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Dark Companion [Kindle Edition]

Marta Acosta
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.09
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Sold by: Macmillan
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An Ember in the Ashes
"An Ember in the Ashes"
When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.Learn more | More in Teen and Young Adult

Book Description

Jane Eyre meets Twilight in Dark Companion, a lush and romantic YA gothic tale about an orphaned girl who attends an exclusive private school and finds herself torn between the headmistress's two sons.

Orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress's gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true.

They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove's recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien's brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?

As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove--and what she would risk to stay there….

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Dark Companion:

“Compelling and romantic; a Jane Eyre for the Modern Age.”
—Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron King

“Recommended reading for teen gothic/vampire fiction fans as well as for Jane Eyre fans of any age. Bloody brilliant!” —

“Awesome stuff. Compelling and dynamic, Dark Companion lures you in, casting a distinct spell you won’t want to break. A modern Gothic with classic style.”
—Leanna Renee Hieber, bestselling author of the Strangely Beautiful and Magic Most Foul sagas

“This is the kind of book I wish I could have read when I was a teen. Jane is an inspiration to any young girl who doesn’t fit in or underestimates her own strengths.... A lovely, spiritual, uplifting story.”
—Patricia Altner, Patricia’s Vampire Notes

“I had the pleasure of an early read of the novel early last year and heartily recommend it.”
—Doug Knipe, SciFi Guy

“Reminiscent of the popular Twilight Series with the similar themes of angst ridden teenage love between two unlikely people. The writing is absolutely addictive and I could not put this book down for a second. The suspense, mystery, romance and paranormal all together make a very exciting book that is sure to impress readers of various genres. Overall, a breathtaking, beautiful novel that should not be missed.”  —Rachael Dimond, Enchanted By Books

Takes the vampire legends in a whole different direction…With a whole new spin on vampirism and an easy-to-read, yet well researched novel, teenagers could expect an intriguing love triangle, between an orphan girl named Jane and the headmistress’s mysterious sons.”  —Neurotic Review

From the Author

Dark Companion was inspired by my love for Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. When I was a girl reading this classic gothic novel, my heart broke for orphan Jane, who was thrown out of her home and sent to brutal Lowood School for Girls. Jane had to survive by her wits, but she was always at the mercy of more powerful people.

What would a girl like Jane experience in today's world? She would endure ugliness and violence, and be exploited by those who seek isolated and vulnerable prey. Readers should be warned that some of the scenes are disturbing, just as classic Gothic novels are disturbing. (The thought of young Jane Eyre sleeping beside the cold body of her friend Helen always gives me shivers.)

My character Jane Williams discovers that education can provide her with an escape from misery and poverty. She studies as if her life depends on it -- because it does. When she's offered a full scholarship and her own cottage at the exclusive Birch Grove Academy, she believes she's safe. But, as another character says, "The rich are different. They hide the bodies and think they're so clean and nice."

Jane is a survivor, but she's still young, inexperienced, and lonely. She makes terrible mistakes -- because even smart people do foolish things when their emotional needs override their intellect.

The dark themes don't dominate the story, and there are many positive characters and messages about friendship and love. I had so much fun writing the character of Mary Violet Holiday, a cheerful, poetry-spouting girl who immediately befriends Jane. I used the gothic trope of "twinning" in this book, and Mary Violet's happy family and loving mother are the bright twin to the Headmistress's dark, mysterious family.

Product Details

  • File Size: 530 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen (July 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007IM0H06
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,932 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good companion May 30, 2012
By Amanda
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Let's see...where do I start with this book? It's hard to say -my thoughts on it are so mixed, almost confused about what I actually read. After studying the cover, I was concerned that this was yet another teen vampire romance -and I'm completely sick of them. I want something out of my book these days, something more original. Luckily, at least, the book was more original than the title implied.

The book opens with the back story of Jane Williams, an orphan who has lived a hard life in various foster homes. Through her hard work, Jane lands a scholarship to the prestigious Birch Grove Academy, where for once in her life Jane finds a home, complete with friends and secret crushes -all set in a mysterious town with its own secrets.

Well, there were some things in Dark Companion that I absolutely loved. Some of the passages were gorgeously written -so gorgeous that I re-read some of them and paused to reflect on how beautiful Acosta's words were. Dark Companion also had some great characters, especially Mary Violet, who kept me laughing on virtually every page. She was a nice balance to Jane, a strong and intelligent protagonist who was willing to work for what she wanted and wasn't going to take crap from anyone.

Well, until about half-way through the book when Jane's character seemed to do an unexpected 180 and allowed herself to be used and abused by a terrible romance. Not only was it out of character, but it just made me downright mad. That was the start of when the novel went downhill for me. Things started to get a little strange (and not in a good way). The plot started to get lost, and I was just unhappy with the characters. The worst part? The big reveal at the end just....didn't work for me. Very, very odd and it just...made me cringe.

I really think this book could have been better. It had so much potential and had some great moments, but overall come out as uneven and inconsistent.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Really What I Thought it Would Be... May 29, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Dark Companion is one of those books that had its absolutely fantastic moments, which you rave about, and yet it also had some downright aggravating moments that made me want to rave in a non-good way. And yet....I still couldn't manage to put the book down until I finished.

This novel opens with a mini prologue of our heroine, Jane, as a child trying to escape something vile that totally sent chills down my spine, and left me wanting desperately to flip to the end to see what the mess that was about! But I resisted. From there, Dark Companion starts with a slightly cold, slightly bitter teenage Jane leaving the slums, and her foster home for a chance at a better life in Greenwood. She worked hard, and managed to snag a scholarship at an exclusive all-girls school. Not only that, but she also gets a stipend for going to school, gets to live on campus in a quaint cottage, with a bathroom all to herself, and she finds out she can make more money on the side by tutoring the headmistresses son Lucky. For a person who had nothing like Jane to actually have a future that's bright, is a dream come true! But her new home is not all rainbows and sunshine. Jane is still very wary of people, especially the new friends that surround her. But the one area where she threw caution to the wind is in Lucky. When she first sees him, he takes her breath away with his utter handsomeness, and she is instantly hooked. Lucky's older brother, Jack, also takes Jane's breath away, but unfortunately it's because he's either teasing her mercilessly or trying to run her over with his bike. Which he says was an accident. But as Jane settles into her new home, she has the remarkable feeling that something is not right.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Few Mixed Feelings September 4, 2012
Possibly the most non-professional review in the last 4 months. Before that, all reviews were bad. )


Jane definitely one of my favorite characters. She seemed to think she was better than everyone; the kids in her group home because she was smarter and got into the Birch Grove Academy, but better than the Birch Grove girls because she clawed her way from the bottom. In fact, even one of the secondary characters stated "...acting like you don't think you're better than them, when you do because you did it on your own.". She annoyed me so much and seemed shallow and pathetic. She was attracted to Lucky because he was handsome and rich and tutored him to be nearer to him and get money. Really? And this was when she literally just met him. Meanwhile, she immediately hated Jack, Lucky's brother which annoyed me furthermore because hey, I'm definitely a fan of him! But the pathetic part? Even after everything Lucky had done, she was still obsessed with him, still longing for him and I wanted to rip her throat out. So. Badly. AND she was so, so blind about who she liked, and what made her "alive". Sigh. And, just throwing this out there--who gets in a car with someone you met once in a store?

On the other hand, the writing was absolutely lovely and smooth. It flowed well and told the story beautifully. I was instantly captivated by the prologue and the mysterious things happening at Birch Grove sealed the deal. Secrets were everywhere and while I predicted one (Well, sort of. Let's just say that no one sparkles.) the rest blew me away!
Throughout the entire book. I fell asleep thinking about what would happen next in this book and I was not disappointed.

As for world building, it was definitely a bit...mixed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Missed the whole point of Jane Eyre....GRRRR
Alright, seriously, if you're going to do a retelling of sorts of Jane Eyre, DO IT RIGHT!!! Every time I have read some sort of retelling they've destroyed the whole point of Jane... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bekah Awesome Book Nut
4.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT
Through the whole book I was shipping Jane and Jacob (aka Jack) and would get so frustrated with them that I had to take deep breaths and convince myself they would end up... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Retelling of Jane Eyre
When I finished this book, I kind of went into a literary shock. Why? Well, I looked at the reviews and comments here and on Goodreads and I just didn't understand, I will never... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Melinda Harrison
4.0 out of 5 stars Original, but I had trouble connecting to main character
I love gothic horror, and this book definitely has its fair share of that. The book has some original elements that lifted it up to the next level. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Majanka
5.0 out of 5 stars A young adult retelling of the gothic classic Jane Eyre with vampires.
A retelling of the gothic classic Jane Eyre - it’s a special young-adult novel featuring snippets of Victorian genre classics at the beginning of each chapter. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Layers of Thought
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark companion
This is an amazing book. The minute I started I couldn't even put the book down. This was an outstanding book. I loved it
Published 15 months ago by Emily
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Companion
It's a Gothic novel with a dark vibe, sweet romance, and original plot twists. Jane, is a protagonist, I found her a bit awkward and strange. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Serenity
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Vampire Tale
Marta Acosta gives Jane Williams a believable voice in Dark Companion. A unique take on the classic vampire tale. I would definitely read something else by Acosta. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Su Williams, Indie Author
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Gothic Read
Great presentation ...check
Great writing ....check
Characters first ..... check
Solid plot .....check

Dark companion was a great read. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Bodea
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!
Loved this book!! Really great story with such depth. Jane is a great character. I loved her strength and intelligence. Read more
Published on March 11, 2013 by K. April Holgate
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More About the Author

Marta Acosta's dream job is to write heart-rending obituaries, because she feels they are the most under-appreciated of all literary forms. She's the author of the recently-released THE SHE-HULK DIARIES, DARK COMPANION, a young adult gothic, the award-winning CASA DRACULA series, and NANCY'S THEORY OF STYLE (under the pen-name Grace Coopersmith).

She's a Stanford University graduate and was a frequent contributor of features and op-eds to the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE and the CONTRA COSTA TIMES.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Marta still lives in a fog-belt with her family and dogs. Her many attempts to grow tomatoes have failed, but she can finally bake a loaf of crusty bread. Her current obsession is vintage fountain pens and she's happy to send personal notes to readers.

PLEASE GO TO THE KINDLE STORE to see the new editions of her books with bonus features and wonderful cover art and design by Nan Richards of Nan Richards Illustration.

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