Reviews

Daughter from the Dark by Marina Dyachenko, Sergey Dyachenko

faehistory's review against another edition

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dark mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

couldbestephen's review against another edition

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4.0

The Dyachenkos weave a modern, dark fairy tale in this book, Daughter from the Dark. I really enjoyed this book, but unless you can handle a “dreamy” plot that builds towards something that is never explained... might be a miss for most “casual” readers. Vita Nostra would probably be the best entry to the Dyachenkos’ work.

The Daughter from the Dark follows DJ Aspirin, a Russian, womanizing DJ and writer. When he meets and “rescues” a little girl and her stuffed animal from the streets, Aspirin is yanked into a new reality, one where teddy bears can turn into monstrous beasts and where music can open portals to painless worlds. Simply put, this book is about a man who struggles with maturing into a responsible man as he tries to care for a strange girl who may or may not be his daughter. But there’s so much more to this book than that.

Marina and Sergey love playing fast and loose with reality in their books. Magic music and terrifying protectors mixed with the backdrop of a Russian metropolis and Russian sensibilities deliver a magical realism/urban fantasy “adventure” on steroids. As you progress through the book, you feel like you inch closer and closer to an explanation, closer to the final puzzle piece that will make everything make sense, and then the story ends. There is “magic.” But do not expect to understand it.

Julia Hersey has collaborated with the Dyachenkos for a few books now. Her translation brings their Russian prose to life in such an engaging way. Russian literature has a “style” that I can’t really articulate, but if you know, you know. This is such a Russian story. It’s dark, gritty, existential, it’s unlike most things you will read from American authors, it’s a goddam treat! The dream-like, fairy tale quality of the work has the story float along, in a way that shouldn’t work? But does? This is a hard book to review.

The Dyachenkos have done it again, crafted a dark, magical story that will please the people willing to put aside reason and be a terrible book for those who aren’t ready for a book that demands a different mindset from them. 


myotinae's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

turtle2queen's review against another edition

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mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

sehalpin's review against another edition

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dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

ashleybashley's review against another edition

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3.0

when I tell you I hated the main character lmao

I almost dnf’d this bc I was so fed up with his actions like

shoosha's review against another edition

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2.0

Very interesting library shelf grab. Translated from Russian co-authors, it is a weird little story, centered on a young girl trying to save her brother and bring him back to their dimension. Sci-fi and fantasy in an urban city with characters all looking for redemption.
...
Can't say I'd recommend, recommend it. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. I was interested in it the whole time and don't regret reading it. For a last minute pandemic freakout library grab, I was down with it!

coriandercake's review against another edition

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4.0

3.75-4

Not as good as Vita Nostra; has the same feel/sense of the universe, so it did not feel as unique or intriguing

tanninsandtales's review against another edition

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5.0

That's it. I need to learn Russian.

d4ditto's review against another edition

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dark mysterious reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0