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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

Dark Heart of Ilmoure by Cara N. Delaney 2023 SFINCs Book Review

SFINCS 2023 Championship Banner
SFINCS 2023 Championship Banner

This review is part of the Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship (SFINCS). SFINCS, pronounced “sphinx”. This is a yearly competition to recognize, honor, and celebrate the talent and creativity present in the indie community. It’s a sister competition to both SPFBO and SPSFC, and it highlights greatness in the novella format in all areas of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.).

To see more information on my team Behind the Musings check out this post!

Dark Heart of Ilmoure by Cara N. Delaney book cover
Dark Heart of Ilmoure by Cara N. Delaney

Blurb for Dark Heart of Ilmoure

Years ago, all she wanted was to leave. Now, a web of secrets might ensnare her forever.

When Iris Grey returns to her hometown of Ilmoure years after a bitter parting, she hopes for reconciliation in the face of a tragedy. Instead, she arrives to a town changed for the worse, a cold welcome from people she once loved, and a family that seems to be keeping secrets from her at every turn.

When those secrets become too heavy to ignore, Iris starts to dig deeper. What she finds leads her to question her very perception of reality. Faced with old wounds and new revelations, Iris finds herself mired in a plot that threatens to swallow herself, the town, and the people she once loved.


Book Review for Dark Heart of Ilmoure

Iris escaped the town of Ilmoure and her family. But when her nephew passes away she returns to pay her respects. Iris expects to find her family in mourning, yet when she arrives there is nothing but cold indifference. Her brother-in-law is nowhere to be found and her family barely speaks of her departed nephew. But Iris will soon find out, her family’s behavior is the least of her worries. Something dark is lurking in the town of Ilmoure, and Iris is about to ask a few too many questions.

When Iris arrives, she fully expects to stay at the local hotel, only to find it has closed. Forced to stay with her parents, Iris braces for the unhappy reunion. There is a lot of history between them. And it doesn’t help that no one will mention her nephew. Tensions grow as Iris tries to understand her family’s behavior and braces for her parents to bring up the past.

Cara Delaney does a wonderful job allowing readers to unpack the animosity between Iris and her parents without too much information. It helps add to the unease readers will feel as Iris digs deeper into the town’s secrets. Iris is not a character to give up when faced with a dead end. She’ll keep asking questions until she uncovers the truth. A sense of foreboding will settle along the reader’s shoulders as Iris steps closer and closer to that truth.

Dark Heart of Ilmoure grabs readers from the start. It will draw them into the unknown as they venture alongside Iris. Each page will bring readers closer to unveiling the disturbing reality within the town. Fans of horror stories should give this a try!

To Purchase: Amazon

All or part of this book review may be used in marketing, I only ask that you reference Behind the Pages if you choose to do so.

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