Awakening by Sharon Bolton: a Book Review

I read Awakening  very quickly because once I started reading I didn’t want to stop.

If you don’t like snakes this book won’t help you get over your phobia! Clare Benning is a wildlife vet who’d rather be with animals than with people. She was facially disfigured in a traumatic childhood accident, which isn’t explained until nearly the end of the book. She has recently moved to a quiet country village in Dorset, where she is soon drawn into more contact with other people than she had bargained for, when a man dies following a supposed snake bite.

To make matters worse this snake is not a native British snake but a  highly poisonous snake from Australia, a taipan:

Taipans can be very aggressive snakes. They’re fast and strong. Each one of them has enough venom to kill a whole battalion of policemen. People die within hours of being bitten. (page 62, Location 998)

Then more, and more snakes surface and it gets really scary. There is an awful lot of information in Awakening about snakes and yet none of it is out of place, nor does it slow down this fast-paced novel – it adds to the tension. And it’s not just because of the snakes – there are some very strange people and unexplained events that scare Clare, but she is relentless in her search for the truth. I really liked Clare; Bolton has depicted her so well drawing out how her physical scarring has caused her emotional fragility and how she deals with it. The relationships between the characters is also believable and the setting is very dark and atmospheric.

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 595 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312381875
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (23 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language English
  • ASIN: B0031RS22C
  • Source: I bought it

5 thoughts on “Awakening by Sharon Bolton: a Book Review

  1. Margaret – I’m so glad you liked this one as much as you did. I did, too, and I think you’ve highlighted quite well what really keeps this this book interesting and makes it a page-turner (I know – that’s a cliché but it works here).


  2. There are only two things in this world that I’m really frightened by – snakes and rats. It’s irrational, I know, but I’m even afraid of harmless snakes in our yard and field. This book sounds like a good mystery but I’m sure I would have nightmares for weeks. Guess I’ll pass.


  3. I loved Bolton´s first and third, but this one did not capture me in the same way. I am sure it is just because I am not afraid of snakes per se so the trick of appealing to a fairly common phobia did not work in my case 😉


  4. I’ve just started reading this book and so far I’m really enjoying it. I also loved Bolton’s first book, Sacrifice, but I think I prefer the characters in this one. And although I’m not particularly scared of snakes, I’m still finding it very creepy!


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