Genre – Fiction
Category – Dark Fantasy/Dystopian/Horror
Pages – 365
Publication Information – Shelby Anonymous – January 4, 2019
Reviewed by William C. Bitner, Jr.
Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙
This is a mind numbing and wonderfully bizarre, as well as wonderfully and intensely weird series of books. Within the Darkness (Wisteria Series, Book 2), by Shelby Lamb is brilliant. The first book in the series Something, was good but book two is beyond anything I’ve ever read before. It comes with a warning, as well it should. This book will not be for everyone, but it should be read by everyone. It deals with some very sensitive issues, to wit; rape, depression and suicide to name just a few. We are not so much in a place as we are in a feeling or a sense of being or situation (I realize that sound baffling, but if you read the book you will understand where I’m coming from). The characters are on a quest in an alternative reality to make it to a safe house or safe place in hopes of making it back to the main world and a place of safety. They must go through much degradation, torture and shame filled situations along the way. Like Aldous Huxley, Ms Lamb really tries, and in my opinion succeeds in messing with the reader’s mind in relation to one’s perception of reality. This is not an easy read, it’s thought provoking and brutally honest on so many levels. It’s a book that will have you questioning what is and what isn’t real in life. Once you go down this rabbit hole there’s only one way out. Try to come back with your sanity. Keep in mind at the end of this book that this is indeed a second book in a series of books and the ending of this book will not give you a complete picture or answer all the reader’s questions. As a matter of fact, I have more questions now then I did at the beginning of book one! That’s not a bad thing, it means that book three will be filled with treasures to be absorbed. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, and something that will have you diving into the pages and wanting more…this is the book for you. Hopefully I did this book some justice with my review. It is just brilliant beyond words.
Synopsis (from the back cover): “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”
— Aldous Huxley
Aubrey has done it. She has teleported herself to “the hidden domain” and have managed to bring along her dream boy, Nathan, and nemesis/ex-besty Adelaide. But how could this be? They were all just at a party. No one knew getting into the backyard shed and saying the “magic words” would work. And the three are absolutely stunned. But the world Aubrey thought would be a wonderful paradise is actually a nightmare. As beautiful and enchanting as it is, Wisteria is like jumping down the rabbit hole with the Devil waiting on the sidelines.
The people are different in this world. They are monsters, and not just physically. The Moss Wall is supposed to serve as a protection, separating the demons from the non-demons, but that doesn’t mean Aubrey and her friends are safe. Non-demon Aristocrats are nasty and cruel, indulging in their favorite daily past-time: the torture of the red maidens.
And as for the handsome demon boy who wants Aubrey’s soul? “You’ll never escape,” warned fairies swooping down on her.
But Aubrey, Nathan, and Adelaide won’t go down without a fight. They simply must make it to the safe house and find their way out of the realm. Thankfully The Underground Annual is on its way. It is the biggest party, an explosive rave that happens once a year. And now it is their only window of opportunity. But will their plan succeed?
About Shelby Lamb: Shelby Lamb (A.K.A Shelby Anonymous) is an author/non-judgemental Hindu-Christian/demon slayer who loves exploring the weird and unsettling. She writes fiction from her own personal life experiences, the depths of her imagination, and the inspiration around her. Something (Wisteria 1) is her debut work. Since struggling with depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder, a bit of her knowledge of these dark emotions and feelings are crafted into each of her stories. She is proud of her writing. They may not be for everyone but she is thoughtful and careful in her narrations, as she grew up on literary fiction and still wants to give her books a flavor of that even if they are in select genres. In a way, she writes for a narrower audience, hoping to heal other sufferers of trauma. She doesn’t believe in sugar-coating because real issues are to be delved into even in fiction as to be able to relate is to heal in her humble opinion. Aubrey in particular in Something, book one of the Wisteria series is for her a very intimate character. As Aubrey has borderline personality herself. But as Aubrey grows to heal from her tragic inner turmoil and psychological trauma she hopes it can inspire other suffers from mental illnesses to see the light through the darkness, learn healthy coping skills, and become their best selves. Even though she is devoted for the time being into completing the Wisteria series, she wants to later delve into clean suspense Christian fiction. For the time being she works on darker material to hopefully open doors for other victims of trauma into following along her works into seeing that life isn’t so hard when you have God and the Universe rooting for you.
She lives in a magical Canadian town. Doesn’t own cats right now but wishes to adopt several one day soon!
Other books by Shelby Lamb: Something (Wisteria Series – Book One), Kirsten and Ally – Book 1, Kirsten and Ally – Book 2, Lovely Differences, Lovely Bones, Her (Episodes 1, 2, & 3) and Mary Had a Little Shadow.