Dark Song was an interesting book. I read another one of Gail Giles's novels a couple of years ago, and while I don't remember much of the plot, I don't think I had much of a problem with it. This one seemed really good while I was reading it, but the ending was a let down. Looking back on the novel as a whole now, I've come to notice a lot of errors in it.
The first half of Dark Song is all about a rich family's fall, after the father makes a mistake and gets fired from his job. I don't think many people knew that so much back story would be given, as the summaries of the novel really only talk about the end of the story. I definitely thought that this part was too long. It gave background information that I didn't need to know, brought in characters that didn't really matter later (Robin, Edwin, etc.), and became quite boring after a while. I read 3/4 of Dark Song in one day, but it took me half a week to get through the first fifty pages.
The second half of the book, however, was just the opposite. I felt that it was too rushed and you didn't really get an ideal picture of Marc and Ames's relationship. Personally, I thought that Marc was way too two-dimensional. Giles did a good job of showing that he was capable of being destructive, but for the majority of the book, I was fine with Marc. I thought he was a likable character and was just happy that someone came in to make Ames's life a little better. The switch from nice guy to predator came a little fast, and despite the fact that that's how it often happens in real life, I thought she could have drawn it out a little longer.
My biggest problem with Dark Song, however, is the end. If you're wary of spoilers, I would just skip this paragraph and go onto the next. For the whole story, I liked how the author showed the growing "dark side" of Ames, if you will. She started out being just a little rebellious and near the end, seemed relatively okay with the idea of possibly killing her parents. I felt like it took the whole novel to turn her into this darker person, and in the last few chapters, I believed Ames could be capable of some bad stuff. But, when Marc decides to put in action the idea that we've been waiting for all along (killing the parents and running of on their own) Ames immediately draws back and tells her parents everything. I'm not saying that I expected her to KILL them, but I really thought that there should have been a little bit more of contemplation about this idea. Ames clearly did not see how dangerous Marc was and she spent the whole book doing everything she could to rebel against her parents. No matter how hard I try, I just can't see how she would immediately return back to them, especially after falling so much in love with Marc. Her mother did seem to have a bit of a change of heart, but I also thought that was too sudden. And, one kind act shouldn't have taken away all of the anger/hatred that built up inside of Ames.
Anyway, spoilers aside, the book really wasn't bad. I enjoyed it while I was reading it and don't regret purchasing Dark Song. I've explained a lot of the cons to to story, but there were some pros. The whole thing was very well written. Also, I often don't like the protagonists of novels, but I didn't have any issues with Ames. I didn't love her, but I could relate to her and found her to be a very realistic character. The whole story seemed pretty believable to me. The other major characters (Chrissy, the mother, the father, Em, and even Marc) seemed very well thought out and interesting. Finally, after you got through the first part, the story did pick up pace. I read through the second part in one sitting. But, there were still a lot of cons. Besides Marc and the ending, I found the whole thing to be pretty predictable. It took too long to get to the major plot point of the novel and once you DID reach it, the story ended abruptly. I wasn't ready to part with the characters yet and would have loved if Dark Song was a little longer, to make it less rushed and give you more of a conclusion. Overall, I thought it was just alright. I would probably recommend this to others, as long as you really think that it sounds interesting. But, you may not want to spend money on it; just borrow it from the library.