Only In Darkness
Publication date: March 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
Based on ancient Mayan mythology comes a story of bloodlust, love and the horrors of coming of age.
In ancient Central America, the legend of the Camazotz: large, bat-like creatures that desire blood and terrorize the villages in search of prey. When the volcano, Masaya, erupts and kills the tribe from which the Camazotz are from, they discover a miracle ash in the ruins.
Years later in present-day eastern Idaho, 17-year-old Emilio Chavez lives in an isolated area near the lava rock cliffs of the American Falls reservoir. From birth, he has been different. After Emilio’s friend Clara falls victim to a terrible accident, suspicions about Emilio arise, and he discovers an astonishing secret about his past.
As a sinister force tightens its grip on Clara, can Milo save her from those searching for blood while keeping his own internal demons at bay?
I stand looking off the cliff at the raging river and jagged boulders below. I’m going to jump–or rather let myself give in to it and just fall–that I know. What I don’t know is what will happen next. There are two ways it will end, and the more I think about it, the more trouble I have deciding which result will be worse. Often, it’s the not knowing that makes life hell. I’ve been in the dark and unaware for so many years. Now I know what I am. But it is the unknown of what that fate holds for me, should I survive, that makes me shudder.
I’ve lost my family, my friends, and everything I’ve ever known, and still, someone, or something, is out there hunting me down like an animal, trying to take what has completely altered my life. The only thing I do know is I’m going to take the leap. It will be a rush for a few seconds, and then I will hit the rocks and hopefully die instantly or–and this is what I can’t fathom–if what they say is true, my back will explode, and I will transform into what my grandmother and the others of the tribe call the winged ones.
Compelling, original, dark, but full of hope…Loved it!
As this was my first book by Brenda Stanley, I wasn’t familiar with her writing style and was pleasantly surprised. The book was absolutely gripping, very easy to get into and impossible to put down.
I don’t always enjoy double timelines and this one had two main ones and a few scenes from about fifty years ago, but in this narrative it worked really well- Huna’s story was entertaining on its own and, then, of course, you just start creating theories on how it all relates to Milo and Clara’s story.
The cover is very dark and atmospheric and makes you think that the book is going to be in the horror genre. I’d probably classify it as a paranormal thriller, rather than horror. It is clean and has a clear message that good and selfless should always prevail over evil and greedy.
I would definitely recommend it and would love to read more from this author.
Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
4.5 rounded up
Brenda Stanley is a former television news anchor and investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate in Eastern Idaho. She has been recognized for her writing by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Hearst Journalism Awards, The Idaho Press Club and the Society for Professional Journalists. She is a graduate of Dixie College in St. George, Utah and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She is the mother of 5 children, including two sets of twins. Brenda and her husband Dave, a veterinarian, live on a small ranch near the Snake River with their horses and dogs.