When Darkness Falls by Chanda Stafford

When Darkness Falls by Chanda Stafford
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on April 24, 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 238
Format: ARC
Source: Kindle Scout
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Welcome to Misery Bay, a quiet place, if you don't count the horrific monsters, the strange disappearances, or the odd barbed wire fence surrounding the town's lighthouse. Seventeen-year-old Austen Gillet can't wait to graduate and get out of her small town. But when she finds her dad's car abandoned on the side of the road with a dead woman inside, her world screeches to a halt. When Ezra, an enigmatic newcomer, arrives in town, Austen enlists his help to find her dad. Little does she know that Ezra has secrets of his own, and he's not about to let anyone get in his way. However, Ezra's secrets pale in comparison to those hiding deep in Misery Bay's woods, in a place protected by Ian, the mysterious lighthouse keeper. After stumbling through a portal to another world and barely escaping with her life, Austen has to figure out who she can trust and who she can't, before she disappears, too. Permanently.


Billed as a paranormal mystery, When Darkness Falls by Chanda Stafford is more a paranormal young adult novel with a light splash of mystery. That’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable! This was a very light, breezy read that sometimes is just what you need. I know it’s what I needed after reading heavier and longer works.

We follow Austen, a seventeen-year-old whose life takes a strange and twisted turn after her father goes missing and a dead female reporter is found in his car. I was super into this! How exciting! Let’s find out what’s going on, what is this mystery! Did he kill her? Is something after him? Unfortunately, this book is too short and tries to include too much so that the mystery doesn’t really work. I never have time to mull anything over, just as Austen never really has time to think anything through. Things happen and they happen quickly.

Without time to process the information or come up with theories, this really falls short on the mystery part. But, as a young adult paranormal story, I was really enjoying it. Then, a certain twist happens and my enjoyment fell off a bit. This twist didn’t really need to be in the story, which was doing fine enough on its own. I’m not going to go into spoilers (maybe I’ll mention it in a round-up vlog), but Ian’s background had so much more potential than we ended up with.

As it is a YA book, it should come to no surprise that there is the potential for romance and I was okay with it! In fact, it’s what has me interested enough to possibly pick up the second book in the series one day far in the future when I’m not so busy play catch-up. Ian and Austen seemed very sweet, while Austen and Ezra seemed fun and mischievous. I want to see what happens and I want to see more of their interactions with each other – Ezra and Ian especially!

A little shaky, but still a fun read, When Darkness Falls by Chanda Stafford is an enjoyable book to pick up when you want something light to read.


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