Synopsis: 16 year old Brooke Day has been packed her off by her parents to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin in the coastal Massachusetts town of Deadwich. Brooke likes her relatives but doesn't like living there because whenever she goes to bed, she has horrible nightmares where she's surrounded in darkness.
At her new high school, Brooke quickly garners the attention of popular twins Evan and Marcus Knight, but while Evan is charismatic and more friendly, she is immediately drawn to Marcus. In the midst of her nightmares, she hears his voice calling out and soothing her fears, but in the daytime, it is Evan who showers her with attention.
She, her cousin Sammy and the twins all work at the Ravenwyck Inn, a creepy house owned by an even creepier old woman, Maggie, who scares Brooke. Brooke can sense the evil coming off of Maggie, but no one else seems to.
Brooke's nightmares continue until she gets lost on an island during a party and falls into an abandoned well. When Marcus rescues her, she finds an amulet which makes her nightmares ease up. But while her dreams are now safe, her daytime life gets harder as suddenly her cousin and new friends turn evil under Maggie's influence and Marcus is the only one she can trust.
Brooke's and Marcus's past lives are catching up with them and they have to try and stay alive while the witches they've wronged and fought against before try to get revenge.
My Thoughts: First, I want to say that after reading 4 of Curiosity Quills Press's books, I find that I really enjoy them. Looking forward to see what else they publish! Now on to The Gathering Darkness...seeing as it's October and Halloween is approaching, reading something spooky is just what I needed. This book isn't a ghost story, per se, but with the gothic Ravenwyck Inn, stormy weather, nightmares and witches, it was perfect for this time of year. Add that to the overcast, gloomy weather in Washington, DC right now and the stage was perfectly set.
Collicutt writes in a way that just sucks you in to the world of Deadwich. I could easily imagine Brooke's world, the scary Ravenwyck Inn and the dreamy Marcus. She described a teenager's insecurities and angst that go along with first love well, and while I was a bit surprised at how quickly they declared their love, it didn't seem rushed or false.
Then there was the ending. Talk about action packed! I couldn't put the book down, despite my eyelids getting heavy. I just had to find out how it ended. Bravo to Collicutt for keeping it fast paced and for keeping the surprises coming. Never saw them coming! Love that!
I had 2 minor complaints with the book. First is the symbolism. Deadwich. Dead witch. And Day and Knight. A bit too obvious for me. But again, not enough to put me off from the book. Second is a continuity issue at the end of the book that the editor should have picked up. They call Marcus's Uncle Edmond to pick them up on Skull Island and then when he finds them, he mentioned that when they didn't show up at his house, he went to Skull Island to find them. Again, these were not huge issues, and they didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Rating: 4 stars