Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dark Forsaken (The Devil's Assistant #3) by HD Smith Review

Hey readers! Ethan here on this March morning to bring you another review. It's been over a year since I've posted about this incredible series and I am so excited to share my thoughts on the latest release. It's a series that really got me started on an entirely new genre of novels and now I can't put them down. A truly remarkable series that has kept me intrigued since the very first page! On the chopping block today? Dark Forsaken, the third novel in The Devil's Assistant series by HD Smith. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:

Last Spring, Claire was framed for the murder of Junior, the Devil’s oldest hellspawn.

Last Summer, she reawakened the fourth realm, saved the world (after almost destroying it), and wound up with the worst job ever.

Now, Claire’s been locked out of her realm, given an assistant that doesn’t actually assist, and told to handle a small problem in Underworld that might just get her killed.

And to top it all off, Mab’s made one of the contenders her untouchable. So, yeah, you could say Claire’s having one of those days.

Follow more of Claire’s adventures in Dark Forsaken, book 3 of the Devil’s Assistant Series, to find out if Claire can defeat the latest contender, survive the quads, and replace the curator before Harry figures out she’s stolen his blood.


HD Smith has been writing as a hobby for over ten years. DARK HOPEwas her first full length novel. She has previously published two middle grade novellas in ebook format. She is a software developer by day, working for an awesome cruise line in Celebration, FL.

HD grew up in South Carolina, but has called the Sunshine State home since 1997. She has Computer Science degrees from Clemson University (BS) and Florida Institute of Technology (MS). Her other hobbies include painting and screen printing. She enjoys creating t- shirts inspired by the places in her books.


My Thoughts:

As many of you who follow my reviews will remember, way back in the summer of 2014, I took a chance on a review request from a new-to-me author and her upcoming paranormal series at the time. I took a chance on an unknown and was absolutely blown away at the results. Dark Hope showed me everything an indie author could give and blew the doors wide open on my thoughts on the conventions of the genre. It's been many months and reads since that first novel and I still hold nearly all paranormal novels I review to the high standards that HD Smith set!

Could Smith still ignite that spark after three novels?

It's been over a year since I was immersed into the very intricate world of HD Smith and The Devil's Assistant. I won't lie, while this series is a favorite of mine, they are not easy to keep on top of. More characters than I could possibly name and settings and plot cycles that mirror a high fantasy series, this series is truly a testament to a writing style such as Smith's. While the casual reader can certainly enjoy this series, it will take a keen eye and devotion to truly follow this story. That being said, I was so thankful that Smith included a glossary and 'recap' of sorts into the beginning of the novel. Without it, I certainly would have been lost. It took a few chapters, but once I dove back in and found myself surrounded by the world Smith created, I couldn't look back. The story came back to me like an old friend and I was ready to tackle Claire's latest adventure.

And what an adventure it was!

I have to say that Dark Forsaken ended up being my favorite in the series thus far! And that's saying a whole lot. The stakes are higher than they've ever been. With Claire, no longer merely the Devil's assistant, now the Queen of the Fourth Realm, it's time for her to take her place among the Big Three. But can Mab, Harry, and The Boss ever truly see Claire for what she really is? With the Quads in their most peculiar predicament yet, only with Claire's help can they ban together and save the Underworld and the future of the realms from truly uncertain fates.

The plot for this one is extremely fast paced, but I do believe it was easier to follow at times than the previous two installments in the series. Everything flowed a little easier and I wasn't left with near as many questions as before. Smith does an incredible job of easing the reader into her world in order to avoid any confusion. One of the greatest things about this series is that Smith doesn't let anything back. She doesn't sell her readers short and gives us a full story that fans can really enjoy with ease. These aren't quick reads by any means either, if you decide to take the plunge, be ready for the time commitment!

My absolute favorite part of Dark Forsaken was the amount of character development that we see. I won't go into too much detail to avoid massive spoilers, but throughout three novels now, Smith has amassed quite a collection of characters for this series. With such a large cast, many haven't received the amount of page-time I would like in the past. Thankfully, Smith really ups the ante in Dark Forsaken and we begin to learn so much more about some of the most intriguing supporting characters in the series, particularly The Quads. The Quads are my absolute favorite characters in this series and I am so glad Smith gave them such an expanded role in this third outing. I will say that I was slightly disappointed by the lack of interaction between Claire and the Big Three in this one, but it definitely was not too big of a let down with the huge cliffhanger Smith left us on! I know book four is going to be absolutely amazing!

As I've mentioned in my reviews for the previous two novels, this is one of the most unique series I have read and reviewed in all my time blogging. It's so original and refreshing. It's becoming increasingly hard to even place this series in a genre classification. It's so much more than a paranormal, it's more than fantasy, it transcends genre classification and literary boundaries in only a way an author as talented as Smith can. Anyone who isn't adding The Devil's Assistant series to their TBR is missing out! 

As you guys can clearly see, Dark Forsaken ended up being an absolutely incredible read for me. I couldn't set it down and even days after finishing, I'm still suffering from a massive book-hangover. It was everything I was looking for and then some. Smith has truly outdone herself, setting the stage for greatness as she continues this groundbreaking series. It should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting Dark Forsaken by HD Smith a near-perfect 5-star review! I highly recommend this series to all readers, regardless of genre preference. It's a thrilling adventure, sure to please all readers. Buckle up, it's a trip across the realms that's one 'Hell' of a ride! 

Check out my 5-star reviews of the first two novels 
in the series by clicking the covers below!


Alright readers, that's all I have for you today on the topic of Dark Forsaken by the incredible HD Smith. I'm telling you this series is not to be missed. Be sure to grab yourself a copy today! Thank so much to the author for supplying me with a copy in exchange for my honest review and thanks to you for stopping by, Until next time, Happy Reading!


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