The changeling myth is one of my favorites. I like the idea of mean things sneaking into rooms and stealing children, leaving one of their own behind. The whole thing just sort of creeps me out. Emi Gayle really takes this classic myth and completely turns it on its head and makes the story her own.
After Dark is about Mac who is a changeling. Only she is not a changeling in the traditional sense. Mac has been raised by a vampire father and a faerie mother and can change her form into anything she wishes, but only at night. One second she can be a vampire, the next, ghost, then witch, well you get the idea. At 19 Mac must choose one form to stay in for the rest of her life and take her place on the council which rules all of the supernatural beings. The problem is Mac is not ready to pick yet and the council is trying to force her to choose.
Initially Mac irritated me a bit. She was content just to go through the motions on life and not question her history, where she came from, or why she needs to choose a form. I am such a naturally curious and questioning person that I just did not understand her. It wasn’t until she met Winn Thomas that she begins to question where she came from, what happened to her birth mother, and the decision she must make. It was when she starting questioning things that I started to like her.
I liked that Mac did a lot of growing in this novel. When the novel begins Mac hates humans and disdains spending half her day as one. But by the end she has not only made friends with some humans (a feat she hadn’t achieved in 18 years) but she found herself falling for one of them.
The relationship between Mac and Winn it was a sort of slow blooming romance. It was extra sweet too because Winn had had a crush on Mac since elementary school but because Mac has always been so standoffish he had never been able to tell her.
Overall, I enjoyed After Dark and am excited for the sequel I have a feeling Mac is going to do even more growing and changing in the next novel and I’m excited to see what happens between her and Winn!