The Darkdeep – Creepy Middle Grade Adventure

 

The Darkdeep
by Ally Condie & Brenden Reichs
Bloomsbury Children’s Book
October 2, 2018

At a Glance

Category/Genre(s):

Middle Grade, Mystery, Horror, Fantasy

Age Range:

8-12 years old

Plot:

“Everyone in Timbers knows Still Cove is off-limits, with its creepy Beast sightings and equally terrifying legends. But when a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over a cliff and into Still Cove’s icy waters, friends Tyler and Emma–and even Opal Walsh, who usually runs with the popular kids–rush to his rescue . . . and discover a mysterious island hiding in the murky, swirling mists below.” (source)

Strengths

  • Perfect amount of creepiness for the age range
  • The story is face paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat
  • The characters are relatable and jump off the page
  • The cover is beautiful

Full Review

I am always on the lookout for creepy middle grade books, so I was very excited to get an ARC of The Darkdeep. And what’s even better is that it exceeded my expectations. I feel that the plot is wildly imaginative and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Usually, I am able to figure out all the major plot points for the get-go, but this book was so enjoyable and well written that it kept me guessing.

I think both reluctant readers and avid readers who like spooky tale will enjoy this book. Ally Condie and Brenden Reichs do an excellent job of giving the reader just the right amount of creepiness and it makes for a highly satisfying read.

Condie and Reichs also do a great job at developing robust, three-dimensional characters. I like the dynamic of the group of friends and I especially like how bullying it tackled throughout the story. It’s not the stereotypical lunkhead bully, but the relationships are nuanced and complex. The motivations and actions of each character are believable and rich.

While this is definitely a stand-alone title, there is room for a sequel. I sure hope that there will be one because I’m all set to plunge into another story with these characters. Highly recommend.

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