Dark Lands: The Not-Where by Lyn I. Kelly

Dark Lands: The Not-Where by Lyn I. Kelly
Part Two of the Dark Lands Series
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: Full Length (200 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

The betrayal at the Requiem has passed, but the foreboding presence of the Dark Man still exists. While whispers of a new threat roll across the Dark Lands, Webb Thompson is plagued by a recurring nightmare that warns of a looming evil powerful enough to transform not just his life, but also that of his sister, Sundown, and her counselor, Raven. After the Dark Man initiates a move that destabilizes the shaky balance of good and evil in the Dark Lands, Webb realizes the only resolution may lie within a shadowy region known to few and traversed by even less. But does the cryptic Not-Where hide the source of tribulation or is it a place to release more insidious forces? As the paths of Webb, Sundown, and Raven surreptitiously intertwine, they realize too late that despite their caution and steadfastness, destiny cannot be tempered as new evils are unleashed, secrets are revealed, and a vast army rises. Now only time will tell if they can stop the Dark Man from escaping his otherworldly prison.

This is a worthy second book in the series, one that continues the adventure of a young pair of siblings who died and crossed over. The land the 17-year-old Webb and his 14-year-old sister Sundown have found themselves in is filled with wonder and untold dangers.
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Webb and Sundown have a bit of mystery about them, but in this second book, readers finally get to see what took them from the life of the living. They are likeable characters with strengths and weakness. The characters surrounding them are fun to read about and are essential in drawing out sides of Webb and Sundown that help readers to understand them better. Webb even gets a girlfriend in this mystical world, and she helps him to discover more about himself.

Even the animal characters and the villainous creatures add dimension and depth to the main characters, by the reactions they draw from them.

The nature of relationships is an important factor in this story. Around this are other themes, such as strength against adversity, good versus evil, and descent into madness. Webb is young but fights against his unseen enemies—who are trying to destroy him from afar. Will they weaken him enough to use him against those he loves? While reading about his struggles, readers will be worried for him. The psychological fight is intriguing, the suspense created well done. The unfolding of the plot is just right in drawing out other dimensions of the main characters.

Complications lead to a cliff-hanger, which is to be continued in the next book.

The book is written with clarity and is descriptive, creating a world that one could envision. Readers will feel something emotionally for the young hero and those he cares about. It’s a serious story but yet fun to read. Creatures and places are imaginative and also symbolize negative forces.

This is an enjoyable story, like the first in the series, and gives fans more information while leaving them wanting for more. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy YA or otherwise, who just enjoy good stories with unconventional settings and the paranormal. The magic not only rests in the wonderful gifts the characters have, but also in their potential. I look forward to the next in the series.

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