Something lurks in the shadows between life and death.
Action-packed and emotionally powerful like big- and small-screen hits such as The Sixth Sense and Supernatural, The Dark In-Between by Elizabeth Hrib is sure to stay with you long after the lights go out.
A terrible accident brings sixteen-year-old Casey Everett’s life to a halt—literally. Pulled from the water, Casey is rushed to the hospital and miraculously revived. But her sudden return to the living is shadowed by the drowning of her best friend, Liddy.
Overcome with grief, Casey returns home for the summer only to find the memories of the accident won’t let her go. Shadow-drenched nightmares. Whispers in the back of her mind. Her friend’s screams. Casey thinks she’s losing it… until she watches a boy fall from the sky.
Red—an angel fallen to earth to regain his wings—takes her to Limbo, a place that exists somewhere between the living and the dead. Now, in order to save her best friend, Casey must learn to walk these mysterious and dangerous paths or else risk losing Liddy’s trapped soul to something worse than death.
Casey paces the length of the hall, studying the pictures on the floating mantels on the wall. Most of them are of Evan. There’s some of her too, standing with a younger Evan, their faces wind- kissed, freckled, and crazy- eyed due to copious amounts of sun and sugar.
Casey touches the photo. Her parents had still been alive then.
She follows the tarnished silver frames through a scrapbook of her youth. There’s her and Evan as babies, sharing teething rings. As toddlers, sharing chicken pox. As cubby neighbors in elementary school when they swapped lunches almost every day. Liddy had moved to town in the third grade, got assigned the coat hook directly between her and Evan, and the three of them had been inseparable ever since.
The door pops open and Evan kneels, lacing up a shiny black shoe. When he straightens up, she gets a proper look at him. He’s wearing a black dress shirt tucked into gray pants. There’s no tie but he looks . . . good. All sleek lines and sharp points and soft blue eyes.
“You can say it,” Evan says.
She snaps back to reality. “Say what?”
“That I clean up nice.” He tugs on his pant leg. “Even my socks match.”
Casey huffs and turns away as warmth floods her cheeks.
She’s been flirting with this line for a while now. These feelings. That space between friendship and more than. It’s not the right time to cross it. She knows that. Not while they’re both missing Liddy. Honestly, she’s not really sure if there ever will be a right time. Maybe the history between them is better left this way.
“You look nice, too,” he offers. “I meant to say it before.”
Then he goes and says things like that, and Casey’s unsure of everything all over again.
“These are my funeral clothes,” she says, trying to dismiss his comment. She picks at the hem of her dress, crumpling it in her fist and then pressing it back into smooth lines against her thighs.
Evan sighs, hands in his pockets as he sways into the hall. “You can still look nice.”
“Come on,” she says, turning down the stairs. “You’re making us late.”
He follows her to the car and climbs into the passenger seat.
Beside him, she fumbles with her buckle, the nerves start- ing to return. It feels weird being in the car without Liddy calling dibs on control over the radio.
If I have to hear any more of Evan’s easy country listening, she’d say. I’m gonna lose it. He’s like a little old man in the body of a teenager.
The memory almost makes her laugh, but she catches her- self. Casey stares at the radio, then looks away, struggling under the weight of such heavy silence.
Evan reaches over, his hand nudging her shoulder. When he pulls away, he twirls a feather between his fingers and flicks it out the window.
It took me a couple of attempts to finish The Dark In Between by Elizabeth Hrib. The fight between good and evil is not bad. I just did not connect with the characters. Hrib attempted to create a romantic triangle between the fallen angel, the heroine, and the boy who has been her friend forever who she has never seen in a romantic way. It just didn’t ever really feel connected enough.
I think if Hrib had just kept to the battles and the inner turmoil of Casey the story would have been better. I liked the connections and the battles that Casey made with and for the secondary characters. I could see this becoming a series if Hrib had concentrated on this and strengthened the love triangle by building a foundation first with Evan.
There are some strings that Hrib could come back to and build upon, but I would leave the love stories alone for now because she has something with the battle sequences. This is just my opinion though, you should read The Dark In Between and let me know what you think.
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Publisher: Swoon Reads, 978-1250242747, 5 May 2020
Cover Design: Cindy De la Cruz
Promotion materials provided by Xpresso Book Tours.