Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Dark Companion Hardcover – July 3, 2012
|New from||Used from|
Preloaded Digital Audio Player, Audiobook, Unabridged
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
“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!” ―LoveVampires.com
“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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I was so all over the place while reading this book, making it hard to boil it down to neat, general observances. Here are a few notes on why this book was inconsistent, which ultimately made it just okay:
- The prologue was beautiful. It was dark and set the way for this mystery shrouded story. I really enjoyed the surreal setting it created and had high hopes for this book after reading it. The author has the ability to write well and that was showcased early.
- The first few chapters began to bother me for two reasons: the 'hood' Jane grows up in is horridly cliche and I was being beat over the head with Jane Eyre similarities. I was annoyed by the first and very confused by the second. Orphan girl named Jane? Check. Leaving her foster home and going to school? Check. Yelling at her care taker before she leaves and saying all she wanted was kindness? Check.
It was so blatant that I had to Google to see if Jane Eyre is mentioned/credited at all in the story summaries. It isn't, directly, but a few reviews I found say things like "anyone who loves Jane Eyre will love Dark Companion!" That makes me want to be very honest with anyone reading this review: A beloved classic this is NOT.
- The supporting characters and the dialogue were hit or miss. Examples:
"I know what my mom's groceries are like. Full of antioxidants, roughage, and upright moral character." -- Good! Funny and witty. This is something I can imagine a smart teen saying.
"Hey Jane. I'm Orneta, but you can call me Ornery, 'cause I'm kinda cranky." -- Seriously, who would say that? Clunky and odd.
It goes on this way, back and forth and inconsistent through out the book.
- I hated Lucky and Jane's relationship immensely and it really soured the book for me at points. It's another blatantly unhealthy relationship in a YA book, masquerading under teen angst.
Lucky is an outright flippant jerk. It's a secret, abusive relationship and I hated every second of it because it really didn't need to be in this story in that way. I hate that Jane's character is cheapened for the middle portion of the book as we have to suffer through her falling for a guy who treats her like crap.
- Jane's characterization was off. There were times where I believed in her as a street smart, raised in foster care, seen things kind of girl. These times were a little few and far between, however. I wish we would've seen a little bit more of that life style influencing Jane.
- I was interested towards the end in finding out what exactly was happening at Birch Grove but the build-up was slow and the resolution was too fast and anti-climatic.
Overall, confusing. Jane could've been an amazing, tough protagonist, but instead she's somehow naive and allows herself to be used and abused.
The tone of the story is great, dark and Gothic, but the plot twists are convoluted and borderline on trite. The supporting characters can be great, including MV, but there are others that are simply caricatures, like the headmistress and Lucky.
I'm stuck between, "I wouldn't recommend this to anyone" and "if there's another part, I'd probably read it."
Acosta’s take is a retelling of Jane Eyre, plus a completely engrossing tribute to Gothic literature, and finally to feminist poetics. This is a book about all the girls in Gothic literature who meet their goblins, and either lose or win their lives and souls. Acosta uses many Gothic tropes, most importantly twinning, so she pits a dark family against a light family, a dark brother against a light brother, when in fact, they are really representations of the same entity, one family, one boy. The entity is both dark and light, offering different experiences and emotions. The heroine of the tale must choose.
Echoes of Jane Eyre abound from first page to last, with the horrors of a haunted childhood, abuse, isolation, violence, death, but Acosta takes it one step beyond and gives us a heroine who has lost the memories of her younger self. That’s so important. Because what are we without our histories, our mistakes, our wounds? How does this lack of important history affect our future choices? Maybe the theme of this novel is “How do we survive as young women when our roles are so limited?”
I think it may be that young girls today fool themselves into believing that their roles are so much different than their mothers and grandmothers and even great-grandmothers that their concept of roles in life are greater. (To an extent, true, but not the battle is far from over in feminist struggles) But they should not be too confident. If reviews are telling, then some of the reviews on this page reflect that young girls would rather be Katniss or Tris than a plain Jane whose ordinary life consists of having girlfriends, struggling through life, meeting boys, making mistakes and wrong choices.
The vampire is not important, it could have been any of the Monster/Goblin/Boys that populate the many Gothic stories used as quotes on each Chapter heading of this book. And isn't that brilliant?. All those stories. I know those stories, but the quote at the beginning of the book, the poem, was the telling tale.
On the surface, Jane Williams (how I love that name, Shelley, Shelley anyone?) leaves the hood of the city and goes off to a countryside school on a scholarship. There she meets a slew of girls and boys and falls in lust with her new life, where she has a great school, nice green woods, her own place, plenty of food, clothes, money, and yes, good looking boys. Oh, the boys are the goblins here, for sure. They are offering up their goblin fruit and all it takes is one bite and Jane could be lost. For awhile she is lost, lost in all the choices, in all those new feelings, in desire and sexuality, in wanting to belong to something, a school, a clique, a family. Her anger and needs control her for she is in a great hurry for all those things and has been her whole life. But her slow descent into that great dark danger begins to surface. Something doesn’t feel right. But like most girls her age (in real life, yes, you and you and you) she can’t seem to break the spell of her own desires. The external tale is that Jane is offered a life of luxury and beauty if only she becomes the Dark Companion of Lucien, which I suppose is what would have happened to poor Jane Eyre if Mason had not stopped the wedding A downward spiral. But it would not have been a life of love and beauty and mystery but one of dark servitude to another being. The self and soul would have been lost.
Only the twinning of Lucien, Jack, could offer Jane a real choice, a real life, because he wants Jane to have a life of her own, to have her own soul and self and to match that soul with his own desires. That is true love, real love, complicated love. Jane would share Jack’s like and be more than a companion for his needs. So many young girls are faced with this choice. I could write more. Lots more. How food is used. How friendships with other girls are important. This book does not want to feed the usual escapist desire of young readers. It is an allegory, part fable, part warning. It asks you to read slow and carefully, to think, to understand that Jane (Jane Eyre)’s journey is more than just a romance, it’s a story about survival and gaining equality.
Most recent customer reviews
Great writing ....check
Characters first ..... check
Solid plot .....check
Dark companion was a great read.Read more