Book Review: Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan

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Out of the Darkness: A tale of love, loss and life after death

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan
Release Date: 6th July 2015
Publisher: Illumine Publishing
Buy: PaperbackKindle
Rating:
5h

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DOES EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAPPEN PURELY BY CHANCE? OR ARE WE GUIDED TOWARDS PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP US IN OUR HOUR OF NEED?
Following the sudden death of her beloved mother, Jessica Gibson’s world falls apart. But after meeting a man who seems heaven-sent, she starts to feel she has something to live for again, and soon discovers that their connection holds far more significance than she could ever have imagined. And when Jessica strikes an unlikely bond with Alexandra Green, the two new friends are taken on an emotional journey into the world of the supernatural, where psychic mediums pass on messages from beyond the grave. What — or who — is causing the strange goings-on in Alex’s home? What secret is she keeping from Jessica? And who is the young woman who so badly needs their help? In a series of surprising twists and turns, the pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place and a mystery is unwittingly solved — with life-changing consequences for all involved.
‘Out of the Darkness’ is an uplifting tale of friendship and redemption; of love and loss. And life…after death.


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When we first meet Jessica Gibson she is not in a good place. Still grieving after the sudden death of her mother, Jessica feels completely alone in the world and can’t imagine ever feeling happy again. Then she meets Finn. Whilst Finn manages to make Jessica smile again – if only briefly – it turns out that he is going to have a much bigger impact upon Jessica’s life than she first realised…

Then there’s Alex. Originally from America and after moving to Brighton, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Jessica. However when some mysterious goings-on begin to occur at Alexs’ house, the two friends find themselves attending ‘An Evening of the Paranormal’ event, which leads both of their lives to take on some surprising twists and turns.
Then when Hannah, a fellow member of the Good Grief counselling session that Jessica attends, makes a prominent appearance in the girls lives things slowly start to slot into place. It appears that there’s a link between these three women that none of them could have ever imagined.

I don’t consider myself to be an overly emotional reader, yet when I finished this book there was no way to describe how I felt other than ’emotional’ and ‘wreck’. This book took my emotions and it squeezed. Hard.
Out of the Darkness is one of those books that has been on my TBR for ages and I’m constantly hearing amazing things about. So it was with trepidation that I got stuck in – what if I didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else? What if it didn’t live up to my exceedingly high expectations? Would it make me cry? Was it going to be too sad? As soon as I turned the first page my questions were silenced and the one that quickly took their place was ‘What if this book completely changes my perceptions on life after death?’ And I can assure you – it did.
Whilst I feel as though I learnt so much from Out of the Darkness and it made me re-evaluate my thoughts on psychics, mediums and everything spiritual, my favourite thing about this novel was how Katy Hogan celebrates friendship. The friendship that Jessica and Alex struck up truly was beautiful. It made me realise exactly how much we should value our special friendships and appreciate those who are around us. It also made me think exactly how powerful friendships can be; how the love of a close friend can make the dark times seem just that little bit lighter.
When Hannah was introduced to the story I felt as though the girls friendship took on an even stronger bond. They were so open, caring and protective of one another and they were such a joy to read about. I loved it when they were together and I loved how they were each fighting their own individual battles, which were eased by having the companionship of one another to help them through the difficult times.

The storyline was brilliantly crafted and was also extremely clever. I never guessed any of the twists but when I did find out the link between the three I was overwhelmed/shocked/excited and amazed. I love how we are introduced to the characters slowly, starting off with Jessica, then moving on to Alex and then finally Hannah. I felt as though I knew Jessica the best of the three, possibly because as a reader you spend the most time with her at the beginning. All three characters were wonderful to read about. Strong, charming and extremely memorable.

From the outset you are under the impression that this might just be one of those stories that breaks your heart – but fear not! It’s actually one of those books that will break your heart AND put it back together again. You will be sobbing from both sadness and happiness throughout the story. If you like your books to have an element of ‘roller-coaster’ to them then Out of the Darkness is for you. Just make you sure have tissues. Lots of tissues…

Seeing as this is Katy Hogan’s debut novel I think it would be no exaggeration to say that we can expect big things from this author. Her writing is stunning and she clearly knows what she’s talking about with regards to the supernatural. (And incidentally it really doesn’t matter what your views are on this subject, you will still enjoy this book. It might even make you question what you think you know about the spirit world and life after death…)
I also think that Out of the Darkness should be recommended reading for anyone suffering from grief themselves. Seeing these three characters deal with losses of their own will undoubtedly resonate with readers and remind us that everyone is different and deals with things in their own way. This novel will also remind you that there are lighter times around the corner, which is why I loved it so much.

Out of the Darkness is moving, beautiful and I’d even go so far as to say life-affirming.

A huge thank you to Katy Hogan for sending me a copy of Out of the Darkness for review. 

Don’t forget I currently have a copy of Out of the Darkness up for grabs along with some Cowshed goodies and Green & Black’s chocolate. Click here to find out more.

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Katy HoganHaving grown up with a mother who consulted her tarot cards on a weekly basis, and who would frequently sense an other-worldly presence, it has always been perfectly natural for me to assume that there is more to this life than meets the eye. I have even experienced a few mysterious encounters myself. But it was only when I suffered the loss of a loved one that I started to question the possibility of life after death, and decided to find out more.
And so began a fascinating quest, where I met ‘ordinary’ people who claimed to have experienced the extraordinary. This is where I found the inspiration for my debut novel, ‘Out of the Darkness’. Although it’s fiction, much of the phenomena written about in the story have been experienced by me, my friends or people I spoke to during my research.
I have started work on my second novel, but when I’m not writing, you will find me keeping tabs on my teenage children or walking my dogs in the Hertfordshire countryside.

 

Katy Hogan   | Website  | Twitter | Goodreads  |

 

 

 

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