Witches, ghosts, curses, human frailties, oh my.
Spivey definitely did not a lack an ounce of suspense. I sat on the edge of my seat, turning the page, for just one more chapter, one more line, until I devoured the entire book.
What I longed for was a complete connection to Lucinda. Everytime I thought I was there, something would happen and I felt as if I were a third person watching the actions take place rather than participating in the story and oh how I love to fall into the story.
Spivey has a way with descriptions, for the most part. I could feel icy fingers around my throat. Feel Sable's hatred, sadness, her passion and love. Having never visited Ireland, I still find it difficult to visualize the village, the university and the manor house, yet the Garda came out quite clear. Though the love scenes were pertinent to the storyline, I ended up skimming over the two scenes. Not because they were repetitive. In fact, this is where I felt much of the disconnect. These two areas of the book were the driest and felt as if they lacked heat. A sterile retelling. I only mention it in this review because I feel it is out of place compared to the rest of the great writing in the book.
What I liked best is the scene with Fate. Which, if you knew me personally, is a huge step. I hate spiders. Like I will knock you down to get away from a spider-kind of hate, but I loved the descriptions. I loved the Gothic to modernistic turn for the curse and the ending. WOW! I did not see it coming. I am still trying to focus my life around the way Spivey chose to end his story. "What a plot turn," one half of my brain says. The other side is shaking its proverbial head and saying, "Luce wouldn't do something like that. She cares too much about life."
Well done and well played, C.M. Spivey.
“Gothic curses, deadly love affairs, and vengeful ghosts combine to make this paranormal mystery a compelling page-turner.” — Tina Connolly, Nebula-nominated author of Ironskin
Lucinda Hightower is no stranger to death.
Since she was a child, Lucinda has been haunted by rabid dogs, suicidal crows, and the ghost of a woman in white. All are omens signaling someone’s imminent demise—except Lucinda’s friends and family are still breathing.
The omens follow her to Ireland and the quiet university in her father’s hometown, increasing in strength and frequency once she meets Damien Reed. A handsome third year student, Damien thrusts himself into Lucinda’s life almost immediately and caresses away the unsavory reputation that shadows him.
It’s not until the ghost sinks her nails into Damien that he reveals his secret: the death omens are for him.
They’re the manifestations of a curse that claims the life of the eldest Reed son every generation. Damien’s time is nearly up. If Lucinda is to save him, she must solve the mystery of her family curse, and lay a spirit’s rage to rest.
A dark romance for fans of Diane Setterfield and the TV show Supernatural, The Longing and the Lack is a Gothic story for the modern age.
C.M. Spivey is a speculative fiction writer, author of high fantasy FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN and the paranormal series, “The Unliving”. His enduring love of fantasy started young. Now, he explores the rules and ramifications of magic in his own works—and as a trans, panromantic asexual, he’s committed to queering his favorite genres. In his spare time, he plans his next tattoo (there will always be a next tattoo) and watches too much Netflix. Anything left over is devoted to his tireless quest to make America read more. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his darling husband Matt and adorable dog Jay.