Book Review: Darkchylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga by R. Queen

Ariel Chylde has been having strange nightmares about monsters that feel real and has become the outcast at her school. But on her 18th birthday Ariel discovers just how real those monsters from her nightmare are, and she's determined, with the help of the new boy Perry---the one person who believes her---to stop them before they can bring evil to the world.

Book Review: Darkchylde by R. Queen | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, young adult
Title: Darkchylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 273
My Rating: 3 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review.*

I think this is one of those books that will be great for some people but simply wasn’t for me. So to explain, here are some lists!

Things I Liked:

– Ariel, the protagonist, was a good character in that I could root for her even though I didn’t fully connect with her. I was expecting her to be one of those tough, emotionless, bad*ss female stereotype characters, but she was actually just a kind of quirky girl who had lost a lot in life and liked ladybugs and squirrels and was picked on in school for being “weird.”

– The concept was an interesting one. And once I understood what was going on, it made some sense (not, like, scientific sense, but sense within the realm of fantasy/horror).

Things I Disliked:

– Half the characters talked in riddles. I could understand characters in the nightmare dreamscape talking like that, but even Ariel in real life talked like that. It really frustrated me when Perry wanted to know what was going on, and she wanted him to believe her, but she didn’t actually explain anything. She just kept saying these short, chopped-off, riddle-like things that wouldn’t have made any sense to anyone who didn’t just experience what she did.

– There was a lot of description of things, like the settings.

– The things that happened in the nightmares seemed kind of random. I don’t do well with random in books. Thankfully most of the book took place in the real world though.

– Instalove, at least on Perry’s part. I don’t think Ariel mentioned love.

Things I Neither Liked nor Disliked but Are Worth Mentioning:

– The writing style was kind of different. It had this desolate and ethereal undertone, and in the beginning especially it reminded me of a voiceover you’d hear at the beginning of a horror movie, the kind that would have a washed-out filter and just be kind of unsettling and weird rather than scary. But either that kind of faded or I just got used to it as the book went on.

– Lots of blood-and-gore-filled monster battles.

So overall I didn’t like all the riddle-speak and descriptions, but Ariel was a good character I think people will appreciate and the concept was unique.


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  1. Greg

    Yes! That cover. Bummer that it wasn’t a great one. I do like that the MC is kind of a regular girl. The riddles thing would irritate me too. And… Of course Perry is the only one who believes her.

    I love the idea of nightmarish dream worlds and wish more books would explore it.

    “Light is easy to love. Show me your darkness”. Are you kidding me? That’s what I’m talking about… tagline of the year. lol

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, that cover is awesome lol. But like I said, it could be a better book for some people. And to be fair there actually was this one crazy lady who knew about the supernatural lol and then others started believing once they saw the monsters.

      I love that tagline too! I agree, tagline of the year, haha. I never paid much attention to taglines until you started posting them, but that one I definitely did notice.

  2. sjhigbee

    Hm. This one sounds interesting – I get the sense that the writing style is probably an acquired taste. The riddle-thing can be cool and clever if it hooks into an understory or you get snatches of a parallel plotline through it, but I take it that wasn’t going on here – in which case, I can see why it became very annoying. Thank you for a fair-minded review about a book you didn’t love:).

    1. Kristen Burns

      I mean, maybe there was more to the riddle-speak, but I didn’t have the patience to try and figure all of it out. Like I said, I can see other people liking this one, it just wasn’t for me. Thanks, glad you like the review!

  3. verushka

    I love how you handle your reviews for books that don’t quite do it for you — I find your lists just bring such a good focus to your reasoning behind oyur rating.

  4. AngelErin

    This sounds really good, but I don’t know about the riddle speak. I really hate that, but other than that it sounds pretty good. I’m always down to try something unique so I could see reading this one. Terrific review! 😀

  5. Lola

    Too bad this one didn’t fully work for you. Ariel does sound like a nice main character even though you didn’t fully connect with her. I’ve read a book like that where everyone talked in riddles, it just gets frustrating after a while. And like you said it would make sense for those in the nightmare world to do that or even if there is one or two characters who do that, but if everyone talks in riddles it just gets weird.

    I do like to get a feel for the setting and such, but there also is a thing as too much description. It sure is a fine line. I don’t think this would be a book I would like either, but it does sound pretty original and like it would work well for the right audience. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, riddle-speak just isn’t for me. Too much work to try and figure out what everyone means.

      And I agree, there’s a fine line with description. I could actually understand why there was so much description in the nightmare world since it was this entirely different world, but still, I just didn’t care for it. But yes, I think it could definitely work for the right people. Thanks!