By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary. By day, a witch’s curse leaves him no more than bones. Caught in an unending cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the death that has been prophesied for him, especially once he begins to rot while he’s still alive….
After the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, loyal handmaiden to the princess, is assaulted and left for dead. As the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to find the princess she served. When the Ankou agrees to help her find the princess, and to train her in exchange for her help in breaking his curse, she accepts. But how can she kill an immortal? Especially one whom she is slowly growing to understand—and maybe even to love?
Together, they will solve mysteries, battle monsters, break curses, and race not only against time, but against fate itself.
Title : That Dark Infinity
Author : Kate Pentecost
Format : eARC
Page Count : 384
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date : October 19, 2021
Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★
Hollis’ 1.5 (rounded up) star review
Unfortunately That Dark Infinity is a great example of a very exciting premise that is let down by execution.
This dark romantic premise is hamstrung by very young-leaning YA dialogue, which is frustrating considering the darker content, and an immortal being that, after living three centuries as a nineteen year old instead reads like he’s sixteen. For someone who carried all these tales and mystique around him, I enjoyed that almost none of them were remotely true, which was a funny twist, but at the same time.. some mystique would’ve been good. How this was set up, how it played out, and how he actually should’ve been treated based on how he interacted with others.. I don’t know, it didn’t quite line up.
Another thing that didn’t quite work was this starts off with an off-page assault on our other main character, Flora, which is not only traumatic but carries extra shame due to her peoples’ value on virtue, but what was perplexing is that she was mistaken for the princess when she was grabbed and her attackers made a comment she was meant for the invading prince but “what he wouldn’t know wouldn’t hurt him” and yet.. they subsequently leave her for dead? Because the prince also said to “leave no one alive”. So.. she wasn’t going to the prince after all? We never end up seeing this prince, this whole plotline kind of becomes background noise to a certain extent, so it doesn’t have any real relevance I’m just irritated because I don’t understand the point of the comment or why things end up the way they do.
Over the course of the book, the aforementioned weird dialogue persisted, which was frustrating as some of the description was decent. But overall there was just no tension. These big action or suspenseful moments were, theoretically, taking place but you could feel none of it. Especially as the characters reacted as if, really, nothing had happened. At one point, during a scene I can’t describe due to spoilers, Flora is calling out constantly for Lazarus to help her, save her, and then he does, and when he asks after her, she says “oh don’t worry about me”.. insert side eye here. At another point, Flora gets her period (yay! and cramps! love to see it, hate to live it) and it’s a big issue because it attracts spirit thingies and this whole scene is set up where we see her surrounded and barely protected by their super special fence thing, except.. she’s found sleeping outdoors infront of said fence. Why? There’s no explanation for it. It’s just for this tension-less tense scene. It just.. doesn’t make sense.
Anyway, I’ll end the complaining, mostly because I don’t even want to get started on the “romance”, but this just wasn’t it. And I’m sad. It’s got a good looking cover (which, granted, looks better from a distance than it does close up) and has what sounded like a great, intriguing, romantic premise but.. alas.
Wouldn’t recommend and, unfortunately, I wouldn’t pick up this author again.
** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
5 thoughts on “THAT DARK INFINITY by Kate Pentecost”
oh no! i was getting really excited for this one! i can see the immortal acting 16 is definitely going to bother me … you had that long and you want to act like that?
wonderful review! hopefully your next one will be better.
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thanks, Chelsea! sorry for raining on your parade with this one. hope you manage to enjoy if you still give it a go. – H
that’s completely fine! isn’t that what reviews are for?? it’s got stuff in it that i’d rather not waste my time with, and i’d rather know that beforehand.
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I just finished reading this book. Like you, I was also intrigued by the premise because it sounded so good. However, I really struggled to finish this book. The elements were there, but they just never came together thanks to shoddy dialogue and extremely poor character building. The thing that irked me the most was how Flora’s entire world is upended after she is assaulted, but not once does she even think about exacting revenge! Her country was destroyed, her princess was probably dead, her people were killed, she was brutally assaulted and left to die, and not once did a sword-wielding handmaiden think about killing the prince who ordered the attack on her country! Also, the temple and the mage…everything was introduced through coincidence…which is just lazy writing. Overall, the book felt like the author set a goal of writing 1000 words a day, no matter what they were just to ensure she finished the story. That’s it. Super disappointed with this one.
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I’m sorry you were disappointed, too!! and yeah, there were some definite interesting choices made.. glad I’m not alone in side eyeing that dialogue though. – H