Review: The Brink of Darkness by Jeff Giles

The Brink of Darkness by Jeff GilesThe Brink of Darkness
Jeff Giles
Published on July 3, 2018

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About The Brink of Darkness
Things have changed for seventeen-year-old Zoe ever since the otherworldly events that brought her together with the mysterious bounty hunter she calls X. In order to save Zoe and her family, X has done the unthinkable – he’s given up his freedom and returned to captivity in the Lowlands.

X is determined to break the lords’ hold on him once and for all, but being stripped of his power pushes him toward a darkness he’s never experienced and a past he’s never known. The secrets that surface could be the key to reuniting X and Zoe… or they could mean the destruction of everything they have been fighting for.

My Review
So many great lines! Pretty much any section told from Zoe’s point-of-view is packed with fantastic side comments and banter between her and her friends. X’s sections aren’t quite as peppery, but I loved the Ukrainian for all his snarky one liners.

So much heart. The Brink of Darkness is, above all else, a story about true love. Both the love between X and Zoe and love of family—birth family, and family you make for yourself.

I struggled with the amount of violence portrayed in this book. Some scenes show graphic torture and reference some pretty horrible events. If I didn’t like the other elements of the story so much, I don’t think I could have finished it. Even though I did, this probably isn’t a good choice for sensitive readers. If I had known how much was in the book, I probably wouldn’t have tried to review it.

Which isn’t to say I’m sorry I read it. I don’t know. I’m really torn. I really didn’t like the amount of violence, but I am a total sucker for a book with great banter and such fun characters. I’m glad it had that quality. See my comments below for additional notes on content.

Brink of Darkness on AmazonRecommended for Ages 16 up.

Cultural Elements
Zoe’s best friend Val is a lesbian. Zoe’s family members are vegans.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Infrequent use of strong profanity. One odd thing about the book is the lowercase use of “god” throughout the whole story, even when spoken by a priest.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between man and woman. References to sex, but no description. (Two people lie down in a boat together. They remove shirts and then the scene cuts away from them.)

Spiritual Content
The Lowlands (sort of like Hell) is a place where people who’ve committed heinous acts find themselves in the afterlife. It’s governed by lords who have some supernatural powers, but are themselves dead humans. Several characters reference a Higher Power (capitalized in the story) who is ultimately in charge, but only intervenes in the direst situations.

I found it odd that the story uses a lowercase for God versus uppercase for the Higher Power of the Lowlands.

Violent Content
So. Much.

Several scenes show torture in pretty graphic detail. The methods used to punish inhabitants of the Lowlands are pretty harsh. This is not one for sensitive readers. I had a really hard time with some of the descriptions and skimmed over a couple passages. At one point X is under the governance of a woman who thrives on torturing others. That part was too much for me.

Drug Content

The Brink of Darkness on GoodreadsNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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