Title: The Gathering Darkness
Author: Lisa Collicutt
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Genrre: Young adult paranormal romance
They say “third time’s the charm.” But for sixteen-year-old Brooke Day, they had better be right. She’s been here before – twice in fact – and an evil demon-witch wants her dead a third time.
When Brooke is forced to leave Boston for the small town of Deadwich, she thinks her life is over. Before long, her new friends start acting strange – downright evil. Worse, the nightmares she’s had her whole life are becoming reality.
Enter Marcus Knight; popular, hot, and the only person Brooke can trust. Not to mention, they’ve shared the same nightmares. With the discovery of an ancient Celtic amulet, Brooke and Marcus unravel the secrets of her past, in search of the key to her future.
As the equinox approaches, darkness and light merge for the first time in a century, soul-mates reunite, and magic awakens!
The Gathering Darkness is well-written with an intriguing story and solid characters, but it is a very typical YA fantasy, possibly too similar to a host of other books for those who have read a lot of the genre.
The book begins with a new arrival at school and two boys want the same girl. She knows who she wants, so it’s not the usual love triangle, but Marcus and Brooke do love each other from first sight—another common occurrence in YA books. At least in this story, there’s a reason for their instant love other than that they both find each other hot and think that’s love. The reason for this feeling that the other person is the one is that these two are reincarnations of two people who have loved before, and in each lifetime their lives have been cut short by a witch who wants them dead for various reasons.
Evocative writing sets the scenes well; so much so that I almost felt the chill Brooke felt when the demon witch touched her. The reincarnation theme makes the story a little different to the norm and it’s well-structured and well-paced.
Conceptually, however, it only just hung together for me. Themes of destiny or fate are shaky ground for explaining away coincidences, and the demon witch’s motives for wanting them dead again were unclear. The witch needed to be given a bit more depth and some reason to hold onto the past enough in order to want to repeat it. However, I am fussier than most in that aspect and I doubt it would be a problem for teen readers.
If you’re sensitive to teen angst and the number of times people declare their undying love for each other, you may find it a bit on the edge in that respect. But in terms of the genre, it isn’t excessive.
I think it would be a very enjoyable book for teen paranormal romance readers. 3 stars
- Official Book Page
- Curiosity Quills Press