#ATBR2022 – Sundial by Catriona Ward

More horror for the #allthebookreviews duo!

Thanks to Tor Nightfire for the free early copies in exchange for our honest reviews

SUNDIAL – Catriona Ward (Released March 1st, 2022)

You can see our thoughts on Ward’s other book, THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET (here)

Book Description:

Sundial is a new, twisty psychological horror novel from Catriona Ward, internationally bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street.

You can’t escape what’s in your blood…

All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.

She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is worried about her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely, and speaks of past secrets. And Callie fears that only one of them will leave Sundial alive…

The mother and daughter embark on a dark, desert journey to the past in the hopes of redeeming their future.

Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars

Jacks and Robs and Callies and Annies and dogs and maggots… oh my! 

Ward is 2 for 2!  If you haven’t read The Last House on Needless Street – or you tried and gave up, try try again!! Now I know not every book is for every reader but Ward is DEFINITELY the author for me!  Like with Needless Street, Ward dishes up a lively concoction of suspense and craziness that had me confused for the majority of the read.  Then WHAM, BAM, femur over the head – yesssssssss – bloody goodness!

I did get confused a little bit on who was who with the dolls and what not but not gonna lie, once my brain kicked in, I kinda wish there was a doll of me somewhere.. (no, no I don’t).  The sisterly love, competitiveness, twin awareness, secret languages… it’s all here and dangggggg these characters are all a bit wonky.  I only cleverly (pats back) figured out one part of the book but I was NOT expecting it to go in the direction that it did.  I felt like I was on the best acid trip of my life – even if the subject matter was a bit solemn and WTF-y.  But damn do I love Ward’s mind. I especially looooooooove books that touch on nature vs nurture.  I can read about this ALL THE TIME.  And the way the author brings this to light is quite interesting for sure.

This is another one where you’ll need to stick with it to the end to really get a full grasp on the storyline and feel for all the confusion you might encounter along the way.  But damn, the journey is quite worth it in my opinion.

Every time Cielo was mentioned I kept thinking it was referring to the night club I got kicked out of once… but that’s a whole different story.  READ THIS BOOK.

Happy, smiling face. 😀

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

So last year I picked up The Last House on Needless Street because Chandra had told me it was incredible and that the ending was worth the build. Well, she wasn’t kidding because it was a surprising five star read for me and that ending just sticks with you long after you’ve finished. The same goes for Ward’s newest book, SUNDIAL.

Another book that had me completely mesmerized from the start yet also mildly confused, which of course piques the curiosity to continue to see where this could possibly be going. Despite the slower pacing (at times) it is another one that is worth holding out until the ending. The characters are incredibly flawed in their own ways and nothing is ever as it seems, especially when you’re out in the middle of the desert. I love how dark Ward’s mind is because I need more of her books ASAP.

If you love horror and psychological suspense then you just need to do yourself a favor and get this book (and Needless Street while you’re at it). Of course, with the horror genre there are always elements that might not be for everyone, so definitely keep that in mind. Creepy, atmospheric, bleak, bloody, family dysfunction, multiple POVs, and plenty of suspense to keep you glued. Highly recommend both of her books and she has now cemented herself as a new autobuy author for me.

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