Early Review – The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

September 5, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013, YA 8 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Waking Dark by Robin WassermanThe Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on September 10th 2013
Pages: 464
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Girls on Fire

four-stars

A taut, haunting read, The Waking Dark is "a horror story worthy of Stephen King" (Booklist) and will appeal to the readers of Gillian Flynn and Rick Yancey.

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 killing day.
The day the devil came to Oleander.
That day.

 Oleander, Kansas is a small, quiet town that was never cause for much attention… until the killing day. The day when twelve people were killed in a few short hours by the hands of their friends and neighbors. Once all surrounding them were dead they then killed themselves having outlived their purpose. One survived to tell her tale, but she remembers nothing of the horrors that she dealt out. When the town is placed under quarantine after a horrific storm does further damage to the town, a darkness wakes in the citizens. The deacon decides this is the perfect opportunity to cleanse the town and the remaining citizens begin to take the law into their own hands.

This book is insanity incarnate. It’s dark and distressing. It’s maddening and stupefying. It’s one of the most horrific books I’ve ever read. It was fantastic. I have never been left more shocked and appalled by a single chapter and that’s just what Robin Wasserman managed to do. The Waking Dark is horror, but it’s not exactly scary. The madness that consumes this small town is more vexing and mortifying than anything and showcases perfectly the mentality of a small town and what can happen when it all goes wrong.

The story is extremely character driven and is told from several different points of view with very distinct characters so it didn’t cause any confusion as its fantastically written. It’s a sordid tale told over the span of a few short weeks with enough violence to last a lifetime. The Waking Dark has drawn comparisons to Stephen King and Gillian Flynn, I believe for good reason. Having read both authors I feel that they both possess a subtle eeriness in their writing, a creepiness and unflinching details that sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise.

I feel it must be said that this is one of the most violent and mature YA books I’ve read and is definitely not meant for a younger crowd. It involves infant murders, detailed meth use, crucifixion and people being burned at the stake (and that’s not even half of the craziness that goes down in these pages). This is not for the faint of heart.

There is so much to say about this story, but so much that needs to be experienced firsthand. I have to say though, I was extremely pleased at how the violence was maintained throughout the story because I figured it would letup at some point, (nope) but I expected it to end in a manner as shocking as the first chapter but it was a bit too tidy of an ending for my liking. Nevertheless, I am most impressed with this author and will be seeking out her past works.

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8 Responses to “Early Review – The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman”

  1. Jasprit

    I have had this book on my radar for sometime now, so I'm glad that it ended up being a truly epic read for you, I adore Gillian Flynn's work, so having you compare this book to her work, has me even more excited! Brilliant review Bonnie! 🙂
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  2. Tiffany

    Sounds like an interesting read. I 'll have to add it to my list! Thanks!
    My recent post GUEST POST: Miles to Go (The Walk #2)

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  3. Heidi

    Oh even though I am intrigued by your review, I am extremely hesitant about the violence I don't know if I could handle infant murders.
    My recent post Review, Interview and Giveaway: The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon

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  4. myfriendsarefiction

    Yep…I had to bail at the infant murder. I can't handle that, nope, nope. I was intrigued with the concept and the writing was well done but it was just SO VIOLENT. I felt like my brain was being scarred. I might need to DM you to find out why it was all happening! It's bothering me not knowing.
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  5. scottreadsit

    This sounds insanely good, I would definitely loved this one! I think I just might have to request this one at the library!! Also I'll definitely be reading Book Of Blood And Shadow because that's been gathering dust in my house. Great review!
    -Scott Reads It!

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