Title: The Longing and the Lack (The Unliving #1)
Author: C.M. Spivey
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.
Spivey does an excellent job pulling the reader in with the first few pages. I found myself on the edge of my seat for the majority of this book, excited to get to the next page and see what was coming. Her use of dialogue and imagery to push the plot made me feel like I was across the pond experiencing this story. I think part of the reason I enjoyed the dialogue so much is because I typically throw in a little flare into my conversations – fun language, proper wording, some tongue-in-cheek statements.
Let’s talk about that cover for a minute – wow! If I hadn’t already been pulled in by the plot, the cover would have grabbed me for sure!
Lucinda is a fun and strong character from the get-go, and you can tell something is a bit off about her. Going with her on her journey to find out her history and sort out the world of Damien and what that is to her. I was gripped from the start and enjoyed the folklore of this tale. I enjoyed the twisty adventure of this novel, antsy about what was coming next, but not quite sure I wanted to truly know. Looking forward to reading more from Spivey.
The Final Countdown
Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 4/5
Ending – 4/5 Stars
Total: 4/5 Stars
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.