Monday, May 21, 2018

Book Review: 'Dark Canvas' by Jody Summers


When grief brings an artist to create a painting with her mother’s cremains a series of events is set in motion that will bring on a fight of good against evil.
Artist Kira McGovern is struggling with the loss of her mother. As she looks at the urn, a thought takes over that she wants a better way to memorialize her and as she is working on another piece, inspiration takes hold and she begins a painting using her mother’s ashes. With this painting comes an unprecedented surge of creativity and nightmares. One painting leads to another and soon she has clients lining up for her services. Her paintings bring out the most intimate parts of the person’s life and to some that may not be in their best interests.
Sean is a reclusive son of a rancher with a talent for reading people’s emotions. Some gifts can be more like a curse and Sean has learned to stay far away from others to keep himself sane. Upon the death of his father, Sean learns to branch out more and his online searching leads him to Kira. Urn in hand, Sean ventures to New Orleans to memorialize his father and get to know the charming Kira better. There is a darkness that follows Sean and it will lead him on a path that will shake his foundation at its core.
The story begins to ramp up as Sean and Kira’s lives become intertwined and Kira’s nightmares begin to get worse and worse. The darkness that follows Sean begins to manifest and the nightmares plaguing Kira come to a head even as their romance begins to blossom.
Overall, the premise of the story was a good one. Using cremains to memorialize a deceased loved one sounds macabre but the way the author handled it left me feeling good about doing something with the ashes rather than leaving them in an urn. One of the things I had an issue with was the pacing of the story and the lack of edits to give the work a tight page turning feel. About twenty pages into the novel and I was struggling to get through it. Extraneous bits and information dumps abounded and they left me restless. While I liked the mystery of how the paintings were done I grew very frustrated by the repetition and slow plot movement.
Character wise, I enjoyed the romance between Sean and Kira and am glad to see the story will develop into another book. The paranormal element was unique in this novel and I think the author has a great deal to offer, with the assistance of an editor to tighten up the book a bit.
If you enjoy a unique paranormal read give this book a try.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.