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Dark Rising


Dark Rising

Hope Carmichael is a somewhat average teenage girl, but with one strange feature: a mark on her neck. She’s never understood the strange events that have happened to her, but that all changes when she meets Michael. Suddenly, she is declared as the ‘Bearer of the Key’ and she becomes the prime interest of the Fallen Ones, who hope to use her to regain power in Heaven.

When Hope learns of a way to open Heaven’s Gates, she decides to find it and destroy it so the Fallen Ones won’t have access to this dangerous power. In DARK RISING, book two of the Archangel Prophecies by Monica McGurk, readers can follow the footsteps of Hope and Michael as they run from the Fallen Ones in scenic locations including Istanbul, France and Ireland.

DARK RISING also delves into the relationship between Hope’s parents, Mona and Don. I found it interesting that although Mona and Don are not in a relationship and not living together, they never got a divorce. It was riveting to find out more about them and see them interact with each other, and it was great to see them somewhat reuniting and talking because of her.  Although the relationship slightly bothered me at first because I wanted to read about Michael and Hope, I grew to really love them as a couple.

My personal favorite [place Hope traveled to], Istanbul, was described so marvelously; I could really tell that McGurk put a lot of work into her writing.

We also get to read about Enoch and Henri, who are both great additions to the story. I loved how Enoch was a really sincere friend to Hope and I could feel the closeness in their relationship. Henri was also a great (if slightly confusing) character who becomes more important as the plot moves forward.

Let’s also not forget the amazing descriptions of the destinations Hope travels to. My personal favorite, Istanbul, was described so marvelously; I could really tell that McGurk put a lot of work into her writing.

One of my favorite moments of DARK RISING was when the woman taking care of Hope at the hammam told her the story of a sultan and his favorite concubine. It was so well written and was an excellent addition to the plot!

The story also featured prominent biblical undertones, and most, if not all, of the characters have some kind of biblical tie-in. The angelic theme of the story is deeply intertwined with the Bible, as well. Although I usually wouldn’t like reading a book with religious aspects, McGurk made it very enjoyable and it made total sense with the entire story.

Although I did find most of this book absolutely amazing, there were a few problems I encountered. When I read DARK HOPE, I could tell that Hope was a strong leading heroine who knows how to stand up for herself at all times. However, in DARK RISING, I felt like she relied too heavily on Michael, and that she should have been a stronger lead. I also felt like the theme of human trafficking was a bit awkwardly presented in DARK RISING. It was mentioned just enough so readers were thinking about it, but no more than that.

I recommend the DARK RISING to all readers looking for a good novel to read this Thanksgiving break, or really on any day! It went into such great detail about Hope’s character and dug deeper into the complexity of Michael’s feelings for Hope.

Reviewed by Rachel D., Teen Board member on November 17, 2015

Dark Rising
by Monica McGurk