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Review: ‘Dark Days of the Supernatural’ Series – Part One

Harper Collins recently announced the release of The Dark Days of the Supernatural series — five new books featuring mysterious tales of paranormal romance and the supernatural. The lineup features “Once in a Full Moon” by Ellen Schreiber, “Unearthly” by Cynthia Hand, “Angelfire” by Courtney Allison Moulton, “Afterlife” by Claudia Gray and “Desire of the Dead” by Kimberly Derting. Although the series centers around one genre — the supernatural — I like how it features acclaimed authors as well as debuts from newcomers.

I am a fan of the supernatural in literature, as well as in movies and on TV, from my current love of the Twilight series and shows like “True Blood” to my lifelong love of science fiction from the likes of mastermind Ray Bradbury. I am interested in the what-ifs, the unknown, the subjects only answered with theories and stories. It’s an interesting genre, where the imagination can fully explore the endless depths of the dark corners of the mind and the things that go bump in the night! The romance is an added bonus, adding heat to the dark tales like mixing salty with sweet.

My only hesitation came from the recent explosion of romance themed supernatural books after the success of Twilight — I was skeptical as I descended into the world of The Dark Days of the Supernatural. Marketed toward teens — it’s offered by HarperTeen — I decided to go back-in-time to my youth, to the days of R.L. Stine and Goosebumps, and give these books a chance!

I started with “Once in a Full Moon” by Ellen Schreiber, the New York Times bestselling author of “Vampire Kisses.” As a high schooler living in Legend’s Run, Celeste Parker knows all about werewolves — the town is famous for them with legends and generations-old secrets. When Celeste meets a classmate from the “wrong side of town” (literally), Brandon Maddox, she begins to seriously question her life as a popular girl who dates the high school quarterback — a match made in cliche heaven. As the secrets of werewolves become more fact than fiction and Celeste is drawn to Brandon physically and mentally, her life turns upside down. Will Brandon be her hero or a dark creature of the supernatural lurking in the moonlit woods? As a psychic reveals to her, “Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.”

The book features psychic readings, full moons and werewolves to keep me curiously reading  but left me wanting more from character and dialogue development. A great werewolf tale lurked within the cliches and lukewarm storytelling. I wanted to know more about Celeste and her friends, more about the town and history. Schreiber had a great idea for a story — girl meets werewolf complete with legends and secrets — but did a ho-hum job of sharing the tale. The easiness of the diction and the underlying story were a plus — especially for young teens to digest with its G-rated high school situations — but I wouldn’t recommend this for older teens.

I wondered whether Schreiber kept this story as an easy and quick read for young minds but changed my mind when I started “Unearthly” by Cynthia Hand, the next book in the series about a part-angel named Clara. The character and dialogue development is superb — the opposite of “Once in a Full Moon” — while also being an easy-to-read tale. I am hooked! Check out my review of this book as I continue through The Dark Days of Supernatural series!

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Check out the official website for the book at www.ellenschreiber.com/books-full-moon.htm