The Darkdeep

Books by Brendan Reichs:


Releases September 24, 2019

“Thrilling, intense, with pulse-pounding chills . . . Everything you could want in a series.” –Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil

Nico, Opal, Tyler, Emma, and Logan survived their worst fears come to life, and saved their tiny Pacific Northwest town of Timbers from a monstrous figment invasion. Now they just want to keep their heads down, enjoy Halloween, and explore the secrets of their mysterious houseboat clubhouse. And also figure out their new Torchbearer responsibilities as keepers of the Darkdeep, an ancient whirlpool hidden in Still Cove that can make both dreams and nightmares into reality.

But when a dangerous new breed of figments starts appearing on their own, and the very environment around them begins to spiral out of control, the friends realize they have no idea what they are doing-or how they’re supposed to restrain the Darkdeep. They must uncover the pool’s origins, as well as those of the freaky Thing in a Jar, a seemingly lifeless green creature Opal believes is communicating with her. To make matters worse, a trashy YouTube series has rolled into town intent on finding the Beast, the legendary local sea monster suddenly stirring up the countryside.

As threats rapidly close in around them, the friends must fight to protect their secrets, defeat new enemies, and save Timbers and all that they love.

Told from alternating points of view, this chilling sequel from bestselling duo Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs will once again have readers sleeping with the lights on.


“Full of chilling adventures and dark revelations, Reichs and Condie’s sequel to The Darkdeep (2018) will satisfy the appetites of middle-grade horror lovers everywhere.” –  Booklist

“A rousing Halloween read.” –  Kirkus Reviews

“Thrilling, intense, with pulse-pounding chills . . . Everything you could want in a series.” –  Soman Chainani, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL



Synopsis: Stranger Things meets Goonies.SOMETHING ANCIENT HAS AWAKENED…

Everyone in Timbers knows Still Cove is off-limits, with its creepy Beast sightings and equally terrifying legends. But when a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over a cliff and into Still Cove’s icy waters, friends Tyler and Emma—and even Opal Walsh, who usually runs with the popular kids—rush to his rescue…and discover a mysterious island hiding in the murky, swirling mists below.

Though the island appears uninhabited, the kids can’t shake a feeling that something about it is definitely not right. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat filled with all sorts of curiosities: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to unknown places, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable. And in the boat’s lowest depths churns a dark, deep secret.

As the group delves into this mysterious new clubhouse, their lives begin to intertwine in weird and dangerous ways. For something ancient has awakened…and it can detect not only their wishes and dreams, but also their darkest, most terrible imaginings. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy secrets lurking within their own hearts?

Told from alternating points of view, this pulse-racing tale from bestselling duo Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs is the start of a high-stakes, thrilling series about friendship and believing in yourself—and each other.


Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | Books A Million

Bookseller Reviews!

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, your very dreams can become nightmares!”
–Gerard Villegas, Warwick’s Books, La Jolla CA

“This middle grade novel has everything; four good friends and a lurking bully; a mysterious, seemingly forgotten lake; and a houseboat that holds more than one secret. When Nico, Opal, Tyler, and Emma discover the Dark Deep they must make a decision; keep it to themselves? Or tell someone, their parents, the police, anyone. This is a very satisfying read about friendship and bravery with just the right amount of scary fantastic creatures. I can’t wait to see what happens next!” –Anne Holman, Kings English, Salt Lake City UT

“With the creep factor set to perfect, you’ll plunge right into the Darkdeep from the first chapter.  While the comparisons to Stranger Things are unavoidable and apt, Condie and Reichs have created a unique, spine-tingling world.  The Darkdeep will leave readers eager for book 2 in this  eerie middle-grade series.” –Buffy Cummins, Second Star to the Right, Denver CO

When you live in a small town there tends to be an old urban legend that you can’t just ignore. Still Cove is that legend. Nico and his friends have stumbled onto something mysterious and quite possibly dangerous. Soon they are having fun and experimenting with their new discovery. It doesn’t take long for things to turn dark. Nico didn’t mean for any of it to happen, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Nico and everyone else need to figure out exactly what they have woken and how to stop the monster of The Darkdeep before it destroys them and their beloved town. Ally Condie & Brendan Reichs have brought us a fast-paced, heart-racing story! –Jen Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

“I read The Darkdeep in two gulps. Compulsive stuff. . . . A narrative vortex was in force, not unlike the dangerous well in which the Darkdeep itself lives. Kids will absolutely love this story for its drive, completely relate-able characters, snappy dialogue, and big dollops of mystery and evil.  Fun!” –Kenny Brechner, DDG Booksellers

Other Outstanding Reviews!

Popular authors Condie (the Matched trilogy) and Reichs (Nemesis, 2017) combine their talents in this unsettling psychological thriller for a middle-grade audience. After 12-year-old Nico falls off a cliff while trying to rescue his quadcopter, his friends Tyler and Ella, along with Opal—caught between popularity and feeling semiresponsible for Nico’s dire situation—stumble upon a hidden island, a mysteriously abandoned houseboat, and a swirling well of water that is home to something dark and possibly deadly. As the friends deal with personal experiences and navigate their various homelives, they also start to discover some nefarious effects of their experimentation with the well: figments begin appearing around the island in greater frequency and with increasingly murderous intent. But what happens when their deepest fears start to manifest, and they have no idea how to defend themselves? Condie and Reichs have developed an imaginative and ultimately uplifting narrative filled with dark and frightening components, in-depth character development, and a deliciously ominous ending that will leave readers craving the next volume of this planned duology.  HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The YA powerhouses behind the best-selling Matched trilogy (Condie) and Virals series (Reichs) are taking the middle-grade set by storm, and the publisher is pulling out all the promotional stops.  — BOOKLIST, Rob Bittner

Veteran writers Condie (Matched) and Reichs (Genesis) team up to deliver an action-packed Goonies-like adventure set in the Pacific Northwest. Trying to recover a drone lost to an act of bullying, Nico slips at the edge of a fog-covered cliff and tumbles into Washington State’s Still Cove. Nico’s friends, worried about the beast that allegedly lurks below the water, are relieved to find not only a boat to search for their friend, but also Nico himself, on an island within the cove—one they’ve never heard of. In the center of the island lies a dark pond, a houseboat floating in its center. In the bowels of the houseboat sits a well of thick liquid dubbed the Darkdeep, which beckons and submerges the friends one by one, then spits each into the pond and animates their minds’ contents. Initially, the frivolous figments disappear quickly, but as the creatures become more dreadful—and more solid—they begin to cause real damage and threaten more than just the strange island. A basic beginning moves into a satisfying narrative arc, perfect for reluctant readers who appreciate things that go bump in the night.– Publisher’s Weekly

Collaboration between bestselling authors is bound to produce high expectations, and this mash-up of “Goosebumps”-meets-The Goonies certainly delivers. Still Cove is a mysteriously foggy area just outside the mill town of Timbers. Twelve-year-olds Opal and Nico avoid the place at all costs due to rumors of “the Beast,” but after a run-in with bully Logan, the friends are forced to brave the area. What they find is incredible: a mystical water portal that sucks you in and spits you out, bringing your imagination to life—literally. When the “figments” begin to get out of control, what began as a fun game suddenly turns deadly. Nico, Opal, and their friends must find a way to work together to contain the phenomenon they refer to as the Darkdeep. The four friends at the heart of the story have distinctive personalities, with Nico and Opal narrating. The magical aspect of the Darkdeep runs parallel to the fears and worries the characters hold about their lives. Nico’s father petitioned to protect an endangered owl species in the woods, resulting in job losses at the town’s mill and resentment from the community. Friction between Nico and Logan, the mill owner’s son, and Opal, who’s family profited from the situation, must be overcome before they can tackle the figments and the Darkdeep. VERDICT: Swiftly paced and peppered with wit, this darkly entertaining tale is sure to engage horror fans.—School Library Journal

 Author Praise!

“Take a deep breath. You won’t have time to again once the lightning-paced action begins. Kids trapped on an island of dark secrets . . . Nightmare creatures come to life . . . I’m not kidding. This book left me breathless!” —R.L. Stine, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Goosebumps and Fear Street

“Move over, Stranger Things. . . . The Darkdeep will pull you into an irresistibly eerie world beyond your wildest dreams–and nightmares.” —Melissa de la Cruz, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants series

“The wonder of The Darkdeep is that it flourishes both as a kinetic thrill-ride, straddling the real and unreal . . . but also as subtle testament to all the twists and turns of young friendship. The stakes are huge, the action high-throttle, but what readers will remember most is its big, emotional heart. Reichs and Condie have teamed up to create an addictive new series that feels both classic and modern, a worthy heir to The Goonies and Stranger Things. Kids won’t get enough of The Darkdeep . . . A truly spectacular adventure.” —Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil

“Brimming with chilling mysteries and heart-stopping twists, The DarkDeep will draw you into its shadows and keep you captivated… if your heart hasn’t already been taken by the lovable cast of unlikely heroes first! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.” —Alexandra Bracken, New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds

“The Darkdeep has all the makings of a classic: achingly real friendships, the kind of insidious terror that’s a touch too believable, and heart-stopping stakes with each chapter. This is, hands down, the most fun I’ve had while being deeply terrified.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of Aru Shah and the End of Time

“A perfect blend of Stranger Things and The Goonies, The Darkdeep is a delicious, rollicking adventure you won’t be able to put down.” —Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of Furthermore

“Fast-paced, thrilling, and full of mystery—The Darkdeep will keep readers at the edge of their seats!” —Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Wolf