by Marta Acosta
Pub. Date: July 3, 2012
Book received from: Publisher
Genre: YA fantasy/ gothic
Cover: Pretty, dark, and haunting- just like the story
Characters: Likable and understandable, but at times a bit much
Worth the read? Yes- if you like darker fiction
“I pressed down my fury until it metamorphosed, as soft messy carbonate does, into a diamond- a diamond so hard it could cut through steel and with such clarity that I could us it as a lens to see the world as it truly was, cruel and capricious. ”
When Jane Williams, a foster kid who has never had anything go her way her entire life, is offered a full scholarship to a prestigious all-girls school, she knows better than to turn down the offer. However, it is not long after she begins to get settled into her new life that she must begin questioning everything and everyone around her. Nothing is as it seems. At least, she hopes it is not, because it seems pretty creepy and every bit wrong. In an effort to maintain who she is, and balance it with who she is given the opportunity to become, Jane discovers a whole new world. She must decide if the price is worth it, or if the darkness of it all is far too dangerous.
Dark Companion is a deliciously gothic retelling of Jane Eyre for the modern vampire-obsessed era. Acosta has woven together references to and selections of classic literature with the world of today, creating a dark and dreamy feeling that grabs you and will not let go. Perhaps the best thing about the entire story is that there seems to be an effortlessness about it all that makes it easy to become immersed in the dark underbelly of the story, while not being alienated by an unfamiliar world.
The characters are real, if at times slightly annoying in the dialog department. Jane’s best friend in her new home, Mary Violet, reminds me of Six from Blossom (yes, we all loved the tongue-twisting fast talker), and at times drove me a bit nuts. However, it also provided a bit of comic relief and kept the story from being just downright depressing. For most of the characters, Acosta gives us just enough at a time to keep us reading to find out more. Even though few of the characters were good guys by the end, they were all still very likable and it was easy to understand their motives.
Dark Companion starts out a bit tough to read, but it does not take long to get drawn into the gothic feel of this smartly delivered novel. Without giving too much away, this can easily be classified as Jane Eyre meets the dark side. It is what is within the darkness that makes the story- and have you biting your fingernails until the end.
‘Dark Companion’ can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.
For more about Marta Acosta, go to her website here.