Book review: Awakening by S.J. Bolton

   Beware--if you have a snake phobia, you may not want to read the book Awakening

   It has some creepy snake moments. Personally, I like snakes--grew up with them. I can remember sharing the back seat with a rattlesnake in a cage. Fun times. I also remember a car trip when my mom woke up with baby snakes (nonvenomous) crawling across her.  Quick stop, lots of fussing. Jacket cover

   Anyway, in this 2009 gothic by S. J. Bolton, veterinary surgeon Clara Benning tries to hide from people in a job working with wildlife, living in an isolated village, and snubbing any attempts at friendship.
    Despite herself, Clara finds herself thrust into village life by startling events.  The first, an early morning call from a neighbor, catapults her out the door to save the life of a tiny baby. Somehow, a viper has found its way into the baby girl's crib. Then the neighbors discuss the death of another neighbor--from snake bite. Clara has significant expertise with reptiles, so naturally the village turns to her in their confusion. Slowly we find out why Clara is standoffish and even rude.  Slowly Clara begins to suspect something worse than coincidence.  Suddenly Clara finds an exotic taipan--the most poisonous snake on the planet--in a child's bedroom. Just as suddenly a terrifying stranger attacks her in her own kitchen--but there is no sign of forced entry!
    As large numbers of native and exotic snakes invade the village, the mysteries also advance.  Clara enlists friends and a famous tv reptile expert to help with the snakes.  Villagers befriend Clara in spite of herself--and for the first time in her life, Clara finds herself involved with two attractive men. This book reminded me of Mary Stewart or Phyllis Whitney books. I recommend it to anyone as a fun thriller. ~Tessa Eger   3.5 out of 5 stars


Tessa's picture

Sacrifice--her first book

I just finished her first book, Sacrifice, and it was terrific!  Bolton is really good at these Gothic thrillers, along the lines of Mary Stewart.