The Girl From Dark Dakota

Fiction - Paranormal
561 Pages
Reviewed on 09/18/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

Malevolent energy is threatening a peaceful small North Dakota town, and a group of teens -- assisted by a medium and a paranormal debunker -- work together to remove the threat in the paranormal novel, The Girl From Dark Dakota by Bryan Devore. Seventeen-year-old Rachel has psychic abilities, and she has been hearing the screams of a murdered woman for the past year. With the anniversary of the woman's death approaching, her screams are coming more frequently. Meanwhile, an auditor going over the hospital's books comes face to face with the overwrought spirit. When Rachel and her ghost hunting team hear of it, they race to the hospital to capture evidence. However, things aren't what they seem. The ghost is angry and violent in one location and sad and distressed in another. The paradoxical energy surrounding the unhappy spirit confuses Rachel and the team. When a medium and paranormal researcher comes to town, they join forces to uncover the mystery and bring the woman peace. But as they investigate the circumstances behind the woman's death, an evil spirit interferes. Is it a ghost? Or is something evil endangering the city?

The Girl From Dark Dakota by Bryan Devore is a thrilling young adult novel spotlighting ghost hunting and the paranormal. It is a dramatic and hair-raising story, with engaging characters, a chilling plot, and an explosive finale. Being a fan of the reality television series of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, I was thoroughly immersed in the story and didn't put the book down until I reached the end, which is saying something as it is not a short book. I loved how each aspect of ghost hunting and paranormal research is defined and explained. Flawlessly written, it is a spellbinding story that captures the essence of paranormal research and the enthusiasm of those who strive to prove the existence of the Otherside. Coming to a bloodcurdling conclusion, it is a chilling story that will entertain everyone who relishes spine-tingling novels. Due to violent content, the book is more suited for mature readers.

Ruffina Oserio

The Girl From Dark Dakota by Bryan Devore is an engrossing paranormal story with fascinating and extraordinary characters. It has been almost a year since Annabel Heller was murdered during Halloween. Now, four people begin to experience strange things: high school senior, Rachel Black, hears Annabel’s ghost crying in her dreams; Madam Bovell, a medium who once lost her gift, feels it returning and guiding her towards Rachel; in the hospital, an auditor experiences strange things in a hospital wing, and a bereaved father senses the spirit of his son trying to communicate to him. It is a few days before Halloween, and these characters must solve a mystery or a small town might sink into darkness.

The reader is immediately introduced to the characters, starting with Professor Donovan Graves, and I loved the way Bryan Devore writes details into these characters, constructing worlds around them that readers can easily imagine. Imagine a man walking the same path he’s walked for twenty years, his cane clicking on the concrete. The imagery is strong, and what is even more interesting is that the reader gets a feel for the character’s familiar world, and then a disturbing disruption. The shifts in points of view are wonderful and as the story moves from one character to the next, the suspense becomes stronger and the reader can’t wait to reconnect with the characters they left in the preceding chapters. The Girl From Dark Dakota is a mix of murder and mystery, a story that follows well-crafted characters as they struggle to unravel the secrets of a town before something terrible happens. It is a delightful story.

Jose Cornelio

The Girl From Dark Dakota by Bryan Devore is a mesmerizing tale of murder, mystery, and the paranormal. An unsolved murder that happened almost a year ago comes back, haunting characters and with strange premonitions of something even more sinister lurking in a small town. Professor Donovan Graves is a brilliant man who handles paranormal research, but he is startled when the ghost of his son tries to connect with him. Rachel Black hears screams of Annabel Heller's ghost, and while her adoptive parents call them nightmares, she knows they are real. Jason Hardy is an auditor from Chicago who experiences strange happenings while working in an old wing of the hospital. Helen Bovell is a medium whose lost gift is slowly returning and it leads her towards Rachel. What connection do these strange happenings have with the murder of Annabel Heller, almost a year ago, on Halloween? Halloween is just five days away and if the mystery is not unraveled in time, something more horrific might happen.

This is a wonderful, creepy story that is as gripping as it is entertaining. It is suspenseful and written in beautiful prose. The story centers on the murder of Annabel Heller, the last of her family, and the mystery of Williston Hospital. Bryan Devore does a wonderful job with the story and I enjoyed how it begins with some paranormal signs — the mysterious clues — and slowly escalates to full-blown conflict, with the characters seeking the truth in a world filled with deadly secrets. I loved the wonderful descriptions that punctuate every page of the story. Bryan Devore is a great storyteller and creates characters that are believable and likable and a plot that is original and gripping. The Girl From Dark Dakota is a perfect read for anyone who enjoys paranormal tales.

Romuald Dzemo

The Girl from Dark Dakota by Bryan Devore is a great story with multi-dimensional characters and a suspenseful plot, a story with a strong appeal to fans of mystery and murder. It is almost a year since Annabel’s husband shot her in the head last Halloween. Rachel Black dreamed of Annabel’s death while the unconscious woman lay in the hospital and doctors fought valiantly to save her life. Now, Rachel hears screams of Annabel’s ghost and they aren’t only when she sleeps. She believes they are real. A professor also experiences a weird phenomenon related to his deceased son and an auditor, Jason Hardy, experiences strange things at the hospital. Helen Bovell, a medium, starts experiencing the return of her powers and everything guides her towards something disturbing. Another Halloween looms ahead and these characters have a mystery to solve. Can they unravel it before it is too late?

Bryan Devore has written a story that kept me awake through the night. The narrative voice is strong and it grips the reader right off the bat. I enjoyed the beautiful prose, almost lyrical in style, and the author provides descriptions that are detailed and allow readers to feel the characters. The plot is cunningly written and the author crafts suspense into the story and raises readers' curiosity. The characters are sophisticated, and each is troubled by something unusual, something that piques their imagination and moves them to seek answers. The Girl from Dark Dakota is creepy in a way that fans of paranormal will adore. There are elements of horror, but they just spice up the narrative. This is a book by an author who masters the intricacies of a winning plot and a flair for character development. It was an enjoyable read for me — flawless writing, strong plot points, and unforgettable characters.

Rabia Tanveer

The Girl From Dark Dakota by Bryan Devore is a fantastic paranormal story that will make you bite your nails and hold your breath. Dr. Donovan Graves is a paranormal research debunker, but even he cannot deny he feels his deceased son’s spirit. He can feel the urgency, but he has no idea how he can help his son. Rachel has nightmares of the dead Annabel Heller in her dreams, and she wakes up gasping and scared, not knowing what she can do to stop them. Jason Hardy works at a hospital in Williston, and he gets the fright of his life when he experiences things that he cannot explain. And lastly, Madam Bovell is a medium who gets her gift back, and everything starts pointing her to Rachel. All four of them know something terrible is brewing; the supernatural world tries to warn them about something huge coming, but they have no idea what it is. They all cannot be imagining things. Can they figure out the hints and nudges before it is too late?

The Girl From Dark Dakota is far more entertaining than you would think, I guarantee that. The ambiance is perfect for the story. Starting with Dr. Donovan and gradually introducing each protagonist in the subsequent chapters is a brilliant move by Bryan Devore. Each of the characters is introduced in a way that defines their predicament carefully. We get detailed descriptions, hints of the mystery, and terrifying scares, all of which make it a great story to read (not at night, trust me, you will thank me). The plot moves at a fast pace yet not too fast so that the development arc of the characters is lost. I loved Madam Bovell’s reactions, I felt sorry for young Rachel, I enjoyed Donovan’s change of heart, and I admired Jason’s ability to keep a steady head in the face of trouble. It is a must-read to set the mood for Halloween.