Sundial Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
“DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK. Authentically terrifying.” —Stephen King
A LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!
STARRED review from Publishers Weekly!
Anticipated and Recommended by Bustle, USA Today, CNN, i09, The Nerd Daily, LitReactor, GoodReads, LitHub, and more!
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.
"A story where nothing is what it seems—a thrilling hall of mirrors full of deeply disturbing twists. This book will haunt you." —Alex Michaelides, #1 New York Times bestselling author
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 59 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 01, 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #26,462 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#121 in Domestic Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#330 in Domestic Thrillers (Books)
#821 in Horror Fiction
Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2022
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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Sundial has amazing prose and visionary word play.
Very different, very emotionally deep. This book is a hard description to give, it's very complex, very different. I don't know how to explain it without giving too much of it away. It's one of those books that you're either going to love or you're going to hate, there's really no in between and yet that is where I am in reviewing this book.
I absolutely loved this book and it makes me wonder what reality the book was trying to give me. It's such a hard book to explain, there is moments of pure anticipation, pure adrenaline running in you as the reader turning the pages, but yet then there are moments you're confused and there becomes a lackluster moments of mundane trivial descriptions or ongoing situations with the characters yet that is it's ultimate appeal in creating something strange and new. This book bled originality.
The whole book comes together in odd ways. I know I'm not making any sense with this review but that is how hard it is to describe this novel. It deals with aspects of good and evil or the bad nature, the bad genes of a person. The nature versus nurture reality, the alterations of those genes changing someone or at least trying to change someone.
Catriona Ward has a deep and dark and complex way of creating her characters. She is amazing at creating personalities, bringing personalities off the page into living beings. Each of the characters in the story are hard, or impersonal. They are deep and dark, each of the characters have a somewhat bad nature to them and somewhat good nature to them, but all of them have their flaws.
Even though the book is so odd and different and is something that stands out above and beyond other certain books you can't help but want to turn the page or want to know what happens next to these deviant, somewhat twisted, somewhat disturbing, somewhat odd lost souls.
In the end the conclusion of the story unfolds and all answers are on the front of the line of the story and just when you think you know what is happening or going on, a twist, a turn, and 360 in alteration of plot sends you spiraling down into another complex reality that has not made itself known until the next page is turned.
A thick mystery with tight exploration of human ideas and what if realities. In the end I loved this book. It came together in an unfolding narrative through the characters inside the book. From Rob to Callie weaved together through the past and the present. The ending is flooring and down right perfect in my viewpoint because in the end what really is the outcome. Will the race to arrive conclude or will the characters be forced down another path, that is all for your imagination to create.
Ward gave a sweet little tale of a complex plot. A novel with so many twists and turns and realities I never saw coming. That is what makes this book so different. I had no knowledge of where this story was going and what in reality was happening. Ward gave a perfect trip of confusion with the unfolding plot. You the reader had no real idea of what was taking place and why it was taking place and what the ultimate conclusion was going to be.
Would I Return to it Again: I want to know. I want a part 2. I want to adventure with these characters again and its unfolding realities. This is a hard book to describe and to bring to the front of what reality is taking place. I think multiple readings might be needed to fully understand the plot and narrative.
Would I Recommend: That is a touchy reality. Like I say this is a hard book to explain. And its a hard book to recommend because your going to have to enter this book with total blank slate within the thought on how a book can unfold, because this book unfolds in odd spiraling ways that might not make sense to a lot of readers. But in my viewpoint I enjoyed it and really loved the final show down and even the shocking ending held me with a giddy little smile on my face.
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Four Final Words: Mind Numbing, Complex Narrative.
Sundial is definitely not for the faint of heart when it comes to animal cruelty, domestic abuse, or child abuse/neglect. This is also a book with no likeable characters which can be and is a hindrance. But it is kind of designed to be that way. Truly Rob, Irving, Callie, Jack, and well really everyone. I struggled with the layout of this story with the present time line and flashbacks. I was definitely more interested in the flashbacks. It wasn't until like the last 30 pages where the present time line became interesting. I know what your thinking, that is too long for a part of this book to be interesting and I agree. However, Catriona Ward had a vision and saw it through.
Catriona Ward is going to be an author who I want to read everything she puts out. I can tell there are going to be some I don't connect with and some I will love. Ward's books though just have this way of making you think and when they are finished think some more.
First, I am going to avoid going into any detail of the synopsis. I think that the less you know, going in, is better!
Catriona Ward’s beautifully brutal writing managed to literally transport my brain out of my head and into the world she has created in ‘Sundial’. I still don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, considering how nightmarish and creepy this book is! I was just completely immersed and intrigued by what in the h*ll what going on here!? I was confused, shocked, horrified, interested, etc.! You name it, I probably felt it while reading this!
People often refer to the images that form in your brain while you read as ‘brain movies’. Well, prepare for one of the most memorable, unique, uncomfortable yet amazing brain movies ever! Thanks, again, to the flawless and vivid writing, you will not fall short on visuals to accompany you as consume this novel (probably in one sitting).
I am psychological thriller/horror fan through and though and Catriona Ward has got my attention 100%! Her striking and descriptive writing, character development, and her way of exploring human nature via disturbing dark fiction have made me a fan for life!
Thanks to Macmillan Tor Forge, NetGalley and the author for this excellent arc.
Top reviews from other countries
Catriona Ward's previous novel, "The Last House on Needless Street", received overwhelmingly positive reviews and came in for some high praise from Stephen King. I missed out on that, so I was keen to make sure that this one didn't pass me by too. Unfortunately, "Sundial" did not prove to be the enjoyable and rewarding reading experience that I hoped it would be.
Before I go on, I feel obliged to warn potential readers that this novel contains subject matter that some people may prefer not to expose themselves to, including animal abuse (especially of dogs), child abuse, domestic violence and drug abuse.
Given the subject matter, I would say that "Sundial" not only has the potential to make for uncomfortable reading, but that it is actually intended to make the reader feel ill at ease. That aspect didn't come as any great surprise to me and nor was it the reason for me finding this novel so disappointing. I don't know how similar the style of this is to Catriona Ward's previous book, but "Sundial" repeatedly struck me as an attempt to emulate the work of Stephen King. That is a worthy enough aim, but it falls well short of the mark. Catriona Ward can certainly write - there are times when her prose and descriptive writing provide ample evidence of her talent for wordsmithery - but she doesn't display the same captivating storytelling abilities of Mr King. There were extended periods when the pace was far too pedestrian and I found myself feeling quite bored. At around 350 pages, "Sundial" is not an unusually lengthy novel, but it felt considerably longer.
A number of other early reviewers have rated this highly, so my opinion may be a bit of an outlier. However, for me, this may well turn out to be a memorable read ... but not necessarily for all the right reasons.
Nature or nurture? Can dogs who’ve been mistreated learn to be obedient and peaceful. Can people?
Rob loves her daughters Callie and Annie, but does Rob’s own upbringing on the Sundial ranch impact on how she raises the girls?
Trust no one and always be prepared for the next twist. Sundial is as complex and unusual as anyone who has read a Catriona Ward book would expect. I did find it didn’t try as hard to deliver these twists as The Last House on Needless Street and as a result was a much more compelling story.
Told through a combination of flashback and different points of view in the present you do have to be paying attention to keep up with the plot, but it’s worth the extra effort. While the fact that there are secrets is obvious, what those secrets are remain shocking and the timing of their reveal kept me reading to the last page.
I don't want to say too much, for fear of giving things away. But, ultimately, it took me longer than it should have to get through this as I had to make myself pick it up each day.
Callie is afraid of her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely. To tell her secrets about her past that both disturb and excite her. And Callie is beginning to wonder if only one of them will leave Sundial alive...
Really enjoyed this book totally recommend