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April Book of the Month

Category: Library, Monthly Book Reviews, News

Wranglestone by Darren Charlton

I try to read the first chapter of every book we buy for the library.   With some books, I’m happy to stop there when I’ve got a flavour of the style and plot but with others, I find that I just don’t want to stop reading.  Wranglestone was such a book.

In a post-apocalyptic America, we meet Peter, who lives in a community in a National Park which is surrounded by water.  The water is the only thing that keeps the Dead away but when Winter comes, and the lake freezes, there’s nothing left to stop the zombies from reaching them.  One day, Peter naively allows a stranger onto their island, putting the whole community in danger and kickstarting a series of events which reveals a darker truth about his community and the people who live in it. 

This is a fast-paced zombie horror story with a touch of romance thrown in for good measure.  Peter is a homebody, who’s been protected from the horrors of the world by his father.  Cooper is outdoorsy, the golden boy of the community who is willing and able to defend the island from the Dead.  They admire each other from a distance but their romance feels doomed as the first fall of snow arrives.  The setting is beautifully written, the menace of the dark forest beyond, harboring watching eyes, adds to the tense atmosphere. 

More than an action packed page-turner, this is a story that’s thought-provoking, too.  As interaction between the two sides, the living and the dead, occurs the reader is forced to think about the nature of man and how fear of anything different, if left unchallenged, can quickly turn into prejudice and violence. 

“What if there were more of you than us?” 

“What if there were more of us? What did you think we’d do – turn against you?”


There are twists and turns and the story does wrap up neatly at the end but a sequel is due in September of this year.  For fans of dystopian fiction, horror or romance.  Available in the YA section of the library.

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