Rating: 3.5 StarsAs a sequel, Darkness Falls is definitely a much stronger book than Immortal Beloved. For one, it delves even deeper into Nastasya and her psyche, particularly her fears of working her magic. At River's, she begins to learn how to use magic without taking energy from others around her, but Nasty remains afraid that the darkness in her bloodline will curse both her and those she gets close to. Thus, the title of this book is both apt and reassuring - Darkness Falls. It is the journey to seeing Nasty come to terms with who she is and what she can do that makes this book all the more rewarding by the end. Unfortunately, though, I can't admit to enjoying this installment as much as the first one. For one, I found myself confused by Nasty's continued involvement with the townspeople. While I love that it opens up a different side of her, it serves no true purpose to the plot. Additionally, Nasty herself was quite - for lack of a better word - stupid during many moments in this novel. Very obvious conclusions that she should have been able to draw were not drawn until the last minute and made for monotonous reading at times. Yet, my biggest qualm is that this novel failed to further the romance between Reyn and Nasty until the very end. I was hoping for budding sexual tension, but was sadly disappointed on that front. Nevertheless, this book is a winner, through and through. Nasty is a riot, as always, and her narrative voice is so compelling. Furthermore, this book delves into her past, especially her relationship with her best friend Incy, and seeing their roles as men and women change over time is note-worthy. Nasty grows tremendously in this novel and I love that her growth in each book is so distinct and realistic. Darkness Falls is a good, solid YA, full of strong friendships and impeccable character growth. I cannot wait for the final installment in this trilogy. I doubt it'll disappoint; after all, Cate Tiernan doesn't seem to know the word.