Thank you, Holiday House and Pixel Ink, for providing a copy of Black Sand Beach #3: Have You Seen the Darkness? for an honest review.

I can be a relatively easy person to please. Want me to really love a story? Make it include mystery, intrigue, supernatural horrors and even face-eating monsters. So when I was introduced to Richard Fairgray’s Black Sand Beach graphic novel series, I knew this was something right up my alley. The series is the perfect mix of Gravity Falls and Twin Peaks for middle school-aged kids and adults alike. We learn about Dash, the creepy town of Black Sand Beach, and the secrets and twists that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

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This review is for the third graphic novel, Have You Seen the Darkness? but we want to make it known that we highly suggest reading this entire series. There is a brief catch-up moment, but to really understand and enjoy what happens, you will need to read the others first. This one picks up after the events of Do You Remember the Summer Before? as Dash continues to piece together the memory of his missing summer and uncover the secrets behind his two ghost friends.

The background art for Black Sand Beach: Have You Seen the Darkness with Dash and his friends watching as a pink ocrean seperates in front of them.

Black Sand Beach: Have You Seen the Darkness?

Have You Seen the Darkness? shifts us back to the 90s when Kelsey and Casey head out to Black Sand Beach. Not for a summer retreat, though. They are tagging along with their dad on a good old monster-hunting mission. What could go wrong? Well – a lot of stuff. And what happened to them plays a major part in Dash’s mission to save Black Sand Beach and himself. The balance between both the past and present makes for such a great read. It helps provide answers to questions we have had throughout the first two novels while also feeling like a completely standalone piece.

The Black Sand Beach series, as a whole, is a creepily spooky tale that just keeps getting better and better. How Fairgray manages to both make me love and fear these monsters is something I don’t think I will ever understand. And that’s okay. Please give me more! It really helps that his art style and storytelling are superb. The world he has built is home to so many little secrets. Some help guide the story forward, while others are just fun to find. Even after the series ends, I hope we see more stories in this world. Maybe some other monster-hunting in the 90s featuring Kelsey and Casey.

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Have You Seen the Darkness?, and the entire Black Sand Beach series is a must-read for science fiction mystery fans. If this isn’t a series you have jumped on, we highly suggest checking it out. It might even be the perfect graphic novel to enjoy alongside a younger reader. The best part of all? All three installments are available now! Are these on your TBR? Let us know in the comments below and on social media!

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Julia Roth
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