Within the Darkness (Wisteria: Book 2) by Shelby Lamb

Within the Darkness (Wisteria Book 2): A Dark Fantasy Dystopian With Demons and Monsters - Mature Content by [Lamb, Shelby]

4 Stars

Publisher: Shelby Anonymous

Date of publication: January 4, 2019

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Dystopia

Series: Wisteria

Something—book 1 (review here)

Within the Darkness—book 2

Where you can find Within the Darkness: Amazon| Bookbub

Synopsis:

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”

— Aldous Huxley

Aubrey has done it. She has teleported herself to “the hidden domain” and have managed to bring along her dream boy, Nathan, and nemesis/ex-besty Adelaide. But how could this be? They were all just at a party. No one knew getting into the backyard shed and saying the “magic words” would work. And the three are absolutely stunned. But the world Aubrey thought would be a wonderful paradise is actually a nightmare. As beautiful and enchanting as it is, Wisteria is like jumping down the rabbit hole with the Devil waiting on the sidelines. 

The people are different in this world. They are monsters, and not just physically. The Moss Wall is supposed to serve as a protection, separating the demons from the non-demons, but that doesn’t mean Aubrey and her friends are safe. Non-demon Aristocrats are nasty and cruel, indulging in their favorite daily past-time: the torture of the red maidens. 

And as for the handsome demon boy who wants Aubrey’s soul? “You’ll never escape,” warned fairies swooping down on her.

But Aubrey, Nathan, and Adelaide won’t go down without a fight. They simply must make it to the safe house and find their way out of the realm. Thankfully The Underground Annual is on its way. It is the biggest party, an explosive rave that happens once a year. And now it is their only window of opportunity. But will their plan succeed?


My review:

Trigger Warning:

I rarely do this but I am going to start this review off with a warning. Within the Darkness is a graphic book. I am not shocked by things that I read. Not at all. But even I had to do take a step back at the casual, extreme violence that was showcased in the book.

I will include a trigger warning with this book because it needs it. The triggers are rape, drug use, physical abuse, mental illness, cutting and talk of suicide. If you are triggered by any of these, then skip reading this review and the book.


The Plot:

Within the Darkness starts off with right after the events of Something. Audrey, Nathan, and Adelaide have been transported to Wisteria. Very soon after arriving in Wisteria, they find out that the magical land they were sent too has a dark side. Sexual assault, drug use, murder, and violence are the norm in Wisteria. Monsters roam the street and the forests. Audrey, Nathan, Adelaide, and Morgan are soon pushed right into the thick of it. They are captured by a sadistic Auntie and her sidekicks. Forced to endure and do things that they would never do, they vow to escape and go to a safe house. They find their chance when they realize that there is a rave that is held only once a year. They hope to escape in the crush of people. Can they do it? Can they survive until then?

I thought that the plot of Within the Darkness was well written. The urgency that Audrey, Nathan, and Adelaide felt was palpable. Their terror at being in a world where graphic violence was the norm was palpable. If I had seen some of the things they did, I would have freaked out at the beginning.

I will admit that the amount of violence showcased in the book was a bit off-putting at first. But, as I got deeper into the book, I came to realize that the violence was part of Wisteria. Audrey came to realize that towards the end of the book. It’s hard to explain without giving away major spoilers. All I will say is that I had an “Aha” moment the minute Audrey realized it too.


Characters:

Audrey: I wasn’t a fan of Audrey in the first book. So, I went into reading Within the Darkness with a little bit of prejudice against her. She took Nathan and Adelaide into Wisteria against their will. Which was kind of a dick thing to do. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I liked her but I did start to understand her. She was struggling with an untreated mental illness. It caused her to do things that she regretted after the fact. She did try to make things right. She tried to get them to the safe house. But she also got them into some pretty hairy situations.

I thought Audrey’s struggle with her mental illness was spot on. I also thought that her coping mechanisms (the cutting, sex, and drugs) were spot on also.

Nathan: I felt bad for him in this book. He was dragged into a world that was alien by his stalker. Plus, he had his girlfriend to protect. I didn’t blame him for how he felt about Audrey. Heck, I would have felt the same way. I did admire how he didn’t allow the violence of Wisteria to influence him. I was the only person at Ambrose’s parties that didn’t drink or do drugs (that I can recall). He also loved Adelaide.

Adelaide: I didn’t have any feelings towards Adelaide during the first half of the book. I did sympathize with her. I also understood her anger at Audrey. Who wouldn’t have been angry? She didn’t evoke any sort of strong reactions from me. I did start to like her after what happened to her at Auntie’s. I am not going to go into what happened but it made her a stronger person.

Morgan: She was the only one out of the foursome that I didn’t like. She was a junkie looking for a fix. She would do whatever it took to get her drugs. Even if that meant selling out the people she was traveling with. She was the only person in the group that wasn’t disgusted by the violence in Wisteria. It actually turned her on. I was hoping that she was eaten by something or killed. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.


My Thoughts on the Book

I did enjoy reading Within the Darkness. The author did a fantastic job with world building. I liked how she incorporated Japanese/Asian themes in the book. It made for an interesting background for what was happening in that realm.

There were parts of the book that made me wince while reading it. The treatment of the red-maidens was a huge part of that. A close second was how the Main World girls were treated. The casual violence towards those women was cringeworthy. I winced while reading those parts of the book.

The end of Within the Darkness was a cliffhanger. I wasn’t surprised by what happened. I was surprised that it happened with such ease. The author did not wrap up storylines. So I am expecting most of them to be carried on into book 3.


I would give Within the Darkness an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is explicit violence. This is not a book for anyone under the age of 21.

I would reread Within the Darkness. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would make sure to tell them about the triggers.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Within the Darkness.

All opinions stated in this review of Within the Darkness are mine.


Have you read Within the Darkness?

Let me know!!


31358 ku associate ads 300x250
Advertisements

Something (Wisteria: Book 1) by Shelby Lamb

Something (Wisteria, #1)

Title: Something

Author: Shelby Lamb

Publisher: Grunge Bookz

Date of publication: January 9th, 2017

Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Mental Health, Paranormal

Number of pages: 304

Series: Wisteria

Something – Book 1

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (via Goodreads):

“I will find true love and everything will be okay. I will find true love and everything will be okay…” she chanted.

They say be careful what you read. Something is wrong. Something is very wrong. It can happen to anyone. This is just four teenagers’ story. Aubrey Golding hates her face, her body, and is devastated after Nathan Silva leaves her. Alone, suicidal, and desperate for love, she discovers a book called Something and unknowingly links others to a dark and terrifying curse that is beginning to consume her. Nathan is glad to be moving on with someone new and can hardly believe what is happening now. Wild child and amateur porn star, Bella Broadhurst, loves bullying that “emo whore” Aubrey with the other girls, but mostly she loves partying, hookups, and plain ol’ drama when terror arises. And Kendra Coke is just a new teen mother working on a delicate relationship when things start becoming utterly bizarre. Chilling sleep disturbances and figures hiding in the corners of their rooms are just warnings of what is to come. Be careful what you read, they say. Tread carefully.

My review:

A quick warning before I start my review…..there are triggers in this book and I will be mentioning them. So, do not read this review if it will affect you in any way!!

Now, onto the review.

This is a book that you can’t read without feeling sympathy/horror/anger (or a combination of all three) towards the main characters. Their lives are so messed up that it isn’t even funny. Actually, the only halfway normal one, if you call her that, is Kendra. Her only issue is that she is 15 and having twins. Other than that, she is probably the nicest person in the book and I felt awful when what happened to her happened.

I felt awful for Aubrey. She is bullied mercilessly, she has self-esteem/mental health issues, she is stalking her ex-boyfriend and she has self-esteem problems. She self-medicated through sex, drinking, drugs, and cutting. At one point in the book, she attempted suicide. When she did reach out for help, she was told she was imagining things and it was all in her head. Even her teachers at school were jerks. The poor kid could not catch a break. Her only solace was reading a book that she found in a used bookstore, a book called Something and hanging out with her best friend, Adelaide. But there are things that Aubrey doesn’t realize that Adelaide is hiding from her. She also doesn’t realize what Something is and what it could do.

All Aubrey wanted was for someone to love her for who she was and….someone listened. But that someone (or something???) was really not the person that she should be going for. Because they wanted to possess her….totally.

I really thought what Nathan and Adelaide did to Aubrey was awful….mainly because Adelaide was Aubrey’s best friend. Nathan really should have moved onto someone else and you know what, I didn’t blame Aubrey for reacting the way she reacted when she found out. I think I would have done the same thing.

The horror part of the book was truly that. I actually jumped in places (like when Audrey discovered the hidden door that led to a secret passage in Tyler’s house). The author did a great job with writing just enough to get your brain working and then she would change the scene. Gaaahh!!!!

I thought the author did a great job ending certain storylines (of course in the creepiest way possible) and merging the Audrey/Nick/Adelaide storyline.

The way the book ended totally hooked me into the next book. I need to know what happens!!!

How many stars will I give Something: 5

Why: This is a genuinely creepy fantasy/horror book with characters that I could relate too. I was sucked into the book from page one and literally could not put the book down. I would be hesitant to let anyone over the age of 16 read this book because of the triggers. Other than that, the book was great!!!

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Late Teen

Why: Language, sex. Also an attempted suicide scene, drug use, bullying

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**