The Ouija Board is a tool, a game, or simply a device that has been used for generations. The primary use has been to entertain but in truth has been used as spirit board. The spirit board is away for the average person to talk to the spirits that are around them at any moment. The Ouija Board has been associated with the occult and demons since its original growth in popularity.
Darkseed: Awakening, by Victoria Ley, opens in a very ominous way. You read as a wind blows through the small English countryside looking for a specific target. As the wind finds its path two boys are sitting in a bedroom at 205 Cheyne Avenue. These boys are huddled around an object on the floor, this object just happens to be an Ouija board. It is only as this wind arrives we get to read more of the conversation the two boys are having. Their discussion gets grimmer and the word murder is used, and eventually only darkness will find these two Brethren.
Several years later when Sarah Walton moves into the house at 205 Cheyne Avenue, with her newly divorced mother, Sarah finds herself in that same room. Sarah has a great friend in a girl named Christina and after some unusual events happen the girls begin to experiment. This experimentation leads the girl into a world that Christina had just read about and down a path to safe a ghostly spirit.
We get to read along in the story about how these two high school classmates begin experimenting with the supernatural. The girls go as far as creating their own Ouija board and eventually do make a connection. This connection just happens to be that of a boy who had died in the very room Sarah now calls her own. This young man, Craig, was a member of a group of like-minded students who all had a major interest in the paranormal, and occult. It’s along their investigations that they learn the secrets of the boys group, Brethren, and how two of the boys died.
Author Victoria Ley does a great job of immersing the reader into the lives of these two young girls. They have a core group of friends at school that add to the realism of their story. Some American readers may find some struggles with the heavy use of British slang but in reality this adds to the story. It helps to pull you even more into their world as it can seem like a secret language they are speaking between each other.
Darkseed: Awakening does another thing that is a great addition to a book of this type. It builds suspense and helps you understand what is going on. Victoria Ley points out titles of books that her characters reference. She does a great job of helping you explain what the girls are going through not just in their search but in their personal life. A great example of this is how Sarah is trying to get a mobile, cell phone, from her mother and continues to be told no. So the smart young lady waits to see her father and asks him for the mobile. What young child does not use that parent dynamic in such a manner to get what they want?
The story can be categorized as a young adult story but I think it works well for adults as well. This is something that is unique in the young adult genre when the book can traverse to an adult audience as well. It’s very possible it’s the great explanation of the Ouija Board the girls use, or the occult studies of the Brethren.
Victoria Ley does a great job at building suspense in this book as the girls find out more about who Craig was in life. The girls eventually learn of the darkness that later came to surround those in the Brethren and deaths of group members. It’s as these items build that another major character is introduced adding more to the story. The additional character is a man who could be holding Craig in his current realm and stopping him from continuing his journey. The girls decide they must do all they can to help their new friend, a friend that has laughed with them and shown them a new side to death.
Darkseed: Awakening is one of those books that are hard to put down for those who are fans of the supernatural, and paranormal. The way the story is framed along the lives of these two girls is really done well. The girls being the major characters but those minor characters, such as parents, are needed and well written. The story will engage those who are fans of these type of books and those who may shy away due to the fact it’s a young adult novel will be missing a great read.