by Kate Pentecost
Release Date: October 19 2021
Genres: YA, Fiction, Fantasy
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary. By day, a witch's curse leaves him no more than bones. Caught in an unending cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the death that has been prophesied for him, especially once he begins to rot while he's still alive....
After the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, loyal handmaiden to the princess, is assaulted and left for dead. As the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to find the princess she served. When the Ankou agrees to help her find the princess, and to train her in exchange for her help in breaking his curse, she accepts. But how can she kill an immortal? Especially one whom she is slowly growing to understand—and maybe even to love?
Together, they will solve mysteries, battle monsters, break curses, and race not only against time, but against fate itself.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Before we begin, I need everyone to appreciate this gorgeous cover.
I was intent on reading this book solely because of this beautiful cover art.
I feel I need to be fully transparent before I begin. I did not include the content warning at the top of this post on purpose. In the spirit of full disclosure, the female main character is raped. It is not explicit in detail, but it is heavily implied and is a trauma she works through throughout this novel. Additionally, being a dark fantasy, death is a theme that is repeated and mentioned often. This book does require a trigger warning, however it was written and published intentionally for a younger audience.
I initially gave this book only two stars.
But as I began to organize my thoughts for this review, I bumped it to three.
Here is why. After finishing this book, I felt satisfied that all the characters got the ending that they deserved. BUT I also felt that it all happened far far too quickly. Let me explain.
That Dark Infinity has some truly beautiful imagery written into it. One of my favorite passages was when the author described The Ankou’s daily death for the first time. Kate Pentecost really spent a lot of time describing this world and it’s obscure beauty to the readers. But as beautiful as the descriptions were, the plot’s execution was a little substandard.
The Ankou and Flora (whose name I adore btw) meet under some less than stellar circumstances. They form a very tentative alliance in order break the Ankou’s curse and so that Flora can right all the wrongs that had been committed to her lands.
The Ankou is a mercenary, so him and Flora encounter all kinds of monsters (literal monsters ie: Striga, Shadow People, Will-O-the-Whisps, etc) that they have to defeat in order to move forward on their mission. They do this, and all the while they are trying to literally outrun the malediction that is cursing The Ankou.
Somehow though, even with all the action and magic and the monsters that are trying to clobber them, the plot is a bit uninspiring. It needed some pizzaz in my opinion.
I felt as though I was being informed of things as opposed to witnessing them… if that makes sense. I was told that Flora was picking up sword fighting quickly, I was informed that the Ankou was starting to catch feelings. Just like the author declared that time was passing. But there wasn’t anything demonstrating evidence of the reality that was being broadcast.
My big issue was being told that Flora and The Ankou loved each other. WHAT A LET DOWN. As I didn’t feel I was a witness to it. The romance was a nice idea, but the story truly didn’t need it to stand on its own. I personally think that the entire romance subplot could have been edited right out and this book would have been better for it.
I think this lack of connection to the characters was ultimately this novel’s down fall. Most of the book is following Flora and The Ankou on their journey, but all of the action and the pinnacle of the entire plot happens at 86%! THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE BOOK. and it was rushed. Three hundred and thirty pages with hardly any connection to the characters or their struggles and then the reader is forced to hurry through the best part of the book because there are only fifty pages left!
Despite all my griping, I actually did like this book (lol).
I though that the story was unique, it had so many familiar literary devices, but it was all put together into a scenario I haven’t encountered before.
This standalone is perfectly geared for a younger audience. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, because it captured my attention and I wasn’t bored at any point while reading.
But I love dark romance and fantasy. So if I am going to read said dark romance or a novel with gothic themes, I want them to be inky and devastating.
Obviously, with That Dark Infinity being geared for younger readers I didn’t get the profound gloom that my inner goth kid craves.
For a reader who might be new to this genre or who is easily triggered, That Dark Infinity would be a really great introduction to Dark Romances.
Emily is a coffee loving, cat snuggling, baby wearing book-a-holic.
After retiring from a decade long career in the hair and make-up industry to stay home with her babies, everyone (meaning Emily’s husband) thought it was high time for her to get a hobby that did not involve her kids. Having always been a voracious reader and devouring books at a breakneck speed, joining the bookish and blogging community seemed like a natural next step. She loves giving recommendations to friends and family and then very gently (and not forcefully at all) asking for their opinions after they complete each chapter.
Her reviews tend to be goofy, a little sweary, on the more impassioned side and maybe sometimes a little self deprecating.
Emily typically enjoys reading almost every genre, including (but not limited to) literary fiction, rom-com, contemporary, LGBTQ+, fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, sci-fi, gothic and dark romance or basically any book that will make her cry.