The Darkness of Water – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Matthew Neighbours

Questions and deep, dark secrets abound in Matthew Neighbours’ The Darkness of Water. This story encompasses the darker side of life for four individuals. James and Elena meet after she falls or jumps into the cold dark waters off a cliff in Alaska. George and Anna go through pure hell only to escape to Alaska believing, foolishly, their hellish life will become a peaceful one. Darkness and evil sets at the feet of all four of the unsuspecting characters.

Matthew Neighbours created a chilling and thrilling tale in the pages of The Darkness of Water. There is a good deal of secretiveness early on in the story and though that continues for most of the book, there comes a point where the direction of the story seems to completely shift. It is certainly an unexpected twist. Some may find it intriguing, but it almost seemed so out of context that it didn’t fit in smoothly. Perhaps an introduction including a background on Elena, as well as some background on Anna, could really benefit the story. With that kind of background, the The Darkness of Water would feel more cohesive.

A gripping tale from the first page, The Darkness of Water has the potential to create raving fans for Matthew Neighbours’ writing. Though there were a few issues with the pacing and plot, The Darkness of Water was written with the skillfullness to keep readers on the edge of their seats and turning pages with anxious curiosity. There’s no doubt that Matthew Neighbours has a creative mind and knows how to write an eerie tale that’ll not only make readers question their own thoughts and decisions, but they’ll be greatly anticipating a potential sequel.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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