I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Blackbrooke by Emma Silver
Series: Blackbrooke Trilogy #1
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher
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I live in Blackbrooke and you would have had to be living under a rock to never have heard of it before now. This town is different to most others…Humans aren’t the only residents…”
The residents of Blackbrooke share their town with the Creatures, or Crits as they are known. Grotesque, roaming the streets at night looking for food, their presence means humans have to live by the Rules, keeping them indoors and forbidding them of basic desires.
The most important Rule?
Don’t be a ‘walk out’!
Straight-A student, Liberty Connor, hates the Crits and the endless Rules she and her tight knit group of friends have to live by.
Planning her new life on the Outside with her boyfriend, Gabriel, Liberty whiles away her days waiting to turn 18, so they can leave and be free. That is, until the world she thinks she knows begins to unravel…
Her friends start to walk out. So she’s told. However, something’s not right. Things don’t add up.
Liberty faces a race against time to discover what’s going on with the Creatures of Blackbrooke.
Is it them she has to fear, or something much closer to home?
Blackbrooke is a Young Adult horror novel that has you on the edge of your seat.
I was pretty blown away by this book. I love a good thriller, but it’s hard to find a book with a good balance of real horror, suspense, humor, intrigue, and romance. Blackbrooke really does have it all. I loved it.
The town of Blackbrooke is a highly guarded, gated off community that nobody leaves or enters without permission. The humans and Creatures (known as the Crits) in Blackbrooke have learned to live alongside each other. The humans own the daylight and the Crits come out at night. Any human outside at night is fair game for the Crits. Liberty Connor has lived her entire life in Blackbrooke. While it seems nice enough, with most people actually choosing to stay after they turn 18, Libby and her boyfriend, Gabriel, have made plans to leave Blackbrooke and travel the world. But then, Gabriel ‘walks out‘. A walk out in Blackbrooke is equivilent to suicide, giving yourself up to the Crits. But Libby doesn’t believe it. She and Gabriel were happy with plans for a future together. Then more strange things start happening and Libby is determined to find the truth.
Blackbrooke is a town where almost nothing is as it seems. Except for the creatures that come out at night. The Crits are definitely real. This makes the setting of Blackbrooke awesome. Everyone knows about the Crits and everyone has seen them. There is even an agreement between the humans and the Crits that has been in place for hundreds of years. The agreement allows humans to be outside during the day and the Crits to be out at night. The agreement is also what lead to the Rules. The Rules are in place to help keep the humans safe. But like all rules, many of them get broken.
Liberty Connor is the female protagonist of the story and easily my favorite character. She’s brave and smart and doesn’t trust anyone but her very close friends. She is fiercely protective of her younger brother, and anyone else she thinks needs protecting. She’s also a strict follower of all the Rules of Blackbrooke. Still, she wants to leave the town when she turned 18 and see the world with the boy she loves. But when strange things start happening and her friends start ‘walking out’, she becomes determined to discover the truth about her town and its history before anyone else ‘walks out’.
Cassius is Liberty’s childhood best friend. He was someone that Libby thought needed protecting. He has Heterochromia and was picked on by the other kids. As they grew up, they grew apart. Libby found new friends who didn’t like Cassius and Cassius went his own way, though always kept an eye out for Libby. Cassius grows up to be very tall, very smart, and very suspicious of their community. When they both end up with friends who have ‘walked out’, they come back together to find the answers to their question. I was definitely a fan of Cassius’ throughout the book. The way he protected and supported Libby after Gabriel ‘walked out’ and the way he tried to deal with his feelings for her. I was also very impressed with his bravery and willingness to help, no matter what that meant for him. I wasn’t a big fan of his and Libby’s romance, though only because it happened about a week after Gabriel ‘walked’. If it hadn’t been so soon, I would have been much happier.
A few of my other favorite characters included Denzil, Libby’s employer and owner of the Blackbrooke Tourist Shop, Gemma, Libby’s best friend, and Noah, Gemma’s boyfriend. Libby, Gabriel, Gemma, and Noah make up the small group of friends that Libby loves and hangs out with almost exclusively. At first, their relationships seemed a bit shallow and convenient to me, but as the story progressed, it was easy to see how much they all loved and depended on each other. Gemma and Noah are the stereotypical beautiful girl and jock boyfriend. Their relationship seems to be completely based on all things physical, but it’s actually much deeper than it that. Gabriel is handsome and quieter than Noah and loves Libby more than anyone. I wish we could have seen more of Gabriel because I really liked him and Libby together. Denzil is the only adult in this group of characters and provides a place for the friends to gather and begin their search for answers. He’s quirky and funny and very protective of Libby. All of these secondary characters have much more depth than I thought they would. In the end, I loved them all.
Overall, Blackbrooke was awesome. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the timing of the romance between Libby and Cassius, there is very little else to be negative about. The story is original, exciting, suspenseful, thrilling, and very creepy. There is also a very shocking ending and a cliffhanger that some might not be too happy about. But it just means there’s more Blackbrooke waiting for us! Since I could go on about Blackbrooke all day, I’ll just wrap up by saying that if you are a fan of horror or thriller books, you need to check this book out. It will not disappoint. I gave Blackbrooke 4/5 stars.