Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Sunblind

Sunblind (Darkborn Legacy - Book 2) by Michael Griffo

Publication Date: 08/27/2013
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Imprint: Kensington Teen
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 400
ISBN-10: 0758280742
ISBN-13: 978-0758280749

(Received for an honest review from Kensington Teen)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Michael Griffo on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Moonglow (2013), Sunblind (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Sunblind, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Dominy had no choice in becoming a werewolf. The day she turned sixteen, a witch's curse erased every trace of normal from her life and ignited a wild hunger that's already cost Dominy her best friend. And though she's still got her boyfriend, Caleb, and other allies who promise to help her find a cure, Dom feels completely alone. Yet she isn't alone...Throughout her hometown of Weeping Water, Nebraska, a legacy of evil is slowly coming to light, pitting friend against friend in an unfolding battle. Dom was sure her only hope was to fight what she's become. But with an enemy threatening her family, she'll have to harness the power she fears and gather all the strength she's got...


Michael Griffo's second book in The Darkborn Legacy series, Sunblind is a coming of age story, paranormal style. Griffo's fast paced werewolf adventure focuses on a young girl with a curse. This book is filled with all of the paranormal elements enthusiasts of the genre enjoy from magic and witches to werewolves and all things in between. Evil has come to the small town of Weeping Water, Nebraska and it's up to heroine, Dominy Robineau to figure out how to stop it. Griffo's hard hitting style and descriptive prowess with the keep the reading turning those pages long into the night.

The Darkborn Legacy is a different take on werewolf mythology that was provocative and absorbing. Sunblind is the second book in the series and it is definitely not a stand alone. It relies heavily on the events of the first book, Moonglow and should be read in succession with it to allow the reader a full reading experience. Michael Griffo uses a curse in order to turn his protagonist, Dominy Robineau into a werewolf. Much of the series is focused on Dominy's attempts to remove the curse or to find a cure to her werewolf issues. 

Griffo excels at descriptive writing and uses that in his sketches detailing Dom's changes from human to werewolf and back again. He is able to convey to the reader everything from how the changes makes the character feel physically to the sights and smells and even the mental dialogue of girl vs. wolf. That alone made this book worth reading to me. It was a feast for the senses in that respect. Werewolves tend to be my favorite paranormal characters and Griffo does an amazing job of bringing them to life in his book.

Sunblind begins to show the changes that are occurring in Dom's hometown of Weeping Water, Nebraska. It is easy to see that Griffo is building up to a showdown. In this book, the evil is beginning to become a lot more noticeable and Dom's family and friends become more of a target. She is still actively trying to get rid of her curse, but is she going to be able to protect those she loves, if she does? The inner struggle the character goes through is well written and brings up some dark aspects of her curse. 

Dominy is a character that is young and just beginning to find out who she is when this curse begins to take full affect. She shows a great perseverance and strong determination as she is forced to accept what she has become and finds new purpose in finding the woman who cursed her father. As a character I thought she was an excellent heroine though a bit on the neurotic side as most teenagers are. Which means the author was spot on with his characterization of a teenage girl who should be focused on boys and finishing school instead of evil curses and a hairy back. 

There were moments in reading this book that I felt everything was a bit disjointed and needed to be clarified a little more. But in the end it all came together and made sense. I think it was just a matter of fine tuning that made it seem off to me and probably not the fault of the author. I liked this one better than Moonglow and I'm looking forward to the release of the third book in the series, Starfall.

Many of you may question as adults, why you should a young adult werewolf novel? And that's a valid question. Though most of the characters are young, there is still the good vs. evil theme and the underlying idea of whether to accept fate or challenge it that permeates this series that should be considered. These are ideas that are transcendent no matter what your age is and I believe that there is a lot here for adults to explore as well. I enjoyed it a lot and I think you will too!

Sunblind is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Michael Griffo is an award-winning writer and a graduate of New York University. He has studied at Playwrights Horizons and Gotham Writers Workshop, and has written several screenplays.

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