Title: DARK REFLECTIONS
Author: KELSEY KETCH
Genre: NEW ADULT, DARK FANTASY
Publication Date: APRIL 2019
ABOUT THE BOOK
Being possessed by a vampire sucks!
Alana Jones’s world has been completely turned upside-down after being bitten by a vampire’s reflection in a cursed mirror. Now she’s forced to stay in an abandoned Victorian inn on an isolated island off the west coast of Florida, where Alana lives a double life: one as herself and one as a vicious murderer. Over the past year, she has spilt and drunk the blood of sixteen victims. The guilt of their deaths slowly eating away her sanity.
However, things become even more complicated when Alana finds Cole, a surfer she felt a connection with the moment they met on the mainland, locked up in the island’s shed. Knowing his death is inevitable, she attempts to distant herself from him, continually reminding herself of the monster residing underneath her skin. Unfortunately, it’s a small island, and the more she interacts with Cole, the more her feelings grown for him. Eventually, she has to make a decision. Either accept his fate or find a way to expel the vampire’s spirit from within herself before she murders him as well.
Can we please appreciate a good story-telling!!! I truly appreciate the author’s work, she literally delivered a great story about a vampire curse.
Alana is just an ordinary girl planning out what her future will be like, but she didn’t expect it to change right after she bought an ancient mirror from an estate sale, that happens to be haunted by an old vampire who were trapped in it. She tried to be normal—as normal as she can—but she knew better that the vampire who possessed her is far more stronger than she is. Then she met a guy named Cole, a surfer boy who caught her heart, but the guy doesn’t know what awaits him, and can Alana and Cole find a cure before Charissa (the vampire) take over Alana’s body permanently?
Honestly, I was shocked! Like totally shocked at how good the story is. I mean, I’ve seen enough of vampire movies before and even read some of them, but none of it are like this one. Dark Reflections is not your normal and typical vampire story where a girl/guy gets bitten by a vampire and turn into one, or a girl/guy fall in love with a vampire and become one later on. This one is definitely different which makes it 100x better than any other vampire stories.
Dark Reflections focused more on an ancient curse that cursed Charissa—the vampire who possessed Alana’s body—and also focused on Alana and Cole’s day to day journey on how they try to handle this crisis, plus how they will find a cure to remove Charissa permanently from Alana’s body. The way Charissa possessed Alana was not like what I imagined, it was totally different. She just bite Alana’s reflection on the mirror and it just happens that Alana was possessed after it (only during nighttime).
The way the author explained everything else, from how Alana was bitten by Charissa and how it works and how Alana and Charissa are separated during nighttime and daytime, I think the explanation wasn’t as complicated as I thought. It was pretty easy to understand, but of course writing it and turning it into a whole story is very hard, but the author did a great job in telling the whole thing and also explaining it so her readers will understand the whole story, plot, and concept. I really digging in this type of concept honestly, it was just so unique and totally different than the majority of vampire stories that have the same old boring concept.
There was some gore and explicit explanation on how Charissa tortured and murdered her victims, it just shows how big of a monster Charissa is and that she can be very brutal if she wanted to. Majority of the story is just about Alana and Cole and what these two characters feels deep inside. Charissa doesn’t make much appearances in the story since she mostly asleep during daytime and even the events of what she did during nighttime wasn’t shown, unless Alana woke her up when she was pissed due to Charissa spending her money on unnecessary things and they had this pissing contest with each other.
I’ve been wondering how Alana got possessed by Charissa while Charissa was trapped in the mirror for ages and it was only her reflection that Charissa bit. So when the whole thing was explained, I finally understood how it works. Also, we get to learn more about Charissa and about her origin story. Her origin story was a mixed of sad and scary. She was just a scared young girl and accidentally bumped into a vampire and somehow become one and turned into a monster that she is today! I was so excited when Alana and Cole started to find out more about Charissa because they wanted to know the curse that can cure Alana, because I know I’m near to learning about Charissa’s origin. And let’s just say that I was pretty satisfied by it, because it explain so many things and I get to see what her life was like all those years ago.
Following Alana and Cole on their journey to find the cure was something I’m so excited for because it will be an adventurous journey of course. Who doesn’t like some adventure searching for a cure to an old curse and getting answers about ancient vampire? I’m totally down for it! Even with my excitement on finding out how Charissa was cursed and trapped in the mirror, I have to admit how scared and nervous I am for Alana and Cole, I just don’t want Charissa to find out about their plan. That evil vampire is ruthless and brutal. But getting to be on the journey with both of them was fun and exciting, I get to see how Alana find something that will answer her own question and also help her find the person who can help her. The final scene with her battling Charissa on her own was pretty badass, she’s stronger than I thought and definitely can handle it. The whole build up for that epic final scene made me speechless, I didn’t know what to expect honestly, just pure awesomeness.
Alana is a great heroine. Even though at nighttime she doesn’t have control over her own body, at least when Cole stepped in and screamed at her—it was to help her fight Charissa and try to take control of her body back from Charissa—she’s strong enough to hold back Charissa, even though she can only do it for a little bit. She never lose hope, even when she did, she always try to find the answers on her own. She studied Charissa’s journal in order to find something that can help her in her current situation. She’s also an artist who painted things, and her artworks are her only way to help her. As Cole said to her, her artworks are her cry for help. Her current lifestyle pained me, I just feel bad that she had to live with all the guilt and isolated from the outside world due to what happened to her. I was so happy she still have something to live for and she doesn’t back down and keep on fighting to find answers to her own cure. So much for a normal life, she can only experience normal during the day.
Cole is just a normal guy who loves surfing, he was also the person who bought Alana’s artwork when they first met. When Charissa trapped him in the inn with Alana, he grew cold toward Alana and can’t differentiate between Alana and Charissa because he doesn’t know about Alana’s side of the story. He was so clever than I thought. He definitely can see the different side of Alana and eventually studied her movements and the way she treated him during day and night secretly. He’d been watching her every moves and when he found out the truth about what happened to Alana, he determined to help her in all the way he can, even if that means putting himself in great danger. I seriously loved his character, both he and Alana are my favorites. He was angry at first but the more he learned about Alana’s secret and then finding the truth about her and Charissa, he slowly turned soft for Alana. He truly cares for her and when he woke her up during nighttime, it was his way to help Alana fight Charissa. He slowly helped her out and try to find answers on his own. He never give up, even when he started to lose hope, he still have a will to help Alana. It pained me to see Cole getting injured, but damn the man still have lots of energy to stay alive.
Alana and Cole’s relationship started off as just a crush, but then they had arguments and even fought each other due to Charissa’s nighttime work. But when the secrets was revealed, the truth came out, these two slowly grew closer and bonded over the same thing, which is to find answers and find a way to help Alana. They surely have strong chemistry. Both are strong and great characters that has great character development, and the development in their relationship was perfect in so many ways! I loved seeing the two of them spending their time together during the day and just be normal because during the night, it was hella crazy for them. All the crazy things they experienced in the inn only drive these two closer, I thought it would just drive them far away from each other. I was glad that the author included their backstory, at least we can get a glimpse at what their lives was like, for example how Cole’s life was like before he came to the island and met Alana, and what was Alana’s life like before she bought the cursed mirror and met Charissa. Their backstory helps the readers understand their situation much better and see these two characters in a different light.
The whole story and plot was unique and so amazing. I didn’t expect the story to turned out the way it did. But I was glad that this one is far different from other typical vampire stories. This one scared me when I read it at night. The amount of the horror element was perfect, it makes me feel like there’s an actual vampire on my side. I kid you not, I jumped from my chair to my bed when I feel like there was something beside me. This book has become my new favorite dark fantasy-horror story. It was great to be able to join Alana and Cole on this fun but scary ride.
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress or organizing the New Adult Scavenger Hunt, a biannual blog hop. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.