Source: E-ARC provided by publisher for honest review.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
“I live in Blackbrooke and you would have had to be living under a rock to never have heard of it before now. This town is different to most others…Humans aren’t the only residents…”
The residents of Blackbrooke share their town with the Creatures, or Crits as they are known. Grotesque, roaming the streets at night looking for food, their presence means humans have to live by the Rules, keeping them indoors and forbidding them of basic desires.
The most important Rule?
Don’t be a ‘walk out’!
Straight-A student, Liberty Connor, hates the Crits and the endless Rules she and her tight knit group of friends have to live by.
Planning her new life on the Outside with her boyfriend, Gabriel, Liberty whiles away her days waiting to turn 18, so they can leave and be free. That is, until the world she thinks she knows begins to unravel…
Her friends start to walk out. So she’s told. However, something’s not right. Things don’t add up.
Liberty faces a race against time to discover what’s going on with the Creatures of Blackbrooke.
Is it them she has to fear, or something much closer to home?
Blackbrookeis a Young Adult horror novel that has you on the edge of your seat.
My Thoughts: This book absolutely blew me away. I haven't stopped thinking about it for days. Blackbrooke, population 10,000, is not your typical town by any means. It's surrounded by walls with gates, guards, and guns, but Blackbrooke is far from your typical "gated community" by any means. The question is, are the walls really to keep the those living outside safe, or to trap those living within the walls inside? Tourists flock in by the droves to visit, but by sundown everyone, and I mean everyone, is inside with doors locked and blinds drawn, that is if they want to make it till morning. The town of Blackbrooke is a little like stepping back in time to another era. Relationships between boys and girls before they are 18 are forbidden, the girls must wear their hair up all the time, even classes are separate, with the exception of the Blackbrooke history class. Of course, teenagers are going to be teenagers and rules are sometimes made to be broken, only in Blackbrooke, the consequences are often deadly.
Liberty Connor has everything planned, she is waiting until she turns 18 and can leave Blackbrooke to live on the outside with her boyfriend Gabriel, then Liberty's world falls apart. Despite her grief, can Liberty find out the answers to the mysteries and secrets of Blackbrooke that have been hidden for years, and if she does, can she survive long enough to make a difference?
I typically do not read horror, but this book intrigued me and I have to say that I found it absolutely thrilling. I loved Liberty, she is quite the heroine. The story did focus around the Crits, the creatures that ruled the night and threatened the humans, but it also encompassed so much more. It is a story of loyalty, love, and sacrifice. The other characters in the book were incredible. I loved Gemma, Liberty's audacious best friend, and Noah, Gemma's boyfriend, who seems shallow, but proves himself brave beyond measure before the story ends. Then there is Cassius. I especially loved Cassius, who was Liberty's best friend as a child, but they had grown apart. Cassius has a disorder with his skin which has always made him out to be the brunt of jokes and bullying. As children, Liberty always stood up for Cassius and protected him. Circumstances draw Liberty and Cassius together again, and she discovers that he has grown into quite the man and no longer needs her protection. In fact, she discovers that the feelings she has for Cassius go much deeper than she knew, giving the story that romantic edge that in my opinion, helps make the book.
The paranormal aspect of this book was amazing, and the world Emma Silver has created in Blackbrooke is both brilliant and frightening. There is mystery, intrigue, and romance, which makes this story so much more than your typical horror story. Blackbrooke keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat throughout the entire book, with twists and turns that you never see coming. I could not put it down. If you are a horror fan, you will love this book, and if you're not, then after reading Blackbrooke, you just might be.
Emma was born and raised in Manchester but now resides in Liverpool.
Blackbrooke is her debut young adult horror novel after spending many years honing her skills drafting short stories and devouring horror through the ages from R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps collection through to Stephen King.
Emma is also the author of a semi-biographical account of her dad’s years in a rock band in the 1970s, Driving Exile.
Outside of her day job in public relations, Emma has worked for a Manchester entertainment magazine, reviewing theatre shows gigs and movies.
She gets most of her ideas and is inspired by music and also the fighting spirit of young people who aren’t afraid to challenge the norm and stand up for what they believe in. This fleeting ‘moment’ in life is what she tries to capture in her writing.