ARC Review — Kill Your Darlings

  • Title: Kill Your Darlings
  • Author: L.E. Harper
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publication date: May 24, 2023

Thank you, L.E. Harper, for giving me a copy of the book in exchange for a fair review!

Kill Your Darlings is an author’s dream and nightmare. The author wakes up in the fancy world she had created, surrounded by magic, swords, and dragons. However, her own real-life troubles have bled into the fantasy world, and war threatens the land. Her last edits killed off almost all of her main cast. But surrounded by those same characters she knows will die, she decides this may be her chance to save them all.

The story starts a bit slow, but it takes the readers all across a fun fantasy world filled with creative places. Many memorable characters bring the story to life. I especially like the dragons, but I’m biased toward them.

A dark past does surround the story though. About three-fourths through, the plot spikes as the author has to face the real world through the fantasy lens she has created. It does get detailed, so I recommend strong content warnings for suicide attempt and depression. L.E. does have her own content warnings at the front of the book as well.

I enjoyed how the author mixes her truth into the story. I’ve found that every well-written story has a piece of the author in it, but they’re usually under layers, a bit hidden. Yet L.E. writes her demons out in the open with bravery. It feels like such a raw story of her fighting depression (and some aphobia).

My main critique is how some parts felt a bit telling. It wasn’t too much throughout that it clogged down the story. (Except maybe in one spot. But I also understood the creative decision to take a step back there.)

Overall, I enjoyed this story that I know will make a positive impact, and I recommend it.

Score: 8.7/10
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.49/5

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