Book Review: Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan

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Title - Out of the Darkness
Author - Katy Hogan
Publication Date - July 6th 2015
Publisher - Illumine Publishing
Format - Paperback (Provided via author)
Pages - 290

Does everything in life happen purely by chance? Or are we guided towards people who can help us in our hour of need?

Following the sudden death of her beloved mother, Jessica Gibson's world falls apart. But after meeting a man who seems heaven-sent, she starts to feel she has something to live for again, and soon discovers that their connection holds far more significance than she could ever have imagined. And when Jessica strikes an unlikely bond with Alexandra Green, the two new friends are taken on an emotional journey into the world of the supernatural, where psychic mediums pass on messages from beyond the grave.

What - or who - is causing the strange goings-on in Alex's home? What secret is she keeping from Jessica? And who is the young woman who so badly needs their help?

In a series of surprising twists and turns, the pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place and a mystery is unwittingly solved - with life-changing consequences for all involved. 'Out of the Darkness' is an uplifting tale of friendship and redemption; of love and loss. And life... after death.

Before I really get into my review of Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan, I'd like to take a moment to say a huge thank you to the author for getting in touch with me, in regards to reading and reviewing her novel. Not only did Katy send me a gorgeous copy of Out of the Darkness, but alongside it she also included a scrummy teabag and candle for the most perfect, relaxing afternoon. Thank you so much, Katy! It was a lovely parcel to open.

I went into Out of the Darkness with a completely open mind. I knew, from reading the blurb beforehand, that there would be certain aspects of this book that perhaps wouldn't slide so easily with other readers, but for me, I've always been fascinated with the supernatural, with the afterlife and psychic mediums. Because of this, I really couldn't wait to dive in and discover what Katy Hogan had in store for me.

The novel begins with us being introduced to Jessica Gibson. She's had an incredibly tough time since the devastating loss of her mother and is finding everything that has happened hard to come to terms with. I felt for Jessica immediately within this story. She'd always had such a beautiful bond with her mother and to suddenly be left alone, it was understandable that she was suffering in such a way. Katy Hogan writes with the use of some absolutely stunning descriptions, leaving me almost breathless at some points within the novel, and the emotion packed in was almost too much to bear at times. But the compulsion to follow Jessica's story, to see where life would lead her, urged me to continue, with tears in my eyes or otherwise. From the beginning of the novel, Katy Hogan takes Jessica, alongside the reader, on a journey full of hope, love and letting go.

Not only are we provided with the wonderful character that is Jessica, but along the way, Katy Hogan introduces us to two other women, Alex and Hannah. I had no clue whatsoever of how these three women were linked, and I found myself trying to figure it out in my mind as the story, and the women's bond, progressed and developed. There was a glorious focus on friendship within Out of the Darkness, which balanced out the grief Jessica had been dealing with perfectly. All three of these characters were unique and busy dealing with their own lives too, and it was brilliant getting to know each of them in turn. Katy's descriptions and warm spotlight on her characters' personalities made it incredibly easy for me to set these women apart and keep them separate in my mind. Each had their own hurdles to overcome which made me enjoy this book even more because my attention was constantly kept. There was always something going on, whether that be issues with a mother or mischievous children, meaning the pacing of this novel didn't lapse once for me. I felt close to these characters, concerned about their welfare even, and that closeness and concern only seemed to increase as the novel went on.

As you've probably picked up from the blurb of Katy Hogan's Out of the Darkness, there's a strong focus on the supernatural within this book. Not the poltergeist, haunting kind, but the guiding, light kind, and it was wonderfully uplifting. I adored the moments where the women attended the spiritual talk, so eager was I to put the pieces together of the mystery of how they'd come to meet. I was hoping, almost as much as the women themselves, that some sort of message would come through, to give them a clue at least. I won't say too much more here as I wouldn't want to ruin it for any potential readers, but it was brilliant.

All in all, Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan was a novel with a real difference. It's not quite what I'd usually read but I'm overjoyed that I did because it opened my mind to all sorts of things, and all sorts of questions. The characters and the plot were wonderfully put together, leaving me feeling completely satisfied by the time this story reached its end. It left me full of hope, too, and full of wonder as to whether we really are in control of our lives and the people we come to meet. Is it ever really just coincidence? Who knows?

Becca's Books is awarding Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan with four of my bookish stars. A novel full of heart and love and light. Thanks again to Katy Hogan for providing me with a review copy of Out of the Darkness in exchange for a fair and honest review.

1 comment :

  1. What a lovely review. I have just started reading this book, I'm on chapter 5 so very early on, but I'm enjoying it so far. After reading your review, I'm intrigued to find out the end.