Book Review | When Darkness Begins by Tina O’Hailey

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on this blog tour.

Book Description

If you could change time to save your first love—even if it meant turning your back on the universe—would you?

It is time for the Vechey youth to earn their place as time-guardians. The near-immortal Vechey protect the universe from the devastating Manipulators—devourers of souls, mindless seekers of chaos. First, the youth must survive a mysterious and deadly ritual created by the all-powerful clan leader Eterili. Having regenerated thousands of times with the birth of each universe, Eterili is taking this one as hers and bending all in it to her grand designs.

Catha’s time-slipping skills are underdeveloped. She is time-blind—unable to see through time, unable to protect herself from the ritual. The Vechey shun her for being different. Her parents ignore her as if she were already dead.

Aithagg loves Catha unconditionally and will do anything to save her. He tries desperately to unlock the ritual’s mysteries and find a way to help Catha survive with him. Or will saving Catha enable the Manipulators to destroy the universe?

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UK Paperback:

I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

When Darkness Begins is a mesmerizing story about love, loss, and the power of time. A unique fantasy story that will have you looking in the shadows for beings who can leap through time with a mere thought.

The Vechey are unique creatures who ensure the sanctity of the timeline and prevent Manipulators from changing events that happen along with it. They are vampire-like in their need to feed on Linearers (that is you and me) and their avoidance of the sun. But unlike traditional vampires, they can see and travel through time. Being born to Vechey parents does not guarantee that you have the necessary powers. To test that, at the age of 15, all Vechey must go through a secret ritual led by Eterili, the clan leader.

Eterili talks about herself much as God does in Revelations. She refers to herself as “I am” and “The Alpha and the Omega.” But that is where the resemblance to the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim God ends unless you look at the Vechey as angels. They do resemble angels in their otherworldliness but not in their need to feed on humans. The comparisons are very intriguing, though, and add a whole different dimension to the story.

I love the relationship between Aithagg and Catha, which was the predominant plotline in the story. It is so pure and innocent. They will do anything for each other, and that is clear from the beginning. Their love is unconditional and absolute. But can it stand the test? This is the question that had me turning pages quickly until I learned the answer.

To Read or Not to Read
If you are looking for a unique fantasy story that is mesmerizing and poignant, you will want to pick up this book. You will fall instantly in love with Aithagg and Catha and will be drawn to learn what happens to them.

About the Author

Tina O’Hailey is a professor in animation and game programming, caver and occasional mapper of grim, wet, twisty caves (if she owes a friend a favor or loses a bet), whose passion is to be secluded on a mountain and to write whilst surrounded by small, furry dogs and hot coffee. Tina was once struck by lightning.

She has served as an artistic trainer for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dreamworks and Electronic Arts. Any movie credit she has is minimal and usually found in the special thanks section. The meager credits do not account for the great honor it was to teach talented artists who worked on numerous feature films and games.

She has authored animation textbooks “Rig it Right” and “Hybrid Animation” published by Focal Press and the Darkness Universe novels “Absolute Darkness” and “When Darkness Begins” published by Black Rose Writing.

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9 Replies to “Book Review | When Darkness Begins by Tina O’Hailey”

    1. I think you would like the darkness of it but I can’t imagine you liking a YA novel. Do you read any YA?


  1. Interesting take on vampires. A few friends and I were just saying we love the mythos but are tired of the same-old/same-old. This sounds fresh. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This one seems very different. Not really for me, but I can see where a lot of readers would fall in love with the concept. Great review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

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