I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton
Series: Mary Hades #1
on May 4th 2014
Source: the author
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Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager.
Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite…
Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement.
Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken?
The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single 'My Daylight Monsters'. A spine-tingling tale with romance, readers will be shocked and entertained in equal measure.
The minute I laid eyes on this cover, I knew I had to read it. Yes, I admit I’m a cover whore. I’m guilty of judging books by their cover. One very small problem in this case… I jumped to conclusions about this book, and ended up being thrown for a loop. When I first started reading, I was expecting a mature read, dark and creepy. And while this book does have its creep factor, it also has a playful lilt to it that I wasn’t prepared for.
Something else I wasn’t prepared for… Sarah Dalton is British. Obviously, the book takes place in England, but I wasn’t ready for the steady stream of unfamiliar terminology. What on earth does “gormless” mean, anyway? (You don’t have to look it up for me. Thanks anyway, but I already did.) There are also the quirky spelling differences, like “tyres” and “programme”. The real trouble is that I don’t know whether or not to put a maturity warning on this or not, for words like “tosspot”, “tossers” or “bint”. It did knock me out of the story once or twice, but as long as I read the story with a British accent, I got along alright. 😉
There were a few moments in this story that were definitely creepy. You can’t possibly beat the setting! First off, they’re in the middle of nowhere. Nothing for miles in any direction. No one to hear you scream… Second, there’s a carnival. YAY Creepy Carnies! Throw in a couple scenes of wandering around in the deserted moors at night, and you have a recipe for nightmares! The characters are a completely mixed bag, and yet they all worked really well together. I liked the chemistry between Mary and Seth, and the way the dynamic shifts when you throw Lacey into the middle. The “quirky gay Goth couple” didn’t exactly stand front and center but I have a sneaking suspicion that they’ll have a major role going into further books. And those Things Mary sees? I definitely need to know more about those!!!
I absolutely love where this is going as a series, and I was very excited to see that there are several other stories to dig into (all with exquisite covers, I might add)! I will recommend reading the prequel, My Daylight Monsters, before Mary Hades. I haven’t read it yet, but there are tons of spoilers in this book, and I would have preferred reading it right from the beginning with a fresh slate.