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Author: Catriona Ward
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Page Count: 279
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
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.
Sundial by Catriona Ward is a novel that has a bit of psychological thriller and horror mashing them together to become psychological horror. The story is told mainly by one point of view but with others here and there and with some flashing back to the past.
Rob married her wonderful husband and has her two beautiful daughters but all has not been well with her family. Rob’s daughter, Callie, has begun to show signs that something is wrong so Rob packs Callie up and heads out to Sundial in the Mojave Desert where Rob grew up. Rob hopes that she will be able to figure out why Callie has begun to do things like collecting animal bones and trying to hurt her sister.
Last year I picked up The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward and really enjoyed it so I had high hopes for Sundial. Unfortunately for me this one didn’t hit me the same way which was a little disappointing. The horror is still there and there were still some twists and turns which should be thrilling but I just didn’t connect to the characters the same way. The author is very creative when it comes to her brand of horror so despite really loving this one and thinking it was just ok I would return again.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
CATRIONA WARD was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia.
‘The Last House on Needless Street’ (Viper Books, Tor Nightfire) was a Times Book of the Month, Observer Book of the Month, March Editor’s Pick on Open Book, a Between the Covers BBC2 book club selection, a Times bestseller, and is being developed for film by Andy Serkis’s production company, The Imaginarium.
‘Little Eve’ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018) won the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award and the August Derleth Prize for Best Horror Novel at the 2019 British Fantasy Awards, making her the only woman to have won the prize twice, and was a Guardian best book of 2018. Her debut Rawblood (W&N, 2015) won Best Horror Novel at the 2016 British Fantasy Awards, was shortlisted for the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award and a WHSmith Fresh Talent title. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. She lives in London and Devon.