The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

(Last Updated On: June 25, 2019)

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

About the Book

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire  |  Release Date: August 7, 2018  |  Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror  |  Format: eARC  |  Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Something is wrong with Marianne.

It’s not just that her parents have split up, or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close.

Something is after her. But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it think it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

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My Review

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 the 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. Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon final publication.

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!



  1. Beware Of The Reader

    September 16, 2018 at 7:57 AM

    Damn Kaleena! It’s the second or third review about this book that gives a low rating 🙁

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      September 17, 2018 at 7:28 AM

      I know and it makes me sad because I wanted to like it so much! Vicky really loved this one though, in case you want to see a positive review!

  2. Tammy

    September 16, 2018 at 7:58 AM

    Too bad this didn’t work better. The cover sure gives off a spooky paranormal vibe, I can see why you’d be disappointed.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      September 17, 2018 at 7:29 AM

      I think my expectations were just not met on this one – the comparison really did it no justice in my opinion. It’s a decent book with good mental health rep, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

  3. Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams

    September 16, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    Noo, so sad that this didn’t work out for you. 🙁 I hope your next reads are better! 💗

  4. Karla J. Strand, DPhil, MLIS

    September 16, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    Bummer when a book doesn’t work out the way you want it to! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it though.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      September 17, 2018 at 7:30 AM

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

    September 16, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    I was definitely expecting more psychological thrills and scares with this one and was also kind of disappointed. I did like the mental health rep, though!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      September 17, 2018 at 7:33 AM

      I am glad that I’m not the only one who was disappointed, I really think the “paranormal activity and black swan” comparisons set this up for failure, at least for me. The mental health rep was GREAT!

  6. Siobhan @ Novelties

    September 16, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Yikes. That’s a letdown. The tagline sucks you in, only to disappoint. Nice review though.

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