Review: Once Upon a Darkness by Aria Kane

Once Upon a Darkness by Aria Kane
Series: The Company (# 1)
Re-release Date: March 31, 2014
Publisher: self-published
File Size: 561 kb
Source: book provided by the author for review

Gretchen and her twin brother, Hank, were abandoned to a zombie horde when they were five years old. Intended to be a sacrifice by their zealot parents, they were instead rescued by The Company. Raised to become soldiers in the war against zombies, they now provide safe passage through danger zones, one contract at a time.

Clint’s only skill is war, but he’s weary of killing other men. When his contract with the Marines runs out, he takes a job on Gretchen’s team, hoping that the search-and-rescue life will suit him better.

On Clint’s second day, their four-man team is attacked, drugged, and taken to a prison full of frightened civilians. The only way in or out is by helicopter and, here, their enemies are human. One by one, the captives are culled from the holding area. Rumors say the facility director uses the prisoners as experimental subjects for the testing of a zombie cure.

When Hank is taken, Clint and Gretchen must put aside their personal feelings and find a way out of the prison, surrounded by thousands of starving zombies, before Hank becomes just one more disposable guinea pig in the hands of a twisted mad woman.


Review: Loved, loved, loved this book! Seriously. I loved it. The first few pages were a little hard for me to get into, I felt like I was being dropped into the middle of something without adequate preparation, but that’s exactly all it took me. I was hooked by the end of the first chapter. I was so disappointed it was a short read, but it was really good and that more than made up for it.

We’re in the future, and zombies run around rampantly, basically. Gretchen and her twin Hank are kick-butt zombie killers. They have their own organization set up and they go out and do missions and try to make the world a little less bad. The love interest, Clint, is seriously awesome. Perfect mix of everything that is male, yet sensitive, honest and caring. He’s basically the consummate hero. The dynamics of their crew is awesome. It doesn’t take Clint long to become one of them and their banter and interactions are great.

Things go awry for them a few times, as things always do, but they came back from it and handled everything brilliantly. It was enjoyable to see how everything panned out, because while you knew that something needed to happen, I never could see where the author was going to take it. I read a lot of end of the world, zombie and general dystopian books, and it’s a sad fact that often enough you can see where things are going or how they’re going to end. Not so in this book.

Gretchen’s character and determination are enviable. The author did an amazing job making her just like every other girl, but giving her that extra pizzazz that makes an excellent heroine. The book is entirely (at this point) fiction, but you can really see these things happening, imagine these characters as real flesh and blood people. Once Upon a Darkness was a quick and great read.

Favorite Quote: “What are you, Zombie Slayer Barbie?”