Friday, June 13, 2014
Destruction: The December People Book One, by Sharon Bayliss
Today we will be exploring an urban fantasy by Sharon Bayliss, Destruction: Book 1 of the December People Series. This is one of those books that you don't want to start if you are not going to be able to just sit down and read with NO distractions.
David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything.
Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.
Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without.
Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.
Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.
On page one, you discover a family of real people, people who do the best they can to do good in the world, and people who do not always behave as well as they would like. This is most definitely a morality tale.
David's marriage is not perfect, but he loves his wife, Amanda, and together they have 3 children, Emmy, Patrick, and Jude. His and Amanda's children are not perfect, David's business is not perfect, but they are what he has, and he is determined to keep them at all costs.
Despite the fact he loves Amanda fiercely, he had an extramarital relationship with another woman whom he also loved, one that produced Evangeline and Xavier. They are nearly the same age as 2 of his children, and older than his youngest daughter. He is desperate to keep his children together. His love for Crystal had nothing to do with his love for Amanda, and while he refuses to examine that too closely, he is determined to make his new situation work.
When Crystal dies, David is contacted by the authorities. He brings the two children home. things go to hell, but Amanda is determined to keep and raise them along with their own. They are also raising the daughter of friends, and this makes 6 children, ranging in ages from 12 to 18 -- six teenagers under one roof.
The disintegration of the marriage, and the reconstruction of the family into a much stronger unit is a real journey into both betrayal and forgiveness. David is not alone in having kept a serious secret. Amanda is a caring person, but she is obsessed with control, and is ruthless when it comes to keeping the children together. There is nothing she won't do to achieve her goals. The worst aspects of human nature, things that cop up even in the 'nicest' families is dealt with here.
This book is gripping. It is a stand-alone book. It is the first in a series, but you get a proper ending for all your time spent in their world. I really enjoyed this novel, and it stayed with me for a long while afterward. I am really looking forward to the next installment.