ABR's full Dark Hope audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.
Dark Hope by HD Smith is an amazing urban fantasy. The main character, Claire, is the Devil’s personal assistant, but she quickly becomes wrapped up in the politics of the non-human world around her. Sent on a quest to save her life, she encounters troubles in the form of magic, beings that hate her, and mysteries. This quest takes her all over the human and non-human world as she not only has to try to save herself, but also beings that she dislikes as she tries to solve the mystery of who is trying to get her killed, or so she thinks.
I pretty much loved everything about this book. The beginning sucked me in, and I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on as Claire discovered new clues and questions. Claire herself is a spunky 21-year-old with a deep well of sarcasm and skepticism to draw from which she wields with rebellious attitude even when perhaps she shouldn’t. Every character from the big three non-human world rulers: the Devil, Mab, and Harry, to their children and lackeys, are fantastic and have depth. While some characters are definitely evil, many are in a gray area – at least to the reader, which makes trying to figure out motives even more fun. Other than Claire, who is the main character, I didn’t specifically have a favorite character, but I think that I loved and hated, and was unsure about all the right characters. While some of the magic/dream states were a little difficult to follow, other settings were easy to imagine. The end of the novel had a clear wrap-up, but left a healthy amount of questions and openings to lead to future novels. The world building is rich with many different avenues to explore and I can’t wait to keep reading/listening to them.
Lauren Fortgang did an amazing job with the narration. The characterization of each of the different characters, male or female, was spot on. The voices and tones of voice for the characters changed and were well-suited. It was easy forget that someone was even reading the book and to be engrossed with the storyline. The production quality was great. I one hundred percent recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy with strong central female characters.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.