Book Review: When All Is Dark and Quiet by Cory Mason

***I received a free copy and am voluntarily giving an honest review***

Nova Sellers needs to get away for a while. Her escape of choice? Mackinac Island, a historic tourist town that in the winter months serves as the home for less than five hundred people. It’s remote, it’s quiet, it’s lonely, and nobody knows your business. It’s just what Nova thinks she needs to get back on her feet.

But Nova’s escape is shattered when a rockslide during a hike nearly kills her and unearths a small cave that had been sealed off for millennia. Ancient paintings on the walls depict an unsettling scene: people stalked and isolated by a strange gray figure.

As the days go by, unusual things begin to occur around Nova’s old house, when everything is dark and quiet. The locals don’t exactly set her at ease, either. Paranoia sets in, and things Nova would have left in the past begin to catch up with her. Nova slowly realizes that something more may have been uncovered in that cave than just paintings.


I loved this coming-of-age drama. The opening “The island loomed on the horizon like the back of a great green turtle, floating in the dark teal waters of Lake Huron” had me hooked. The author was great with imagery in the setting details. I could picture everywhere Nova went.

I was surprised to see covid-19 mentioned because Nova was leaving her house to explore Mackinac Island all the time, even hanging out in coffee shops. Were there any restrictions on the small island? Was this all before states have been on lockdown?

I loved that the chapter headings were the dates of April. It helped me, as a reader, keep track of Nova’s journey. The suspense was interesting after she experienced bad dreams and the –(wait I won’t spoil that for you guys!). Her world turned darker after visiting the cave. I was definitely interested in the scenes where the creepy guy was harassing Nova. I wish more time had been spent on him, especially after he said he’d been watching her sleep one night. Was he for real? Or just being a lying punk?

I appreciated the ending. Nova was depressed throughout the story and had to face her past. I hadn’t been expecting that reveal of her past, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

2 thoughts on “Book Review: When All Is Dark and Quiet by Cory Mason

    • Thanks, Priscilla. Unfortunately when the creep said that, I couldn’t tell if he was lying because she rejected his advances or if he had snuck into her place one night. He was one of the movers from the company she had hired when she first got to the island. It’s plausible. However, he’s never really mentioned again after that scene.

      Keep smiling,

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