by Helen Maslin
Pages: 368 paperback
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: 6th August 2015
Received From: Chicken House
Received From: Chicken House
A castle. A curse. A dangerous summer.
Leo has invited Kate and a few friends to spend the summer at his inheritance, Darkmere Castle: as wild and remote as it is beautiful. Kate thinks it will be the perfect place for her and Leo to get together - but instead, she's drawn into the dark story of a young nineteenth-century bride who haunts the tunnels and towers of the house. And whose curse now hangs over them all.
I started reading Darkmere almost two years ago but for some reason couldn't get into it. However, when I was having a bit of a clean I found it at the back of my bookshelf and thought I would give it another go. WHY DID I EVER STOP READING THIS?!?! I don't know what was wrong with me back in 2015 but I was obviously having a bad week because Darkmere is insane! I was hooked from the first chapter and by the half way mark it had me properly spooked. So as my mother always says, better late than never, here is my review of Darkmere.
This book follows two very different girls at very different times as they find themselves at Darkmere Castle. Firstly, and predominantly, Kate. Kate unsuspectedly finds herself part of the cool group at her new school but when the hottest boy at Denborough Park invites her to spend the summer with his friends at his castle (yes I said castle) she doesn't realise her life is about to get flipped upside down. Secondly we have Elinor, a young woman who through unforeseen evens finds herself lady of Darkmere Castle decades before Kate and her friends are even born. Both girls have to discover the hard way the true nature of their lords of Darkmere and in hand find themselves on a path that will interlink the past with the present as both Kate and Elinor fight for their lives and the lives of the people they hold most dear.
There is a real sense of the past repeating itself with this book and I found it rather clever the way in which the writer connects these two girls and the people around them. There is a strong and rich history to the foundation of this story and a mix of characters that you will either love or hate! However, the thing I liked the most about this book was the way in which the castle spoke to its inhabitance, the way the deeds of the past affected the people of the present and how both set of characters unwittingly became one.
There was a real spook factor to this book and you will not find me visiting any castles or isolated beaches any time soon! The story was compelling and had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. It had me wanting to know what was going to happen next, hoping for a happy ending and at one point wanting to give Leo a mighty good slap. Overall though this is one of those books that was thoroughly entertaining and would recommend it to anyone! Although maybe not is you plan on reading this book on the beach... I probably wouldn't recommend that at all.
I received this book as an ARC from Chicken House to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.