Author: Helen Maslin
Published by: Chicken House Books on 6th August 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Links: Goodreads | Wordery | Kindle
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.
Ever read one of those books where you had no idea what to expect, but you knew it was going to be awesome anyway? Darkmere was that, for me. Only, better. Better how? I'll explain.
Upon first hearing about Darkmere (take note, this was only about a month or so ago), I was completely fascinated. You could say that I was ensnared and perhaps a tad bit excited. A gothic romance set in a castle? YES. SIGN ME UP. I was just as excited about reading this as I was about seeing Jurassic World for the first time, and we all know how that went. I barely spared the rather beautiful package this proof was delivered in and dived straight in to reading, and in doing this meant that over the course of the next day or so, Darkmere was all I could think about. It was utterly addictive and just so good. Totally unputdownable!
When Leo inherits the Darkmere castle, the first thing he does is invite his little band of friends and Kate to spend their summer holiday in his new establishment. But the castle is rumoured to be haunted, a curse placed upon the castle and it's heirs by the first mistress - Elinor. Dark secrets of the past surrounding Leo's ancestor's are uncovered resulting in a chilling and dramatic discovery.
Yes, it's as good as it sounds. Better, even. Our protagonist is Kate is a marvellous teenage voice and alongside Helen Maslin's spectacular writing talents spinning stories that shift between past and present, it adds a special touch to the tale and works perfectly. With a great mix of mystery and somewhat angsty romance, there is a chunk of good ol' humour. Honestly, I laughed out loud more times in the first quarter than expected, it was a great surprise and definitely a highlight of the book! The characters were a mixture of charming, witty and full of life and you can't help but cling to them and growing an attachment!
It's seriously great how the plot thickens and slowly unravels in ways that makes your heart jump and stomach lurch. Even if you're not a fan of spooky thrillers or horrors, I strongly suggest you try Darkmere. I can't promise that your heart will remain intact by the end of it, but that's the fun part. I'm not as twisted as I sound. Honest.
I especially enjoyed being thrown back into the past and reading Elinor's tale. There was anger and passion, jealously and hurt, tension and drama. A bold mix of feelings and events that really had me hooked! I just loved this book so much, it contained all of my favourite elements that I love in a book which has resulted in Helen becoming one of my new favourite authors ever. She's absolutely lovely too! So if you're looking for a brain-busting and mindblowing read - GO READ DARKMERE.
After that ending, I promise it'll be worth your time.