Friday, September 30, 2016

Nine Candles of the Deepest Black - Book Review

Nine Candles of Deepest Black
by Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: September 15th 2016
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult

She saw it coming. She knew it would happen―but no one believed her.

Almost a year after tragedy shattered her family, sixteen-year-old Paige Thomas can’t break free from her guilt. Her mother ignores her, doting on her annoying little sister, while her father is a barely-functioning shell. He hopes a move to the quiet little town of Shadesboro PA will help them heal, but Paige doesn’t believe in happiness anymore.

On her first day at school, a chance encounter with a bullied eighth grader reawakens a gift Paige had forgotten, and ingratiates her into a pack of local outcasts. For weeks, they’ve been trying to cast a ritual to fulfill their innermost desires, but all they’ve done is waste time. After witnessing Paige touch the Ouija board and trigger a paranormal event, the girls are convinced another try with their new fifth member will finally work.

Once the darkness is unleashed, it’s not long before they learn it will give them exactly what they asked for―whether they want it or not.


Nine Candles of the Deepest Black by Matthew S. Cox is a fast-paced horror/paranormal novel with lots of magic.

The main character is Paige, who has been trying to heal after losing her older sister in a car crash, which she claims to have had a premonition about. Also trying to heal are her parents, who move to the supposedly quiet town of Shadesboro. There, Paige makes friends on the first day and they invite her to a Ouija game and later a spell-casting, which she doesn't believe in but agrees to do anyway.

In the spell, each girl asks for what her heart desires, but the spell is mostly infused with dark magic and intentions. Once the spell is cast, the girls realise that in order to get what they want, the magic will take something in return. They also release a demon.

The novel opens with a tense start especially in terms of conversation, however, Paige's sarcasm makes way for a light mood. "Now I know how sharks feel with those little fish clinging to their ass."

Paige is a likeable goth-character. I enjoyed seeing her transition from constant anger to kind and caring for her younger eight-year old sister, Melissa. Her character development is significant and realistic.

Other characters who also progress in the course of the novel are her parents. (Which I truly liked). Melissa is a fun and adorable character, who gives a lot of warmth to the mostly cold-inducing novel.

The part that bugged me though was the excessive description towards the end. I felt I wanted to know what's going on more than details about Paige. The parts behind the mirror were rather fuzzy and hard to imagine for me, as well. The grit at the end was a little over the top for me.

I also liked that the novel isn't purely good versus evil – I mean there is evil and a demon and all, but the original evil came in the form of greed and heartlessness.

"The sight of [the candles] stirred an odd feeling in the pit of Paige's gut. Rather than normal black-coloured objects, they seemed to absorb light, appearing to be candle-sharped holes in reality."

Nine Candles of the Deepest Black kept me cold and on edge all the time. Paige seemed to have a series of horrifying happening one after the other.

Overall rating: 3.75 stars.

Note: I received a free copy of Nine Candles of the Deepest Black in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours.

Purchase via Amazon. 

About the Author:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

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