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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    Dark and outstanding!

    In the blurb, Cynthia Sax writes: “This story is not for readers with delicate sensibilities.” It turns out, I am one of those readers; it is precisely the third dark romance I have ever read, I was on a roll, so to speak, and I loved DARK THOUGHTS. I knew the writing would not be a problem: Ms. Sax is a brilliant writer, and I must point out here the author’s vocabulary choices, which I thought were brilliant; for example, aliens, humans, or whatever combinations thereof are referred as “beings”, which might appear oversimplified, but are in fact more specific in the context. Kralj is a killer, but not by choice; he was made that way. Dita doesn’t know anything else; that’s what she was trained to do. Her job is to kill beings who have hurt others; Kralj escaped to planet Carinae E and founded the Refuge, which he rules with an iron fist. The Refuge is a place where killers, such as Kralj go in order to protect other beings from the consequences of their violent tendencies, but the residents in the Refuge are forbidden to kill each other. Dita’s mission entails that she has to eliminate three beings who are holed up at the Refuge. Beings are only accepted by Kralj, so Dita must sneak in. Kralj can also hear every being’s thoughts, but not Dita’s, which puzzles him, but makes Dita’s task easier… at first. DARK THOUGHTS is extremely violent: beings are maimed, tortured, and many, many are killed, yet it is not unpleasant. Ms. Sax redefines the meaning of “balance” in this book; nothing is gratuitous, everything serves a purpose, and the world of DARK THOUGHTS is extremely meticulously crafted; the science fiction elements are subtle, and even non scifi lovers will appreciate it. But the real strength of this book is how multifaceted the characters are: at first glance, Kralj seems revolting, but in reality, he is compassionate in the only way he knows. I hate killers as heroes, but Kralj is not your usual killer, and neither is Dita; they are fascinating characters and I ended up loving them both. Dita is a heroine for the ages: she does it all, she is fearless, dedicated… and so darned cute! She is a ray of sunshine, and the day to Kralj’s night. It’s difficult to express how Cynthia Sax managed what is a tour de force: take two characters, at least one of which that should be repulsive; put them in a situation conducive to dozens of killings, and end up with a compelling story, mesmerising characters, and an extremely touching romance, where unconditional love reigns supreme. The sex scenes are raw, and rough, because both Kralj and Dita like it that way, and wonderfully erotic and loving as well. DARK THOUGHTS is very intense, and towards the end I nearly had heart palpitations. If you’re wondering if DARK THOUGHTS is for you, I would suggest you read an excerpt and decide; I think it’s the only way to make up one’s mind. If you like the first pages, you will love it; if not, that’s that. DARK THOUGHTS is an exceptional book that surprised me until the very end and I very, very, very highly recommend it! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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