Title: The Waking Dark
Author: Robin Wasserman
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf
Summary: Not much happens in the town of Oleander, Kansas, but that all changes on the Killing Day. Friends, family, and neighbors without reason or warning, kill and then turn their weapons on themselves. 12 people dead with no reasons why. One of the murderers survives, but she has no idea why she did it. As the town struggles to get back to some semblance of normalcy, an F5 tornado hits the town. The town waits for help and rescue, but it never comes. Military personnel arrive at the borders and won't let them leave. The town descends into despair and craziness. What is going on in Oleander? Will anyone get out alive?
My Thoughts: There's a part of me that goes, what did I just read? But there's another part of me that really enjoyed this. First and foremost, this is a weird book, but it's weirdly enjoyable. I feel like this book is its own original creature. It doesn't feel like a YA book at all. It was odd, different, and fun to read. The whole book is full of craziness and questions. I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen in the end. I would recommend this book to readers that love horror and want to read a little something different. This book will take you on one crazy ride, and while you'll question your sanity the whole time, you'll have fun.
One thing I really enjoyed was the setting. I used to live in Kansas, so it was kind of fun remembering my years there. There were points when I thought the author must have lived in Kansas or had some kind of Kansas connection, because she did a good job of capturing the feeling of flat, endless prairie. She also mentioned familiar things like one of the teams there and some slang specific to the area. In the end though, there were some details she included that didn't quite fit with Kansas. Like the fact that Kansas has these endless corn fields, they don't. Kansas grows a lot of wheat, barley, milo, and other types of grain crops. Nebraska and Iowa are more known for their corn crops. Anyway, it was just fun having a book set in Kansas.
The whole feeling of this book is a slow descent into madness. The whole time I was questioning just what was really going on. The people in this town were slowly losing their minds. There were just so many shocking, jaw dropping occurrences. This was a horror novel that took its time and brought you into the madness gradually. I really enjoy horror books like that. They make me feel much more unnerved and freaked out rather than a quick jump scare or excessive gore. I felt this was a really enjoyable horror novel. The author credited Stephen King with being an inspiration and I could definitely feel it. I guess I need to go out and read some Stephen King.
The overall reason of what was happening to the town was interesting too.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It gave me a terrifying and gratifying horror experience. I've now read two Robin Wasserman books, this and The Book of Blood and Shadow, and enjoyed both of them very much. I'm excited to read more of Robin Wasserman's books in the future. She offers interesting, different stories. This is one crazy ride and I highly enjoyed it!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
A slow descent into madness.