{Review} DARK HEART CHRONICLES by Merrie Destefano

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

  EVERY TIME I WALK THROUGH THE WOODS, I see her face. Hidden among the leaves and the bark, her hair twined with wind and cloud. I pretend she's walking with me, telling me she loves me again. And when the wind turns cold, as it always does for I stay much too long in the forest when I know she is there, I huddle and shiver and long for hr arms about me.

She is a wraith. A dead thing, long gone from this world.

I know it, for I buried her in the ground myself. But she doesn't believe she's dead, doesn't mind the jagged hole on the side of her skull. She even tips her head toward me at times, showing off the wound made by my own fists. 


(Page 1, US ebook edition)

    A song so beautiful and enchanting, it's all I can do not to fly toward it, a moth to a flame. I don't care if the song comes from someone wonderful or horrible. I only want to engulf myself in the melody. My ghost eyes close, my ghost lungs breathe deep, and I sigh. 


A Dark And Twisted Heart (Dark Heart Chronicles #1)A Long And Wild Hunt (Dark Heart Chronicles #2)

Halloween is fast approaching friends, and if you're like me you might really like to warm up for the chilly trick and treat filled holiday with as many creepy reads as you manage. I've been binge reading all week, titles ranging from psychological thriller to middle-grade spooks with laughter ingrained. Today though we're going for skeletons and imagery meant to make your stomach turn. The DARK HEART CHRONICLES, by Merrie Destefano is comprised of two quick stories that take less than two hours to read. In such a short period of time they bring to life a dark and twisty cursed forest, skeleton girls whose after-death spirits are rotting in time with what is left of their flesh, and a tale of what love and revenge and longing can feel like after darkness has stained a soul.

The star of both the stories, for me personally, was the character of Katrina. We never get to know her when she's alive. In A DARK HEART, the first story, she has already been murdered by her once boyfriend William, and their ties to each other are intensely twisted. It's a toss in the air as to who is the one doing the haunting here, because while sometimes Katrina speaks with intention to punish, at other times she seems helpless against her own obsession with William, and her jealousy over the live girl he's started seeing. For Katrina, death is an up and down, madness mixed with sad remembrances of her humanity. In the sequel, A LONG AND WILD HUNT she has made the cursed Dead Man's wood her home, but there is much about the afterlife she doesn't understand or control. The wood is ruled by a dark fey King and she still has rules to follow. In this story Katrina is left with . . . exploration to do. . . missing autonomy to find. And she finds it during a dark and dangerous hunt after she breaks one of the wood's rules and becomes the hunted. There were other intriguing characters in the story, but Katrina was hands down the most compelling, the one whose head I wanted to live in and in her dialogue with others she proved herself to be cunning, dark, and yet still capable of guilt and ghostly bits of human emotion.

If you need a shot of gruesome to get you in the mood for haunted houses and trick or treating, these short but vibrant stories in the DARK HEART CHRONICLES by Merrie Destefano, are sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge.


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 (Kissing, references to sexual activity)
Language: PG ( No cursing.)
Violence: PG13 (.Murder and death *moderately graphic* )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

These covers instantly put me in the Halloween mood! I love that it features the same skeletal face on both stories, but on the second cover the clothes are different and give a sense that the character has gained more intention/purpose/a really freaking cool hat.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Merrie Destefano
Release Date: October 1st, 2017
Publisher: Pronoun
Received: For Review

Katrina is so beautiful, she's almost perfect. She only has two flaws. She's possessive. And she's dead.

William adores Katrina, but he almost forgets about her when he meets Adelle, with her gentle smile and winsome ways. So what's he to do? He certainly can't be faithful to a dead girl.

Even though he loves her, so much so he visits her grave every day. Even though she haunts him and constantly reminds him of the terrible thing he did.

Even though she might just drive him to do something terrible again. Very soon.

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Merrie Destefano
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Pronoun
Received: For Review

Trapped in a cursed forest with the boyfriend who murdered her wasn’t how Katrina planned to spend the Afterlife. She might be a ghoul and hell-bent on revenge, but that doesn’t mean she has to be miserable.

Or does it?

Someone or something has been singing at night, a voice that makes her wonder if there’s still hope. It actually makes her want to right one of her many wrongs. If she could help another ghost find its way out of this wood—to be buried on hallowed ground—then Katrina will know she’s not truly a monster.

But what if the magical creature who cursed this wood finds out her plans? And what if he offers her what she’s been longing for ever since she was murdered?

Revenge in the Afterlife isn’t what she expected. ​

Neither is love.