Title: The Dark Beneath the Ice
Author: Amelinda Bérubé
Genre: YA Paranormal/Horror
Release Date: August 7th 2018 from Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Kindle ARC
* I requested this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinons are my own and no quotations will be used*
Goodreads Synopsis: Something is wrong with Marianne.
It’s not just that her parents have split up, or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.
She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close.
Something is after her. But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it think it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.
DNF @ 43%
Since I have been reading more YA paranormal/horror books, I wanted to give this one a try. The trope of a girl losing time and something coming after her is still pretty popular and the synopsis. But after reading the 43% of the book, I gave up and I’m bummed that this was another upcoming release that didn’t work for me. Here are a few reasons why:
- Writing Style: This book is in first person, so we’re in Marianne’s head as she’s dealing with her parents divorce and the random black outs. I can see why the author made the book jarring and confusing in the writing style; we are to be as confused as Marianne herself. But I wasn’t pulled in at all. The sudden jumps to the “creepy” moments never got me invested, only confusing me further and having to re-read full paragraphs over again. It wasn’t even scary with what was happening to her; the things that happened never made me feel nervous. Marianne is also one of the most blandest characters I have read from in a long time. Her mother had a way more compelling story line and personality than Marianne. I feel like the main girl was just coasting with her problems, blaming her parents for things that weren’t their fault and not really caring for herself.
- Pacing: You don’t get to the main plot line of the attempted exorcism until about 35% through the book. So what happens in the first 35ish percent? Boring routines at all, lots of boring dialogue, practically every adult being ignorant and bland emotions from the main character. You get absolutely no answers in the 43% you read, just a couple tiny theories and that’s it. I never had anything to sink my teeth into. I truly wondered the purpose of the novel other than to make me forget what was happening.
- Expectations: I agree with some people that this was very underwhelming. The blurb of it being “Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity” never clicks with the very boring plot and major lack of supernatural presence. The main character was also a ballerina but it seems distant that it felt like a small place holder to try and get you to care about the character. I was hoping for a story that some genuine chills that books like The Diviners has with a decent main character. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.
Overall: I just didn’t care after forcing myself to read about 30% more than my original DNF spot. I was hoping to get some answers, but the very confusing writing and having nothing interesting to cling to made me decide to quit.
Rating: No rating (but for NetGalley purposes I gave it 2 stars)
Did you read this book? What did you think of it? Are there any YA paranormal/horror series you would recommend?