DARK COMPANION (YA) by Marta Acosta-a new release review
DARK COMPANION (YA) by Marta Acosta
Dark Companion is the July 2012 new Young Adult release from author Marta Acosta. An interesting concept and premise, Dark Companion will introduce a new breed of paranormal characters and reveal some surprising twists. This is not another vampire story.
Jane Williams has been raised in the foster care system since she was orphaned at the age of 6. Following an attack by her father that left Jane in a coma for 3 months and her mother dead, Jane awakens with no memories of what has happened and little else to explain the mysterious voice and emanation that soothed the dying child. Growing up in a foster system where she was never accepted and emotionally battered, Jane focuses her drive and energy into her schoolwork and studies. At sixteen, Jane is awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Birch Grove Academy and life as she knows it, will change forever.
Birch Grove is a private school for girls. Most are from rich, affluent families with names tied to the community. When Jane arrives she is immediately accepted by a small group of friends, and finds herself centre stage with the headmistress and her family. The acceptance is immediate and she is treated like a fragile bird. And Jane’s sense of unease is doubled when she finds herself attracted to headmistress Radcliffe’s son Lucian (Lucky) and oddly repelled by her son Jacob. But it is Jacob who will eventually become her life-line and source of knowledge in a world of unknowns and firsts.
Birch Grove was founded in the belief of whispering Birch trees and stories of supernatural beings. There are no vampires or werewolves found on the mysterious grounds of the private estates. But it is the whispering of the trees, that will call to Jane, when the ‘Lady in the Woods’, will revisit the young orphan at a time when she is needed the most. And it is never revealed what is the source of Jane’s true self.
Throughout the storyline, Jane longs for a relationship with Lucky- a relationship based on attraction and love. But Lucky’s need for Jane is the one thing she never expected-Lucian Radcliffe required a ‘companion’. When the previous candidate disappeared suddenly, Jane was the next in line as a suitable ‘companion’ for the young man entering into a new phase of life and existence. And it is the truth as to why she was ‘recruited’ to Birch Grove Academy that will send Jane spiraling back to her old life and so-called friends. But it is Jacob, the bane of her existence that will be her constant guardian and breath of fresh air, in whom she finds a kindred friend.
Among the many characters, we are introduced to a Jane’s friends from her previous life-Wilde and 2Slim, and her new BFFs Mary Violet, Hattie and Constance: and Albert Mason the chemistry professor who lost his wife the previous year in a tragic accident that was reported as a suicide. But it is the mysterious death of Claire Mason that will have everyone at Birch Grove academy questioning the true nature of the ‘companion program’ and its’ affects on those they love.
Dark Companion is a young adult, paranormal fantasy storyline. An interesting concept, the ‘companion’ program will both amaze and repel based on the young teens’ reactions to new found feelings of lust and need. I found myself wiping a few tears when Jane experiences the heartache of rejection and the wonder of first love. But it is the love of a young man that will aid Jane in a life-altering decision that will affect everyone she now calls a friend. I am hoping Marta Acosta continues to write about the characters first introduced in Dark Companion. Although there was no cliffhanger, there are some loose ends and potential storylines yet to be told. Dark Companion is a fantastic new story from Marta Acosta.
Copy supplied by Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy