Review: A Light Amongst Shadows by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood

Quick Info
A light Amongst shadows

  • Series: Dark is the Night
    book 1
  • genre: Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
  • Diversity: mental health (addiction, possibly PTSD)
  • Trigger Warnings: abuse, corporal punishment, opium addiction, rape mention
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars

A light Amongst shadows

James Spencer is hardly the typical “troubled youth” who ends up at Whisperwood School for Boys. Instead of hating the strict schedules and tight oversight by staff, James blossoms, quickly making friends and indulging in his love of writing, while contemplating the merits of sneaking love poems to the elusive and aloof William Esher.

The rumours about William’s sexuality and opium reliance are prime gossip material amongst the third years. Rumours that only further pique James’ curiosity to uncover what William is really like beneath all that emotional armor. And, when the normally collected William stumbles in one night, shaken and ranting of ghosts… James is the only one who believes him.

James himself has heard the nails dragging down his bedroom door and the sobs echoing in the halls at night. He knows others have, too, even if no one will admit it. The staff refuses to entertain such ridiculous tales, and punishment awaits anyone who brings it up.

Their fervent denial and the disappearance of students only furthers James’s determination to find out what secrets Whisperwood is hiding… Especially if it means keeping William and himself from becoming the next victims.

The Queer’s Review

After tweeting

Trust Kelley York to write a ghost story that has me sitting teary eyed at a train station. I can’t read it at night because those ghosts are creepy af!

I tried to leave behind my excitement and enthusiasm about A Light Amongst Shadows. I’ve tried for weeks because I didn’t want to be all “adsfgnjhgjn YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! NOW!” but… I think I have to be that way. I’m still not finished loving this story. Now don’t get me wrong, if I love a book I’ll love it forever but after some time the love stops bubbling to the surface every day.

Since I do not want to spoiler you, I won’t tell you much about the story itself (go read it and then come gushing about it to me!), but I will take you on a ride through my notes about it:  

  • Such soft story telling
  • Ew here comes the creepiness. Luckily it’s gentle
  • Flirtation by poetry FUCK YES!
  • Squeal like a child instead of like a girl that’s right
  • It’s so fucking creepy but oh the tears, the tears


Am I embarrassed by my not eloquence? Maybe a little. But those notes really show how I felt while reading. I came in excited because Kelley York Y’all and it was such a nice and soft ride that I simply fell in love with the story and its characters. And then there were the ghost-y parts and I was like ‘yeah, I can do that, this is great’ (I’m a chicken, sue me). I was further lured in by the developing romance and the feministic touch and then? Then my heart exploded because of adrenaline and fear but that was not enough, oh no, now you want to make be bawl like there is no tomorrow?!

Bookish Thoughts

I want to go on this ride again. Please give me the second book now!


I received a free copy through the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

4 replies

  1. This sounds awesome! Definitely adding to my TBR.

    Hi, by the way. I’m a new subscriber. I’m so happy to have found your blog!


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