Thursday, June 25, 2015

DNF Book Review: The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman book cover
It's been a rough week for me book-wise. This is the second book I haven't been able to finish. So, is it me? Maybe. But they were very different books and I quit for different reasons. The first one, I'm not even going to review because it was one of those "just not for me" books. Nothing wrong with it, just too cute and predictable for me.

The Waking Dark, however, I'd like to say a few things about. Mainly that I read so many reviews that said this is a page-turner, and I found it to be totally the opposite.

We are introduced to several settings and characters very quickly as twelve people are murdered in one day in the town of Oleander, Kansas. Then we skip ahead to follow the lives of the people who witnessed these killings and survived, as well as the only surviving murderer.

Some other bad stuff happens to the town, including a tornado. And then they are quarantined by the government but no one knows why. And that takes 200 pages. You get bits and pieces of plot progression. Like, the murderer isn't being held in a normal prison or a mental hospital; something is weird about that.

But I waited and waited for some breadcrumbs, and honestly I got tired of these characters interacting with each other without any progress or even the beginning of an investigation into what is happening. They are just living their lives, trying to survive. Ok, but for how long? Are they ever going to even get suspicious? Throw me a bone!

I did skim the end of the book, so I know the basic premise of what is going on, but I just didn't enjoy the meandering around without any build up of tension. The Waking Dark has been compared to Stephen King -- uh -- just, no. And King writes some really long, overly descriptive books, but he ratchets the tension and hooks you and Wasserman did not.

Since many reviews found The Waking Dark to be a page-turner, you may too.  This is only my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

Published by Knopf BFYR, 2013
Copy obtained from the library
200/452 pages

Rating: DNF

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  1. At least you have the good sense to not finish the book instead of dragging it around with you for weeks while you could be reading other good books.

  2. I felt similarly about The Book of Blood and Shadow that she wrote a few years ago. Couldn't get into it and DNF'ed.


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