Wild Spaces & Rook

Posted September 19, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wild Spaces & RookWild Spaces by S. L. Coney
Narrator: Nick Mondelli
Published by Dreamscape Media LLC, Tordotcom on August 1, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Horror
Length: 2 hours 28 minutes
Pages: 128
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Robert R. McCammon’s Boy’s Life meets Lovecraftian horror in this foreboding, sensual coming-of-age debut in which the corrosive nature of family secrets and toxic relatives assume eldritch proportions.

"Without question, one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read this year."—The Wall Street Journal

"Can a horror story be beautiful? Wild Spaces tells a terrible truth in the most achingly beautiful way."—Alma Katsu, author of The Fervor

An eleven-year-old boy lives an idyllic childhood exploring the remote coastal plains and wetlands of South Carolina alongside his parents and his dog Teach. But when the boy’s eerie and estranged grandfather shows up one day with no warning, cracks begin to form as hidden secrets resurface that his parents refuse to explain.

The longer his grandfather outstays his welcome and the greater the tension between the adults grows, the more the boy feels something within him changing —physically—into something his grandfather welcomes and his mother fears. Something abyssal. Something monstrous.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

This was interesting! I felt like I had missed something when I initially finished this audiobook so I went back to the beginning and listened to it a second time. I am confident that this was probably more of an issue with me than with the book. I enjoyed getting to know this young boy whose life at home changed dramatically with the arrival of his grandfather. There was a lot of story packed into this short audiobook. This boy has an ideal home life with a doting mother and father, along with his dog, Teach. I knew that things were about to change as soon as his grandfather showed up unexpectedly. This was a very atmospheric story that kept me guessing until the end.

Nick Mondelli did a wonderful job with the narration of this audiobook. I thought that he was able to make each character come alive through his narration with the various voices that he used. I found his voice to be very pleasant which added to my enjoyment of the story. I would recommend this novella to others. I thought that this was a worthwhile debut and would love to read more of this author’s work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media.

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wild Spaces & RookRook by William Ritter
Narrator: Nicola Barber
Published by Algonquin Young Readers, Hachette Audio on August 22, 2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
Length: 8 hours 39 minutes
Pages: 368
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover
Source: Publisher, Purchased
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This standalone adventure set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series brims with humor, heart, and—of course—a hefty dose of supernatural mayhem.
Abigail Rook never intended to be the mortal bridge between the human and supernatural world. But now, the power of the Sight--and all the chaos that comes with seeing the essential truth of everything, every human, fairy, werewolf, enchanted slip of paper, and municipal building, at all times--is hers alone. With this overwhelming new gift, she should be able to solve crimes and help New Fiddleham, New England find calm in its supernatural chaos. 

The only problem? She has no idea what she’s doing.
And New Fiddleham isn't waiting for Abigail to be ready. Local witches and other magical beings are going missing, as tensions between human and supernatural residents curdle into a hatred that could tear the city apart. Abigail's fiance, Charlie, works alongside her to unravel the magical disappearances, but as a shapeshifter, he's under threat as well. Then Abigail's parents appear, ready to take her back to England and marry her off to someone she's never met. Abigail has no choice but to follow her Sight, her instincts, and any clues she can find to track a culprit who is trying destroy everything she holds dear.

This was good! While this book is technically a stand-alone, I feel like I would have benefited from reading the previous books before diving into this one. The mystery is completely contained in this book but there were a lot of other things going on with the characters that I think some background would have helped. I liked Rook, Jackaby, and the rest of the characters and was eager to see what was going on with all of the disappearances going on. I loved that there was some humor woven throughout the story as well.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that Nicola Barber did a great job with the story. I don’t think that I have listened to this narrator before but I thought that she expertly brought this story to life. I enjoyed the various voices that she used to help bring out the personality of each character. I do believe that her narration added to my overall enjoyment of this story. I would definitely recommend this book to others and think that it will especially appeal to fans of the series.

I received a review copy of this book from Algonquin Young Readers.

6 responses to “Wild Spaces & Rook

  1. I haven’t read Rook yet, but I did recently listen to the Jackaby series and Nicola Barber did a great job with those as well. I can see where it would be better to read that book after the main series, though… if nothing else, there are major spoilers for the Jackaby series ending in it. I’m glad it was an enjoyable read, though! I hope to get to it sooner rather than later.

  2. I definitely want to listen to Rook, but I’m glad to know it will work better if I finish the Jackaby series first.

    Wild Spaces does sound chilling.

  3. If you liked the humor in Rook, then definitely read the Jackaby series. This book is the reason Stormi and I started a buddy read of the series. I wanted to read them before picking up Rook. I hear Wild Spaces is hard on dog lovers so I skipped it. I’m glad you enjoyed it though.