Member Reviews

I'm not a romance reader. I'm much too cynical, much too jaded to really enjoy a love story that ends happily. Gothikana isn't going to change that. It hit all the stereotypical, cliche criticisms of romance- cheesy, cheesy, CHEESY. But. BUT. I'm a gothic horror fan, and this had some fun elements of that. I was also pretty sucked in. I read this really quickly, and I found myself wanting to come back to it to find out what the hell is going on in this little haunted place of Verenmore. I'm a Poe and Dracula fan, and I felt like this held a lot of promise. I wish that it had given me a bit more and had been more polished. I may not give it a high rating, but I won't forget it any time soon. 3 stars.

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Gothikana was not a book that was written for me. I struggled with the writing and plot, and found the romance pretty cringy on top of that. I think part of the reason I was not a fan is because dark academia books are not for me, even though I love the aesthetic. It does win points for funniest book quotes I have encountered in quite some time with: "A part of her wanted to break the eye contact and blush furiously at the singular masculine attention from a very masculine male." and "Panties she wore every day except when she just didn't want to."

I will say that the mystery aspect of the missing people and suicides was genuinely engaging after making it through a third of the book, but I wouldn't say it was worth muddling through the rest of the book.

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This story felt juvenile and not adult gothic. I grabbed this one because the cover was plain gorgeous!! I mean look at that thing!!! But sadly that is where my enjoyment left with this one. I have to say that the writing was not up to par. The characters were a mess and the insta lust and everything doing with the romance was just ugh.

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There was certainly parts of this story that were enjoyable and others that weren't. I actually didn't love Corvina.... she was just meh to me. Also I tired of them constantly describing the colour of ones eyes or hair.... Trust me I know her eyes are purple and his hair is greying.... The end twists was an actual surprise and I wish there was more focus on the mystery of the school.

Thanks to NetGalley for the Arc!

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Unfortunately this was not for me. Dark romance can be hit or miss for me, and sadly I did not love this one as much as I was hoping to.

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Gothikana is one of those books where you're either going to love it or hate it. Personally, I am in the later.

I think for dark romance girls, who like intense interactions between the couples, and spicy moments this book will be for you., We follow Corvinna as she attends a mysterious, isolated, university located on a mountain. Soon, she makes friends, learns the local lore surrounding the premises, and meets "the silver eyed devil" who is also her professor. While I do like student teacher trope when done in college, this one didn't work for me. They felt weird and slightly gross.

The time period is also weird because at first I thought it was set in a fantasy world without electricity for some reason. The writing didn't work for me. It felt immature while telling a mature story.

Overall, the writing, the story itself with plotholes, and the lack of chemistry I felt with the couple is why this raked very low for me.

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I'm so upset the publisher chose to use an AI cover for this book when they put so much effort into making this book special (illustrated endpages, sprayed edges, a first print of 100K). Like they were spending the money on this book and then INTENTIONALLY picked an AI cover. If you look at the physical book there is not a cover artist only the cover designer who did the typography and layout. I'm so incredibly disappointed in Bramble Romance and TOR.

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Okay this is definitely what they say it is, dark academia. 21 year old get a new start at a new University but this Uni is something more with a mystery she is set on solving. While there she meets Vad and has a kinda of a insta-lust romance. Where the synopsis sounds great there was no real execution. I wish more time was spent on the mystery and not so much on the graphic exploits of the MC together.

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Wow, the writing here is not at the level I'm used to with Tor books. I couldn't get through this one.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an advance copy in exchange for honest feedback

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I definitely think that there are some dark fantasy lovers who will eat this up! I don't really see the Beauty and the Beast comparison (except for the castle...?) but I liked how fast the pace was.

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Touted as Beauty and the Beast x Dracula, this dark academia romance was absolutely gorgeous and everything I could have wanted.

I'm only in the beginning of my fantasy reading era, and this one won't be able to be topped for a long time.

Must buy, must read.

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Gothikana is a forbidden love story between a professor and a student that represents dark academia. I had assumed there would be a difference in age, but Vad, Corvina's lecturer, is 27 years old and enrolled in graduate school. Corvina starts college at age 21. These two have such crazy chemistry and are really hot together that it's like it was love at first sight. Corvina herself was raised in a distinctive setting. Her mother had schizophrenia and she was homeschooled for her whole childhood. She is going to this remote school for the first time, where she will actually get to interact with others, make new acquaintances, and experience her first love. I wish there had been more chapters written from Vad's point of view.

Although I thoroughly loved the romance in this book, the suspense and atmosphere ended up being my favorite parts. The environment was expertly crafted by the author to make the school eerie, creepy, and haunted. A pupil disappears and is never found again every few years. There have also been student deaths; the most recent was that of the girl who had shared Corvina's bed and dorm room. I was kept on edge since I had no idea who or what may be responsible for the killings and disappearances. Very enjoyable and I hope the next book shows us more Vad.

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Like this book and would recommend. If you like academic settings and are ok with student to teacher relationship then it is a far and enjoyable easy read

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I love a dark academia backdrop, but this was my first dark romance in this setting. This unconventional love story in a haunting setting is a great standalone novel if you are looking to dip your toes into a dark fantasy romance as a genre. I would say check the trigger warnings, but compared to other dark romance I have read (which is really only a handful) I didn’t find this one to be TOO dark, so that’s why I say it might be a good starting ground for someone new to the genre (like me!)...but obviously everyone has different triggers so just be sure to do what is best for you before taking on this or any dark romance.


Check this out if you like:


teacher/student (age gap)
Forbidden romance
whodunnit/mystery component
Gothic vibes
Atmospheric, creepy school

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Gothikana by RuNyx was a fast pace read that will get you hooked from the very first chapter. Corvina Clemm, who has been homeschooled by her mother has just got into University of Verenmore. She is only 21 and starting her freshman year worried that she will not fit in. Her roommate Jade is showing her the ropes and the dark history that Verenmore Castle holds. Corvina soon starts to hear other voices in her head and thinks that she has mental illness like her mother. Vad, a part time teacher, and Corvina have some kind of thread pulling them together. Even when it is against the rules, Vad and Corvina starts a relationship. Soon Corvina is trying to solve the mystery of Verenmore Castle and its curse. The story line was well written and will keep the reading wanted more of Vad and Corvina's sexy love scenes. Thank you to NetGalley and Bramble Publishing for letting me read an advanced copy of this book.

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This is 3.5 Stars.

In "Gothikana" by Runyx, Corvina Clemm, an outcast with a mysterious past, finds herself drawn to the enigmatic University of Verenmore. The secluded castle, riddled with secrets and a century-old mystery of disappearances, becomes the stage for Corvina's journey. There, she encounters Vad Deverell, a part-time professor with a labyrinth of secrets. As they navigate the macabre and the mysterious, a deep and unexpected love blooms amidst the darkness.

The first half of the book unveiled the atmospheric setting, introducing Corvina and Vad against the backdrop of the eerie University of Verenmore. The initial chapters set the stage for the dark academia ambiance and the mysterious disappearances, but I found myself waiting for the narrative to hit its stride. The pacing felt a tad sluggish, and some character dynamics took a while to solidify.

However, as the story progressed, the narrative unfurled its wings in the second half, revealing the more intricate parts of its plot. The mysterious elements gained momentum, and the characters' relationships deepened, bringing forth a more engaging and immersive experience. The revelations and twists in the latter chapters were like a crescendo in a dark ballet, leaving me both surprised and intrigued.

Corvina and Vad's characters underwent significant development, and their relationship evolved into a complex dance of passion and peril. The enigma surrounding Vad became more distinct, adding layers to his character. Corvina's resilience and the way she embraced the shadows of Verenmore became more pronounced, drawing me further into her world.

The narrative's atmospheric allure was heightened in the second half, and the unresolved mysteries began to cast a more enchanting spell. The dance between the paranormal and the macabre took center stage, and the author's descriptive prowess painted vivid scenes in my mind.

In the end, "Gothikana" left me in a curious state – satisfied by the haunting beauty of its conclusion but yearning for a more consistent engagement throughout. The book's second act, with its deeper character connections and intensified mysteries, resonated with me more strongly than its initial movements. A captivating ballet in the shadows, "Gothikana" held me in its thrall, even as I waltzed through moments of ambiguity.

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Gothikana is a mix of mystery with dark academia and a romance. Corvina is alone in the world, struggling with mental illness but ready to go to a college for a fresh start . There she meets friends and a love interest while getting tangled up in a mystery.

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Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t for me! However, I know this will be a big hit for dark romance lovers.

Thank you for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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We enter the story with Corvina driving up a mountain to a haunted castle of a college, which is rumored to have mysterious deaths and haunting history. She arrives and meet her fellow classmates, as well as the hot professor. We learn Corvina has a bit of clairaudience, as well as proclivity for professor Deverrell. Corvina is an older student so there’s only a tiny age gap, so I’m not too bothered by the power dynamics.

This book definitely relies on tropes for character interactions, but it’s 50/50 plot vs. spice- so if you’re here for the romance definitely pick this one up!

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