Where Darkness Blooms
Where Darkness Blooms is a young adult thriller/horror story set in the bizarre mid-western town of Bishop – an eerie place with a reputation for devastating wind storms, endless fields of anomalous sunflowers . . . and a long history of women mysteriously disappearing without a trace. The story follows the lives of four unique girls (two are twins) who’ve all lost their mothers to a mysterious phenomenon.
Bo, Whitney, Jude and Delilah lived together with their mothers on the outskirts of town until the day their mothers vanished. Now, two years later, the girls gather to honor their mothers’ memories at a memorial when disaster strikes. Long buried secrets blowing on the wind escape leaving the girls questioning everything they thought they knew about this creepy, supernatural town with sunflower fields that appear to be threatening. It’s soon apparent that each girl has her own buried demons and secrets that threaten to destroy them all. However, it’s what the girls don’t know that has the most power over them.
Where Darkness Blooms is a supernatural horror story that gives off vibes of The Handmaid’s Tales as well as Children of the Corn. Readers are immediately drawn in by the super creepy prologue and then thrust full force forward into an unearthly tale of corruption, murder and patriarchy. The author’s expertise at creating an immersive setting through her descriptive prose is nothing short of brilliant. The town’s buildings and surrounding land and plants take on a menacing, blood thirsty life of their own. I swear the hair on my neck stood up as I raced through some of the scenes, losing myself in this strange little town alongside the characters. The imagery evoked transports readers to a mysterious, magical place where all is not as it seems. The characters are well fleshed out and authentic. I found the girls’ relationship with each other to be a strength that garnishes empathy for their collective struggles as they investigate the murders of their mothers. Readers are privy to their dark secrets even as each one is forced to face some terrifying truths.
Where Darkness Blooms is a dark, twisted, eerie paranormal thriller that fans of the genre will devour. Hannah’s control of setting, plot and characters is highly impressive as is her descriptive prose. I have to say that I’ll be keeping a wary eye on my own garden of sunflowers this summer. While their heads may follow the sun, I’m now aware they’re also watching me! Highly recommended to fans of young adult fantasy and horror.