Black by Fleur Ferris
Published by Random House
In this fast-paced Young Adult thriller, the quiet town of Dainsfield holds a sinister secret. Ebony ‘Black’ Marshall is on the verge of finishing high school and desperate to leave town. Her friends keep dying, and rumours persist that she’s cursed, a lie supported by the sinister local priest. Black avoids socialising by choice, but when a new student asks her out she takes a final stab at friendship, only to start a train of ominous events that spiral out of control.
Fleur Ferris had me at ‘cursed’. I’m intrigued by any real-world book with a touch of paranormal. Black is a great character, sassy and worldly without overdoing the self-deprecation. Although the deaths and rumours have taken their toll, she’s far from being a victim, mainly due to the family support behind her. Black’s work at the water station added extra interest, a unique job and a clever setting for later events. There’s a subtle love triangle afoot as the book progresses, but romance isn’t the main focus of the story, and I preferred that the curse took centre stage.
As the novel developed I found myself wanting more background on the antagonist, the sinister, fanatical Father Ratchet. What led him to pursue his obsessions? What happens behind those closed doors? I’d happily buy a prequel that explored his story.
In terms of mature content, there are a few sexual references and some violent scenes towards the end of the book. Alcohol and drunkenness feature, which may bother some parents, but their use reflects a realistic part of teen life.
A real page-turner, filled with engaging characters, plenty of suspense and a thrilling climax.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Fleur Ferris
Publisher: Random House
Published: June 2016