*Thank you NetGalley for providing me a digital copy of this book to review!*
Labeled as a ‘YA Gothic Romance’, this book had such a beautiful blend of horror, romance and history. It was enchanting and mysterious, with a lovely, homey feel to it. Though the overall premise of it wasn’t particularly original, it had so many little, unique aspects to it, that set it apart from other books.
With alluring descriptions and a natural feel to the writing, A Magic Dark and Bright read with such ease. It brought to life the details of the settings and made the main character, Amelia, feel very real. As I first started to read this book, I thought it was in the horror genre because of the great creepiness it had. As the romance and paranormal aspects of this book took over, the creepy undertone never faltered, which I absolutely loved. The combination of the town’s history, with the world’s history allowed you to get a good sense of the ghosts and witches in this story. Along with the history, Amelia’s dreams also gave the main ghost in the story a personality and past.
Amelia was a strong main character, though she did have some flaws. After the death of her brother, she is very unsure about dating and relationships. Unfortunately, as she forms a relationship throughout the book, her insecurities do not seem to go away. Aside from that, she has a strong drive and is a great hero, without actually being the one to discover powers, which I found refreshing.
Her best friend, Leah, was kind of annoying, the stereotypical outgoing friend, always pushing the other to do things. While I wasn’t a huge fan of that, Leah does prove to be a good character throughout the book, and isn’t just cast aside as some lame side character. Charlie, Amelia’s love interest, was also a bit of a stereotypical ‘good boy’ character, but he was very pleasant and enjoyable to read about.
The emotion in this book was so powerful. The relationship was adorable and sweet, and even though I’m not a huge fan of romance, I couldn’t help but love this one. It seemed very genuine and came about at a perfect pace. Along with the love, the negative emotions the character’s felt were also very real. I felt so much anger toward Ben every time the characters encountered him.
There were parts of this book that were quite predictable, like being introduced to the next character that was going to die only pages before their death. Same with the growing suspicion of who the bad guy is. But luckily, there were also some nicely original twists and discoveries that made up for those predictable parts.
Almost everything got explained in the end, but there were some things left completely open. I’m hoping the mystery of Amelia’s brother’s death will be explained in the next book, in relation to the paranormal aspects. Although it didn’t seem like a particularly special book at first, it was a very fun, mysterious read. The ending was stunning and shocking, a complete cliffhanger that MUST be solved in the next book. I can honestly say that I threw my Kindle from the shock of that ending. I cannot wait to see where this story goes.