Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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I really wanted to like this - I thought the premise sounded really good and really like something I would like. Unfortunately I couldn't get over the romantic feelings between the FMC and MLI. Even though it was clear that it was a college setting and both were well above legal age, it felt like an illegal relationship. I just found myself not being able to move past it.

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Hmmmm. This is a hard one to review because I loved the concept and finished the book, but I can’t tell if I actually enjoyed it….. there was so much insta-love that happened between our two main characters, and it didn’t feel like they ever actually got to know each other in a non-sexual way.

I remember our MMC asking Corvina, “do you trust me?” And I remember thinking, how could she? Yall literally don’t talk or do anything to really get to know each other!!!

I also wasn’t the biggest fan of how they portrayed Corvina and her family’s mental illness. As someone who works in the field, it felt very stereotypical and kept making it seem like she was “crazy”.

Thinking back, I am quite dissatisfied at this book. Maybe I just wasn’t the right audience.

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This was crazy. I don’t usually read books like this but if you want a wild ride. Pick this up. I had a hard time putting it down.

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I was not sure what to expect from Gothikana, but it lived up to the hype! This is an adult dark academia with lots of *spice*. The tension between Corvina and Vad was palpable and while I don’t normally like the “insta-love” trope, I will not put this book into that category as their attraction makes sense. There are definitely supernatural elements and not everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end, but that is the author’s intention. There are some questions in life that are just never answered.

“Steer clear of me, little crow,” he muttered, his eyes piercing, flaying her open. “You might be a luring siren but I’m no ordinary sailor. I’m a mad pirate and I’m trying to resist your call. If I land on your shores, I will plunder and take away everything worth having. Be very careful giving me those eyes.”
Vad is dark, handsome, mysterious, and so swoon worthy. I’m a sucker for the ‘stay away from me even though I can’t stay away from you’ trope. If dark academia with a sexy teacher who says and does even sexier things is your vibe, this book is for you!

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thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.

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I learned of this book on Bookstagram and decided to give it a go. I like dark academia and gothic romances, so the premise of "Beauty and the Beast meets Dracula" was intruiging.

In Gothikana, we meet Corvina Clemm, who gets a letter to attend the mysterious Verenmore University. Bonus, it is in a creepy old castle in the middle of nowhere, isolated on a mountain and surrounded by forest. It also has a very dark and horrific history. What could go wrong, right? Corvina meets (and becomes attracted to) a part-time professor named Vad Deverell. He is dark and mysterious and dangerous. Corvina and Vad grow closer and Corvina begins to unravel the secrets of Verenmore.

This book has a lot going on. There is definitely explicit content and some sex scenes. Obviously, there is a classic (and a bit cliche) professor-student relationship, and a horny-virgin trope. There are also horror and occult/witchcrafty-elements in the story, and, is actually (surprisingly) loosely based on the author's own personal experiences at a boarding school. For some reason this makes the book that much creepier and cooler. I really like that the book was dark and erotic and how original and innovative the story was. I've definitely never read anything like it before.

Fans of the TV show Wednesday will definitely enjoy this book. I will definitely be recommending this one to my book club and library friends, and checking out other books by this author!

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I liked this one a lot but I did find it to be too long. I did like how everything tied together at the end. I'd recommend it for someone searching for a dark, but not too dark, romance.

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I loved the romance part of this book but idk if I’d really call it dark romance. It was ok. It was definitely a creepy book but I feel like there should be a book 2. Unanswered questions, confusing parts that didn’t really get closure. I did enjoy the book though but was turning the pages quickly hoping for a better ending than that one.

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I’m very disappointed that the publisher used an AI cover for this book.

This was a good dark romance. The writing style was not my favorite but I can see why so many people like this book.

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This is Beauty & The Beast meets dark academia with erotica in a spooky castle setting.

Corvina is an outcast who may or may not be mentally ill, but Vad, her enigmatic professor, accepts her thorns and all. This was not a slow burn at all, this was borderline instalust/instalove and romances like that remove too much tension for me. I love the will they won't they pull and this question was answered far too quickly for me. This could've been an amazing and spicy forbidden romance between professor and student but the slow pull wasn't there for me.

There is also a mystery tale playing in the background which is semi-interesting but not enough.

The potential for a spooky gothic romance was there but this fell a bit flat for me.

Thank you to Bramble for the arc!

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Dark Academia flows through these pages. While I enjoyed this book, I found I was left with more questions than answers. There was so much left to be told. The gothic vibe of the book as well as the details of the castle, were instalove for me. I just wish I had more answers.

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Gothikana was one of my most anticipated reads of this year, and now, it's become one of my favorites! RuNyx did not disappoint in any capacity! Corvina Clemm and Vad Deverell are unlike any couple I've read before, and I loved every minute of their story. Suspense, steam, murder, mystery, forbidden love, a heroine with questionable mental stability, and a hero with questionable morals, it's like this book was written just for me! Everything from the atmosphere to the orgasms is utter perfection! It has a dark, eerie vibe that I couldn't get enough of, and Vad and Corvina are some of the most intriguing and unique characters I've ever read. Totally recommend!

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This book just was not for me. I don't like ambiguous endings, and there was a lot left unanswered. The nicknames little crow and devil were a little over the top for me. I really could not get through this book fast enough. Absolutely not my style.

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This was an interesting idea, and Gothikana has potential to be someone's whole personality. But - It wasn't well written. Half the time I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be set in some distant past early 1900s or in a fantasy world of modern times. Inconsistent with over the top smut dialog. The mystery was very intriguing but the forbidden relationship just didn't work.

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Gothikana spins a spooky tale of forbidden romance, a creepy castle, and student disappearances. The chemistry between the two main characters is electric. I really hope to see more form this world and find out more secrets about Verenmore.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bramble for the ARC!

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This is a great mixture of dark academia and erotic romance that makes the perfect book for dark romance readers. The forbidden romance was steamy and had me rooting for Corvina and Vad. It was deliciously filled with tension and even though it was kind of insta-love, you can’t resist the nickname he gave Corvina. A really fun and quick read that I’d recommend, especially since the new reprint has purple sprayed edges.

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"Your body, your heart, your mind, your f*cking soul, it’s all mine. Your hunger is mine to feed, your madness is mine to tame."

This was such a fun read and something entirely different than my normal books! It's unlocked a new love of dark academia for me and I'm all for it! the romance was cheesy at times but was still cute in a gothic setting!

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The large black rose, Gothic castle-like structure and wrought iron fences on the cover of “Gothikana” by RuNyx told me all I needed to know about this book before I decided to read it.

Sometimes it can be okay to judge a book by its cover; it helps draw people in when it’s especially good.

After a few chapters in, I realized the story and setting reminded me of the storyline of the “Wednesday” Netflix show about Wednesday Adams.

Corvina, the main character, finds out she’s accepted to Verenmore Academy, an old castle in the middle of a mountain with a dark past of deaths and disappearances.

Growing up being referred to as the local witch, Corvina and her mother had a quiet life with a deeply close relationship. When she’s 21, she receives a letter saying she was accepted into Verenmore, a college known for people who don’t exactly fit in with others.

She’s excited for her future and quickly makes new friends, including her roommate Jade who reminds me a lot of Wednesday’s roommate Edith in the show.

Shortly after arriving on campus, Corvina hears a haunting, hypnotic melody coming from a piano and when she follows the sound all the way to the top of a tower, she finds Vad Deverrel sitting at the bench.

Vad is a PhD student who is filling in as a teacher (they’re only about seven years apart so it’s not creepy) and the two quickly have an infatuation for one another. As their relationship progresses, you find out more about the characters and the lore behind Verenmore.

RuNyx blends fantasy and romance well without there being too much of one or the other. Admittedly, I was really close to giving up about halfway through the book. But I’m glad I stuck with it. All it took was me reading a little bit further before I was hooked.

I guess they call that a “slow build” and I usually hate it when people say “it takes a while to get into it but once you do it’s worth it.” But sometimes it’s true. It’s at least helpful knowing it’s worth your while to power through the slower parts.

What made it seem to drag in the beginning was how slowly the plot developed. It mainly focused on the teasing nature of Corvina and Vad’s forbidden romance and not enough on the plot. But eventually, everything balanced out. There’s also a twist you don’t see coming.

Another thing I liked is that it’s a standalone novel. I was hoping I didn’t have to go back on my word and review another book that’s part of a series.

RuNyx ended the story properly and left no stone unturned by the end.

I highly recommend “Gothikana” for fans of fantasy and romance with a little bit of the macabre thrown in.

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From the pacing to the story itself, I was not a fan of this one. It just seemed so forced and ridiculous. There was no real chemistry between the two leads despite her constant claims that he made her feel so much and he just came across as mean. The fantasy story could have saved it had it made any sense at all. Pass on this one.

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