Book Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta + Giveaway
PROS:chilling gothic fantasy, beautiful romance, tough orphan heroine, paranormal Jane Eyre retelling that feels fresh
CONS:a few (necessarily) stomach churning scenes
A powerful and darkly entrancing gothic novel that, like its diamond-in-the-rough heroine, takes commonplace elements and turns them into something dazzling.
I can honestly say I’ve never read anything quite like Dark Companion. The best spoiler-free overview I can give is to say it is a dark and at times gritty retelling of Jane Eyre, but that is an inadequate oversimplification. The plot delivers several mouth-dropping surprises and manages to incorporate fresh spins on familiar paranormal elements (which is quite a feat given how late in the YA paranormal game this book is). The introduction of this paranormal mythology is as grounded in science and reality as it can be, and wrapped in a powerful and secretive backstory that makes for a solidly-built world.
Jane as a character is both compulsively likable and frustratingly bonkers-making. Some of her decisions and instincts will absolutely ruffle your self-respecting feminist feathers, but I found her actions and motivations to be 100% believable given her situation in life and her upbringing—and her mistakes come from the same desperate, pitiable motivations as Jane Eyre’s.
Jane’s new Birch Grove friend Mary Violet is another standout character, making me once again wish I had a magic “bring a fictional character to life for permanent installation as my real life BFF” wand to wave. Hilarious, witty and utterly ridiculous, she says whatever is on her mind in such an endearing way you can’t find fault with her.
If I could wave my “bring this tortured hot guy character to life so I can make out with him” wand, I would absolutely do it, for one character who shall remain nameless to avoid delish spoilers.
The mood of the novel is as powerful and darkly entrancing as the classic gothic novels whose epigraphs begin each of the book’s chapters, and Acosta’s writing is rich and exacting in delivering a beautifully dark gothic that does these forebears proud.
While there were a few scenes that made me squeamish, the discomfort was worth it for this strange, captivating story. I heartily recommend this for anyone who loves Jane Eyre (obvs!), gothic horror and romance, and mysteries that get under your skin.
I loved this book SO much and we have a hardcover to give away, so it’s time to spread this love to another reader!
Simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win the hardcover prize. Contest ends July 22nd.