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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  528 ratings  ·  108 reviews
A castle. A curse. A dangerous summer.

Leo has invited Kate and a few friends to spend the summer at his inheritance, Darkmere Castle: as wild and remote as it is beautiful. Kate thinks it will be the perfect place for her and Leo to get together - but instead, she's drawn into the dark story of a young nineteenth-century bride who haunts the tunnels and towers of the house
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 6th 2015 by Chicken House
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  528 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Cora Tea Party Princess
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 Words: Romance, history, partying, summer, horror.

I think I am currently suffering my worst book hangover this year.

This book is all kinds of amazing and exactly what UKYA should be. It really was quite exceptional.

When I first saw Darkmere and read the blurb, I wasn't too fussed. But hey, it's UKYA and it was buy one get one half price at Waterstones and I already had another book in my hand... So I bought it (turns out I got it on release day) and it sat on my shelf at my OH's place. Luckily
Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice)
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Darkmere was the YA Book Club pick of the month for May. Having been overall disappointed with a few books that have been selected to read for the club so far this year, I wanted Darkmere to provide a story that not only left an impact, it would leave me wanting m
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

This book was just wow! I don't think there's any other way to describe it. After seeing it being hyped up all over twitter, by reviewers whose judgement I trust, I just had to request it. Thank you so much, again, Chicken House books, for allowing me the opportunity to read it!

Darkmere is a dual PoV book, covering both the modern day and 1825 The two protagonists, Kate and Elinor, both had extremely distinc
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was such a great read and a lot creepier than I had expected, (although I'm not 100% whether that was because I read this whole book in the dark, on my own at 3am...) It had such a fantastic gothic feel to it, even during the chapters it was set in the present! I found it really interesting to read from the 1800's and how women were treated and what was expected from them e.g. in marriage. I also loved when the parallels between the two POV's, past and present, became apparent! I wasn't the ...more
Chelley Toy
This review was originally posted on

I have been looking forward to this book for a very very VERY long time!

Since blogging I have met some wonderful lovely genuine people. One of those people is the lovely Helen Maslin author of this wonderful book! After bonding over twitter and meeting up in real life I can honestly say that I feel honoured and very proud to know Helen and her family and have her in both my life and my families life. I think Helen will agree that we
Helen Maslin
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I worked hard on this so I really hope you like it x
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: This book is absolutely amazing.

It's been a year since I first read it, and I've been itching to pick this book up again. It was my absolute favourite book last year. So I finally put every other book aside and read it again and OH MY GOD it was even better than I remembered.

So this is just going to be me gushing about this book. And throwing it at everyone in sight because everyone has to read it. EVERYONE.

And in the spirit of PUSHING THE BOOK ON EVERYONE EVER, there is a giveaway on m
3.5 stars.

This book is told in two alternating perspectives:
1. Kate, 21st century girl. Massive crush on the most popular boy in school, Leo. (Yes, Kate and Leo. Oh dear.) Leo invites her and a handful of others away for the summer holidays to the castle/historic home he just inherited. At first it's all drinking and shenanigans. Then weird shit starts happening and Leo starts acting........strangely.
2. Elinor, 19th century girl. Plain younger sister of renowned beauty who has to step into her
Oh my god. What an ending! My heart is still racing. What a spectacular book with incredible writing and characters! I WANT MORE.

Full review to come!
Beth Bonini
After inheriting Darkmere, a gothic castle with a legacy of killing off its male heirs, Leo Erskine invites a group of school "friends" to join him for a summer of revelry. Alcohol, drugs, dangerous dares: these are Leo's stock-in-trade. He is the coolest person because he always cares the least. Despite being emotionally callous to a psychopathic degree, he is one of those arch-manipulators who knows how to probe every weak spot. Rich, physically attractive, imposing and very devil-may-care, Le ...more
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
I’m loving the horror trend in UKYA at the moment and Darkmere was a summer release that I couldn’t wait to get my hand on! That cover and tagline was enough to sell me on it and Darkmere delivered that blend of summer contemporary and gothic horror story that I wanted from it.

The book is told in alternate chapters set in both the past and the present. It follows Kate in the modern day and Elinor in 1825 as they both come to spend time at Darkmere castle. Kate is spending her summer there with h
Kate Ormand
Leo inherits a remote castle and invites Kate and friends to join him there for the summer. With music, bonfires, and a private beach, it seems like the perfect getaway for the gang. But as Kate and the others explore the old haunted castle, they begin to uncover its dark secrets—a suicide, a curse, and a string of deaths and disappearances. The castle suddenly seems like a sinister place and their deadly destination may include a few uninvited guests . . .

The way this is written is so clever, t
Virginie (chouettblog)
It has been 3 whole days since I turned the last page on “Darkmere” and I have not been able to pick up another book since then. I thought I had hit a reading slump, but that’s not it at all. My mind is simply still in Darkmere roaming the rooms and corridors of this castle.

The dark tale starts two centuries ago and is told through the voice of Elinor, the younger of two sisters. Elinor is taken by a great sadness as she feels she is living the life of another.

In the present time, Kate also feel
I heard about Darkmere a while back and was looking forward to getting my hands on a copy for a while. It turns out it was a mixed bad for me and here's why.

Starting with the positive. I really enjoyed the historical parts of the novel. The story of Elinor really got to me. The sheer injustice of the existence she is forced to live because she is a girl and because her family want her to marry well made me angry. I really felt for her with every page and was fascinated by the world she lived in.
Dec 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Sadly, the book could not convince me. Anyone who read original Gothic novels before could foresee the story. But worse, the main characters were not very likeable nor did they evolve throughout the book. Their relationships towards each other were also very curious and some twists and turns were just thrown on the reader without proper introducton or through logical developement.
Michelle Moore
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Review to come..... But can safely say I LOVED this book!
Kyra (Blog of a Bookaholic)
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the book of the month we had to read for my book club and if it hadn't been for that, I don't think I would've picked this book up (I thought it was a horse book, don't ask me why but I just somehow had it stuck in my head that it was a book about horses hence I avoided it, don't even ask me how I reached that conclusion) and that saddens me. I don't generally review books that I haven't been sent to review but I haven't really seen this book around the blogosphere and it NEEDS more pub ...more
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
Loved this! Really captivating and emotional.

I absolutely loved Darkmere by Helen Maslin! I'd followed the author on Twitter for quite some time and because she's lovely I was, at first, a little bit nervous to start this book for that reason. There was no need to worry as I absolutely loved it. I thought Darkmere was really pacey and addictive as well as being quite emotional.

Darkmere tells the story of two girls separated in time by hundreds of years. The first, Kate, in the modern day has b
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-copy
I’ve been aware of the upcoming YA gothic thriller Darkmere for some time, but it wasn’t until last week that I read a review and looked properly at the synopsis. Immediately, I knew I needed to read this book! Darkmere promised all the things I love most: creepy castles, romance, ghosts, and curses. I felt as though Helen Maslin had snooped around in my brain and written a book just for me. So I was more than happy to be sent a review copy (thank you, Chicken House!).

The novel follows two narra
Cezara Corbu
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
(first of all - thanks, Cora, for sending me the book! I thoroughly enjoyed it.)

This is a YA contemporary novel and the writing style pretty much reflects that. There are two storylines with two main voices in this book: one of them comes from a character from the present day and the other one is from the 19th century. In spite of the time difference, the language both characters used was somewhat similar, which I thought sounded a bit inaccurate.
I don't usually read YA, but this book caught my
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book! Characters you can sympathise with: some you love, others not so much. Beautifully creepy without being morbid. More like this please!
Emma Ferrier
I wasn't sure what to expect of this book and I can't decide if I'm pleased or disappointed. Both, I guess.

In some ways, I wanted more from this. More mystery, more shocking reveals - and more answers. But equally I found myself pleasantly surprised.

We have a joint POV, one from nowadays with the new heir to Darkmere, and one back in the 1800s with the original mistress of the castle. I didn't expect to love the past POV as much as I did, but I really found myself enjoying it and I would have pr
Karen Barber
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly creepy read.
Kate has always had a fascination with rich boy, Leo Erskine. When he invites her to his castle for the summer she is thrilled. Only things don't go quite as she imagined.
Once the group arrive at this remote spot we start to alternate stories. Alongside our present, we learn about Elinor who was married into the St Cloud family. Told as alternating stories we slowly learn the truth about the castle, what it was used for and Leo's ancestors.
Confidently told. Atmospheric
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great read and got incredibly creepy by the end! The book is split between two time periods; Elinor who was the first mistress of Darkmere in Victorian times and Kate, who in modern day is visiting Darkmere with friends. This split gave the book extra depth and helped create a more creepy setting.
I gave it four stars in the end because I felt the beginning was a little slow. But, overall a brill read!!
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actually surprisingly well-written horror story! It’s a ghost story with two timelines; one is current, the other is when the “ghost” was alive in the 1800s. I liked the characters and I think the tension was very well done.
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Addictive UKYA urban thriller set in a spooky castle.

Originally posted on my blog Ashleigh Online

I’ve really started to enjoy reading YA thrillers again – they remind me of my teenage years when I was obsessed with Point Horror, particularly the amazing Richie Tankersley Cusick.

Darkmere is a good’un. You’ll join Kate as she explores an abandoned castle with no parents, leading to plenty of scares. It’s full of mystery and suspense and a large helping of twists but it adds an unusual blend of urb
Jessica O'Toole
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
It was almost pointless to read this. None of the story arcs or characters really, were strong enough to draw me in to give much of a damn, and many of them - such as the more interesting Elinor journey - were entirely unfulfilled.

It's pretty damn irritating when you get quite an marginally interesting lead up and then, knowingly, the author just decides not to tell you the out of 'mystery'. This book was not strong enough to justify this kind of pissing about - I want to know with certainty wha
Jessica Healy
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I wanted to like this just a *little* bit more. I kind of felt like it could have been just a little bit spookier, the characters just a little more fleshed out. Still, it was a fun read. Give me a bunch of teenagers in a remote location dealing with strange goings-on and I'm pretty much gonna be happy no matter what. I really enjoyed the alternating timelines. I am a fan of alternating timelines. ...more
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 out of 5 stars.

This book was spooky and dark and twisted. I loved each character - and loved to hate others - and found the writing in both time periods to be brilliant and poetic at times.

Some of the decisions made by certain characters didn't sit right with me at points because it didn't feel as though it was something they would do, but that didn't occur that often.

Over all, this was a good ghost story and had a pretty solid conclusion.
Check out my review of this book here:

Thank you! :)
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Bookreview- Lily O'Shea 1 2 Jun 25, 2017 07:23PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add details 3 22 Jul 07, 2015 08:24AM  

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Helen lives in Cheltenham with her husband and two sons.
Darkmere Summer is her first novel.
She has unnaturally red hair and thick spectacles.
She is generally described as 'arty'...and to be honest - sometimes as 'completely unreasonable'.
She writes because she wants to be Neil Gaiman. Or Sally Gardner. Or maybe Laini Taylor. Or E Lockhart would be good too!
Helen likes coffee and cake, Roy Lichten

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