DNF: The Darkest Corner by Lilliana Hart

Reviewed by Elle

The Gravediggers were once elite soldiers. For whatever reason, they at one time found themselves betrayed by their countries and facing death. Then in swooped Eve Winters and gave them a choice- die or come work for her, ridding the world of terrorists. The catch? Their deaths would be faked. Their previous selves would cease to exist. Their families and friends left behind. Oh, and Eve and her directors own you. But what choice did Deacon have but to accept?

Working out of a funeral home in a tiny town seemed to be the perfect cover. But Deacon didn’t count on falling for the feisty red headed mortician. He needs to keep his distance because any attachment to Tess gives Eve and the directors leverage over him, putting her life in danger.

I loved the idea of this book! It could have been amazing. But it wasn’t. A disclaimer- I read 50% then gave up. It took me over two weeks to get that far and I just couldn’t do it anymore. But I feel I read enough to write this review.

The biggest problem is all the ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’. For non writer folk, it basically boils down to this. We start after the gravediggers are already formed. They already work out of the funeral home (for two years actually). There’s been two years of interactions between Deacon and Tess and Eve and the other grave diggers, that we didn’t get to ‘see’. Instead, we’re ‘told’ about it. And a lot of the time it reads like a boring info dump. Sure, we get to see the process these gravediggers go through as they bring in a new recruit, but it’s all happening to a side character we don’t care about. It would have been so much more exciting if it had been happening to Deacon, if we were seeing his ‘reawakening’, seeing him meet Tess for the first time, seeing him try to come to terms with what had gone down.

It’s also incredibly slow. At 50%, we’re only just being told about the gravediggers mission. We’ve only seen one, out of the blue kiss between Deacon and Tess. Come on, get on with it!

The side characters are a problem as well. There’s a ton of them, and they’re all explained in more detail than either of our lead characters. There’s the gambling addict mother that steals from Tess but Tess allows it. The Russian grandmother with mob links. The nail salon girl who’s very Christian parents are at odds with her gothic style. A customer at the hair salon who gave a stripper a lap dance. The ex owner of the funeral home and his lazy son. I just didn’t need so much info about characters that have no impact on the storyline.

The best thing about this book was the prologue. It was fast moving, exciting and gripping. I’m not entirely sure how it fit in with the rest of the story but maybe that was revealed in the latter half of the book. The prologue had me so excited for the rest, but it was honestly like reading two different books.

This one just wasn’t for me.

*ARC provided by Netgalley

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Darkest Corner
by Liliana Hart
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Books

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