Audiobook Review: The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

17061489From Goodreads:

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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  1. says

    The blurb sounds so intruiging and interesting! I do love horror but I’m not a big fan of gore for the sake of gore. That’s why Hostel and Saw movies are not for me, but I did watch the first 3 saw when it was actually interesting. I stopped when it just became sone sort of gruesome bloodfest. Lol, anyway, I’m getting sidetracked! My point is, I feel like this book is disgusting but there’s still a point to all the gore. I think I will definitely try this book out, I’m just not going to listen to it. I feel like this book should have multiple narrators because of the multiple POVs too like you said. Lovely review, Marianne!
    Amir @ Not So Literary recently posted…Review: All the Rage by Courtney SummersMy Profile

  2. says

    I really want to read this one, because I’ve heard so much about the strong themes this book explores. But I understand how having one narrator and multiple POVs can be so off-putting! It would really be hard to differentiate between them; I wish audio books invested in multiple narrators if the book warrants it, for the sake of increasing the production value AND for our own mind’s sanity as well ;)
    Faye M. recently posted…ARC Review: Vision in Silver by Anne BishopMy Profile

  3. says

    Oh no! Not being able to feel anything when there is a strange murder-spree going on in a small town would really make me mad, I think. And I think you’re very good for finishing it! Falling to sleep while listening to a book is pretty counter-productive, and I wonder if this might have more to do with the narrator?
    I’ll probably not venture into The Waking Dark, which is really too bad, because the summary is pretty good!
    I hope you’re having a fantastic week :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #35 – Lion’s ShareMy Profile

  4. says

    This review just proves that my decision about not listening to audiobooks was right. Whenever I tried to listen to any audiobook, I could not concentrate and got lost among multiple POVs.
    Anyway, nice review! Glad you could enjoy this book after all :)
    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing recently posted…BLURB LOVE #1My Profile

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