Friday, September 6, 2013

*Review* The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

Oleander, Kansas is a small town that has a strange and unusual history. But, nothing is as strange or unusual as what happens on the Killing Day when the Dark comes to town leaving 12 people dead, 5 people committing suicide, and 1 girl inexplicably alive and not knowing what happened to her, or why she felt the need to kill.

The Waking Dead follows the lives of Daniel Ghent, a Preachers son who somehow manages to survive the Dark Day and would do anything to protect his younger brother Milo. Jule Prevette, a girl who is surrounded by violence and drugs and just wants to escape from Oleander. Ellie King, another survivor of the violence who may or may not go a bit too far in trying to understand the reasoning behind her survival as well as hiding a past that left her in the arms of the Church of the Word. Jeremiah West, after watching his secret lover get killed intentionally, he hides a secret so damning that if exposed, his family would be run out of town. Cassandra Porter, the sole survivor of the Day the Devil came to town and the one that has no clue why she felt the need to kill someone under her care. You also can’t leave out Grace and Milo who are both important to the overall storyline and conclusion.

There are obvious comparisons to the Dome by Stephen King in the telling of The Waking Dead and for whom Wasserman gives praise for her desire to write a book like this. You have a town that ends up being quarantined after a tornado hits Oleander and the town goes a little off the reservation. You have teens killing teens, adults killing adults, and the fact that nobody is safe within the town’s limits. You also have a doctor that is not as straight forward with answers as she could be especially since she and her government colleagues are the reason behind the Dark Day and its aftermath. 

For a novel sold to the Young Adult market, this book is not only terrifying, but extremely dark and violent. I think Wasserman does an excellent job of portraying a town gone rogue and the consequences of their actions as well as giving readers the idea that this could, in fact, actually happen anywhere, at any time. Her characters definitely run the gambit from being likable to being outright heinous. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I opened the book, but it sure wasn’t people being burned at the stake.

Overall, I would say that if you like dark, violent novels, than you will enjoy the Waking Dark.

08/26/2013 - Recvd via NetGalley - Expected publication: September 10th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Author - Robin Wasserman
Title - The Waking Dark
Publisher - Knopf Books for Young Readers
Releases - September 10, 2013
Genre - Young Adult, Horror
Received via Netgalley from publisher


  1. This book sounds so good! I like that it sounds like horror that could actually happen. Those are always more creepy. Sounds a bit heavy for the YA audience, but I'm excited for it!

  2. I love the sound of this. I'm going back to the YA fold but I like the grittier ones. I don't want it to be PG in terms of gore and emotions, etc. I want to be terrified and emotionally involved.

  3. I loved her book The Bool of Love and Shadow, sooo, I'm reading this one:-)