REVIEW BY: Christie
TITLE: Hearts of Darkness
AUTHOR: Andrea Speed
PUBLISHER: DSP publications
LENGTH: 160 Pages
RELEASE DATE: November 8, 2016
Kaede Hiyashi is sick and tired of living in the shadow of his father, supervillain Doctor Terror. Brilliant but crazy, Doctor Terror sends his son to Corwyn, California, for reasons Kaede can’t imagine. Sent to accompany and protect him is Ash, a genetically modified supersoldier raised and trained by an infamous death cult.
With the market saturated full of superhero stories, movies, and videogames, I was delighted to see that there was an anti-hero book to be released by the title of Hearts of Darkness. The blurb intrigued me, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a good anti-hero story once in a while? Hearts of Darkness had so much potential to be good, but unfortunately it fell short in my opinion.
Kaede Hiyashi is used to his life constantly being in danger, and always requiring a team of bodyguards, simply because he is the son of infamous supervillain Doctor Terror. But, out of the blue, he is attacked while at a restaurant enjoying dinner alone and has no means of escape. Until a strange white-haired boy shows up and kills every last assassin within seconds of his arrival.
After rescuing Kaede, Ash informs his new protectee that Doctor Terror has ordered they immediately go to Corwyn, California and hide from enemies. Well, that’s just what Kaede’s father’s official order is. Unofficially, Kaede and Ash are supposed to hunt down several stolen weapons taken from Doctor Terror that he wants back immediately. And, while going undercover as a businessman and his advisor, the two men seek out and extricate said weapons, but also end up forming quite the attachment to each other as well.
I really do like the friendship and bond that form between Kaede and Ash, but their story is seriously hindered by putting it under the YA genre. In doing so, you miss the intimacy between the two that is at best alluded to in this book. The chemistry is there between the two, but it is luke-warm to tepid, and sometime imperceptible. Also, I have many issues with Ash’s character. He seems to have a really great grasp on modern vernacular and slang for the most part, but has never seen a movie or even know what a sitcom is? He’ll use contractions in his lexicon but his manner of speaking is described as very formal. There are too many inconsistencies and contradictions for me to actually suspend reality enough in order to enjoy the book. Sadly, Hearts of Darkness has so much potential to become a huge success. I can even see it being made into a movie. But, the heat needs to be ramped up, and the story not only needs to be cleaned up a bit, but added onto as well.