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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
“As Darkness Falls” is a book that will stay with the reader long after they close the cover. Peter Matise has penned a haunting tale. Nurse Allison Reed was working the Emergency Room when the surgery team rushed to deliver the tiny baby girl; all hope was lost when they could not revive her. Overcome with emotion Nurse Reed wept allowing her tears to fall on the tiny body; suddenly the child took a deep breath, cried and glowed with life. Layla, as Nurse Reed named her, was born an orphan; both parents had died in an auto accident. Layla was placed in the Foster System; at five years of age she was placed with foster mother Dana. Dana’s boyfriend Rick attempted to rape the young child; his crime resulted in his death. At the Emergency Room Layla and Nurse Reed were reunited. Secrets surround young Layla; she is more powerful than most realize. A darkness threatens her and a power protects her. At times it is difficult to discern which is which.
This is the first book in a trilogy and it sets the stage for the books that will follow. Peter Matise allows the suspense and tension to slowly build in this tale of good versus evil. We follow the life of Layla from before her birth through her seventeenth year. From the moment I began this tale I sensed there was something unique about Layla; I felt as though there was something dark and sinister surrounding her. There is a power protecting her but the reader is given only vague hints at the source of the power. I enjoyed the relationship between Layla and Allison. It was also interesting to see how others became involved in her life: Lax, Griskowski and Simon, who is a friend and also a foe. Layla is an endearing character who is extremely intelligent, attractive, tall and aware that she is more powerful than most people are aware. The ending will leave readers a bit disturbed. What a cliffhanger! We are left highly anxious about Layla’s fate.