Wednesday, May 27, 2015

*Book Review* The Darkness Within by Kelly Hashway (YA Paranormal)

Series: The Monster Within # 2
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Format: E-Book, 352 pages 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches.

Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? Magic. 

Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

The Darkness Within, the sequel and finale to The Monster Within duology, picks up about a month after the first installment. 17-year old Sam Thompson died from the effects of cancer and was brought back to life by her boyfriend Ethan Anderson's deal with a witch. In doing so, Sam became a witch killer at the behest of an evil witch, and now has the magic of two witches inside of her. The combined magic gives Sam powerful abilities that she hasn't even scratched the surface with yet.

Both Sam and Ethan have since left their families behind and made new lives in a small town in Pennsylvania under assumed names where they go to school, and work in a diner. They are nearly inseparable, and act as though they are an old married couple most of the time. They both belong to a coven of witches along with Dylan, and Shannon who try to help them understand the magic they now carry. But, hurt feelings still exist over the loss of two of their coven mates due to Sam's actions, including Dylan's brother.

On top of all that, Ethan's troubles are far from over. Just when you thought things couldn't get any stranger, Ethan finds himself struggling with a darkness that came from the witch he made a deal with to save Sam. One minute he is the Ethan that Sam knows and loves, the next minute he is a cold and distant as a Canadian winter. The magic inside him is changing who he is and making him pull back from Sam. Even with all her powers, Sam has no clue how to help Ethan before she completely loses him.

So, let's break down this story down a bit. Sam has a whole lot of issues to deal with this time around, and not just with Ethan's. There is a student who is asking way too many personal questions, and teachers who apparently know that Sam, Ethan, Dylan, and Shannon are witches. Then there is yet another powerful witch who may or may not have the ability to save Ethan from going completely evil, but could she also be the witch that is targeting the coven? What cost will Ethan and the others have to pay in order to make things right again? Who can Sam really trust with the only boy she's ever loved and who refused to walk away from her when she was suffering with cancer?

I can't say that I had a whole lot of fun with Sam and Ethan's shenanigans. At times, it was a bit of a romance overload. At other times, I found myself liking Shannon a whole lot better when she uses magic, sarcasm, and humor to get by. I truly held my breath when Hashway appeared to create a love triangle. I do hope she finds a way to never cross that bridge again. I do really hope that the two covens end up combining. I think that with their assistance, Sam and Ethan can learn about their magic, and keep on the good side of things.

**I received this book for free from (Spencer Hill Press) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**


  1. You obviously weren't satisfied with this. Too bad it was a duology

    1. Yeah, it was fine, but perhaps a third installment would have been preferable.