“You can’t escape the desert. You can’t escape Sundial.”
Set to be published on 10th March, Sundial by Catriona Ward follows mother of two, Rob, who fears for her daughters. Her eldest, Callie, collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends, while Annie fears what Callie might do to her. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her 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.
Thank you to NetGalley and Viper for a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When you write a book like The Last House On Needless Street as your debut book, you set the bar very high. So I was very excited to read Catriona Ward’s latest, but I now fear that it may have hindered my enjoyment of it.
Dark and unsettling, Sundial is a unique, creepy, and spine-tingling horror thriller that will have your head spinning from start to finish.
The gruesome details are fantastic as the constant descriptions of worms, maggots, and rotting flesh in all kinds of scenarios give the story a heavy feel of a gut-wrenching horror. And I love the character of Callie. Her darkness really piqued my interest and I was excited to see how her story would play out.
I also like the overall message of a mother’s determination to do what it takes which finally breaks through at the end. But because of my high expectations, I was always expecting things to go to the darkest of places, and I feel like they were only really hinted at in this book, as the story doesn’t quite arrive there, for me, as it did so well with TLHONS.
With a lot of time spent in the past, the answers took a long time coming and I didn’t understand some of the chapters (titled ‘Arrowood’) so I was always eager to get back to the present. In the end, I feel like the final revelations answered all of my questions, while leaving a few things ambiguous to keep playing on your mind. But because TLHONS was full of so many twists and shocks, I was always waiting for something more.
There’s a lot I really liked about this book and I will always be excited by what Catriona Ward writes. If I didn’t love TLHONS so much, I think I could have appreciated this one a lot more, but I’d definitely still recommend giving it a read because it’s certainly a thriller that will get your theories going.
Sundial by Catriona Ward
Release Date: 10th March 2022
Print Length: 346 pages
Genre: Horror Thriller