Book Review #17: Dark Little Women by RL Wood

HEEEEEEY!! Long time, no see!!

I took a very long break from reviewing to finish up Book 2 of the Idyllic Series! It’s been sent out to my lovely beta readers and I’m so excited to start cleaning it up for publication!

But today, I’m here to tell you about this book I recently read!

Long ago, Dorian made a deal with the Dark One– immortality in exchange for her enemies to suffer. There was a string attached, though. Now, her eternal life is tied to a portrait that will age instead of her. She spent the first few centuries living her life to the fullest.

Then, guilt caught up to her, and she decided to instead spend her time rehabilitating other immortal souls. She must all deliver 100 souls to the Dark One in order to become mortal again.

Together, Dorian and her team of unlikely friends will try to rehabilitate as many souls as possible. Yet, even the “best” of people have a dark side, and when you’ve partnered up with the infamous Doctor Jekyll, things are bound to get worse before they get better.

Dark Little Women : Fractured Horror Tales: A Dark Fantasy by [R.L. Wood]
Cover taken from Amazon! Click to go buy!

I knew I was going to like this book just from the description! I wanted to read it long before I actually got started, and boy, I wasn’t wrong!

Wood is clearly a clean, precise writer! She manages to create wonderful pictures with simple sentencing, making it very easy for the reader to grip setting and emotion while they read. Plus, the story itself was very easy to follow. I wondered if I would get tripped up jumping between characters, but no such problem here. Everything was smooth sailing.

So, the characters are actually my favorite part of this book. We get an insight into the gender-flipped characters we know from hundreds of stories and movies. Dorian Gray is a staple name in traditional literature. But this is hardly Wilde’s OG Gray. Instead, she’s a Mother-hen sort of character with a clear moral compass and motivation.

Each and every character has their own personality, and Wood has done an excellent job of separating them from each other. This motley assortment of women (who were all once men in their traditional stories) work somehow magnificently together. A werewolf who’s hungry for men? A overly-loyal vampire? A dramatic, suicidal Marilyn ghost? Honestly, it’s so refreshing to see our favorite, familiar characters in a new light.

(What? No issues, Amy?) Ha! Not yet! Just wait.

As far as plot goes, **SPOILERS** we follow Dorian on her adventure to rehabilitate her last few souls before she goes mortal. She’s trying to save Becca (the werewolf) from her craving for human flesh, but is finding it harder and harder as more and more full moons pass. It doesn’t help that Jekyll can’t get her evil alter-ego Hyde under control. I enjoyed this constant back and forth struggle between Jekyll and Hyde, as well as the other disagreements between Cleo and V. It really makes for a good well-rounded cast when not everyone likes each other.

The one issue I had was actually the beginning of the story. Starting off, I was slightly confused about who this strange nameless woman was because she didn’t even have a name (not that I can remember.) And she was young, but now she’s old. And there’s a Golden Chalice, and then she’s talking to who I thought was supposed to be the main character and… I was a bit confused. Now, the story straightened itself out pretty fast, and I get that the point was to grab the reader. But I wonder if it wouldn’t be just as intriguing and less confusing if that first chapter were from Dorians POV instead of the original werewolf’s. Just a thought.

Overall, an excellent book. I’ll give it a solid 9 out of 10! Five stars from me.

You can buy Dark Little Women here, and follow RL Wood on the following platforms.

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