Monday, February 2, 2015

REVIEW: A Whispered Darkness by: Vanessa Barger

Title: A Whispered Darkness

Author: Vanessa Barger

Publisher: Month9Books

Release Date: August 26, 2014


When Claire Mallory's father leaves. her mom moves them to a new town and into a dilapidated Victorian house. The old house creaks and whistles, and smells...well, like its been abandoned for years. But as the nights grow longer and the shadows take on substance, Claire wonders if the strange sounds and occurrences might be more than the house showing its age. Just as things start to pick up in Claire's love life, her mother becomes possessed. In an attempt to save her mother and their new home, Claire enlists the help of two boys, each of whom is interested in Claire for very different reasons. As she chooses one boy over the other, something dangerous is unleashed, and the spirits make their move. They aren't content to moan and scream inside Claire's house, or even control her mom. They want a taste of freedom, and they'll use Claire to get it. But is Claire strong enough to fight off the evil spirits, or will they claim her and her mom before it's all over?


Claire Mallory, her brother Grant and mom, have moved to a new town to get a new start because her father had an affair and left them. Claire is a psychic and can see ghosts, but because of an incident that happened in the past she's afraid to use her gift. From the moment that they move into their new home Claire knows there are spirits in the house. Her mom is quickly possessed by one of the spirits in the house. Grant is starting to notice the spirits and can tell strange things are happening, but he is unable to see them. Claire meets two boys, Brian and Haven, and they both end up interested in her. Things start to get way weird and out of control.

I've had a hard time trying to write this review, not because the book was bad or anything, but there was so much that happened in the book that I have had a hard time remembering some of the things that happened earlier in the story. 

Claire Mallory is the main character and the story is told from her point of view. I liked Claire's character, she knew when to stand up to someone and when to stand up for someone. She's been dealt a bad hand with her dad's disbelief of her gifts, being put in a mental institution because of it, her dad's infidelity, and now the big move to start over. With all things considered I think she is coping well with it all.  

Grant would be the coolest younger brother for anyone. I loved the relationship that him and Claire had. You don't see those kinds of relationships between siblings anymore. From the moment that Claire starts to notice things with the house he believes her and doesn't question it. He's very protective of her and tries to do anything to help her out even when it gets him in trouble. The banter that passes between Grant and Claire was priceless. I don't remember the story confirming it, but I got the impression that Grant has a small psychic ability himself because he was able to sense sometimes when a spirit was there; but not every time. 

Claire's mom is possessed so very quickly in the beginning of the book that it is hard to get a handle on what her true personality is like. With that being said I found it really hard to connect in any way with her true character even though she plays such a large role in all the events that occur. Another thing that bugged me about her character was why in the world she would move them all into an old creepy, haunted house. Especially when you know that your daughter is psychic and has suffered bad experiences because of it. I realize it all plays into the story line but the common sense part of my brain just doesn't understand it. 

Claire can tell something is not right with Bryan when she first meets him but sums it up all to him being over zealous and she tries to be nice to him. From early on in the story I didn't like Bryan. As the story kept progressing my dislike turned to hate, not because his character was poorly written or anything, because Vanessa Barger did a wonderful with all the characters, but because he was so mean, abusive, and unhinged.

Haven was dealt a crappy deal too and has been labeled an outcast. He is constantly having to deal with the people in town second guessing him. His cousin Bryan is so mean to him, continually throwing out snide comments and trying to get Claire not to like him. I really liked Haven's character because he was loyal, sweet, and honest, despite the way he has been treated. Claire immediately is drawn to him and there is more in common between the two of them than she knows about in the beginning of the story.

Despite the synopsis hinting to there being a love triangle between Claire, Haven, and Bryan; Claire makes her decision almost instantly. Claire decision causes some issues with one of the guys but everything plays a part to the story. 

I was highly entertained with this book and feel that Vanessa Barger did a wonderful job writing it. I feel a few places were slower than others but it was still a good read. I hope there is a sequel that is in the works because I thought the ending left an opening for it and I'd like to read more about Claire, learn why Haven's grandmother is the way she is, and find out what happens to Bryan. I recommend that you add this to your TBR list.

(c) 2015 Andrea Hatfield All Rights Reserved

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