the heart of the chaos stand Tarik—beloved Prince, rebel, traitor—and Hayli, the captured mage who knows too many secrets.
With the world falling into chaos around them, Hayli must struggle to save her sanity and escape her captors, while Tarik must wrestle with his own inner prison before he forgets his reason for fighting. Some believe he is the key to defusing the hostilities before they begin. Some believe he is the only one who can save the mages from annihilation. Torn between the bonds of duty and blood, Tarik begins to understand that his choices are never as simple as he believes, and some questions have no clear answers.
With alliances threatened, Hayli in the grips of the Science Ministry, and the line between loyalty and betrayal blurred, there is only one question that matters: If the price for peace is too high, is war the only option? (Goodreads)
I give A Dark So Deep 5 stars!
The madness turns dark as Tarik struggles to find his place in a world where things aren’t as they seem, and Hayli struggles to hold on to the secrets and truths the Science Ministry tries to erase.
There is seriously so much to this book. I almost don’t know where to begin…so I’m gonna reference my first review as a starting point.
The pacing: just as you think “maybe I can put this book down at the end of this chapter,” you’re proven wrong. There was never a good place to stop reading, the intrigue got twistier and turnier (you like that?) with every page.
The characters: I love that the characters struggle so much with what’s right, and what’s wrong, and what are their actual thoughts anyways? The darkness they are in seems so relatable to me, even if I haven’t been in their shoes. Even they don’t know if they’re good or bad, and I love that! There’s also some more exploration of the secondary characters and they are important to the story.
The setting: Even more exploration of Cavnal and mentions of other countries kept me interested in the setting. The steampunk remains an interesting element and I really loved it!
In keeping with getting to know some of the secondary characters better, we also get to see some of the other magic they use and it’s pretty cool and useful. Tarik has yet to completely understand his magic, and it’s heartbreaking and heart-pounding and hopeful and scary and I could just go on and on.
Spending time with the skitters and the mages means we get to enjoy the Cavnish slang some more!
Repeated images and lines that are very powerful, to me at least.
Despite what they’ve been through, the romance between Tarik and Hayli is beautiful, frightening, and dangerous.
There’s a lot of action in this book, and a lot of political players driving the events that are beyond the mages’ control, including Tarik.
The alternating POV between Tarik and Hayli continues to be strong and their voices distinct, their struggles pulling at your heart-strings and tear ducts. I love when an author pulls this off so effectively, and also still gives so much insight to the other characters that we don’t see the thoughts of. The writing is just absolutely beautiful and mind-bending and I hope you give it a chance, it will not disappoint!
Also, check out this tweet if you need any more reasons to read this: