The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

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My initial thoughts when seeing this blurb was “Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity? Don’t mind if I do!” Despite being a paranormal skeptic, I cannot get enough of ghost stories; however, The Dark Beneath the Ice missed the mark for me. Drawn in by the premise of missing time and paranormal activity, these elements are very much there but to me that wasn’t the main focus of the story. It is as much of a family drama about the breakdown of a family and the struggles of divorce on a family as it is a supernatural story.

The silence still clings to me. If I close my eyes it’s there waiting for me, filling my mouth, heavy as water. Ready to swallow me again.

The opening lines captivated me straight away, and it is clear that Bérubé is a talented writer who has a poetic way with words. Unfortunately the initial hook of the book loosened its grip on me and I found the prose almost distracting at times. I found the narrative stilted in a way and slow to get started, full of a lot of back history that I honestly didn’t care about.

There is something about the writing style that didn’t work for me that I am not able to put my finger on. Typically I love a first-person narrative in thrillers/paranormal books, but it just didn’t work for me here. Perhaps because of the family drama? Or the fact that the spooky bits I was looking forward to didn’t really get started until much later in the book? I think the blurb had me expecting more of a psychological thriller than a family drama with spooky elements. The ending left me a bit unfulfilled, but I did appreciate the queer rep present in this book.

This book just wasn’t for me but I think that those who enjoy family centered drama with supernatural elements could enjoy this book.

Electronic ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. You can find information about my rating criteria here.Quotations taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon final publication. Dark Beneath the Ice is available now. 


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Hi! I’m Kaleena: book lover, runner, wanderer, and philanthropist. Life is an adventurous gift: through the outdoors and books. I run Reader Voracious Blog, where I post spoiler-free book reviews of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and mystery & thriller.

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