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The Darkdeep

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When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella - and even 'cool kid' Opal -rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can't When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella - and even 'cool kid' Opal -rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can't quite shake the feeling that something about it is off. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat with an array of curiosities inside: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to places they've never heard of, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable. As the group delves deeper into the unknown, their discoveries - and their lives -begin to intertwine in weird and creepy ways. Something ancient has awakened... and it knows their wishes and dreams - and their darkest, most terrible secrets. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy things that lurk within their own hearts?


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When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella - and even 'cool kid' Opal -rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can't When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella - and even 'cool kid' Opal -rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can't quite shake the feeling that something about it is off. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat with an array of curiosities inside: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to places they've never heard of, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable. As the group delves deeper into the unknown, their discoveries - and their lives -begin to intertwine in weird and creepy ways. Something ancient has awakened... and it knows their wishes and dreams - and their darkest, most terrible secrets. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy things that lurk within their own hearts?

30 review for The Darkdeep

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs is the first book in the new middle grade horror series by the same name. A lot of people are comparing this one to Stranger Things which could be but since I haven’t watched those what it did remind me of is some of Stephen King’s horror but on a middle grade level. The story is one of a group of somewhat misfit kids encountering a group of bullies and of course that bullying leads to their discovery. Nico, Tyler and Emma are out near Still Cove whi The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs is the first book in the new middle grade horror series by the same name. A lot of people are comparing this one to Stranger Things which could be but since I haven’t watched those what it did remind me of is some of Stephen King’s horror but on a middle grade level. The story is one of a group of somewhat misfit kids encountering a group of bullies and of course that bullying leads to their discovery. Nico, Tyler and Emma are out near Still Cove which is off-limits due to all the creepy sightings there over the years. The trio however just wanted to test out their new quad copter they had built when along comes Logan the town bully and his friends, including Opal who used to be friends with Nico’s group. Things of course get out of hand and the drone the kids were so excited to fly ends up going into Still Cove. A rescue attempt leads to one of the group falling over and the rest attempting to help they all find themselves stumbling into more than they ever could have imagined when they find the Darkdeep. Being an adult I know I’m not the intended audience for this story but I have to say I was quite impressed that it kept me entertained just the same. I’m one that often finds horror stories to be a bit of the same old same old having read so many but the ideas in here were interesting and the levels of creepiness just right for the intended audience without going too far. Definitely recommend checking this one out to any age really that enjoys a good scary tale. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    4.5 My initial interest in this novel is that Ally Condie is one of the writers, and I have had a pretty good experience with her Matched trilogy and Atlantia. When This came up on NetGalley, I was so excited and hoping to be a reviewer for this book. And I was chosen! A big thank you to NetGalley. Bloomsbury, Ally Condie, and Brendan Reichs for the amazing opportunity of reading this book in exchange for an honest review. Many people are saying this has a very Stranger Things vibe to it. I won’t 4.5 My initial interest in this novel is that Ally Condie is one of the writers, and I have had a pretty good experience with her Matched trilogy and Atlantia. When This came up on NetGalley, I was so excited and hoping to be a reviewer for this book. And I was chosen! A big thank you to NetGalley. Bloomsbury, Ally Condie, and Brendan Reichs for the amazing opportunity of reading this book in exchange for an honest review. Many people are saying this has a very Stranger Things vibe to it. I won’t deny that, but I feel like it definitely has a feel of its own as well. I also noticed that some people found this book to be a bit scary for the target age group, but I don’t think so at all. Having experience teaching 7th and 8th grade, a huge percentage of those students are into Stranger Things and similar types of media, so this would fit right in. If there were more blood/gore versus finding a human skeleton, I might say it’s a bit creepy in a negative way, but it doesn’t have that kind of element to it. Basically, three friends are playing on a cliff over a creepy, fog-covered cove, when a bully comes and loses a boy’s drone in the cove on purpose. After Nico falls over the cliff, his friends Tyler and Emma rush to find him, only for the three of them to discover an island with a lake in the middle, a boathouse full of creepy things in the middle of that. Opal, a girl who was with the bully, follows them, and it takes a while for her to be accepted as part of the group. In the bottom center of the boathouse, there is a pool of swirling water that the children end up naming the Darkdeep. When they go through, it spits them out, along with pulling something imaginary from their minds in the process, such as an animal or character from a movie. These figments seem fun at first, because that’s all they are: figments that can’t touch anything and disappear after awhile. Until they become more and more real and the children have to stop the horrors from destroying the town. I honestly thought this was an absolutely amazing book for Middle Grade and that some high school students would enjoy as well. Even as a teacher, I found myself slamming through this book. The only thing I didn’t really like about the book was Emma. She felt like some of her actions were a bit unrealistic and forced for what a girl of that age might do in the given situation. Other than that, The Darkdeep is well-written and fast paced, and the adventures of the children as they learn about the Darkdeep and how it works, as well as leaving just enough mystery for the reader, is perfect. The cover is inviting and the color scheme is gorgeous. A highly recommended read for Middle Grade and higher!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    There have been some amazing middle grade books this year and The Darkdeep is another one. Nico, Tyler, and Ella are friends.  Nico's dad caused some issues in town while trying to protect the owls.  Because of that, a lot of people were laid off work and they blame him for it.  Logan's dad runs the big company that was hurt by this.  He bullies Nico a lot, mostly because of that.  While out flying a drone by the cliffs of Still Cove, Logan and his friends show up and start harassing them.  He fl There have been some amazing middle grade books this year and The Darkdeep is another one. Nico, Tyler, and Ella are friends.  Nico's dad caused some issues in town while trying to protect the owls.  Because of that, a lot of people were laid off work and they blame him for it.  Logan's dad runs the big company that was hurt by this.  He bullies Nico a lot, mostly because of that.  While out flying a drone by the cliffs of Still Cove, Logan and his friends show up and start harassing them.  He flies Nico's drone into the fog and into the cove.  Nico gets close to the edge and falls over. Opal was with Logan, but left to go back and check on her old friend, Nico.  She and the others decide to find a way down to find him.  They find a cave with a rowboat and take it out on the water.  They find an island with a weird houseboat and pond.  Luckily Nico is there and isn't hurt.  So the four of them decide to check out he houseboat.  Inside, they find all kinds of odd things, including a basement.  Obviously that seems odd for a houseboat, so they go down there.  What they find is a weird well of water that is swirling constantly.   Ella decides to put her foot in the water and it grabs her and drags her under.  She somehow comes up outside the houseboat.  After she does, a weird animal appears.  It was her make believe friend from when she was younger.  The kids realize that the Darkdeep can bring up figments.  But the figments start getting stronger and they have to find a way to save the town. I loved the friendships in this book.  That stood out more than anything.  These kids love each other and have such an incredible bond.  I also loved the creepy vibes and all the weird creatures that kept appearing.  The cave, tunnel, and "treasures" they found were so interesting, too.  I really enjoyed this and can't wait to read the second book.  I gave this one 4  1/2 stars (rounded up to 5).  Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for my copy for review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emilie Hendryx

    What a ride! I really enjoyed this relatively fast-paced MG that will be hitting the shelves this fall (October 2) in perfect time for Halloween. I definitely felt like it was Stranger Things meets middle grade, but am hesitant to say that I’d recommend it to kids any younger than 10. While it has a strong message of over coming fear (something I thought was great) it could prove to be a little much for readers with a vivid imagination. I loved the interplay between the original core group of fo What a ride! I really enjoyed this relatively fast-paced MG that will be hitting the shelves this fall (October 2) in perfect time for Halloween. I definitely felt like it was Stranger Things meets middle grade, but am hesitant to say that I’d recommend it to kids any younger than 10. While it has a strong message of over coming fear (something I thought was great) it could prove to be a little much for readers with a vivid imagination. I loved the interplay between the original core group of four friends and the addition (no spoilers) here and how Condie and Reichs really pulled out some great lessons about friendship, bullying, and the power of fear. I’d recommend that parents who aren’t sure how their child might react to the slightly darker themes of this book read it first so they can have a conversation with their child during/after reading it. All in all, I’d recommend it to mature MG readers who like adventure with a side of creepy!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kath (Read Forevermore)

    An arc of this book was sent to me by Bloomsbury in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The Darkdeep is a perfectly fast paced middle grade story that is full of friendship and adventure mixed with spooky. Super fun to read with a good amount of suspense. Although I have to admit it was a bit slow at the beginning, halfway through the book, it just picks up and the ending was just GREAT! I love the original plot ideas and plot twists! Definitely a good book to read with H An arc of this book was sent to me by Bloomsbury in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The Darkdeep is a perfectly fast paced middle grade story that is full of friendship and adventure mixed with spooky. Super fun to read with a good amount of suspense. Although I have to admit it was a bit slow at the beginning, halfway through the book, it just picks up and the ending was just GREAT! I love the original plot ideas and plot twists! Definitely a good book to read with Halloween coming up soon. This book is absolutely perfect for younger readers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joanna (BookandPages)

    I'm giving this a 3/5 stars today, but I think that may be higher if I read it again. I don't really know how to feel about this yet. I was slightly bored about half way in. It started to get a little repetitive. But I did stick it out, and I loved the last 30%. It was so good. I've never seen Stranger Things, so I couldn't say if it compares, but it gave me major Scooby Doo vibes. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm excited to recommend it to people at the bookstore I work at. This may be a mid I'm giving this a 3/5 stars today, but I think that may be higher if I read it again. I don't really know how to feel about this yet. I was slightly bored about half way in. It started to get a little repetitive. But I did stick it out, and I loved the last 30%. It was so good. I've never seen Stranger Things, so I couldn't say if it compares, but it gave me major Scooby Doo vibes. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm excited to recommend it to people at the bookstore I work at. This may be a middle grade, but the end got a bit scary for sensitive kids.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    A comment on the ARC read "Stranger Things meets The Goonies." Love both the series and the movie. While this book is not as intense or scary, I see the similarities. That being said I found this an enjoyable read, and excellent start to the series. Any fan of Strangers Things and The Goonies will enjoy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gerard Villegas

    Read an ARC of this after the publishing rep wanted a blurb. Four youngsters discover a secluded island near their sleepy, little town that grants wishes but at a price. A combination of Stranger Things, Stephen King's It, and the 80's influence of The Monster Squad, this is one fun read that is step up from the Goosebumps series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    A good read for some mild spooky vibes around Halloween! I do wish the secondary characters had been a bit more defined, but overall an enjoyable and sufficiently unsettling read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Hey Marketing Department, You got me with the “Move over, Stranger Things” review. As a result, I'm judging this more harshly. You got nothing on Stranger Things. (It was ok.)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs, 272 pages. Bloomsbury, October 2018. $17. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH When Timber’s resident bullies send Nico’s drone off the cliff into perpetually foggy Still Cove, Nico is desperate to get his very expensive drone back. When he braves the cliff, he falls and his friends follow Opal, who used to be Nico’s friend, over the edge to rescue him. What they all find, however, is mu The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs, 272 pages. Bloomsbury, October 2018. $17. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH When Timber’s resident bullies send Nico’s drone off the cliff into perpetually foggy Still Cove, Nico is desperate to get his very expensive drone back. When he braves the cliff, he falls and his friends follow Opal, who used to be Nico’s friend, over the edge to rescue him. What they all find, however, is much more mysterious – a hidden island, with a central lake and a decrepit houseboat. Even weirder, at the bottom of the houseboat is a slowly stirring pool. When Emma touches it the strangeness factor goes through the roof! I don’t think you need to compare this to Stranger Things to get kids excited about this book. They already like creepy, scary things, so they will be drawn in. A good alternative to Goosebumps, with much better storytelling and a sequel, I am sure, is on its way. Cindy, Middle School Librarian https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2018...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    this seems possibly too terrifying for this age group? but it is a thrill ride of fun and super cthulu lurking around every corner. seriously when the lovecraft mystery rears its head and their joint consensus is, "we need to research and read!", I laughed pretty hard. RPG Call of Cthulu has library use as one of the primary skill areas so this is very appropriate. basically, a story of a bunch of 12 year olds in a tiny town in Washington state finding a mysterious island with a bizarre, paranorm this seems possibly too terrifying for this age group? but it is a thrill ride of fun and super cthulu lurking around every corner. seriously when the lovecraft mystery rears its head and their joint consensus is, "we need to research and read!", I laughed pretty hard. RPG Call of Cthulu has library use as one of the primary skill areas so this is very appropriate. basically, a story of a bunch of 12 year olds in a tiny town in Washington state finding a mysterious island with a bizarre, paranormal event horizon and then hypothesizing, testing, and researching. great main characters, gripping action (like you are honestly concerned most of the book that someone is about to die), and nice lessons on friendship. could use some more backstory on their families and the town and what exactly is going on, but that might come in the next book. I would hesitantly suggest this for 10 year olds, seems more like a 12-14 crowd-pleaser. (it really is kind of scary!)

  13. 5 out of 5

    J.S.

    Nico and his friends are out testing his brand new quadcopter drone - which he's spent all the money he had to build - when a group of bullies shows up. After one of the bullies pilots the drone into the fog, Nico goes out on a ledge (literally) to try and get it back, but ends up falling into a mystery. The kids find a magical houseboat on an island with a strange swirling well inside it. But what starts out as fun exploring the mysteries soon becomes a menace that threatens not only themselves Nico and his friends are out testing his brand new quadcopter drone - which he's spent all the money he had to build - when a group of bullies shows up. After one of the bullies pilots the drone into the fog, Nico goes out on a ledge (literally) to try and get it back, but ends up falling into a mystery. The kids find a magical houseboat on an island with a strange swirling well inside it. But what starts out as fun exploring the mysteries soon becomes a menace that threatens not only themselves but the town they live in. The Darkdeep is a decent middle-grade novel of kids and friendship as they have to band together and face their fears. I think the comparisons to "Stranger Things" are a bit much, however, as this seems kind of formulaic and lacks the magic I think the television series has. But that's not to say this isn't a fun read - and I'm sure middle-grade readers will enjoy it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tara (Spinatale Reviews)

    The Darkdeep was so perfect for a Halloween/fall read! I loved that it had a spooky and slightly creepy atmosphere but never got scary. Even middle grade me would have been okay with this one and I had zero tolerance for scary things. I think this would be perfect to get for the middle grader in your life! It covers a lot of important topics such as bullying, empathy, and overcoming fear. The friendships in it were wonderful and I loved seeing how they grew and developed over the course of the bo The Darkdeep was so perfect for a Halloween/fall read! I loved that it had a spooky and slightly creepy atmosphere but never got scary. Even middle grade me would have been okay with this one and I had zero tolerance for scary things. I think this would be perfect to get for the middle grader in your life! It covers a lot of important topics such as bullying, empathy, and overcoming fear. The friendships in it were wonderful and I loved seeing how they grew and developed over the course of the book. Plus it’s a lot of fun to read and the pacing was excellent! *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Fetters

    "Mist curled up from Still Cover, wraithlike tendrils swirling over the cliffs above the cave, as though a ghostly, limber, writhing forest had grown overnight. Opal reached out to touch a wisp, but it slipped through her fingers." This was an epic adventure into the darkness that lays beyond the fog. It was fast-paced and action-packed. There was never a dull moment between these pages. It reminded me of parts of Stranger Things and a tad bit from It (2017 Movie) and it made me that much more in "Mist curled up from Still Cover, wraithlike tendrils swirling over the cliffs above the cave, as though a ghostly, limber, writhing forest had grown overnight. Opal reached out to touch a wisp, but it slipped through her fingers." This was an epic adventure into the darkness that lays beyond the fog. It was fast-paced and action-packed. There was never a dull moment between these pages. It reminded me of parts of Stranger Things and a tad bit from It (2017 Movie) and it made me that much more intrigued. RTC This was my first ever experience with these two authors and I'm excited to read their other books. But what I really need is another book in this series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Megan Manzano

    This was a super fast read and kept me pretty entertained from start to finish. It gave me hardcore Stranger Things Vibes (a group of preteens riding bikes, finding The Dark Deep, and fending off their small town from monsters). My rating is a 3.5 mainly for the strong message this MG book offers about fear and overcoming it and the cast of MCs.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Krysti

    STRANGER THINGS meets GOOSEBUMPS in this spine tingling adventure! THE DARKDEEP is the middle grade read to pick up this year. With lots of action and some truly creeptastic moments, this book will keep readers on the edge of their seats. I can’t wait to see what Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs have in store for us in book two!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessena Johnson

    Such a fun middle grade! It was like Stranger Things mixed with The Goonies.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    Well, this was definitely a fun adventure! But there are some similarities to Stranger Things and it's almost like it was trying to BE that show at times (just not set in the 80s). The characters were their own, though. I really liked them a lot, and I'm such a fan of friend groups tackling evil things and saving each other and uncovering secrets probably best left buried. And while this isn't typically my type of story, I enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to the sequel! Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I received an ARC at book expo. This was a really great middle grade novel about friendship. A group of friends discover a strange house boat filled with oddities in Still Cove. They soon discover the darkness that lies within and feeds on their greatest fears. A good pick for young horror fans.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alex Ward

    Really smart & clever take on the increasingly re-popular ragtag-group-of-kids trope, but it "descends" into a really cliche storyline about a magical entity that can recreate Anything You Can Think Of. Fortunately the writing is great and consistently interesting, and there is an actually intriguing hook at the end that opens up sequel possibilities.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jaden

    I really enjoyed the writing!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annabeth Tyler

    Read my review here! https://thejrinklings.wordpress.com/2...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    4.5 Great new middle grade series. Nico and his friends discover a hidden island with many secrets. Can't wait for book 2.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    This was like Goonies meets Goosebumps. Adults will be slightly annoyed by the derivative story, but kids will be delighted. Scary but not traumatizing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Laferriere

    When I saw the ARC of this book at TLA, with Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs as authors, I shamelessly elbowed my way up to the publisher table and snagged a copy. And am I glad I did! Early buzz is calling this Goonies meets Stranger Things, and that's a pretty good description, as those shows are clearly part of the story's inspiration. However, Darkdeep is original enough to nod to those children of the 80's and still maintain its own original storyline. A la Goonies, there's a bully who kicks When I saw the ARC of this book at TLA, with Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs as authors, I shamelessly elbowed my way up to the publisher table and snagged a copy. And am I glad I did! Early buzz is calling this Goonies meets Stranger Things, and that's a pretty good description, as those shows are clearly part of the story's inspiration. However, Darkdeep is original enough to nod to those children of the 80's and still maintain its own original storyline. A la Goonies, there's a bully who kicks off the chain of events. Mean dude Logan intentionally crashes Nico's drone off the edge of a cliff into Still Cove, a notoriously spooky place. When Nico goes after it, he stumbles upon a weird abandoned houseboat, with a swirling, dark pool of water below deck. The kids soon realize that the pool has secret--one that could destroy their entire town if they can't figure out how to stop it. Middle graders will LOVE the nonstop action, and the cliffhanger ending will absolutely drive readers crazy as they wait for the next installment.

  27. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this from the publisher. This in no way effects my review which is unbiased. At the heart of The Darkdeep is story about friendship. Not only is it about forgiveness, but it’s about second chances and seeing unknow depths about a person. Can our friendships help us become better people? At the same time, there is an undeniable eeriness, especially to the Darkdeep, as they call it. The concept of our manifestations, our figments becoming real could be my worst nig Disclaimer: I received a copy of this from the publisher. This in no way effects my review which is unbiased. At the heart of The Darkdeep is story about friendship. Not only is it about forgiveness, but it’s about second chances and seeing unknow depths about a person. Can our friendships help us become better people? At the same time, there is an undeniable eeriness, especially to the Darkdeep, as they call it. The concept of our manifestations, our figments becoming real could be my worst nightmare. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/the-...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is just one of several fall 2018 books that are being marketed as Stranger Things for kids. A group of friends find a mysterious island that creates scary creatures and threatens their town. The relationships between the kids is well drawn, but it gets pushed to the side a bit as the action ramps up. It's pretty typical middle grade fare-a scary book that isn't too scary and which will probably not be on library shelves in 10 years time. Review from galley.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries to retrieve it despite the warnings of his friends Emma and Tyler. Of course, the rescue doesn't go well, but the three discover a weird houseboat and island in the middle of the cove (which sounds sort of like a flooded quarry to me). This, of course, has to be investigated, and along with Opal (Logan's girlfriend, who thinks he is overly mean to N E ARC from Edelweiss Plus When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries to retrieve it despite the warnings of his friends Emma and Tyler. Of course, the rescue doesn't go well, but the three discover a weird houseboat and island in the middle of the cove (which sounds sort of like a flooded quarry to me). This, of course, has to be investigated, and along with Opal (Logan's girlfriend, who thinks he is overly mean to Nico) they spend some time cataloging the creepy items and checking out the pond in the middle of the island that is especially alarming. When Emma dips her toes into the "Darkdeep", it sucks her under the waters. Luckily, she emerges, but so does the embodiment of her worst fears. As the group continues to return, more and more creatures are brought to life. Logan's father's logging business has been negatively impacted by Nico's father's work protecting an endangered owl in the area, and since jobs have been lost, the townspeople aren't overly keen on Nico. Logan's father works behind the scenes to get Nico's father transferred, which is certainly upsetting. At the same time, the town is preparing for the Radish Festival, and the children get drawn into this as well. They are getting closer to figuring out some of the mysteries of the Darkdeep, but will the monsters break away from Still Cove? Strengths: Nicely creepy, with fairly scary monsters and the overwhelming feeling that at some point, someone will get sucked into the Darkdeep and not come out. Condie's Matched is very popular in my library, so her fans will check it out, and readers who enjoyed Neal Shusterman's dark tales or McHale's Morpheus Road Trilogy will enjoy it as well. Weaknesses: Paranormal forces preying on people's worst fears has been done a few times, most notably Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962) and Shusterman's Full Tilt (2003). Of course, the target demographic has probably not read those. What I really think: Will definitely purchase, although for some reason, this didn't seem at all scary to me. On the bright side, I usually can't stand books where there is an overwhelming feeling of damp and decay, and I was able to get through this!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Beard

    I recently received an Arc of The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs from NetGalley. I’m so happy I had the chance to read this awesome middle-grade story, and here are a few reasons you should consider adding it to your Fall reading list. I love reading middle-grade novels. Not only are they quick reads, but they always help to pull me out of reading slumps. They’re a great pick me up after heavier reads as well (I’m looking at you Vox). The Percy Jackson books, and Furthermore by Tahere I recently received an Arc of The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs from NetGalley. I’m so happy I had the chance to read this awesome middle-grade story, and here are a few reasons you should consider adding it to your Fall reading list. I love reading middle-grade novels. Not only are they quick reads, but they always help to pull me out of reading slumps. They’re a great pick me up after heavier reads as well (I’m looking at you Vox). The Percy Jackson books, and Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi are amazing not only because they tell a fun story but because they speak to something true about life. Those messages are important, no matter what age you read them at. In The Darkdeep, that message is about the fear of not living up to the expectations of your peers and family. That’s a pretty heavy subject that I felt was presented in a very relatable and hopeful way. The Darkdeep did get a little spooky at times, and I think I would have loved it when I was younger even more than I do now. The titular object (consciousness?) is somewhat like a boggart from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Throughout the course of the story, it allows the primary characters to come face to face with fantastical beings they love and fear. It’s incredibly inspiring to see how they interact and deal with those encounters. The primary gang of kids in The Darkdeep reminded me a lot of The Loser’s Club from Stephen King’s IT. They demonstrated a deep level of friendship and a bond that can only really be formed through crazy childhood adventures. Both groups of kids also have to deal with a mysterious being that tries to infect their minds and destroy their town. Again, somewhat darker subject matter than I anticipated though that one’s on me since the word ‘dark’ is literally in the title. If you are a fan of middle-grade like me, or you know someone who is, I would definitely recommend The Darkdeep. I think it presents some very important messages, and told a really compelling and thought-provoking story that kids and parents could share. It will be on shelves October 2nd 2018.

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