Review: Darkness Brutal by Rachel A. Marks

Darkness Brutal
(The Dark Cycle #1)
by Rachel A. Marks
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: July 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.

In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.

With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?



I heard about this book from my sister, she said there was a demon hiding behind Cheetos and that’s all it took for me wanting to read it. I’ll be honest, I never read the synopsis, I just dove right in. So when I got to the part in the book about the Internet reality show, LA Paranormal, it caught me off guard. It was at this point I figured either I was going to enjoy the book or move on. I do watch ghost shows on T.V. but some can be cheesy and that’s what I was afraid of happening with the book. However, even though this is how the house makes a living, it’s not the main focus of the book.

Before Aidan meets Sid, he’s living on the streets while trying to protect his sister, Ava, who is living in different foster houses, from demons. Every 3 years on her birthday demons come for her. I was shocked at the story behind this, but if you want to know why…you have to read the book.

Fast forward some, now Aidan and Ava are living with Sid and the rest of the LA Paranormal crew. Ava seems to adjust pretty well but Aidan on the other hand, not so much. With the way his childhood was before his mom was killed and then living on the streets, he has a hard time trusting people. The LA Paranormal crew are around Aidan’s age or younger with the exception of Sid, who is an adult. All of them have some kind of power, whether it’s being able to feel demons, reading objects or mood control, they all have gifts. Aidan was aware he could do some things, one being able to tell when someone is lying. Because of this, he finds it hard to trust Sid, not that he lies but because Aidan can’t read him at all. I thought there was something up with Sid and while I was right, what I thought was way off.

That’s one thing I like about this book, just when you think you have something figured out, a twist is thrown at you, keeping you guessing. If you enjoy books filled with the paranormal, love triangles, lies and surprises, you will probably like this one.


Favorite Part…

When the LA Paranormal crew realizes Aidan can see demons – Lester asks, “can you really see ’em?  Like see ’em, see ’em?  With your eyes?”  Jax laughs, “No, he sees them with his butt – what the hell’s wrong with you?”



4 Thoughts on “Review: Darkness Brutal by Rachel A. Marks

  1. I love paranormal type books and this sounds like one that I might like.

  2. it’s the first time I hear about this one but it could be interesting

  3. This sounds interesting! 🙂 Happy New Year <3

  4. Glad you were able to find some good in it. Thinking not for me this time around.

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