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The Waking Dark Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
'The Waking Dark' is an fantastically intense young adult mystery/thriller novel that tells the story of the small town of Oleander, Kansas. Everything is predictable, boring - normal - in Oleander. That is, until what they refer to as The Killing Day. The day when 12 people were murdered in a matter of hours. Not long after The Killing Day, a strong storm hits the town and leaves it broken and upside down. Soon the roads leading out of town are blocked off by soldiers with guns, barbed wire fences and they have no access to the outside world at all. Stranger yet are the people of Oleander. The once quiet and peaceful citizens are turning on one another and committing crimes nobody thought possible in their small town. Just what is happening to Oleander and the people inside it? Why won't the soldiers answer their questions or let them leave? A group of teens - Daniel, West, Jule, Cass, and Ellie - band together to try to find out the truth of what's happening and to find a way out. Although they have known each other since they were little, it is soon evident that everyone has secrets. Will they be able to stop whatever is happening in Oleander before it's too late? Will they find a way out to get help? Or will they suffer the same fate as everyone else and lose themselves to the darkness enveloping the town?
I am a huge fan of mysteries and thriller/suspense novels, so I was immediately intrigued when I read the description of this book. It gave a great idea of what it would be about without revealing too much. I have to admit that I was definitely not disappointed and the book far exceeded any expectations I may have had. The plot was really unique and captivating - there's so many strange things happening to different characters at the same time.Read more ›
It's hard for me to describe my emotions while reading The Waking Dark without revealing anything crucial to the plot. And trust me, everything in this book is crucial to the plot. It is so well thought out and put together; it left me breathless. The cyclical pattern of human nature is so enthralling that you don't even mind the violence.
I can't say the characters were good people. I can't say that I'd want to be their friend or that I have a literary crush on any of them. But, damn, they may have been some of the best characters that I have ever gotten to read. It's hard to separate the heroes from the villains, but that is an intentional aspect. It's the same in life. Telling the good people from the bad people has never been as easy as comic books would like to pretend.
The best part of this book though is the writing. All of the details that Wasserman goes into mesh brilliantly together, forming scenes of horror that could rival any movie you'd watch on Halloween. But just as great as all the details were the ones left unsaid.Read more ›
The Waking Dark jumps straight into the story - jumping through the stories of the teens on the 'killing day' as they witness people they know murder each other in a variety of ways - from the more predictable through to more 'unique' methods. Each scene is intense and are used to introduce the characters and their personalities as they react in different ways to the chaos around them.
Wasserman's writing style is unique, and works very well - there are long run-on sentences and the language is very descriptive, but rather than slowing down the story, it actually makes the reading more frantic and addictive and builds the tension perfectly. The plot itself is very Stephen King-esque although I felt that the characterisation of Wasserman is actually slightly stronger as they are all unique and easily discernible from each other, which is something I often struggle with when there is a larger cast of key characters.
True 'horror' in Young Adult literature is something I haven't been able to find very often - to be honest I usually find them to be quite watered-down and a little too happy-ending-ish. But The Waking Dark isn't a book for the faint hearted - there is a lot of violence, but it's chilling rather than just shock-value.
The only thing that didn't really work for me was the ending - although I liked the resolution it felt a little too neat and I had some questions that weren't completely answered enough for me personally.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It really is like no book you've ever read. On the surface, visceral. But beneath, deals with themes of isolation, the heavy expectation of perfection, and the dangerous hive mind... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Yohn
Too many characters with stories that jumped around. Perhaps if the story was from one point of view involving many different characters would have been easy to follow and keep up... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Syeda S.
This horror novel is billed as young adult (with the emphasis here leaning decidedly toward the adult), but provides enough dark atmosphere to keep older audiences glued to the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Michael Hicks
Enjoyed this book immensely ...it read like a Stephen King novel. It moved at a fast pace and held my attention and my imagination. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Rox
Lately there's been a lot of books with great build ups and mediocre climaxes. This is no such book. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jenny Thorndike
"The Waking Dark" is an interesting novel. It is suitably scary and well-written, and targeted squarely at teens. Read morePublished 24 months ago by R. C. Bowman