I read 153 books this year in a 50/50 split between audiobooks and other formats. Being unemployed helped that along, didn’t do much for me in terms of my mental health. But there were so many good reads consumed and published this year, I had to make two lists. Enjoy!
Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Year Release: February 2020
Source: Edelweiss ARC
Read an ARC acquired via Edelweiss
Dyachenko books are a delightful antithesis to the Russian aesthetic prevalent in many fantasy novels which had come out in the last few years. They strike gold again with the utterly unrelatable, but delightfully strange Daughter from the Dark. Radio DJ Aspirin encounters a young girl holding a bear on a walk home from his club DJ side gig. A group of teens and their dogs harass her, until the bear she holds turns into a demon and gets rid of the problem. Aspirin takes her home and he suddenly becomes father figure to a child with no past who may also be a demon.
Aspirin is such an asshole from start to finish. There was something refreshing, as parenthood doesn’t necessarily turn someone into a good person. Being that he is in his mid-thirties, there is a stubbornness to his privileged douchebaggery that made the reader want to find out more what happens, but also low-key cheering on Alyona as she makes an utter mess of the life he had created for himself. Their dynamic is just so good. She confronts him about the ways he is entirely difficult. He is completely trapped in the ways he cannot just get rid of her and simply has to take it.
What I would have liked to see more of is the context behind Alyona and Mishutka. That part of the book goes largely unexplored, which I guess, makes sense, since the reader only see the entire story from very human Aspirin’s point of view. It made for an interesting read, but coming out of it, the number of unanswered questions has not shifted whatsoever.
An excellent addition to the canon of “asshole becomes an unwitting father to a child of destiny.”