Cover Image: Where Darkness Blooms

Where Darkness Blooms

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

great book and such great characters. I enjoyed the mystery and some romance. I also enjoyed the journey of the characters. I didn't know what to expect with this book but I enjoyed it .
Was this review helpful?
Definitely an interesting plot. This had the creepy atmosphere I was looking for but it was distracting that it seemed like the town really wasn’t concerned about what was going on at the beginning. The characters kept me reading though
Was this review helpful?
Poor pacing. Once reaching half way through the book I felt as though there should have been more progress made in the story. The characters were too similar and/or not fleshed out enough to be easily distinguishable.
Was this review helpful?
In the town of Bishop, there are secrets kept from the females but not the males.  The town is known for its beautiful sunflowers.  When a mother disappears, the four girls continue to live in their home.  They don’t understand why their mother disappeared.  The sunflowers whisper to them.  What do the sunflowers whisper?  Why did an 18 year old healthy girl die of a heart attack? Will the girls find out about the secret of the land? 

The novel is a supernatural thriller that starts off with a prologue of how Bishop began.  The novel is mysterious and at times creepy.  It is chilling to read but I did enjoy it.  I couldn’t stop reading as I wanted to know what happened to the four girls.  There was an explanation of why some girls died and some didn’t which made it seemed even scarier.  This is a book not to be missed if you like creepy books.  It’s a mystery and supernatural thriller combined.
Was this review helpful?
I’m all for settings with small towns harboring secrets and curses, and this eerie cover is perfect for the story.

To think I only considered sunflowers good for their seeds and looking pretty. After reading this novel, I’ll never look at them in the same way again. In a mid west town where the land thirsts for blood, sunflowers bloom where blood has been spilled. Let’s just say there are fields of sunflowers in the town of Bishop. The four MCs and POVs are Delilah, Bo, and twins Jude and Whitney. Their three mothers (who were best friends) disappeared two years ago and are presumed dead. The four teens still reside in the house they all lived in as a family. Their mothers’ disappearances don’t sit well with the girls and after clues and discrepancies come to light, they’re determined to uncover the truth. I admired their tenacity and perseverance – but wondered why it took them two years to begin their search. The novel certainly isn’t lacking in atmosphere (those sunflowers are freaky) or characters you love to hate.

I was curious about several things such as how the men benefited from feeding the land, why other citizens didn’t question why so many women went missing/died/ran away, why there was no hospital in town (and no one thought that was strange), and why there was apparently no outside communication with other cities or people. Part of the ending was what I’d hoped, but I was also confused about the other half. I’m still not sure what happened.

While this is a creepy, atmospheric read, I’d hoped several questions would be answered before the conclusion. Reviews are split, so if you don’t dig too deeply, this might be a suspenseful read you’d enjoy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
I went into reading WHERE DARKNESS BLOOMS without knowing much about it and I loved it!

The storyline was so compelling and the writing was so vivid and I couldn't put it down. I found myself completely drawn into each of the girls lives and felt deeply for each character.

*thanl you to Wednesday Books and netgalley for the gifted copy for review
Was this review helpful?
Definitely different than I expected. I didn’t hate it but it’s not my new favorite. Honestly it was a little weird. I get what the author was trying to do and I liked more because of it. Okay read overall.
Was this review helpful?
Another odd YA book with a white girl being consumed by flowers on the cover! Much like the other girl-with-flowers-for-eyes books, 'When Darkness Blooms' features recently abandoned female protagonists who live in an atmospheric town run by powerful people with a secret hell bent on keeping it - oh, and there are a lot of flowers.

Despite the copy and paste scenario, this was a fun read! The story behind Bishop, Kansas was creepy and intriguing. Hannah spent a great deal of time framing the town as its own character, mostly by making the flowers literally talk, but it was worth it since figuring out the mystery of Bishop was the most completing piece of the novel. The four storylines, each following the POV of the four sisters/friends, was confusing, oddly paced, and unbelievable. It doesn’t help that none of the main characters are particularly multifaceted -  One is perfect, another is angry, and the twins are opposites (aka wild and free vs. reserved and aloof). They don’t even like one another most of the time so it is difficult to get invested in their success as a group.

Ultimately, this is not a bad book, but if you want a book with a half girl half flower hybrid on the cover, I recommend 'House of Hollow' by Krystal Sutherland or 'Burn Our Bodies Down' by Rory Powers (although technically the cover is half girl, half corn). 

Thank you to NetGalley, Andrea Hannah, St. Martin's Press, and Wednesday Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
Where the Darkness Blooms reminds me of a crossover of children of the corn, that one episode of Goosebumbs Don't go into the basement but at the end where the flowers where all telling the MC they where her father. Dispute my comical comparisons, this book was a hunting read. The main 4 girl squad all live in a town where women shockingly disappear at a high rate. All of their mothers have disappeared along with some loved ones. The sunflowers know and watch, they whisper do you wanna know what happened to the women?

Good spooky book. I liked it. At times I did have to take it in chunks just because women disappearing is a all too common thing.
Was this review helpful?
The small town of Bishop is known for high winds, endless fields of sunflowers, and missing women. After three women disappear one evening, everyone in town assumes they fled the small-town life, but the teenage daughters they “left behind” suspect something sinister has happened. After the winds pick up at their mothers’ memorial, a secret is revealed & seeds of discontent begin to sprout between the four friends. In the strange town of Bishop, malevolent mysteries manifest like weeds amongst the looming sunflowers & for the women in the town—darkness blooms.

It was the cover that immediately grabbed my attention, and with a promising premise that includes “eerie town”, “sunflowers whisper secrets”, and “land that hungers for blood”—it was basically shouting read me. This YA supernatural thriller is a good-time read. The wind didn’t knock me off my feet, but it has the sort of storyline that pairs well with a cozy blanket & a cup of coffee. 

There were certainly parts of the story that grabbed my attention, especially that prologue. But I just wished for more supernatural & less teen angst. Amidst all of the usual teenage shenanigans, especially with four girls living in the same house, there is also a considerable amount of deep-rooted trauma from different events that are revealed within the story & it came across as very on the surface with little depth. Be sure to check for trigger warnings before you visit the town of Bishop. 

Overall, I thought Where Darkness Blooms to be a unique & entertaining read. If you’re looking for a mysterious, dark YA book that features mother/daughter relationships & teenage friendships with a big eerie small-town vibe, then be sure to check this one out! 

Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read & review this book.
Was this review helpful?
This is a unique horror story, set in the town of Bishop, Kansas. The land yearned for settlers, and when a group of pioneers settled there, a pact was made between the land and the first male settler. The land wanted a blood offering each year, from a woman. (This is not a spoiler as it is in the first chapter.)  It reminded me a little of Children of the Corn by Stephen King, another unsettling story.

Years have passed, and in the present day, Bishop is still an odd town, where women frequently go missing and men hold all of the positions of power.  The old pact is only known to a few of the high ranking men in the town, and their sons.  

Bishop is also known for windstorms, and for the fields of sunflowers that surround it, swaying even when the air is still, and murmuring. The land is still thirsty but women are much more independent now, and some of the young men are uneasy about the pact they will inherit.  

The status quo is about to change, because the mothers of three town girls went missing, and these girls knew that their mothers would not leave them voluntarily.  Their suspicion only grew when their attempts to get answers failed. 

This is one of the most original horror stories I've read in a long time, and I highly recommend it.  I received an advance reader copy of this book from St. Martin's Books/Wednesday's Press via NetGalley, and voluntarily read and reviewed it.
Was this review helpful?
This just didn't deliver for me. The pacing was off and the many plot holes and unanswered questions left me feeling unsatisfied at the end. It felt like nothing happened for the first 60% of the book as we meandered around the plot and repeatedly circled the same issues again and again. I will admit that when the action finally picks up, it really picks up. I found myself actually invested in the story for the first time since the prologue. I don't want to spoil anything, but the conclusion let me right back down again and left me feeling confused and irritated. The abundance of plot holes and little details that just make no sense for no reason largely contribute to that.

Regardless of the fascinating premise and strong prologue, it felt like the author herself didn't really know what she wanted to do with this book. In addition to the issues with the main story arc, there are some strange choices in terms of subplots, none of which seem to lead anywhere. Just a huge miss overall for me.

Two stars for the bits that were actually entertaining and for crafting a story that focuses so heavily on gender but still manages to be genderqueer inclusive. I was actually mad happy to see that in these pages, so that was a delight.

Thanks to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for review.
Was this review helpful?
If you’re looking for a anti-patriarchal book, this is for you. I, myself love to be included in the smashing of it so a book where the men were the root of the problems was the center point of the theme, I was in! 

No but really…this was an entertaining book filled with dark and heavy themes and a twisty premise: abandonment, blood sacrifice, discussion sexual assault. The largest theme in this book was sisterhood, in all the forms it comes in. That you don’t need to be blood related to be sisters, to support each other, to stick together. 

Also, love a content warning at the beginning of the book ❤️
Was this review helpful?
This was a well written, haunting YA on the cycle of trauma in a small city. I loved the girls, the narrator voice, the spooky sunflowers, the blood soaked atmosphere, I struggled with the slow pace and the motivations of the characters wasn’t always as consistent as I’d liked. Overall, a worthy read.
Was this review helpful?
This book felt familiar to me, and a bit too predictable. I feel like the author was trying to create suspense, but it wasn’t delivered. There was a definite creep factor to this story, I’m just not sure I loved it enough.
Was this review helpful?
This was fantastic! I really enjoyed the spooky vibes. I found I had a bit of a hard time connecting with the plot, but the lush atmosphere of the world more than made up for it.
Was this review helpful?
As I was reading this, I felt like I had read it before. I had. Only The Dead and the Dark was much better. We've got small town "horror" with the tiniest sprinkling of LGBTQIA+. And I mean the tiniest. The cover is gorgeous, which is the first sign I should've not requested this.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher.
Was this review helpful?
Scheduled to post 3/11/23.

There are going to be spoilers in this review. I don't think I can talk about the issues I had with it without spoiling. So if you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now.

WHERE DARKNESS BLOOMS is Children of the Corn but with grown ass men instead of kids and sunflowers instead of corn. It certainly has the threads of being creepy but the motives, the underlying theme, and the character development all make this story fizzle out to little more than a disappointing deflated balloon.

The underlying theme of Handmaid's Tale-esque subjugation of women (in this case without the forced birth and with ritualistic slaughter) is just a tired trope at this point, made all the more tired because we're still dealing with this nonsense today. So if the author isn't doing something particularly inventive with it, it's just old and boring and I absolutely found myself thinking "oh, this again?" when I was reading. From the intro I hoped it wasn't going to just be women and that the dude's wife was just convenient, but nope. It's women in perpetuity. So that's cool.

When we discover that the girls' mothers are still alive, I was hoping for them to be incapacitated somewhere, but nope. They're all living together in a house, just sitting around and gardening, waiting for the day their daughters come through the corn, I mean, sunflower stalks to safety on their own. And the reason they didn't do anything? The sunflowers wouldn't let them. I'm sorry, what? The thing was, there was no reason for them leaving their daughters behind. They just up and left and saved themselves and hoped nothing bad would come of their kids. I'M SORRY, WHAT? And the girls were like oh yeah, totally. That's fine. We're cool. No worries. It was so absurd and so beyond the realm of suspension of disbelief that I couldn't. Those women didn't tear the earth apart trying to find a way to get to their daughters? THOSE WOMEN JUST UP AND LEFT THEM, SAVED THEMSELVES, AND CROSSED THEIR FINGERS THAT THEIR DAUGHTERS WOULD BE OKAY IN A TOWN THAT SYSTEMATICALLY SLAUGHTERS WOMEN? And they didn't contribute to that same patriarchal system . . . how? Either they didn't want their kids and were really good at pretending, or they're just awful parents and probably shouldn't have had them to begin with.

And then the climax of the story was just one giant deus ex machina. The only character who did anything to save anyone was Bo, and it wasn't even on page. Not that I need blood and gore and vicious revenge or anything. But to have that pivotal moment that actually did save the girls just be fade to black was mind boggling to me. The rest of it, the ghosts just randomly appeared after not being present aside from a faint whisper the entire story and led them out of town. WHY NOW? There was no answer for that other than because reasons. Because the book needed to end and there was no real way for them to get out except for those ghosts, I guess.

The town itself is, as I'm lead to believe, inaccessible to people from the outside and people inside can't leave. So . . . everyone's inbred? How many people can possibly be in that town, let alone people who are capable of procreating something other than a Hapsburg? I wasn't under any impression that Bishop was anything other than a modern, albeit rural, town. If they're cut off, how are they stocking their shelves? How do they have cars? Cell phones? Computers? Televisions? How does any of this exist in this town? It didn't even have a paved road. And apparently no real medical anything. This doesn't make any sense.

The characters themselves were largely interchangeable. Bo was the only one who really stood out because she had some anger issues. But only just. The four of them, plus the three mothers, didn't appear all that necessary as stand-alone characters. I had a hard time keeping track of who was who pretty much up until the end, again, aside from Bo. Same thing with the guys. Even now I don't remember which is Evan and which is Caleb. They were interchangeable in the story.

I'm not sure what the selling point of this book is. I'm guessing the language it's written in, but it's not something that stands out. I didn't find it particularly flowery in a way that I would enjoy. I could see it was trying. But among the very poorly built world, the tired tropes, the lackluster motivations, and the bland characters, the most beautiful writing in the world wouldn't have saved it for me. WHERE DARKNESS BLOOMS was just a total disappointment. So much potential and the execution was just undercooked and unseasoned, at best.

Was this review helpful?
I need more books that give of Children of the Corn vibes. I feel this struggled with having too many perspectives, but was overall creepy enough to make up for it.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book and it had a few twists and turns I didn’t expect. I loved getting to see all four girls’ perspectives and seeing how each of them affected the story.
Was this review helpful?