My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
Primary Characters: Vad Deverell, Corvina Clemm
Narration: Dual POV
I picked this up based on recommendation from bookstagramers. I was drawn to this cover and I was more intrigued post reading the Author’s acknowledgement. She has told, some instances were based on real time instances during her time in a remote residential school. Acknowledgement was definitely tantalizing and I wanted to know how the plot would unfold. This book has promising modernization of gothic romance with mystery base.
Plot starts with an old lady prophesying Vad when he is younger. After few year Corvina receives an invitation to attend Verenmore University. This surprises Corvina as she grew up in an unconventional manner. She was raised and homeschooled by her schizophrenic mother. She will accept this offer and think of this as a new beginning.
Verenmore is an old castle built on top of mountain. There have been several disappearances, mysterious deaths throughout its history. However, on ball nights every five year once people have always disappeared. Corvina discovers some strange things during her stay. Vad is a part time professor working on his thesis. He is aware of his surroundings and the danger it processes. He is called as “The Devil” of the Campus. When Vad and Corvina come together they have hard time keeping away from each other. This book has a backdrop of student – teacher forbidden romance along with mystery & its gothic elegance.
I was more interested in the eerie atmosphere and the creepy gothic elements in it. The plot had a nice atmospheric setting with a touch of medieval elegance. I just wasn’t a fan of the characters or the romance. For a medieval setting romance was way too much contemporary and insta physical type ☹. I followed the journey of Vad and Corvina as they were trying to uncover more about the mysterious deaths and disappearances.
Mystery, uncertainty, shadows, suicides, curses, disappearances, creepy woods, lakes and cemetery kept me captivated. Character and relationship development were horrible. Smut is just Smut 😐 . Narration is Ok. Plot had so much potential, however could have executed better. There are some unanswered questions but main plot has been tied up well in the end. Some secondary characters were interesting.
Overall, this story was different. If you’re in the mood for an atmospheric dark academia romance with elements of mystery with touch of gothic elegance, you should definitely check this out.
Source – Free in KU
Buy link -https://www.amazon.com/Gothikana-Dark-Academia-Gothic-Romance/dp/B0971GV2P6/
Blurb as per Amazon
An unusual girl. An enigmatic man. An ancient castle. What could go wrong?
An outcast her entire life, Corvina Clemm is left adrift after losing her mother. When she receives the admission letter from the mysterious University of Verenmore, she accepts it as a sign from the universe. The last thing she expects though is an olden, secluded castle on top of a mountain riddled with secrets, deceit, and death.
An enigma his entire life, Vad Deverell likes being a closed book but knowing exactly everything that happens in the university. A part-time professor working on his thesis, Vad has been around long enough to know the dangers the castle possesses. And he knows the moment his paths cross with Corvina, she’s dangerous to everything that he is.
They shouldn’t have caught each other’s eye. They cannot be. But a chill-inducing century-old mystery forces them to collide. People have disappeared every five years for over a hundred years, and Corvina is getting clues to unraveling it all, and Vad needs to keep an eye on her.
And so begins a tale of the mystique, the morbid, the macabre, and a deep love that blossoms in the unlikeliest of places.