The Longing and the Lack
(The Unliving #1)
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
“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.
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I enjoyed the hell out of this one. I thought it was well written and well paced. At first, I thought I might be bothered by the way these characters speak and act as it is very formal and a bit old fashion in its nature but very soon I was sucked into the story and came to love this author’s writing style. The plot was unique and had plenty of twists and turns. There is a bit of romance weaved throughout the book and one implied sex scene but don’t go into this thinking it’s a romance book because it is not. There was also a great cast of interesting characters both secondary and primary, and I hope we get a more in-depth look at a few of them in the next book.
That said, there was an issue that kept this book from being a 5-Star read for me. I felt the author needed to provide us with much more background and world building. There were things that are mentioned (vampires for instance) that are just dropped into the story without any explanation and to be honest felt a little out of place in this book. I almost felt like this was the second book in a series. I needed more background on Lucinda’s life before moving to Ireland. I needed more background on Morgan. On his sister’s disappearance. The fates. Lucinda’s brother.
I think a prequel novella would have been an excellent addition to the series.
So apparently there are previous books that give us background history. I See the Web (The Web #1) and A Single Thread (The Web #2) by C.M. Spivey. Kind of wish I was aware of that before I started this one and even though this can be read as a standalone it would be this reviewers recommendation to read those prior books first for a fuller experience.
But like I said above even with that issue I still enjoyed this one a lot and can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. So two thumbs up from yours truly.