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 wasn’t so much scary as it was gruesome or disgusting. I was so bored the audio actually put me to sleep the first time around.
The problem for me with this book is that I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters, so anything that happened didn’t really click with me.
The writing itself was good, albeit forgettable just because it was written in 3rd person and I could never really distinguish between the points of view. However, this book excels in creating a really quaint town. It’s a small town where everybody knows everybody; the town where everyone’s business is known. The setting was very eerie and suspicious. I liked trying to guess what was happening.
I liked the execution of the plot for the most part as well. It felt like there was a dilemma between ‘did this town deserve what they got because they were sinners?’ and ‘is there evil in all of us?’. And I absolutely loved the way it was explored. It was what actually kept me passing the pages.
I’m 100% sure that I probably would’ve enjoyed this book more if I hadn’t listened to the audio. It’s not that the narrator is bad, it’s just that there were multiple points of view and only one narrator. The transitions between characters was never explicit in the story, which led to confusion most of the time.
I definitely do not recommend this book if you have a ‘soft’ stomach, or if you don’t like reading books with ‘strong’ themes. The writing itself delivers everything in a cool, unflinching honesty, which in a way emphasizes it more.
All in all, while I think the pacing and narration were a bit “off” for me, the end result was enjoyable and one that I recommend for certain people.
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