Cover Image: Where Darkness Blooms

Where Darkness Blooms

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Member Reviews

Where Darkness Blooms is a fine enough read if you don’t think too hard about it, and I don’t even mean that in a bad way. I enjoyed the plot, I liked the characters and setting, and as long as I suspend a lot of disbelief & don’t start asking questions that reveal plot holes…I had fun reading this one.

Bishop is a small town where women mysteriously die or go missing with an alarming frequency. Our plot centers on four teen daughters, two years after their mothers all disappeared. The girls are certain something strange is happening, but the town seems to just accept that these things happen. This town is also surrounded by fields of sunflowers, and experiences really awful windstorms very often. Weird stuff is afoot.

I liked the four main girls; I found them distinct enough, and while four POVs was maybe too many for this short of a book, I enjoyed each of them. The writing itself is pretty good, with lots of great description and focus on creating atmosphere. Where things break down is more in the realm of motivation, setting development, and pacing. The motivation for the “bad guys” was pretty under developed & while I can see what the author was going for, the execution wasn’t quite there. For the setting, it was hard to understand the town or Bishop - sometimes it seemed very tiny, sometimes it seemed pretty big, and we never really got to see what life in the town was like. Since the setting was such an important part of the plot, this was a bummer. Lastly, pacing was off; the first 30% of the book dragged on & then the final half of the book bopped around too quickly from big reveal to big reveal.

But overall, it was a fun enough book & one I could see teens enjoying. I’ll likely add a copy to my classroom library. I mean, the cover alone is worth that.
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Not my favorite (characters felt a little flat) but still enjoyable! Not sure that I'm the target audience, writing felt a little young?
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The cover of this book is what got me! It was creepy yet beautiful which is exactly how I would describe the book as well!  This book is a supernatural thriller, with missing women and loads of secrets and lies to unpack. I do wish that the book had a bit more character-building since the story was told from multiple viewpoints but I wouldn’t turn the book down for that reason alone. I will be recommending this book.
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I picked this one up because the cover (and the synopsis) was giving off strong House of Hollow vibes (which I loved!). The writing is super atmospheric, though I did have a hard time following the 4 narratives (some of the characters felt too similar, but that may just be me). Excellent creep-factor though!
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The day I started reading this, my first ever sunflower bloomed. Now when I chose this on Netgalley, I didn't pay close attention to the flowers on the cover. I went in knowing it was a horror. When I read the first chapter and it mentions sunflowers and that the main characters are hesitant and a little terrified of them, I freaked the hell out and my little sunflower that had just opened that day and was soaking in the sun rays became public enemy number 1. Not really but everytime I went outside for my garden walks, it got a side eye from me.

Enough about my paranoia, I ended up really liking this and I gave it a 4 star on Goodreads. I wouldn't necessarily classify it as a horror because even though I got paranoid and the timing couldn't be more wrong, it was more of a thriller mystery to me.
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This book was just as creepy and Crawly as the cover. I absolutely loved it! Definitely will be recommending this author
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I love this cover. It's so genuinely creepy and stunning - it matches the general vibe of this book perfectly! I did enjoy this story, I didn't mind the boy drama along with the mystery of what was going on. The prologue gives us a pretty telling secret that the girls don't know, so you, as the reader, know more than them and just wait for them to catch on. I loved the wind and the peaking around corners and the general creepy vibe the story and author did wonderfully!

But I can't say I loved this one. There were a few things I thought were really obvious and I was sad the others hadn't caught on. I found the living situation and the hospital situation completely unbelievable! Who is paying their bills? Who doesn't know where the small town hospital/medical office is? Sometimes it felt like the girls just woke up in the town as teens and didn't know it at all. How is there anyone in the town (I'm thinking that girl at the retirement home) that these girls don't know? There were just so many parts that made me scratch my head.

But I was entertained. I did love the overall feel of the story. I did this as an audio and the narrator was great, really adding an ambiance to the creep and adding to the overall feel of the story. I just wish I'd been completely wrapped up enough to ignore some inconsistencies.

A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.
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Dark, gripping, and will hold your attention very nearly the entire time. Sort of has Swamp Thing (Maggie Stiefvater) vibes, if ya know what I mean. Pretty good all around, though.
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Finally giving myself permission to DNF at 50%

What a disappointment! This book could have been so cool if it all wasn’t given away in the prologue… But I feel like I know what’s going to happen and there’s nothing else that is interesting enough to keep going.
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This book felt very similar to other books I have read. This isn't a bad thing but I think that makes it suffer from comparison. The pacing was definitely not for me but I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the characters. It was just a bit thin for me compared to other similar stories.
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Book Summary:

We've all heard of a strange town. It's often isolated. More importantly, the rumor mill often has much to say about this town's strange happenings.

One such town is known as Bishop. It's always been (in)famous for windstorms and sunflowers. And now it is famous for missing people. Add it to the list of strange occurrences and move on. That's what the police are doing.

My Review:

Gotta love a spooky, isolated town where things always seem to go wrong. At first, I wanted to read this book because the description made it feel like it had Children of the Corn vibes. However, Where Darkness Blooms very much does its own thing here.

There is undoubtedly a dark undertone that runs through this story. Obviously, with missing women as the premise, I was expecting that. But I don't think I was quite prepared for the rabbit hole that is Bishop. Seriously, you almost have to read it yourself to see what I mean.

It did feel like the ending went on forever. As a digital reader, I had to keep checking the percentage because I was sure the big final twist was just around the corner on at least four different occasions.

Read Where Darkness Blooms if you like creepy vibes, plant aesthetics (gone wrong), and a good thriller.

Horror Elements

Trigger Warnings
Missing People (women)
Cultish Vibes
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I’m a sucker for a great cover! The book was good, I just wish there was more to it. Loved the characters. Can’t wait to read more by the author.
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eeehhhhh. far too similar to the dead and the dark by courtney gould, which i thought was very good. bummer.
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Where Darkness Blooms, penned by Andrea Hannah, is a gripping and atmospheric thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. This haunting novel weaves together elements of mystery, psychological suspense, and the supernatural, delivering an immersive reading experience filled with tension and intrigue.

At the center of the story is a complex and deeply flawed protagonist who finds herself entangled in a web of secrets and supernatural occurrences. The character development is skillfully executed, allowing readers to connect with the protagonist on a personal level. Hannah explores the depths of her character's psyche, delving into her fears, insecurities, and her relentless pursuit of the truth.

The atmospheric setting plays a vital role in the novel, serving as both a backdrop and a character in itself. The small town with its dark history and hidden secrets adds an additional layer of intrigue to the narrative. The author's attention to detail in describing the surroundings immerses readers in a world that feels chillingly real.
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Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah offers a suspenseful premise with its focus on a town plagued by disappearances and secrets. While the atmospheric setting of Bishop, with its windstorms and sunflower fields, creates a sense of intrigue, some readers may find themselves disconnected from the characters and feel that the plot lacks momentum at times. The daughters of the missing women, who come together to unravel the mysteries surrounding their mothers' disappearances, serve as the driving force of the story. 

However, their characterization may not resonate as strongly with all readers, and the emotional connection that is crucial for a deeper engagement might be missing. Additionally, the plot's pacing could be uneven, with certain areas lacking the necessary urgency to maintain consistent tension. Nonetheless, the premise and the exploration of hidden secrets and the aftermath of the disappearances still offer intrigue and keep readers intrigued, even if the overall execution falls short of expectations in terms of character connection and plot development.

Thank you to Wednesday Book and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy in return for a review.
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The best part of this book was the prologue. After that it goes and stays downhill riddled with plot holes and a storyline that doesn’t make sense leading up to a lackluster end that doesn’t make any sense. 

I was drawn to this book based on the description, the gorgeous cover, and the vibes that reminded me of The Dead and The Dark by Courtney Gould but this book was a disappointment that left me, as a reader, with more questions than answers. The author doesn’t flesh out the story enough to explain to the reader why this is the way things are… perhaps we’re supposed to draw our own conclusion as to why the sunflowers crave the blood of women for example. Maybe the point was to be vague and mysterious… it just didn’t pan out.

I see what the author was trying to accomplish with this book but it just didn’t work for me as a reader.
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Thank you to Wednesday Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This was really fun. Very dark too.

Where Darkness Blooms is about a strange town where our MCs mothers all disappeared. The town is also ravaged by wind storms and they only seem to be getting worse. All four of our MCs have secrets, and those secrets are about to come out even as the girls try their hardest not to let them. 

I loved how complicated the relationships between all the girls were. There was so much interpersonal drama and I just wanted to know more about them all. Bo and Whitney were definitely my favorites, but I did like Delilah. Jude was a bit harder to like with the whole cheating storyline. But she redeemed herself to an extent at the end.

Read this book when you want a book about a haunted town and creepy flora. It was so cool!

Rep: white lesbian cis female MC, white cishet female MC, white cishet female MC with PTSD, racially ambiguous cishet female MC, Black sapphic cis female side charcter, sapphic trans female side character, various queer side characters. 

CWs: Sexual assault, rape, kidnapping, murder, death, death of loved one, blood, injury/injury detail, non-consensual drugging, pain from touch, infidelity, abandonment, violence, medical content (including botched medical attempts), sexism, misogyny.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book for review. Unfortunately this was not the best choice for me. I was hoping that the eerie small town vibes with hints of horror and suspense were going to delivered, but it did not. This felt like a very young high school drama book with characters that were very immature. I found it hard to believe the way that they acted and the situations that they kept running into. I normally can suspend my disbeliefs but this book was way too far out of the realms of believable. The author did a good job at differentiating the characters. I normally have trouble keeping them straight but it was very easy to read from each perspective.
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A creepy town where the land craves blood, and the sunflowers go on forever.  And where women go missing.  Lots of women go missing. Left behind are their daughters, who want answers.  But the town doesn't want to let go of it's secrets so easily.  With a well paced story line, you won't be able to put this book down!

Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books for the ARC!
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Title: Where Darkness Blooms
Author: Andrea Hannah
Release Date: February 21st, 2023
Page Count: 312
Format: Audiobook and Netgalley
Start Date: March 11th, 2023
Finish Date: March 17th, 2023

Rating: 5 Stars


This book is definitely not for people who aren't fans of darker books. This is a book that will smack you in the face at multiple points in the book. Just when you think that you have things figured it out, something else slams you in the face. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. I'll also point out that the book is just as creepy as the cover. If not more. I love books like that though. I am kind of glad that this won't be turned into a series. I'm not really sure if I could handle it as a series. I'd consider it anyway though. I'm a sucker for a good series. I am open to reading other books by this author. I love the writing style!
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