Review: The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
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Genre: Horror, Thriller, Young Adult
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.
Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.
The Waking Dark is an action packed descent into madness in the vein of Stephen King. Hold on to your hats boys and girls because Robin Wasserman's The Waking Dark has just changed the face of Young Adult horror. I expected thrills, I even expected creepy ambiance, I did not however expect the level of violence, the depravity, the oh my goodness that did not just happen moments. To say the least I'm impressed, the bar has been set and it has been set high.
One of my favorite things about The Waking Dark was how the story unfolded. It starts with these gruesome murders and just when you think to yourself that it can't get much worse it does. I was really shocked to say the least how far down the rabbit hole everyone would plunge. The twists and turns kept me guessing right until the very end and it seemed just when I was sure I'd figured it all out another hole in the road of logic appeared throwing me off balance.
Another thing I liked were the characters. The cast is large but it was always easy for me to identify who was speaking and to whom. I think my favorite character had to be West. I really felt for him and sympathized with his situation a bit more than either Jule's or Daniel's. I also liked Milo. He was that shining beacon of goodness a book like this needs to balance all the pain and suffering everyone else goes through.
Lastly, like I mentioned above I loved how action packed this book was. While it did have a few slower paced parts in the middle I never truly felt bored. Could this book of been shorter? Maybe, but I think part of the books appeal is that slow methodical build up. The pot is always near boiling and by the end it's simmering over in sweet release. Good for us as readers, very bad for the characters involved.
I absolutely loved The Waking Dark. If you like Horror and character driven stories than this book is definitely for you. I highly recommend picking this book up and giving it a go. However, In good conscience I will put a content warning on my recommendation. The Waking Dark deals with topics such as drug use, rape, infanticide, religious fanaticism,psychosis and that's barely even scratching the surface of the crazy that happens. It's a great book but parents need to be mindful of what lies within the pages before purchasing for younger teens. With that being said, I will be rating The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman ★★★★★.
*Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them.
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