Review: Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

Race the Darkness
(Fatal Dreams #1)
by Abbie Roads
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: Oct. 4, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Cursed with a terrible gift…

Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.

A gift that threatens to engulf them…

Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.




Race the Darkness was unlike anything I’d ever read before. It is kind of a combination between suspense, paranormal, and romance. Not only can Xander hear the thoughts of those around him, but he has been hearing a woman’s voice asking for help for years. He assumed it was just his mind going bonkers, until he is driven to follow the voice to find out once and for all what was going on. Turns out, the chick in his head is real and she’s on the brink of death by these crazy cult people who think she’s an evil dragon. Yeah, there were a lot of nut jobs in this story.

Based off of the cover alone, you know you are in for a dark suspenseful ride. I mean, Isleen has an entire cult after her. And while I knew there was going to be romance, I felt like the author got a little off course a few times in the story. I just felt like the story would be deep in creepy cult stuff, and then all of a sudden we are in a sex haze for a full chapter. Which, didn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense. I get that she’s pictured him for years, and that he’s heard her in his head for years, but that doesn’t mean they know each other. Not to mention the fact that she was held captive and tortured to the brink of death for eight years. I just don’t see someone coming out from an experience like that and just bouncing back into life as if nothing ever happened.

I really enjoyed the suspense and cult aspect of this story though. I mean, there are some pretty twisted people out there who follow some really weird and questionable things. So, could there be a “Chosen One” who appoints tasks to his followers to help rid the world of evil? Yeah. Especially if the person claims to have dream visions. So, I didn’t feel like the villains in this story were far-fetched at all. I do sort of wish we were brought up to speed on them though. While we do learn a bit about the one guy who has set his sights on Isleen, I didn’t really understand their group as a whole. When did it start? How did these people become a group? Do they go home to a lovely suburban house with a wife, kids, and a dog? I just wish the author had brought their story to the forefront a bit more, and maybe given us less sexual angst between the two main characters.

Race the Darkness was an interesting story. It has a lot of potential and while I didn’t love it, it held my interest. I was curious to find out how everything would play out and why these guys were so hell-bent on Isleen. The identity of who her attacker is a quite shocking and pretty disturbing.



10 Thoughts on “Review: Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

  1. It definitely sounds like it would have been better with less romance. Them hearing/seeing each other does not mean they know each other – like you said – so that seems a bit too unrealistic. The rest sounds fascinating though!


  2. I love cult books and yet struggle with it too. I find it more frightening than horror or even slasher movies. I still have to finish S1 of Handmaid’s Tale, it’s giving me the creeps every time I watch it. Reading is definitely easier, you’re only tortured for so long depending on your speed, whereas in a TV series, it can drag you to it’s awful depths. Hahahahaha

  3. Sounds different, that’s for sure! I’m intrigued but think I’d have similar issues

  4. Okay…I need this book in my life!!! I love PNR suspense, I have been wanting to read this author for quite a long while. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  5. Sounds like the worldbuilding was lacking. I would also have a hard time believing that she could come out after 8 years unscathed. Brilly review.

  6. That’s too bad that you didn’t learn more about the group. That’s odd. Sometimes books have a cool premise but then focus on the romance more and it’s a let down.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  7. ratmom on 2 October, 2018 at 11:40 am said:

    If a book can hold my interest then I’m ok with it not being great. Sounds interesting though.

  8. I’m glad that, even though you didn’t love it, it still held your interest. I’m honestly curious about the identity of the attacker and, since I do enjoy dark suspenseful reads, I might try this one at some point 🙂

  9. bookwormbrandee on 3 October, 2018 at 2:02 pm said:

    Sorry this didn’t exactly measure up, Kristin. It seems like it could have been so much more fulfilling if only the author could decide what she wanted the book to be. I’m happy you liked some of the elements though. 🙂

  10. I do admire a book that can hold my interest. I really do what to read this author and soon though.

Jump in on the discussion: click on the notify button below to follow along

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Post Navigation