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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

SFINCS Finalist Score – Dark Heart of Ilmoure by Cara N. Delaney

It's time for our team Behind the Musings to start releasing our finalist scores! Two of our books from round one made it through to the finalists. Because of this we wanted to come together as a team and relook at our final scores before releasing them. And it is time!

If you want to keep up with the scores released from all the SFINCS teams you can check out the SFINCS site!


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.

What Team Behind the Musings thought of Dark Heart of Ilmoure

Full reviews can be found on the Behind the Musings SFINCS Hub as well as on the individual blogger’s websites.

"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!" ~ Behind the Pages

"On the whole, I really enjoyed this one. It was well written. The characters were good. The plot kept me reading and I was totally invested in determining what the mystery was at the heart of the story. Cara N. Delany builds the tension throughout the story, building the mystery throughout." ~ Fantasy Book Nerd

"The novella revolves around atmosphere. You can’t have a spooky story without the proper setup, after all, and the author recognizes this. She spends time crafting an eerie town, odd occurrences, and a basic sense of unease. It pays off in a big way later on, when things come to a head. The massively awkward family dinner alone, during which her parents seem to be having a conversation separate from the one they’re in, brought a glaring sense of wrongness to the story without being overbearing about it. It was brilliantly done." ~ Witty and Sarcastic Book Club


Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship Finalist badge
Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship Finalist badge

Final Team Score out of 10: 8

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