I should start this review by stipulating that 'Darkness Comes This Way' is a little left of centre from my typical reading. As a result I wasn't sure what to expect from this vampire/supernatural novel. Safe to say I was pleasantly surprised. The characters are dominated by their emotions, every action has a consequence, and the action scenes read like they are lifted from a big budget choreographed kung-fu flick - yep, they're that good.
One of the core strengths to 'Darkness Comes This Way' is the emphasis on a family dynamic separated by violence and mistrust which slowly forms as the characters define themselves by their actions. Zarah shows more heart and compassion than most vampire protagonists I've read while still dishing out gore with grace. She's a misplaced individual searching for the truth while trying to maintain some semblance of who she should be. Going Rogue and back to Guardian will do that. This could almost be deemed as a coming of age tale of love, loss and quest for a the truth which could derail all she knows.
Whitfield blends Humans, Guardians, Rogues, Fallen Angels, and something altogether different into a melting pot of suspense, action and tense scenes which left me on the edge of my seat. Never knowing how a Guardian/Rogue encounter will end, or how the Zarah/Draven dynamic plays out adds a little spice to each chapter.
Violence, cruelty, ambitions of domination - the parallels from real world to vampiric fiction are easily defined. Whitfield does a good job at making this tale of fiction read plausible in real life by subtlety linking a likeness to the world we live in. This touch and a revelation later in the book regarding the purpose of the Rogues are highlights of 'Darkness Comes This Way'.
Overall, this an easily readable and enjoyable form of escapism, one where a reader will be able to suspend his/her belief long enough to become enthralled in the world Whitfield has created and the fantasy-like characters that inhibit it. 4 stars.