Book Review: A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger


When Claire Mallory’s father leaves, her mom moves them to a new town and into a dilapidated Victorian house.

The old house creaks and whistles, and smells well — like it’s been abandoned for years. But as the nights grow longer and the shadows take on substance, Claire wonders if the strange sounds and occurrences might be more than the house showing its age.

Just as things start to pick up in Claire’s love life, her mother becomes possessed. In an attempt to save her mother and their new home, Claire enlists the help of two boys, each of whom is interested in Claire for different reasons. As she chooses one boy over the other, something dangerous is unleashed, and the spirits make their move.

They aren’t content to moan and scream inside Claire’s house, or even control her mom. They want a taste of freedom, and she’s their key to getting it. But is Claire strong enough to fight off the evil spirits, or will they claim her and her mom before it’s all over?


 Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and the Virginia Writer’s Club. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

 My Review:

Spirits and ghosts never fail to fascinate me in stories. They are one of the few paranormal entities that are both possible and persistently scare the crap out of me! I used to love ghost stories when I was kid, but not so much when my imagination started rolling them round in my mind in the middle of the night!

This is YA, so not as scary as an adult horror would be, so hit a nice middle ground to be intriguing but not something that stops you turning the light off!

From a writer’s perspective, I found Claire’s voice a little muddled at times. I’m not sure if this was down to a character trait (as it was written first person) or down to the general voice of the author. There were quite a few punctuation errors in there too – now I’m not the be all and end all expert on this matter and some of them might have been down to personal taste, but there were quite a few sentences (especially in the beginning) that were missing commas. Now, this might be more to do with the fact I was given an Advanced Reader Copy – so the final version might prove a little less muddled and with a few more little black wiggles where they are supposed to be.

The story itself was interesting, but the YA aspect again was quite predictable and followed that old tried and tested love triangle, protagonist specialness – which although works, is getting a bit tiresome for me personal. To be honest though, I’m not a teen readers – so not really the target market for this book.

The front cover is beautiful. Month9 seem to always produce fantastic covers and really promote their books – so two spectral thumbs up for that.

Overall, I’d give Whispers 3 out of 5 stars for an adult reader and 4 out of 5 for a teen. A perfect read for a Halloween night.




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