Genre: Paranormal, Fiction.
Year Of Publication: 12th November 2014
Publisher: Large Things Ltd.
Pages: 202 (Paperback)
My rating: 3.5/5
“My mum had gone missing in the winter,eight years earlier ,as a huge storm battered the coastline. You could feel it coming; an ominous silent monster getting nearer and nearer. Then sound and fury. A wind that smelled of death and splintered wood; sea that dashed against the land with such ferocity; white water smashing the cliffs and beaches……………My eyelids were heavy. I once dreamt of her floating in the canal like Ophelia, with a garland of drooping flowers on her head, and her hands crossed over her chest as she drifted into death. Her eyes were open. But other times I dreamt that her bloated corpse was knocking against the boat. Her eyes had turned a pale filmy grey and insects climbed into her gaping mouth as she was calling my name.”
To escape her fears Rowan Munro decides to leave London and head back to Dorchay – her childhood village in Scotland.There she unites with her eccentric Aunt Kitty and together with her childhood friends Blake and Violet she goes on a journey to find out what happened to her mother when she mysteriously disappeared all those years ago.
So as the blurb makes it pretty obvious there is magic involved in this book – with a dash of the supernatural.
So Rowan is a witch/mermaid and comes from a powerful line of women – all of them descendants of Ceasg. There’s also this thing called the “Hunter” that has been killing witches off so he can then use their life source for immortality. We later find out that the Hunter is the one who killed off Rowans’ mother and now he’s after her. The rest of the story unfolds to reveal the identity of the Hunter and why he’s killing off people who share his bloodline and whether Rowan will be able to put an end to his schemes in time.
“I had once been so afraid of the dark; afraid of what it concealed.”
I really loved Heather Blanchards’ writing. She’s beautifully described the Scottish Highlands and has done an excellent job creating an eerie backdrop for her debut novel. “Dark is the Sea” made me feel the way I felt when I first watched “The Blair Witch Project” (especially the part where she discovers Violet in the forest) and because of that I kept on reading till the end.
Plot wise I think the book needs to be a bit more fleshed out.I’d have loved to read more of certain parts throughout the story but there were very sparse details to begin with and when I finally thought I was getting somewhere the plot was immediately rushed to the next setting without giving me time to adjust.
I felt nothing throughout Blake and Rowans’ relationship it was very two-dimensional and had progressed instantaneously.I wouldn’t have cared if they’d (all) been killed off by the end.
But not all characters were mediocre. I really enjoyed reading about Ceasg and Cristiona was the saving grace of the book in my opinion.
The ending was a bit rushed and (sadly) the book ends at a cliff hanger.Overall it was a pretty short read with a fast paced plot (too fast for my liking. I would’ve preferred more details and further plot building).
Hopefully Heather Blanchard will write a sequel soon so I can get closure.
Definitely recommended for readers who like books about paranormal and supernatural beings and have a preference for books set in Scotland. (or are fans of “The Blair Witch Project” because it has similar vibes!).
*I was sent this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.