Blackmail, Intrigue ~ Dead by Morning (Thriller Review)

Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz

Just your average high school drama, except- there’s a murderer on the loose.

Good evening you beautiful bookworms. ^_^
I hope this Sunday has treated you well so far.

Today’s review is for Dead by Morning, a thrilling tale of obsession and vengeance. The story begins with a description of the leading male, Chance-


‘The boy sat in the shadows- he stared at the rose placed on the table- That was the beauty of the world he found himself in- it didn’t follow the rules of the real world and he admired it for that very reason.’

In some ways (as I journeyed through pages of secrecy and well-built up tension), the rose could symbolize our leading lady, Luna, a beautiful and yet fierce, thorny teen who has little interest in supposed teen heartthrob and mysterious male lead, Chance.

Although the opening chapter initially drew me in, I began finding it difficult to keep reading as I didn’t really understand Chance’s motivations in regards to his actions. He seems to follow no logical pattern of behaviour and is at best, unpredictable.

Another realm is mentioned toward the mid-end of the story, with several characters (Max: an old friend of Luna’s, included) being able to enter Luna’s dreams in order to try and warn her of impending danger.

With a passive mother and stern father who wishes to marry Luna off, the young teen often finds herself without the love and support she clearly craves throughout the novel. Regardless, I found myself adoring Luna’s personality from the get go: her dry and sarcastic brand of humour, her cunning when faced with impossible odds, and her determination to battle any and all foes, in order to return life to normal.

On the flip-side, leading man Chase reminded me of a less developed version of Tate, from season one of American Horror Story (Murder House.) These two young men share a morbid fascination of the world around them, which often urges them to commit terrible atrocities against their fellow man.

We can see into Chance’s soul from the very start of the novel, with many moments foreshadowing the arrival of his ‘inner demons,’ such as- ‘Mysterious disappearance of his parents’, or- ‘He always got what he wanted.’

These cruel traits are made all the more threatening when we examine Chance’s actions throughout the story.


The story itself goes from a ya Thriller to some sort of unidentifiable urban fantasy mash-up, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I feel as though these additional concepts should have been introduced far sooner, with foreshadowing to signal their arrival in the story. I feel this would have helped the theme and indeed the genre to appear more consistent, and clean to the reader.

I found Dead by Morning to be an unusual and oddly gripping tale of obsession and loss in the face of absolute control, and after having lost it. While I did dislike certain features, I cannot fault the incredible tension-building skills of the author, who managed to keep me reading, regardless of the confusing genre tie-ins.

My Rating: 3.5 stars.






My opinion: The story has some issues, but still captured my attention and imagination.
Recommended for? Lovers of genre mash-ups, e.g. of Thrillers and Urban Fantasy.
Thank you for joining me for today’s review. ^_^

Have a sensational Sunday,
~ Daccari.

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