REVIEW: Darkmere by Helen Maslin

Darkmere by Helen Maslin
Published by Chicken House on 6th August 2015
Pages: 368
Source: *Received from Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

A castle. A curse. A dangerous summer. Leo has invited Kate and a few friends to spend the summer at his inheritance, Darkmere Castle: as wild and remote as it is beautiful. Kate thinks it will be the perfect place for her and Leo to get together - but instead, she's drawn into the dark story of a young nineteenth-century bride who haunts the tunnels and towers of the house. And whose curse now hangs over them all. 
Darkmere started off as a really promising read, however as I read on I felt it lost its originality and was just dragging on to be concluded with an expected ending. I am not a fan of the cover, I do like the dark and mysterious background however the heart makes it look a little cheesy.

Kate and Elinor are in the same place, doing the same things, and yet in entirely different eras. Having fallen in love with a guy who is not as they originally seem, both suffer from frightening experiences within Darkmere Castle. Kate in the present, on holiday with her friends and trying to capture the attention of her crush Leo. And Elinor in the past, having married and moved to the castle, both do not expect the mysteries and frightening experiences they are about to experience.

We read the novel from two perspectives, Kate in the present and Elinor in the 1800's. I really liked Elinor throughout the novel, she was a strong protagonist who had endured much horror and yet she still tried to do her best. Though I must say, she did make quite some scenes that could be rather annoying. It was Kate whom I was not a fan of. She constantly worried about herself, and was always comparing herself to the others wealth. Alongside this she came across as rather naive, she could be strong at times, but why would you want to go out with someone like Leo and think it was cool to constantly smoke and drink alcohol, which are two things that it seemed they did all day every day, giving no depth to the characters and instead leaving behind a large dislike for them.

The plot began as really intriguing, especially the one set in the 1800's. I have always loved historical fiction and so therefore this was straight up my alley, and it did start off really interesting and I found myself reading the sections of the present tense a little faster so I could read from Elinor's perspective. However sadly my excitement for the historical fiction died down half-way through as it just became rather boring. It was mainly about her life at her new home, but all Elinor did was talk about her recovery and speaking with her selfish sister. The novel set in the present tense was okay if you could ignore all the smoking and alcohol, but I was not on the edge-of-my-seat like I had hoped as it was rather bland and expected.

Therefore sadly this novel did not live up to my expectations, and though parts of the historical fiction was interesting, the rest sadly did not follow in it's footsteps.



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