Cover Image: The Dead and the Dark

The Dead and the Dark

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Member Reviews

4,5 stars, rounded to 5.0

Oh... oh this was lovely.... I thought I was in for just another YA fantasy, but this exceeded my expectations! This small-town mystery is a beautiful story about belonging, family (found and otherwise), grief, oppression, and so much more. The relationship between Logan's fathers is achingly beautiful, and so tender. This is a fantastic novel, and one I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys small town mysteries with a heart.

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A creepy, mood enticing book that speaks volumes for LGBTQ+ representation, horror, and women in general. I loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. Usually, YA horror makes me cringe but this one was good!

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I will follow Courtney Gould into the depths of hell or anywhere else she wants to take me. I am obsessed with this story and she has become and instant buy for me.

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What an absolutely wild ride. This is dark and disturbing and so incredibly hard to out down. Logan is an awesome main character and the things she goes through really help you to see that home is the people we love, not a place. Beyond that, this book kept me up and I love it.

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Most of the time, I listen to audiobooks while I am multi tasking. I started this book while sorting and folding laundry but the laundry was quickly forgotten as the narrator drew me into the story. The conflicts encountered in this small town set the tone for a perfect storm of dark endings. All through the story, the scenes were set to push the reader (listener) into Logan's quest to discover what was truly happening to the teens in Snakebite, Oregon while struggling to push aside the "outsider" label she finds at every stop along the way. This is a very good book and an even better audio book.

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Love the darkness being explored, but just didn't connect to the story or the characters. The writing was simple, which is fine, but it was all a bit too predictable. Just didn't stand out to me, unfortunately.

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Courtney Gould's debut novel, "The Dead and the Dark," captivates readers with a thrilling narrative that skillfully weaves together the supernatural and the complexities of human emotions. This four-star review reflects on the engaging storyline, well-developed characters, and the seamless blending of mystery and paranormal elements.

The plot unfolds in Snakebite, Oregon, a town plagued by mysterious disappearances and an eerie atmosphere. The return of TV's famous ghost hunters, the ParaSpectors, adds an intriguing layer to the unfolding events. The author, Gould, masterfully sets the stage for a gripping tale where dark secrets intertwine with the supernatural.

The characters, particularly Logan Ortiz-Woodley and Ashley Barton, are compelling and well-drawn. Logan, the daughter of the ParaSpectors, and Ashley, haunted by the disappearance of her boyfriend, form an unlikely alliance in their quest to unravel the mysteries of Snakebite. The exploration of their growing connection against the backdrop of the town's enigma adds depth to the narrative.

Gould's writing style is atmospheric and evocative, effectively conveying the sense of foreboding that permeates Snakebite. The pacing is well-managed, keeping readers on the edge of their seats as the protagonists delve deeper into the heart of the town's secrets. The author adeptly combines elements of horror, mystery, and romance, creating a well-rounded and immersive reading experience.

One of the strengths of "The Dead and the Dark" is its ability to keep readers guessing. The twists and turns in the plot, coupled with the revelations about the town, the families, and the characters themselves, contribute to a satisfying sense of suspense. The author skillfully builds tension, ensuring that the novel remains captivating from start to finish.

While the book successfully navigates the complexities of its plot, there are moments when a bit more exploration of certain themes could have added depth to the story. Nevertheless, the overall narrative is strong, and the resolution ties up the various threads in a satisfying manner.

In conclusion, Courtney Gould's "The Dead and the Dark" is a commendable debut that seamlessly blends the supernatural with the emotional intricacies of its characters. With a well-crafted plot, engaging characters, and a touch of romance, this novel is sure to appeal to fans of mystery and paranormal fiction. Gould's storytelling prowess marks her as an author to watch, and I eagerly anticipate her future works.

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I really enjoyed this book because I felt drawn to the characters, and the world of Snakebite was developed so well. The eerie feeling while reading was perfect, and I loved how the alternating povs showed us the town from Logan and Ashley’s eyes. The paranormal aspect worked so well, and the mystery kept me on my toes. There were some threads with Ashley’s friends that I didn’t feel were fully wrapped up by the end that left me curious though. Overall, I’m glad I read this one, and I would definitely read another book by Gould.

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This was a super easy and enjoyable read, although it could’ve used more development in spots. I did actually really enjoy the story as a whole and really liked the ending.

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4.2 stars

A diverse, dark, unique, chilling journey through the unknown! A mesmerizing tale that combines mystery, the supernatural, and heartwarming connections, all set in the haunting town of Snakebite, Oregon.

Why you should read it?

- Atmospheric writing and great character development
- A perfect blend of mystery, horror, ghosts, and romance – a unique gem."
-A rollercoaster of a plot filled with chills and thrills that will keep you guessing till the end and turning the pages

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I will read anything set in Oregon and LOVED this book. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery.

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Unfortunately, this book was too difficult to continue reading beyond the first two chapters. I'm not sure if it's intended for a younger audience but the beginning in addition to not being alluring enough, was confusing on the setup. The cover looks great though!

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Love love love. Very dark but so unique. I bought a physical copy for my bookshelf because of the cover.

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Hmmm, I expected more from this one. It was okay, I just personally found it boring and there were a lot of logical related things that just didn't sit right with me. I think this would be much better for younger readers, maybe middle school or early high school age. The characters in this are mostly around the age of 18 but the book itself reads younger.

Good concept, but poor delivery. I also wasn't a fan of the ending and how the problem was resloved. Seemed way too easy and anticlimactic. The only reason I didn't give up on this one early on was because of the Dark chapters...and unfortunately there were only a handful of those. I thought there would be enough of them to hold me over but... was not the case. I gave it a fair shot anyway and was still a bit disappointed.

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The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould is my all time favorite books of 2021. I could not put it down. If you rally enjoy television shows like ghost hunters or any of the you tube shows about ghosts, then this is right up your alley.



Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just come to town.

A YA book that introduces us to Logan Woodley and her dads who are with tv’s Paraspectors, as they visit Snakebite, Oregon for some ghost hunting. However something more sinister is going on when teenagers go missing at just the same time the ghost hunters arrive. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend is one of the first to go missing and she is looking for answers. No one is too interested in Logan and her dads but it seems that Logan is the only one who can help Ashley but as the two start looking things no one wants told start coming out. They find out things that will turn that little town upside down.

Gould is an amazing writer with an uncanny ability to tell a story that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat until the end. I usually do not read books from the YA genre but this one sounded great and boy was it. The ending is explosive and you will NOT see it coming.


5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley as well as the author/publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.

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I don't often read horror novels but this was definitely something! The mystery was pretty interesting and overall the characters were really fun although I did find myself confused with the ending and some parts were a bit off in pacing but overall a solid book!

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.

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Logan, whose two fathers host a show about paranormal activity, finds herself living with them in the town where they both grew up, and kids start disappearing. Are Logan’s parents involved? Maybe, but not in the way you might think…

This was an entertaining YA mystery that kept me engaged and curious throughout. I appreciated the bi and queer representation, and I thought the portrayal of teenagers in the story was fairly believable. I’d recommend this to folks who have enjoyed movies and shows like Stranger Things, It Follows, and The Babadook.

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The Dead and the Dark effortlessly combines mystery and romance and had me hooked right from the start. I don't read thrillers very often, so it took me a while to pick this one, but I'm so glad I finally did. From the atmospheric writing to the unique and slowly creeping but thrilling plot: The Dead and the Dark was a page-turner. I do wish the characters had been developed a bit more as they fell a bit flat for me, but I did overall quite enjoy it.

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I tend to have a hard time with YA, especially with those in the Ya thriller genre; however, this is an entertaining and quick read. Solid debut.

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