Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

Ever since Delaney Meyers-Petrov lost her hearing, she’s been treated as fragile. Being accepted into the mysterious Godbole University is her chance to prove them all wrong. The prestigious program teaches students to slip between parallel worlds, and her affinity with shadows makes her a promising recruit. Yet when classes start, she falls behind, the professors making no adjustments for her disability.

These days she knew better than to follow the dark where it led. She knew it had teeth, and she had the scars to prove it.

When Colton Price was nine, he died. When he returned to this world, he awoke to the gaze of a little girl. Now that little girl is in his classes, and he’s under strict instructions to stay away from her, yet he keeps finding himself drawn to her. Having to be cruel to push her away.

The Whispering Dark is a fantastic, moody, dark academia that fans of the genre are sure to love. It had a similar feel to Vita Nostra as in what on earth are these students being taught to do? Although the purpose of Godbole will become clear.

In a storage unit at a storage yard on a side street in a sleeping neighborhood of Boston, there was a door. Not a corporeal door, nothing so simple as that. Nothing hewn from wood, fashioned out of the bones of trees. Nothing pieced together with rails and stiles and screws. Nothing built with mullion-split glass, sleek transoms, and crossable thresholds. Nothing pretty. Nothing ugly. Just nothing at all.

It’s not exactly a secret school, people seem to know they teach out of the ordinary subjects but is generally well respected, since they have such exclusive entry requirements. At first Delaney thinks she’s failed, but really her examiners could see what she could not. Or at least she doesn’t really understand the shadows lapping at the edges of her mind.

Delaney is scared of the dark, and shadows seem to gather near her, whispering in the silence in her head. She is Deaf and has a cochlear implant, and the story shows how some things are harder for her to hear than others. Like busy lecture halls, with so much going on, she finds it hard to take notes. But fearing being treated differently, as she has all her life, she doesn’t want to make a fuss.

Colton knows she’s Deaf though and reaches out to help her. Even though he shouldn’t, but he can’t help it, she is intrinsically linked to him being alive somehow. It soon becomes clear that a group of the boys are part of some sinister group, and someone is trying to control Colton, to keep him away from Delaney.

The Apostle hated bats. He hated the dark. He hated Octobers. He hated graveyards, and the feel of the deep, interminable cold seeping in through the open backs of his slippers.

As classes progress, Delaney discovers a list of names and begins to try and unravel the secrets behind them, following a path into ever darker territory. It’s a perfect atmospheric read as the the nights draw in.

I love the cover design, looks like a bunch of flowers right? Look closer, are those skulls on the petals? Creepy!

“We’re all a little creepy,” Mackenzie chimed in. “That’s why we’re here.”

The Whispering Dark is published by Gollancz and will be available from 20th October 2022 in hardback, ebook and audiobook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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