A Darker Demise

A Compilation of Dark Shorts

Young Adult - General
221 Pages
Reviewed on 04/15/2023
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Author Biography

M. C. Ryder has been composing stories, poems, and lyrics from the beginning of time when reading became a hobby. The sky is the limit but enjoys exploring the beaten path both figuratively and literally. Resides in the Keystone State with a clowder of felines who rule the house. Enjoys long trail walks during the cozy tinge of Autumn, appreciates music with deep lyrical meaning, and relishes in reading a variety of genres.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Carmen Tenorio for Readers' Favorite

A Darker Demise: A Compilation of Dark Shorts by MC Ryder is an anthology with weighty themes. The first story titled A Unity of Balance is about Imilla, a witch who has chosen to practice dark magic, and has struggled in life as a result of her decision. She later learned about the deception used to conceal the true nature of dark magic and its real power of being useful and even necessary for an important prophecy. My Salvation is about a formidable vampire named Marcus who made a decision that would lead to the fulfillment of the same prophecy, which he believed is connected to his salvation. The final story called The Path to Redemption is about Nadine, who seems to be trapped in an in-between state as a vampire stuck between heaven and hell. She still needs a lot of introspection to discover her true path after the fulfillment of the long-awaited prophecy.

MC Ryder has crafted an interwoven collection of dark short stories that don't shy away from depicting dominance, violence, bloodshed, mortality, or death. Younger readers can be drawn to the intriguing characters they encounter, as each story features a protagonist who is the rebel, the black sheep, or the defiant one. The plots can also be a bit complicated and fast-paced, but all seem to involve achieving self-realization, the discovery of the full potential of one's soul, or how to be your best, whether you're a human, vampire, or wolf. The main theme is love, which in some cases can be selectively interpreted as something that it is not. The tales are set in a fantasy world with some improbable yet striking mental images whose tone mirrors what's going on inside a young person's mind. A Darker Demise is a feast for fans of the author who are familiar with her captivating writing style. They will enjoy the rollercoaster ride of unpredictable plot twists. The anthology is an exciting read, especially for young adults who are into supernatural, unearthly tales of drama, action, and romance.

Mimie Odigwe

A Darker Demise by M. C. Ryder is a compilation of three paranormal short stories set against the backdrop of The Darkest Side of the Moon, a paranormal novel by M. C. Ryder. In A Unity of Balance, at a time when there was still magic, Immilia must deal with witch hunts and the battle between light and dark magic, safeguard her son, and restore equilibrium to the world. My Salvation takes place many years later. Marc had been turned into a vampire without his consent. With a lot of blood on his hands and a thirst for vengeance, Marc is not ready for Nadine with her fiery anger, complete trust in him, and the prophecy. But will he find his salvation in her? The Path to Redemption is the final short story in this compilation and links to the last book in the series: A Dance Between Light and Darkness. What if the end isn’t the end? Trapped in the in-between, Nadine has to listen and learn to liberate not only herself but all she loves.

M. C. Ryder’s A Darker Demise can be read and understood as a standalone, but imaginative writing, a riveting plot, and innovative world-building had me hurrying to get the remaining titles in the series: The Darkest Side of the Moon, and Dance Between Light and Darkness. The bleak book cover establishes the atmosphere in this book. While dark and paranormal, these stories are intriguing and action-packed, with flawed protagonists on their way to redemption. Fast-paced with slow character development, I enjoyed reading Immilia’s journal and how her story and prophecy influenced the rest of the book. Fans of vampire and werewolf stories will fall in love with this book, which is highly refreshing and has no dull moments.

Amy Raines

A Darker Demise: A Compilation of Dark Shorts is written by M C Ryder. In the beginning, Immilla is a sweet young girl who is destined to take a magical oath. Although the choice to choose light or dark magic is of her own free will, her vow is one that no one seems to be happy about. Her marriage to a charming yet abusive man only adds fuel to her internal defiance of the cruel laws witches must live by. Marc was changed into a vampire against his will, and now he seeks revenge. Along the way, he discovers a friendship that could possibly turn out to be quite a bit more. How could he love or be loved with all the turmoil in his heart? Nadine finds the man she loves in a barren land called the In-Between. She is stuck there because she is not at peace. Can she find a way to liberate herself, or is she stuck in this strange place for eternity?

A Darker Demise: A Compilation of Dark Shorts by M C Ryder contains three individual stories that take the reader through a series of plots filled with mythical and supernatural beings, from a witch that chooses dark magic over light, only to suffer an endless parade of consequences to a vampire who falls in love while seeking revenge on his creator. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys semi-dark fantasy stories that resonate with defiant characters. Of the three stories, my favorite was A Unity Of Balance: Immilla’s Journal. Readers can easily identify with the witch who wants nothing more than to find herself, even if that means questioning the rules she was taught to live by.