Book Review – Nine Candles of Deepest Black by Matthew S. Cox.


5 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.

Wow! What a book. Now, I am not usually a fan of gore/horror scary tales of the supernatural… mostly as I tend to read in the dark at night… and I’m a wuss.

But ‘Nine candles of deepest black’ had just the right level of these things to be creepy and scary… but in an addictive way that literally DID have me awake until 1:30 each morning. And not because I was scared, but because I was just could NOT put this book down!

Due to the age of the characters, I am sure this is possibly meant to be a YA or NA story… but it would have scared the pants off me back at that age and so do feel I’m now *cough* mature enough to enjoy it and not need to turn all the lights on in the house and check all the doors are locked after reading it for a while. 😉

Openly being a Pagan – who is not a Wiccan – I really liked how this book approached the belief. No, I’m not saying what I do is all pentagrams, blood candles and demon stuff… I write about demons, but I don’t try and summon them. 😉 But I liked the fact that it tips its hat to the fact a lot of my faith is about intent and belief. Not saying if we BELIEVE in something long enough it will happen… But belief in oneself and our abilities to do what is right. And I really got that in this book and loved it. I was a little worried it was going to go all “Charmed” on me and make me throw the book down in disgust… but it didn’t and for that I am thankful.

Okay, enough soapboxing on belief and back to the book. It started out almost like a string of short stories… but just for the first few chapters and then it found its footing and ran. And boy did it run! I honestly found it hard to put down and that is rare for me with a book. It was like ‘kids, cook your own dinner!’ level of could not put down. I’m a good mum, they reheated left overs. 😉

And yes, it really did have me up to 1:30am each morning as I read, and read and absorbed the story. As we have been having some pretty horrific weather here in the Adelaide Hills right now (50 year storms, the entire state of South Australia lost electricity for at least 6 hours) THAT sort of weather… this was a terrific book to scare myself with. 🙂

Though I’m sure it would be just as entertaining to read on a sunny day… I think I remember what they look like.

All in all a totally addictive and highly entertaining story with a likable protagonist, a good storyline, solid characters and just that right amount of scary stuff to make it interesting without being too gross for the sake of being gory. I’ve read some of Mr Cox’s work before and it was similar… scary stuff, but not scary enough to prevent young readers (and readers of YA) to go screaming in terror. Just enough to entertain.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. ‘Nine candles of deepest black’ is a terrific piece of supernatural story telling. Yes the more timid YA/NA reader may get a little scared at times, but others will probably think it mild (I did say I was a wuss right?) and just enjoy it all the same.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I would. I am really starting to become a fan of Mr Cox’s supernatural work and could happily see myself buying this book – as well as telling others to do the same. It really was a perfect bit of writing.

In summary: Lovers of the supernatural with an honest Pagan twist will love this story. It wasn’t too far-fetched, it was well paced, a good mix of believable characters and an addictive nature to draw you in and read for hours past your bedtime. I highly recommend it!

Until next time,



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