Title: The Whispering Dark
Author: Kelly Andrew
Pub. Date: October 18, 2022
Pub: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
The Raven Boys meets Ninth House in the most exciting debut of 2022 — a dark, atmospheric fantasy about a Deaf college student with a peculiar connection to the afterlife.
Delaney Meyers-Petrov is tired of being seen as fragile just because she’s Deaf. So when she’s accepted into a prestigious program at Godbole University that trains students to slip between parallel worlds, she’s excited for the chance to prove herself. But her semester gets off to a rocky start as she faces professors who won’t accommodate her disability, and a pretentious upperclassman fascinated by Delaney’s unusual talents.
Colton Price died when he was nine years old. Quite impossibly, he woke several weeks later at the feet of a green-eyed little girl. Now, twelve years later, Delaney Meyers-Petrov has stumbled back into his orbit, but Colton’s been ordered to keep far away from the new girl… and the voices she hears calling to her from the shadows.
Delaney wants to keep her distance from Colton — she seems to be the only person on campus who finds him more arrogant than charming — yet after a Godbole student turns up dead, she and Colton are forced to form a tenuous alliance, plummeting down a rabbit-hole of deeply buried university secrets. But Delaney and Colton discover the cost of opening the doors between worlds when they find themselves up against something old and nameless, an enemy they need to destroy before it tears them — and their forbidden partnership — apart.
This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to Scholastic for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022 and I’m still beyond thrilled that I was able to snag a copy at ALA back in June.
And holy hell did this not, in any way, disappoint.
Like at all.
It’s been 2 weeks since I read it, and I’m still not over it.
Trust me, go read this when it comes out. If I could, I’d throw my arc at you so you could read it, but I’m keeping it for collection purposes. But seriously. Pre-order and read it. Or I will find a copy to chuck at you.
I’ve been mutuals/friends with Kelly on Twitter for a while now – I don’t even remember when we first started following each other. It’s been a few years at least, and I’ve been following her journey as she wrote this book. Being finally able to read it – y’all, it’s so good. Colton and Lane are so amazing and this story is so good.
When I finished it, I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself. I was seriously at a loss, and was scared The Whispering Dark put me in a reading slump it was so good. Like, if I ever can write as good as Kelly, then I’ll be set. Because omfg the way she writes, the word choice and just her skill with the craft is amazing. It was really hard to go write and work on my own WIP after reading her book. I seriously struggled with a bit of imposter syndrome that day.
Like, I don’t think I can accurately explain just how good this book is, how amazing the writing and just everything. I expected good things, I expected to like it, to be maybe mildly spooked by it, but I’m still in awe over just how skilled Kelly is at writing. I mean that in the best, most flattering way possible. Between the plot, and the characters and just every aspect, I was enthralled. It played out like a movie, my emotions captivated, my heart rate synced in time with the events happening in the book. The way Colton and Lane stole my heart and owned my soul.
I’m bummed it’s a standalone, because I’m not ready to be done with them yet.
As for the characters in this phenomenal novel – I loved Lane. The way Kelly wrote her – damn. She’s so interesting and stubborn and out to prove herself. I could just wax on and on about the use of langue and how Kelly wrote this book, but the way Lane describes herself as others see her, versus how she wants to be perceived.
The way Lane’s deafness is written in this book is really ingenious. I know Kelly is deaf, and Lane’s struggles and identity in some ways mirror Kelly’s own. The way incorporates it, weaves it into the amazing plot she’s created with the paranormal elements – I found it to be really unique and brilliant. And I’m sure a lot of the struggles Lane faces in regards to her deafness are things Kelly has had to face as well. And it just kind of opens your eyes to it all – I honestly wouldn’t have known any better.
I’ve seen Kelly’s tweets about interactions she’s had – she’s very open and vocal about it on Twitter, so I’m glad she was able to write Lane the way she did – and I hope people fall in love with Lane like I did.
As for Colton – I mean, how was I not supposed to fall for him?
He’s stubborn, mysterious and full of baggage and trauma.
Like, are we not supposed to fall in love with him?
He’s an attractive, moody, dark haired love interest, with a hidden past. He’s also completely in love with Lane and has to hide it. Which is one of my favorite dynamics in characters – the pining. And it happens from both ends – I’m obsessed.
He’s full of secrets and sass and pining obsession and it’s intoxicating. His constant battle to stay away from his Lane – Wednesday – to fight the urges he has to be near her – to do what is required of him, no, demanded of him.
Y’all, I was sunk the first moment he came on the page.
Y’all I just want to throw this book at you. Just go pre-order it and read it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
And then there’s just the overall plot – which honestly, I wasn’t always entirely sure how it was going to play out. It keeps you guessing, on the edge of your seat, filled with anxiety. And when things truly start ramping up towards the end – when things start happening and Lane is scrambling, and Colton is clinging on for dear life – I was freaking out. So invested, so interested and maybe even borderline terrified of what was going to happen next.
I cannot wait to get my hardcover in the mail – I can’t wait for everyone to read this book and fall in love with it. I can’t wait to see what Kelly writes next, but you know sure as hell, I’ll be buying it and reading it.