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When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella – and even 'cool kid' Opal – rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can' When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella – and even 'cool kid' Opal – rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can't quite shake the feeling that something about it is off. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat with an array of curiosities inside: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to places they've never heard of, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable. As the group delves deeper into the unknown, their discoveries – and their lives –begin to intertwine in weird and creepy ways. Something ancient has awakened... and it knows their wishes and dreams – and their darkest, most terrible secrets. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy things that lurk within their own hearts?


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When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella – and even 'cool kid' Opal – rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can' When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella – and even 'cool kid' Opal – rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can't quite shake the feeling that something about it is off. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat with an array of curiosities inside: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to places they've never heard of, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable. As the group delves deeper into the unknown, their discoveries – and their lives –begin to intertwine in weird and creepy ways. Something ancient has awakened... and it knows their wishes and dreams – and their darkest, most terrible secrets. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy things that lurk within their own hearts?

30 review for The Darkdeep

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs is the first book in the new middle grade horror series by the same name. A lot of people are comparing this one to Stranger Things which could be but since I haven’t watched those what it did remind me of is some of Stephen King’s horror but on a middle grade level. The story is one of a group of somewhat misfit kids encountering a group of bullies and of course that bullying leads to their discovery. Nico, Tyler and Emma are out near Still Cove whi The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs is the first book in the new middle grade horror series by the same name. A lot of people are comparing this one to Stranger Things which could be but since I haven’t watched those what it did remind me of is some of Stephen King’s horror but on a middle grade level. The story is one of a group of somewhat misfit kids encountering a group of bullies and of course that bullying leads to their discovery. Nico, Tyler and Emma are out near Still Cove which is off-limits due to all the creepy sightings there over the years. The trio however just wanted to test out their new quad copter they had built when along comes Logan the town bully and his friends, including Opal who used to be friends with Nico’s group. Things of course get out of hand and the drone the kids were so excited to fly ends up going into Still Cove. A rescue attempt leads to one of the group falling over and the rest attempting to help they all find themselves stumbling into more than they ever could have imagined when they find the Darkdeep. Being an adult I know I’m not the intended audience for this story but I have to say I was quite impressed that it kept me entertained just the same. I’m one that often finds horror stories to be a bit of the same old same old having read so many but the ideas in here were interesting and the levels of creepiness just right for the intended audience without going too far. Definitely recommend checking this one out to any age really that enjoys a good scary tale. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    4.5 My initial interest in this novel is that Ally Condie is one of the writers, and I have had a pretty good experience with her Matched trilogy and Atlantia. When This came up on NetGalley, I was so excited and hoping to be a reviewer for this book. And I was chosen! A big thank you to NetGalley. Bloomsbury, Ally Condie, and Brendan Reichs for the amazing opportunity of reading this book in exchange for an honest review. Many people are saying this has a very Stranger Things vibe to it. I won’t 4.5 My initial interest in this novel is that Ally Condie is one of the writers, and I have had a pretty good experience with her Matched trilogy and Atlantia. When This came up on NetGalley, I was so excited and hoping to be a reviewer for this book. And I was chosen! A big thank you to NetGalley. Bloomsbury, Ally Condie, and Brendan Reichs for the amazing opportunity of reading this book in exchange for an honest review. Many people are saying this has a very Stranger Things vibe to it. I won’t deny that, but I feel like it definitely has a feel of its own as well. I also noticed that some people found this book to be a bit scary for the target age group, but I don’t think so at all. Having experience teaching 7th and 8th grade, a huge percentage of those students are into Stranger Things and similar types of media, so this would fit right in. If there were more blood/gore versus finding a human skeleton, I might say it’s a bit creepy in a negative way, but it doesn’t have that kind of element to it. Basically, three friends are playing on a cliff over a creepy, fog-covered cove, when a bully comes and loses a boy’s drone in the cove on purpose. After Nico falls over the cliff, his friends Tyler and Emma rush to find him, only for the three of them to discover an island with a lake in the middle, a boathouse full of creepy things in the middle of that. Opal, a girl who was with the bully, follows them, and it takes a while for her to be accepted as part of the group. In the bottom center of the boathouse, there is a pool of swirling water that the children end up naming the Darkdeep. When they go through, it spits them out, along with pulling something imaginary from their minds in the process, such as an animal or character from a movie. These figments seem fun at first, because that’s all they are: figments that can’t touch anything and disappear after awhile. Until they become more and more real and the children have to stop the horrors from destroying the town. I honestly thought this was an absolutely amazing book for Middle Grade and that some high school students would enjoy as well. Even as a teacher, I found myself slamming through this book. The only thing I didn’t really like about the book was Emma. She felt like some of her actions were a bit unrealistic and forced for what a girl of that age might do in the given situation. Other than that, The Darkdeep is well-written and fast paced, and the adventures of the children as they learn about the Darkdeep and how it works, as well as leaving just enough mystery for the reader, is perfect. The cover is inviting and the color scheme is gorgeous. A highly recommended read for Middle Grade and higher!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Beaumont

    An eerie, creepy, sometimes hilarious supernatural mystery-thriller that might be described as Stephen King for middle-graders. It would probably appeal to fans of "Stranger Things" or "The Goonies." Creatures emerge out of the children's minds from the whirling Darkdeep pool. They start out as amusing, then gradually escalate to downright frightening. I didn't find it especially scary (the worst parts for me were the slugs and the giant cockroach), but some middle-graders might. On the whole, i An eerie, creepy, sometimes hilarious supernatural mystery-thriller that might be described as Stephen King for middle-graders. It would probably appeal to fans of "Stranger Things" or "The Goonies." Creatures emerge out of the children's minds from the whirling Darkdeep pool. They start out as amusing, then gradually escalate to downright frightening. I didn't find it especially scary (the worst parts for me were the slugs and the giant cockroach), but some middle-graders might. On the whole, it's a fun, mildly scary tale for middle-graders, teens, and adults who like this sort of thing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Nico Holland and his friends, Tyler and Emma, go to Still Cove to have fun flying Nico's new drone. The cliffs above Still Cove are perfect for trying it out....nice flat area, 5 miles from town, nobody to bother them. Most people avoid the area. It's just a bit too remote and perpetually covered in dense fog. The currents and jagged rocks in Still Cove are too much for boats. The cliffs are just a bit too high and foggy to be safe. And, there are the legends about The Beast....a sea monster tha Nico Holland and his friends, Tyler and Emma, go to Still Cove to have fun flying Nico's new drone. The cliffs above Still Cove are perfect for trying it out....nice flat area, 5 miles from town, nobody to bother them. Most people avoid the area. It's just a bit too remote and perpetually covered in dense fog. The currents and jagged rocks in Still Cove are too much for boats. The cliffs are just a bit too high and foggy to be safe. And, there are the legends about The Beast....a sea monster that trolls the waters of the cove attacking boats. But, legendary sea monsters don't mean too much to 12-year old kids when they have new, really cool, tech to try out! When local bullies fly Nico's quadcopter out into the fog and lose it over the cliff on purpose, things get dicey. Joined by Opal Walsh, abandoned by the bullies when she wanted to help look for the drone, the kids soon find themselves involved in the adventure of a lifetime. They find....The Darkdeep! (que ominous music stab here). I love this book! It reminds me of so many awesome kid's adventure stories I have enjoyed -- Goonies, Gremlins, Stand By Me, Stranger Things, and most recently The Rim of the World (great movie streamable on Netflix!). The story is middle grade appropriate, but enjoyable for adults, too. It was a total binge read for me. I couldn't stop reading! The Darkdeep would be a great story to read out loud to kids at bedtime or to a classroom of students. It's suspenseful, but not scary. Plus, it has plenty of potential for writing prompts, activities, discussion and other classroom applications. The Darkdeep is the first book in this series. The second book, The Beast, will be published in October 2019. I can't wait!! This is the first book I have read by either of these YA co-authors. I have always been curious about the Virals series that Brendan wrote with his mother, Author Kathy Reichs. After reading The Darkdeep, I will definitely try other books written by these two authors!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    There have been some amazing middle grade books this year and The Darkdeep is another one. Nico, Tyler, and Ella are friends.  Nico's dad caused some issues in town while trying to protect the owls.  Because of that, a lot of people were laid off work and they blame him for it.  Logan's dad runs the big company that was hurt by this.  He bullies Nico a lot, mostly because of that.  While out flying a drone by the cliffs of Still Cove, Logan and his friends show up and start harassing them.  He fl There have been some amazing middle grade books this year and The Darkdeep is another one. Nico, Tyler, and Ella are friends.  Nico's dad caused some issues in town while trying to protect the owls.  Because of that, a lot of people were laid off work and they blame him for it.  Logan's dad runs the big company that was hurt by this.  He bullies Nico a lot, mostly because of that.  While out flying a drone by the cliffs of Still Cove, Logan and his friends show up and start harassing them.  He flies Nico's drone into the fog and into the cove.  Nico gets close to the edge and falls over. Opal was with Logan, but left to go back and check on her old friend, Nico.  She and the others decide to find a way down to find him.  They find a cave with a rowboat and take it out on the water.  They find an island with a weird houseboat and pond.  Luckily Nico is there and isn't hurt.  So the four of them decide to check out he houseboat.  Inside, they find all kinds of odd things, including a basement.  Obviously that seems odd for a houseboat, so they go down there.  What they find is a weird well of water that is swirling constantly.   Ella decides to put her foot in the water and it grabs her and drags her under.  She somehow comes up outside the houseboat.  After she does, a weird animal appears.  It was her make believe friend from when she was younger.  The kids realize that the Darkdeep can bring up figments.  But the figments start getting stronger and they have to find a way to save the town. I loved the friendships in this book.  That stood out more than anything.  These kids love each other and have such an incredible bond.  I also loved the creepy vibes and all the weird creatures that kept appearing.  The cave, tunnel, and "treasures" they found were so interesting, too.  I really enjoyed this and can't wait to read the second book.  I gave this one 4  1/2 stars (rounded up to 5).  Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for my copy for review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    We read this book together after seeing Ally Condie at an event at our local bookstore. I worried it might be too scary for the kids, but they never got all that scared. There were definitely some tense chapters, and once I think they *might* have been more scared than they let on. The kids like action-packed books and this one fit the bill for them. It's definitely not the most complex plot or characters we've come across, but the kids were always happy to sit down and read a few chapters, whic We read this book together after seeing Ally Condie at an event at our local bookstore. I worried it might be too scary for the kids, but they never got all that scared. There were definitely some tense chapters, and once I think they *might* have been more scared than they let on. The kids like action-packed books and this one fit the bill for them. It's definitely not the most complex plot or characters we've come across, but the kids were always happy to sit down and read a few chapters, which is what we're looking for. It was also a nice change-up from our usual books. The kids are hoping there's a sequel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    This book was a fun and eerie middle grade adventure that made me nostalgic for my youth by reminding me of the times I spent reading Goosebumps as a kid. Actually, I feel like there was a lot of spooky series’ that I read in the nighties/early millennium! This was a quick, fun imaginative adventure which at the core is also about friendship and facing fears. Important messages were told in a casual way which had the effect of keeping that topic important but also not adding an additional “chees This book was a fun and eerie middle grade adventure that made me nostalgic for my youth by reminding me of the times I spent reading Goosebumps as a kid. Actually, I feel like there was a lot of spooky series’ that I read in the nighties/early millennium! This was a quick, fun imaginative adventure which at the core is also about friendship and facing fears. Important messages were told in a casual way which had the effect of keeping that topic important but also not adding an additional “cheese” factor. After reading this first book in a new series, I felt that it was a great introduction and I’m interested to see where the series continues. I wonder what the next creepy thing will be of if the Darkdeep will be seen again. ***Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Creepy dark fantasy (but not too dark, as it is middle grade) about a group of friends . . . and frenemies . . . who find a strange, secret spot outside of town. Is it magic, is it a hallucination? Is it pure evil and they SHOULDN'T BE TOUCHING IT?! (Mom instincts kicking in, there!) Really nice set up for a series, and enough humor to leaven the creepiness, but I wouldn't give it to an overly sensitive child (if they're scared of the recent Goosebumps or House With A Clock In Its Walls movies, Creepy dark fantasy (but not too dark, as it is middle grade) about a group of friends . . . and frenemies . . . who find a strange, secret spot outside of town. Is it magic, is it a hallucination? Is it pure evil and they SHOULDN'T BE TOUCHING IT?! (Mom instincts kicking in, there!) Really nice set up for a series, and enough humor to leaven the creepiness, but I wouldn't give it to an overly sensitive child (if they're scared of the recent Goosebumps or House With A Clock In Its Walls movies, this is not the book for them!). I did feel, as an adult reader (kids may think different) that it was too short, and stuff happened too fast for me to really savor it. I'm hoping the sequel gives me more, more, MORE!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emilie Haney

    What a ride! I really enjoyed this relatively fast-paced MG that will be hitting the shelves this fall (October 2) in perfect time for Halloween. I definitely felt like it was Stranger Things meets middle grade, but am hesitant to say that I’d recommend it to kids any younger than 10. While it has a strong message of over coming fear (something I thought was great) it could prove to be a little much for readers with a vivid imagination. I loved the interplay between the original core group of fo What a ride! I really enjoyed this relatively fast-paced MG that will be hitting the shelves this fall (October 2) in perfect time for Halloween. I definitely felt like it was Stranger Things meets middle grade, but am hesitant to say that I’d recommend it to kids any younger than 10. While it has a strong message of over coming fear (something I thought was great) it could prove to be a little much for readers with a vivid imagination. I loved the interplay between the original core group of four friends and the addition (no spoilers) here and how Condie and Reichs really pulled out some great lessons about friendship, bullying, and the power of fear. I’d recommend that parents who aren’t sure how their child might react to the slightly darker themes of this book read it first so they can have a conversation with their child during/after reading it. All in all, I’d recommend it to mature MG readers who like adventure with a side of creepy!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Nico, Opal, Emma and Tyler stumble upon a mysterious houseboat in the middle of Still Cove (thought to be haunted). The houseboat contains all kinds of interesting trinkets, but it is what is below the houseboat that is the most interesting - (view spoiler)[ a swirling black pool. Emma is pulled into "the Darkdeep". When she emerges, she is joined by a "figment" of her imagination. The kids then start jumping into the Darkdeep just to see what figments they can create, that is until the figments Nico, Opal, Emma and Tyler stumble upon a mysterious houseboat in the middle of Still Cove (thought to be haunted). The houseboat contains all kinds of interesting trinkets, but it is what is below the houseboat that is the most interesting - (view spoiler)[ a swirling black pool. Emma is pulled into "the Darkdeep". When she emerges, she is joined by a "figment" of her imagination. The kids then start jumping into the Darkdeep just to see what figments they can create, that is until the figments start getting stronger, lasting longer, and begin to be scary and malicious. The figments also manage to escape the cove. In order to save their town, the kids must face their fears and put the magic of the Darkdeep back to rest. (hide spoiler)] I read this book to preview it for our (K-8) school library. It is clearly a middle school book, but the librarian wanted to know how scary it was to determine the appropriate grade level. The book is dark but not graphic in any way. Personally, I think a 5th grader could easily handle it. As for the other stuff I normally look for in my previews - the hormone level is "crushes" at best. There are a few times when Nico is inexplicably jealous and gives Opal strange looks, but there really isn't even a mention of feelings and no kissing. Language - "jerk" is the worst word used. No other bad language. Violence - Hmm, some of the figments do attack the kids, but no blood is spilled. There is a bit of bullying that occurs between Nico and another boy from town, but it ends up resolved at the end.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kath (Read Forevermore)

    An arc of this book was sent to me by Bloomsbury in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The Darkdeep is a perfectly fast paced middle grade story that is full of friendship and adventure mixed with spooky. Super fun to read with a good amount of suspense. Although I have to admit it was a bit slow at the beginning, halfway through the book, it just picks up and the ending was just GREAT! I love the original plot ideas and plot twists! Definitely a good book to read with H An arc of this book was sent to me by Bloomsbury in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The Darkdeep is a perfectly fast paced middle grade story that is full of friendship and adventure mixed with spooky. Super fun to read with a good amount of suspense. Although I have to admit it was a bit slow at the beginning, halfway through the book, it just picks up and the ending was just GREAT! I love the original plot ideas and plot twists! Definitely a good book to read with Halloween coming up soon. This book is absolutely perfect for younger readers.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mehsi

    4 kids find something spooky in the nearby cove, sadly silly drama make the book less fun. I have been meaning to read this one for a while and then I had the luck to find the book for quite cheap and in English somewhere. I could finally read it! This started off as 4.5, then we got so much unnecessary drama/bitching between Nico and Opal which continued for wayyy too long so 4 stars, then Logan was suddenly added to the Darkdeep business and things got weird and so 3.5 stars and with how things 4 kids find something spooky in the nearby cove, sadly silly drama make the book less fun. I have been meaning to read this one for a while and then I had the luck to find the book for quite cheap and in English somewhere. I could finally read it! This started off as 4.5, then we got so much unnecessary drama/bitching between Nico and Opal which continued for wayyy too long so 4 stars, then Logan was suddenly added to the Darkdeep business and things got weird and so 3.5 stars and with how things went afterwards.. 3 stars. Sadly, that means that this book is going to be donated or put in a mini library. I would have loved to keep this one. I will write a good/not so good review: -I really liked the Darkdeep and what happened when you went into it. It seems like quite a fun ride.. well at first at least. -The figments were a bit hit and miss but I did like when they went fully out of hand and got quite creepy (though some figments I just couldn't see as creepy). Plus, I like the idea that figments/fears can come to life and have a frolick around earth. -The houseboat and what it contained. Though we don't see a lot of it as the kids mostly keep to a couple of rooms, it was still interesting and I would love to explore it and catalogue all the stuff that is in it. There is so much and I am curious about all of them. What is their history. -We find out about guardians who keep the Darkdeep in check and I loved the idea that there were doing this. I wonder how people are selected though and how they kept it going. -Tyler was the only one with a brain. Or well a common sense. Whereas everyone else was mostly like let's do this and go for it... he actually thought it over and decided it may not be a good idea. -The cover. I just love it to bits! -I also liked the idea of the Radish Festival. That is pretty nice, though a bit cringy because it is a radish. :P Not so good: -The whole drama and stupid stuff between Opal and Logan and Nico. Really, I was just rolling my eyes at all the stupidity and arguments that went between them. Nico especially was just a dick. I thought he was way worse than Logan. Yes, Logan is a bully, but Nico is just a dick. Constantly being dismissive and untrusting of Opal who is just helping him and protecting him. Yes, at times she wasn't doing it right, but hello she is like 12? -The horror. I thought it would get more creepy, but instead it was mostly just silly and nonsense. -Emma. My lord that girl was definitely not first in the common sense/brain department when those were handed out. She endangers her friends but instead of seeing that the Darkdeep is dangerous she is just freaking pouting all the time that she can't create more figments... What the hell girl? -The truth about the house/the guardians. It took till almost all the end until we FINALLY get some more information that would have been nice to have in the middle of the book. Now it was just too late for me. -The ending was also a bit too open for me, I get there is a second book, but eh. -How the kids thought it was a good idea to leave tracks that they were there during that moment of chaos. They should have known it would come back biting them in the ass. -How everyone was acting towards Nico. I can imagine them being unhappy about Nico's dad and what he did for the jobs due to the owls... but being rude towards a kid? How can you? -Logan got on my nerves. At times he showed he had a good and sweet side, but mostly I just wanted to have the Darkdeep eat him. All in all, sadly I won't be reading the second book, unless I get it for free. :P Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joanna (BookandPages)

    I'm giving this a 3/5 stars today, but I think that may be higher if I read it again. I don't really know how to feel about this yet. I was slightly bored about half way in. It started to get a little repetitive. But I did stick it out, and I loved the last 30%. It was so good. I've never seen Stranger Things, so I couldn't say if it compares, but it gave me major Scooby Doo vibes. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm excited to recommend it to people at the bookstore I work at. This may be a mid I'm giving this a 3/5 stars today, but I think that may be higher if I read it again. I don't really know how to feel about this yet. I was slightly bored about half way in. It started to get a little repetitive. But I did stick it out, and I loved the last 30%. It was so good. I've never seen Stranger Things, so I couldn't say if it compares, but it gave me major Scooby Doo vibes. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm excited to recommend it to people at the bookstore I work at. This may be a middle grade, but the end got a bit scary for sensitive kids.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Goicea

    I received an ARC of this book in a giveaway. Note that anything quoted may not match the finished publication. Content Warning: Death, Injury, Fighting, Bullying The pool was the darkest thing she’d ever seen. And it was deep. I think the older I get, the more I appreciate the Middle Grade genre. Granted, I’m not old in some people’s opinion. What I feel like I never outgrow are the simplistic lessons many Middle Grade books have to offer--The Darkdeep being one of them. Essentially, The Darkd I received an ARC of this book in a giveaway. Note that anything quoted may not match the finished publication. Content Warning: Death, Injury, Fighting, Bullying The pool was the darkest thing she’d ever seen. And it was deep. I think the older I get, the more I appreciate the Middle Grade genre. Granted, I’m not old in some people’s opinion. What I feel like I never outgrow are the simplistic lessons many Middle Grade books have to offer--The Darkdeep being one of them. Essentially, The Darkdeep is about a group of kids coming together to overcome their differences, and ultimately, their fear. He’d never felt so powerless inside the Darkdeep. So small and insignificant. I don’t know about you, but I will never lose my appreciation for a story that discusses real-life matters that are applicable to any-aged reader. The Darkdeep may be more geared towards the older Middle Grade reader and up, as it does contain some eerie and scary elements, but it is applicable to many. In a world that has so many facets that are larger an individual, teamwork, and coming together, can change the outcome in an instant. Another point I love about this novel is that it is a story that is enjoyable, easy to read, impactful, and has many of the qualities I look for in a good book. The concept is creative, and kept me wanting to know more about the plot the entire way through. The characters, Nico, Opal, Ella, Tyler, and Logan all have individual personalities, and are relatable to the majority of readers. Each character has something that they struggle with, and ultimately have to overcome those fears in the end in order to defeat the Darkdeep. I think a story like this has a good takeaway, and I’m looking forward to reading more in The Beast. Vulgarity: None. Sexual content: None. Violence: Moderate for this genre, as it does focus on some aspects that may be more dark in comparison to others in this genre. My Rating: ★★★★ My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ PinterestFacebook

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ross

    I liked the premise of this book fine, but that's pretty much where it ended. I think four kids finding a secret place with a secret evil presence is pretty cool. The descriptions of the creatures as well as the ways that they eventually manifest themselves are not cool. They're uninspired, lazy and truncated. The writing style used is a textbook example of surface skimming, using as few words as possible to describe what actions the characters are doing and what the creatures look like. It's like I liked the premise of this book fine, but that's pretty much where it ended. I think four kids finding a secret place with a secret evil presence is pretty cool. The descriptions of the creatures as well as the ways that they eventually manifest themselves are not cool. They're uninspired, lazy and truncated. The writing style used is a textbook example of surface skimming, using as few words as possible to describe what actions the characters are doing and what the creatures look like. It's like Ernest Hemingway's ghost possessed the author(s) and then suddenly forgot its vast vocabulary but still chose to write using Minimalism. The style is choppy, awkward and just plain not enjoyable to read. I only wish there was a movie from the '80s or a TV show on Netflix with a similar premise . . .

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    A comment on the ARC read "Stranger Things meets The Goonies." Love both the series and the movie. While this book is not as intense or scary, I see the similarities. That being said I found this an enjoyable read, and excellent start to the series. Any fan of Strangers Things and The Goonies will enjoy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stars Above Jess

    Such a fun middle grade! It was like Stranger Things mixed with The Goonies.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Halley Nisleit

    I was enjoying it, I was, but then I forgot I was reading a middle grade and the enjoyment kinda dwindled. I wanted creepy sea monster vibes but I got power rangers and tinker bell and a lot of unanswered questions. I know there is a sequel but I wanted some satisfaction in the end and I feel like I barley got any. I don’t know if I’ll continue on. It kind of disappointed me but I also don’t read much middle grade so that might be a fault on my end.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily Forsyth

    This was GREAT if you love IT and the losers club or the kids from stranger things and you’re looking for a “kids ride bikes around town and fight an evil entity while also being adorable and having cute friendship stuff and cute crushes happen, but also it’s actually pretty spooky” type book then this is for you! I basically loved everything about it except that it’s too short, but luckily book two is out so I can go read that now

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    A good read for some mild spooky vibes around Halloween! I do wish the secondary characters had been a bit more defined, but overall an enjoyable and sufficiently unsettling read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Clare Lund

    Meh. Interesting premise, but I just couldn’t get into it. Ages 12 and up.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Hey Marketing Department, You got me with the “Move over, Stranger Things” review. As a result, I'm judging this more harshly. You got nothing on Stranger Things. (It was ok.)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    If I were younger, I would have enjoyed this more but I will read anything Ally Condie comes out with!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries to retrieve it despite the warnings of his friends Emma and Tyler. Of course, the rescue doesn't go well, but the three discover a weird houseboat and island in the middle of the cove (which sounds sort of like a flooded quarry to me). This, of course, has to be investigated, and along with Opal (Logan's girlfriend, who thinks he is overly mean to N E ARC from Edelweiss Plus When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries to retrieve it despite the warnings of his friends Emma and Tyler. Of course, the rescue doesn't go well, but the three discover a weird houseboat and island in the middle of the cove (which sounds sort of like a flooded quarry to me). This, of course, has to be investigated, and along with Opal (Logan's girlfriend, who thinks he is overly mean to Nico) they spend some time cataloging the creepy items and checking out the pond in the middle of the island that is especially alarming. When Emma dips her toes into the "Darkdeep", it sucks her under the waters. Luckily, she emerges, but so does the embodiment of her worst fears. As the group continues to return, more and more creatures are brought to life. Logan's father's logging business has been negatively impacted by Nico's father's work protecting an endangered owl in the area, and since jobs have been lost, the townspeople aren't overly keen on Nico. Logan's father works behind the scenes to get Nico's father transferred, which is certainly upsetting. At the same time, the town is preparing for the Radish Festival, and the children get drawn into this as well. They are getting closer to figuring out some of the mysteries of the Darkdeep, but will the monsters break away from Still Cove? Strengths: Nicely creepy, with fairly scary monsters and the overwhelming feeling that at some point, someone will get sucked into the Darkdeep and not come out. Condie's Matched is very popular in my library, so her fans will check it out, and readers who enjoyed Neal Shusterman's dark tales or McHale's Morpheus Road Trilogy will enjoy it as well. Weaknesses: Paranormal forces preying on people's worst fears has been done a few times, most notably Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962) and Shusterman's Full Tilt (2003). Of course, the target demographic has probably not read those. What I really think: Will definitely purchase, although for some reason, this didn't seem at all scary to me. On the bright side, I usually can't stand books where there is an overwhelming feeling of damp and decay, and I was able to get through this!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I think this is the one book I cringed at a wonderful Godzilla reference instead of rejoicing. This was...middle grade trying to be too much middle grade? Like, I felt it was like IMMA BE AS MIDDLE GRADE AS I CAN AND CRAM IT ALL INTO THIS LITTLE MIDDLE GRADE BOOK. I've been reading a lot of middle grade for the past year, and I've really found some amazing gems. Obviously, I know I'm past the age of middle grade, but I have found that good writing and a good plot can totally transcend age gap. H I think this is the one book I cringed at a wonderful Godzilla reference instead of rejoicing. This was...middle grade trying to be too much middle grade? Like, I felt it was like IMMA BE AS MIDDLE GRADE AS I CAN AND CRAM IT ALL INTO THIS LITTLE MIDDLE GRADE BOOK. I've been reading a lot of middle grade for the past year, and I've really found some amazing gems. Obviously, I know I'm past the age of middle grade, but I have found that good writing and a good plot can totally transcend age gap. However, I felt like this book was trying really really hard to be middle grade, and it just felt awkward and weird. Like, everything just felt a little lame and meh? I mean, there was literally a giant shimmering purple bear that was supposed to be scary??? That was another issue I had with this book. It was set up to be a horror/creepy fantasy novel, but yet, most of the "scary" things were kind of awkwardly funny? I mean, idk, was I supposed to be scared of the Elf on the Shelf??? All of the "figments" that would pop up were random and not at all scary - even for kid me. I would have loved to see a Power Ranger and Sasquatch pop up. Besides those major issues, I wasn't a fan of the writing or the characters. They just felt super meh. And I didn't fully get the world at times. Eh, I just wasn't feeling this one at all, and I really was hoping for a great spooky MG read. 1 crown and a Merida rating!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dena (Batch of Books)

    I bought this book when the authors came to a book festival in my town. I took my kids and we got our book signed (they're both so nice and funny! Ally is very sweet and Brendan made my kids laugh.) Since we met the authors, my nine-year-old daughter decided she wanted to be brave and read this spooky book with me. So I read it aloud to her. Ally and Brendan mentioned that it is like Stranger Things meets The Goonies, and that's a pretty accurate description. It's about a group of friends who fin I bought this book when the authors came to a book festival in my town. I took my kids and we got our book signed (they're both so nice and funny! Ally is very sweet and Brendan made my kids laugh.) Since we met the authors, my nine-year-old daughter decided she wanted to be brave and read this spooky book with me. So I read it aloud to her. Ally and Brendan mentioned that it is like Stranger Things meets The Goonies, and that's a pretty accurate description. It's about a group of friends who find an abandoned houseboat on a secret island shrouded in mist. And in the basement of the houseboat (you read that right--basement), they find something that is both terrible and wonderful. It's such a unique story. I've never read anything like it before. It was so much fun to read with my kids and they loved every page of it. It was so intense in some areas that my girls would beg for me to read one more chapter. And then one more. I would eventually have to cut them off because it got so late and they needed to go to sleep. If your kids like scary books, funny books, or stories loaded with adventure and action, they'll love this book! We've already pre-ordered the second book and my kids are counting down the weeks until it arrives. Content: Spooky scenes and action. Movie rating would be PG (think The House with a Clock in its Walls).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs, 272 pages. Bloomsbury, October 2018. $17. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH When Timber’s resident bullies send Nico’s drone off the cliff into perpetually foggy Still Cove, Nico is desperate to get his very expensive drone back. When he braves the cliff, he falls and his friends follow Opal, who used to be Nico’s friend, over the edge to rescue him. What they all find, however, is mu The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs, 272 pages. Bloomsbury, October 2018. $17. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH When Timber’s resident bullies send Nico’s drone off the cliff into perpetually foggy Still Cove, Nico is desperate to get his very expensive drone back. When he braves the cliff, he falls and his friends follow Opal, who used to be Nico’s friend, over the edge to rescue him. What they all find, however, is much more mysterious – a hidden island, with a central lake and a decrepit houseboat. Even weirder, at the bottom of the houseboat is a slowly stirring pool. When Emma touches it the strangeness factor goes through the roof! I don’t think you need to compare this to Stranger Things to get kids excited about this book. They already like creepy, scary things, so they will be drawn in. A good alternative to Goosebumps, with much better storytelling and a sequel, I am sure, is on its way. Cindy, Middle School Librarian https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2018...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    this seems possibly too terrifying for this age group? but it is a thrill ride of fun and super cthulu lurking around every corner. seriously when the lovecraft mystery rears its head and their joint consensus is, "we need to research and read!", I laughed pretty hard. RPG Call of Cthulu has library use as one of the primary skill areas so this is very appropriate. basically, a story of a bunch of 12 year olds in a tiny town in Washington state finding a mysterious island with a bizarre, paranorm this seems possibly too terrifying for this age group? but it is a thrill ride of fun and super cthulu lurking around every corner. seriously when the lovecraft mystery rears its head and their joint consensus is, "we need to research and read!", I laughed pretty hard. RPG Call of Cthulu has library use as one of the primary skill areas so this is very appropriate. basically, a story of a bunch of 12 year olds in a tiny town in Washington state finding a mysterious island with a bizarre, paranormal event horizon and then hypothesizing, testing, and researching. great main characters, gripping action (like you are honestly concerned most of the book that someone is about to die), and nice lessons on friendship. could use some more backstory on their families and the town and what exactly is going on, but that might come in the next book. I would hesitantly suggest this for 10 year olds, seems more like a 12-14 crowd-pleaser. (it really is kind of scary!)

  29. 4 out of 5

    J.S.

    Nico and his friends are out testing his brand new quadcopter drone - which he's spent all the money he had to build - when a group of bullies shows up. After one of the bullies pilots the drone into the fog, Nico goes out on a ledge (literally) to try and get it back, but ends up falling into a mystery. The kids find a magical houseboat on an island with a strange swirling well inside it. But what starts out as fun exploring the mysteries soon becomes a menace that threatens not only themselves Nico and his friends are out testing his brand new quadcopter drone - which he's spent all the money he had to build - when a group of bullies shows up. After one of the bullies pilots the drone into the fog, Nico goes out on a ledge (literally) to try and get it back, but ends up falling into a mystery. The kids find a magical houseboat on an island with a strange swirling well inside it. But what starts out as fun exploring the mysteries soon becomes a menace that threatens not only themselves but the town they live in. The Darkdeep is a decent middle-grade novel of kids and friendship as they have to band together and face their fears. I think the comparisons to "Stranger Things" are a bit much, however, as this seems kind of formulaic and lacks the magic I think the television series has. But that's not to say this isn't a fun read - and I'm sure middle-grade readers will enjoy it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tara (Spinatale Reviews)

    The Darkdeep was so perfect for a Halloween/fall read! I loved that it had a spooky and slightly creepy atmosphere but never got scary. Even middle grade me would have been okay with this one and I had zero tolerance for scary things. I think this would be perfect to get for the middle grader in your life! It covers a lot of important topics such as bullying, empathy, and overcoming fear. The friendships in it were wonderful and I loved seeing how they grew and developed over the course of the bo The Darkdeep was so perfect for a Halloween/fall read! I loved that it had a spooky and slightly creepy atmosphere but never got scary. Even middle grade me would have been okay with this one and I had zero tolerance for scary things. I think this would be perfect to get for the middle grader in your life! It covers a lot of important topics such as bullying, empathy, and overcoming fear. The friendships in it were wonderful and I loved seeing how they grew and developed over the course of the book. Plus it’s a lot of fun to read and the pacing was excellent! *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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