Amelia Dupree hasn’t seen the Woman in White since the night her brother died.
The ghost seems to have disappeared from the woods surrounding Asylum, Pennsylvania—that is, until Charlie Blue moves into the creepy old MacAllister House next door. Amelia can’t help liking him, even though she spent her childhood thinking his grandmother was a witch. And she definitely can’t ignore the connection between his arrival and the Woman in White’s return.
Then Amelia learns that the Woman in White is a prisoner, trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. Devastated by the idea that her brother could be suffering a similar fate, Amelia decides to do whatever it takes to help the Woman in White find peace–and Charlie agrees to help her.
But when Amelia’s classmates start to drown in the Susquehanna River, one right after another, rumors swirl as people begin to connect the timing of Charlie’s arrival with the unexplained deaths. As Charlie and Amelia uncover the dark history of Asylum, they realize they may have unleashed an unspeakable evil. One they have to stop before everything they love is destroyed. – Goodreads
This book was dark—the title isn’t lying. There is a bit of brightness, but damn, it’s far and few between.
To start, the town is set in a place called Asylum (it’s a real place!). That just sounds creepy in general and makes me think of haunted, abandoned asylums (though I imagine a not-abandoned asylum is just as eerie). It’s a small town where everyone knows each other. Throw in a ghost woman and a potential witch-next-door and you’ve got a great story on your hands.
The story is fast paced and moves quickly as Amelia’s peers drown. There’s some mystery, horror, and history here, so I won’t ruin anything. I will say that it was a bit predictable, though.
There is a strong element of romance here. I was really nervous that a love triangle would develop, but thankfully, it did not.
Overall, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with this book, but I wasn’t disappointed, either. It was a short, enjoyable read. I rated it a 3/5 on Goodreads.
I received a copy of A Magic Dark & Bright thanks to Bookish Girl Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.