Review of The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould
This was good, dark, and creepy. I’m a big fan of paranormal mystery/crime books and I’ve been lucky that there have been some good ones released lately. While the stories are quite different, this had a similar vibe to The River Has Teeth. The River Has Teeth was a little better fit for my personal tastes, but if you enjoyed that story I believe you will enjoy this one too.
I talk about readability a lot because I like books that are easy to get into and that can get their hooks right into you. This book was like that and I ended up reading it in one sitting. The pace was maybe a tad slower than I would have liked, but the book had a really nice build, and when the pace picked up, the story got much meatier and I didn’t want to put the book down. The author writes well and you can easily see vivid pictures of what is happening on the page, in your mind.
I’m more of a character-driven reader but for this book, I found I was more into the plot. I had mixed feelings about some of the characters. I thought Logan and her fathers were really well done, but I had a harder time connecting with Ashley and her family/friends. It wasn’t that Ashley was unlikable, but the people around her were, so it kind of rubbed off on her. I did like it when she got more into the paranormal aspects as it made her character more interesting for me, but it was still a mix.
It’s funny because I did find some things over the top and had to suspend disbelief a bit, but it was not the paranormal parts. It was the people and how they behaved and what they got away with, which was a bit much.
While there were some out there parts, I did like the main plot quite a bit. The mystery had some nice twists and while I had some ideas about one part, I was also surprised so I always like that. A lot of my friends have commented that this was a very scary story but I didn’t get that. There is violence and death and I would call this dark and creepy, but it was not scary for me. I guess your mileage may vary.
There was a light sapphic romance. It is slow-burn and almost enemies to lovers. Maybe Romeo and Juliet-ish is the better way to explain it. It started off rocky to me and I wasn’t feeling it. Luckily, as the book went on I started to believe in the connection and like them as a couple. I do wish Gould would have spent more time developing Ashley’s feelings. We needed to see the change and how it happened but we really don’t. In the end, it was a cute but light romance.
I would recommend this to YA paranormal crime/mystery fans. This is well written and an interesting read. To have a debut this strong makes me excited to read Gould again. If you are looking for dark and creepy, this book may just be for you.
A copy was given to me for a review.