No Spoiler Review: The Dead and the Dark

The book cover of The Dead and The Dark features two faces of young women created with a smoky effect, each looking in the opposite direction over the image of a cabin by a lake.

Title: The Dead and the Dark

Author: Courtney Gould

Format: Audiobook

Available in physical books, audio book, or ebook

Rating: 🖤🖤🖤🖤

Publisher’s Summary

The Dark has been waiting—and it won’t stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just come to town.

Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before. But the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more than ghosts plaguing this small town. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his ghost following her ever since. Although everyone shuns the Ortiz-Woodleys, the mysterious Logan may be the only person who can help Ashley get some answers.

When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.

What I Loved

This book was a bit out of my typical reads, but I really enjoyed it! As a Young Adult (YA) title, I wasn’t sure what to expect and how it would stack up to more adult themed horror books. My favorite aspect of this one was the fledgling relationship between Logan and Ashley and watching them come together. There aren’t enough queer horror books out there!

The backdrop of the story was unique: the daughter of professional television “ghost hunters” encountering real paranormal activity. It was a clever way to build in knowledge that characters would have and provide unique tools and equipment for them to use while trying to solve several intertwined mysteries. The Twin Peaks-esque small town setting was memorable and along with tackling young, queer love and the paranormal, other themes were dysfunctional families, adoptions, and race. Overall it was a great YA read!

What I Didn’t

I was reminded that there is a reason I don’t typically go for the YA titles. The story had a lot of promise but did seem “watered down” just be virtue of being written towards a younger audience. It kept the scary things mostly at arm’s length and although there was romance, there was no intimacy. Again, I wasn’t really surprised by this and I believe the book is well written for it’s YA audience.

Favorite Line

“Ashley recognized the same look on Logan’s face that she’d seen in the mirror for months. They were adrift in the dark, senselessly paddling for shore.”

Last Words

Even though this YA titles is outside my usual scope, I’m very glad I picked this one up! It was a great story that tackled deep themes and was full of spooky vibes. I would count this as a modern Gothic read, as well as my new favorite subgenre “Cozy Horror.”

3 thoughts on “No Spoiler Review: The Dead and the Dark

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