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Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
✯✯✯✯ 1/2 ‘what a terrific finale’ Stars
‘My heart can barely hold you. All that I feel for you.’
This series has taken us on such an incredibly emotional and intense journey with a few laughs too. Some parts have frustrated us wildly to the point of annoyance. Most parts have had us clutching our hearts and wanting to jump into the story to offer hugs and compassionate love. Oh and let’s not forget the times we’ve needed a hosing down or two. At the end of it all, it’s been memorable.
‘Leaving the past behind. There’s no such thing.’
M Pierce is a talented and emotive Author who has that innate ability to rouse our emotions on both ends of the scale. The high’s and low’s – mostly extreme – in Night Owl and Last Light; finishing off on a crescendo in After Dark that had both, with a beautiful balance of heart wrenching emotion and exasperation, heartfelt emotion and an intense depth of soul searching.
‘Good and fierce….like avenging angels.’
What we truly loved was the fact that in After Dark, M Pierce refrained from compromising his characters. There was no sudden personality change nor was there an unnatural shift in character story line. Rather, what we experienced was a believable progression, a compromise and compassionate understanding that; it is what it is. We loved that.
‘Young and old. Like a child in a man’s body, sometimes. Too sad and serious.’
Matt went through the ringer once more, yet this time it was for real character and relationship growth. Self-healing if you will. His personal story isn’t pretty, it never will be.
‘Oh, he could go so cold, even in the face of my emotion.’
He’s an unpredictable and child-like mess, let’s be honest here. However, sometimes you’ll find a rare unique beauty disguised or wrapped up in an ugly perception or with rough jagged edges to the eye. It is rare for a character who so thoroughly exasperated us to hold our hearts in his hand and have us accept him, feel him, understand him and love him.
‘Pain is sharp. Even old pain. Past pain. Or maybe that’s the worst kind, because it stabs unexpectedly into our present happiness.’
Redemption through evolving yet retaining his very essence. Which brings us to Hannah.
Hannah ‘a simple girl’ who’s had to shoulder an incredible emotional burden through this series. Learning to live with the intense love she feels for the obsessive and all-encompassing possessiveness of Matt takes incredible strength and a true understanding. She brought a ‘feisty calmness’ and showed maturity and an incredibly open mind and willingness to fight for what she believes, needs and wants. Hannah truly had to endure more than anyone should have to. Not only that, her boundaries were pushed as were her inhibitions and experiences – ‘Exhibitionism – Humiliation – Violent Desire’ – all in the name of love. Worth it? Truly yes, as the emotion, the sweet moments, the gestures and affections brought so much more. Sometimes overcoming and exceeding our boundaries bring more than we envisaged. By giving more of ourselves what we can receive can come back tenfold.
“I realized that no amount of freedom was worth a life without Hannah.”
Overall we loved After Dark which after a shaky back and forth start became so much more than a typical romantic relationship endeavour. It became a conclusion about the fundamental characteristics of a person merging in compromise with another purely based on compassion, understanding, passion and commitment. It showed the beauty behind the complex. It involved our hearts to the point of tears and we loved every minute of that.
‘Matt wanted closeness. I knew how he worked. He drew comfort from intimacy. See, Matt? I do know you.’
**Reviewed from an ARC copy kindly provided by SMP **
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