Brightest Kind of Darkness (2011), by P. T. Michelle

Michelle-Brightest“… and I dreamed your dream for you, and now your dream is real…” (“Romeo and Juliet,” Dire Straits, 1980)

Nara and Ethan both struggle with unique paranormal abilities, but far from being merely part of the growing plethora of “paranormal YA fiction,” Brightest Kind of Darkness presents as a realist novel, in which Nara and Ethan struggle to find some normalcy, some balance between the world they live in and the powers that underlie humanity’s religions and mythologies—and are nonetheless very real. Every night, Nara dreams her following day; every time he touches someone, Ethan absorbs their negative thoughts. While Nara sees her ability as a boon, Ethan’s is the cause of emotional trauma that has alienated him from almost everyone he knows: until he meets Nara. The combination of their abilities fuels an attraction between the two teens that leads them not only into a firm relationship of trust and love, but also onto a path towards an understanding of why they are connected, and their roles what is commonly known as the supernatural realm.

Like The Discovery of Socket Greeny (2010), Brightest Kind of Darkness was offered for free online, a ploy used by many authors of series, as an attempt to get readers to purchase the following books in the series. I seldom purchase the second book, but every once in a while the teaser novel is so spectacularly engaging that I not only purchase the rest of the series, but anxiously await the release of the next installment. I now know how readers felt about Charles Dickens’s and Arthur Conan Doyle’s works… Desire, the fourth in Michelle’s series, is set to be released in April 2014, which I view as a marvellous opportunity to reread the series again…

It is in the little errors of detail that careless authors lose their audiences, and there are unfortunately far too many such authors out there these days. P. T. Michelle has constructed her narrative very carefully and completely. Brightest Kind of Darkness is internally consistent as an individual novel; even more,  the entire series (so far…) not only maintains that consistence, but loops back to subtle foreshadowing, causing readers to constantly hold the series—Michelle’s fictional world—in their minds.

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