The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrew is one of the best books of 2022

The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrew is a dark academia urban fantasy novel, following a girl named Delaney who has struggled with the perception of other people throughout her life since she is Deaf. The author Kelly Andrew is also Deaf, and having the main character live some of the struggles she has faced makes this novel eye-opening and personal. 

 Many assume that Delaney is frail because she is Deaf, so when she is accepted to a respected program at Godbole University, she is excited to prove herself. However, Godbole is not a typical university, and it doesn’t have regular students; it teaches its students how to travel between worlds and move through the university’s fabric. Throughout the novel, Delaney struggles with the demanding material set by this university, coupled with uncooperative professors who refuse to help her with her disability. 

Delaney finds help in her courses through an older student named Colton Price. While Colton is willing to offer help to Delaney in her academics, they both have reasons to avoid each other socially. Delaney is annoyed that everyone in the University seems to think Colton can do no wrong, while Colton’s high class friends and mentors do not want Colton spending time with Delaney. But when Godbole students start dying mysteriously, Delaney and Colton have to put their differences aside as they navigate different universes and ageless beings threatening their world. 

This story was unique and exciting to read. One of the most frequent criticisms about fantasy books is that they can be too confusing. While there were some confusing elements throughout the book, everything made sense by the end, and there were no major plot holes. 

Despite loving the fantastical side of the book, my favorite part was the characters. Delaney and Colton are both very well-rounded characters, and it was exciting to see them grow throughout the book. Delaney especially was meaningful to read about, since it is not often main characters are disabled in fantasy novels. This makes The Whispering Dark one of my favorite books of 2022 and a novel I would recommend to anyone looking for a new book to read. 

The Whispering Dark is Andrews’ debut novel. While it is standalone, Andrew is expected to publish another book in January of 2024 set in the same universe as The Whispering Dark. 

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