Cover Image: Sundial

Sundial

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Member Reviews

Wow! What a trippy read. I finished Sundial by Catriona Ward in one sitting. I had no idea where the story of Rob, Callie, Irving, Annie, and soon others folded in, was going. I certainly didn't expect where it all ended up. However I can say it was a very satisfying read. So as to not give any spoilers I'll leave it at that. Thank You to Catriona Ward and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC, I enjoyed it.
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A friend handed me Last House on Needless Street last year and it was unexpectedly, amazingly good. The story was solid, gripping, with so many twists and with crazy, flawed, lovable characters to boot.

And here comes Sundial, and I have unreasonably high expectations and Ward just sails over them all. 

I enjoyed every moment with this horrific, terrifying, twisting story. Beautiful foreshadowing, as always. Scarred, complex, loveable, relatable characters, again. This story is about bonds between mothers and daughters, sisters, family. The background is full of wild animals, a harsh desert, and hurt people. It's about trying, whether or not you succeed. 

And now, I think, I need to find a way to let go of the tension of it all. Funny, to read what you know will be the best book of the year in January. Five stars.
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Dear horror/ psychological thriller lovers! Just put down the books you plan to read it and urgently start reading this one ! This is the biggest winner of the year! 

Last year I was addicted to Last House on Needless Street! I was so close to climb up the roof and scream “Read that book!” This year I plan to do exactly the same thing! Because this book is even better! Dysfunctional sisterhood bonds, psychological twists you never see it coming, mind blowing POVs, darkness pouring chapters, violence, shock, whirlwind mind games, bleak, claustrophobic dog farm theme, jaw dropping cliffhangers, deeply layered characters, the saddest, creepiest, harshest back stories you hardly digest! This book is definitely MASTERPIECE! I couldn’t put it down! It gives me creeps! It shattered my heart! It freaked me out! But I couldn’t help myself to fall so hard for it! 
Let’s quickly look at the plot: 

Rob, English teacher, mother of two daughters, married with charming professor; correction: cheat scumbag who has serious anger issues. When she sees her 12 years old Callie starts acting weirder like collection animal bones, talking with ghosts, she gets worried at first. And when she finds out Callie might hurt her little sister Annie, she thinks that’s the last straw.

 She takes the matters into her own hands and takes her daughter with her to drive to Sundial, the creepiest place she’s inherited from her parents. Rob is adamant to come clean with her daughter by sharing their family’s dark past. When her story will be over, she has to make the toughest decision to save her daughters. How far she could go to save them? Can she save the daughters from the darkness she’s kept for years? Who is the real monster? It seems like for saving their family, someone should be sacrificed, but who?

 This is the best work of the author and even it’s too early to announce, this is the best horror book of 2022 ( I am all set to vote for it on Goodreads choice awards just like I voted for Last House on Needless Street)

I’m giving five billion stars! It’s definition of pure PERFECTION! I absolutely highly recommend it!

Millions of thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge -Tor Nightfire for sharing this incredible digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
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Ward has done it again....she has put a spin on psychological horror in a way that has not been done before, in my experience anyway. A mother scared of the behavior her daughter has been exhibiting goes home in the hopes that her past can help her present. I can't say too much more and you should go in without expectations. The writing style reminds me a lot of Stephen Graham Jones, with a slow build up leading to a big punch of a climax. Catriona Ward is definitely making a name for herself.
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Another incredible book from Catriona Ward! Fascinating characters and unexpected twists to the very end.
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Wow wow wow.. every time I thought I knew what was going on … I was wrong.. I had so many theories and they kept getting thrown out the window.

This was such a creepy atmospheric story. I felt super drawn into these characters, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire read.

There was some moments of confusion .. but they were explained away as the story progressed. Rob and Jack were a compelling duo. I felt connected to them. 

My only complaint is the ending.. without giving anything away I wanted a more complete ending. A fantastic build up to a stale feeling ending.
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Another absolute WIN from Catriona Ward. I have to admit, after reading The Last House on Needless Street which turned out to be one of the most epic books I’ve ever read, I was hesitant she would be able to do it again. BUT SHE SURE DID!!! Catriona Ward is a goddess in the literature world. The writing warps your mind the story has so many levels to analyze the characters clutch your heart and when you finish you want to start over again. 

Once again this is not a book for everyone. It is not for the faint of heart. There are triggers for violence. If you can handle it, it is an absolute must read. Go in blind. Don’t investigate into the story too much. Just know you’re about to go into a psychological ride. Expect the unexpected and brilliance once again! Love love loved it!! 

Thank you Catriona Ward so much for the arc in exchange for my honest review. I eagerly await the next extraordinary novel!!
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I really tried with this book. I realllllly did. But at the end of the day, I have to admit that this author is just not for me.

I didn’t enjoy the writing. I didn’t enjoy any of the characters and I am a huge lover of unlikable characters in general. I love how an author can make you love a book but dislike the characters so much. Not with Sundial. I found the pacing to be off putting. Nothing much really happens. I was in this state of limbo of just waiting and waiting for something to happen that was worth any but or redemption for this book and I’m sad to say the end left me lacking that.

I despise rating books poorly. I know many people love this book and will continue to. I didn’t hate The Last House on Needless Street, but I didn’t care for it much either. I always want to try authors at least twice if I don’t like their book(s), sometimes more to really get the depth of their writing and their growth. I’m not sure that this will be an author I do so with, sadly.
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There's something magical about Catriona Ward's writing--it's vivid, engaging, and completely twisted. This is the second book I've read by Ward (the first being *The House on Needless Street*) and even though I know to anticipate twists, and I know things won't be what they seem, she manages to keep me guessing --even when I do predict the outcome. There's always another surprise, another nuance, another callback. She has a delicious way of penning unlikeable characters that you still root for, even though you spend the vast majority of the book hating them. Masterful.
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A house in the desert, a mother and her daughter going on a trip to the mothers family home after they begin to believe the worst of one another. 

Sundial is entirely, completely, horrifying unsettling. The first couple of chapters had me feeling literally squeamish and upset and I had to stop reading it after dark! 

I really enjoyed Rob’s narration and her perspective of the story, and I felt like the ending is satisfying while leaving a few curious thoughts. The middle did feel like it became a bit difficult and tedious for me to read, but this may be due to content nature and my comfort level. 

Content warning for animal abuse, abuse including physically, mentions of drug use, violence

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the arc!
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Callie freaked me out so much, as did this book’s vibe in general. I enjoyed the desert setting, and loved the multiple POVs and timelines that alternated throughout each chapter. By the middle of the book I was completely engrossed in the story and had absolutely zero idea where things were going to lead to in the end.

As expected Catriona Ward blew my mind again with this thriller!! Highly recommend checking this one out when it becomes available next month 🙌

Thank you to Netgalley and the author for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy of Sundial. I was desperate to read this when I saw a post from a colleague in my company saying that it was just as good as The Last House on Needless Street. TLHNS is one of my staff picks at work and a book that I often think about still. 

I found Sundial to be just as engrossing and thrilling. I wasn't sure how Ward would manage another book with such well written twists and original characters but she did it. As usual no one is who they seem and there are multiple layers to the "truth." What starts as a book about a toxic and dysfunctional family continues but gets even more awful and gripping. Histories are revisited and new characters are introduced who add to the suspense whilst also framing what is happening in the current narrative. I don't want to give too much away as I believe that Ward's stories have to be experienced with as little knowledge as possible going into them. Some themes covered are ethics, inherent evil and family. A must for those interested in the psychological aspect of crime.
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I found Ward's first book The Last House on Needless Street to be so incredibly spellbinding and compelling, and I haven't stopped thinking about it. I did not enjoy this book as much. The plot was very convoluted (I felt like) and it was hard to understand the narrative thread. The big reveal was more confusing then shocking.
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I don’t know what to say about this to express just quite how much I loved it. It was generations of stories come together in Rob taking Callie to the desert for their reckoning. It was sister-love-sister-trauma set in science, fate, and love. The narration style immediately drew me in and then Rob and Irving’s story. And then Rob and Jack. Rob and Callie. Rob and Annie. All of the stories fit into each other like Russian nesting dolls and they are all eerie and riveting and horrific. 
What I thought was Rob taking her weird and, honestly, kind of creepy daughter on a trip to her childhood home in the Mojave desert for some new kind of attitude adjustment was so much more than that. The way the story keeps just rippling out from Rob and her twin sister Jack’s home into the present with Callie and her strange tendencies and back again is so all consuming as you read. I don’t want to spoil it but it was strange and terrifying and disgusting and infuriating and touching and heartbreaking and a read like nothing else I’ve ever found.
For fans of horror, psychological thrillers, unreliable narrators, folklore and ghosts.
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I was looking forward to reading "Sundial" because I had been so intrigued by Catriona's previous book, "The Last House on Needless Street."  I found "Sundial" to be much scarier, especially early in the book.

The story centers on Rob, her husband, two daughters, and her sister.  "Sundial" is the name of Rob's childhood home and is the place where Rob takes her daughter, Callie, when she believes that Callie is killing small animals.

But, of course, things are not as they seem.  That's the thrilling part of "Sundial."  Rob's extended family is composed of a group of severely damaged people. Rob's husband abuses her and tries to turn their daughters against her. 

Much of this book is  Just. Extremely.  Creepy.  The rest, though, has a fascinating plot filled with twists.  The final OOF! doesn't appear until the very last pages.  It was worth it.

So if you can handle scary, creepy, and mean, you'll find a great read in "Sundial."
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The less said about specifics, the better, as Sundial relies on twists and revelations. I enjoyed how the book turned out very different from what one might have expected from the first few chapters, and would argue that this book belongs in the psychological thriller category just as much as horror. Quite a fun trip trying to figure out what;s going on, even as the subject matter is quite dark. A good follow-up to The Last House on Needless Street.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance copy.
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Sundial by Catriona Ward ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ /5
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After discovering some of her daughter Callie’s dangerous activities, Rob decides to take Callie on a trip back to her desert childhood home, Sundial. Sundial is dusty, wild, and haunted with memories of Rob’s strange past.  Hopefully she can use the ghosts of her childhood to teach and protect Callie. How far can a mothers love go?
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What a fantastic follow up novel to The Last House on Needless Street! It was dark (very dark), twisty, terrible, and mysterious with a full syringe of sci-fi infused horror. 
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What a thrilling novel! I absolutely recommend this for adults.
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Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review prepublication. This novel will be published in March of 2022! 📚 🏚 🖤
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Wow! What a crazy and intense roller coaster ride!   This book grabbed me at page one and did not let go. So much excitement, thrills, twists and turns. 
Complex storyline was flawlessly executed. I highly recommend this book. 
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book
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🍎I take small bites of an apple in the shape of a circle 🍎

Those who can read apple code understand the meaning behind my message.

Don’t read apple?

Rob and Jack will help!

Sundial is Psychological horror at its best!  If you loved The Last House on Needless Street, Catriona Ward delivers another unbelievably disturbing story about an extremely dysfunctional family.  

Warnings:  animal abuse, torture, domestic violence

Rob leads a normal life in the suburbs as Irving’s wife and the mother of two daughters. However, all is not as it seems. When Rob starts to notice suspicious, dark behavior from her daughter Callie, she takes her on a trip to her childhood home, Sundial, in the Mojave desert.  Sundial holds long buried secrets that threaten to change everything. Who will return from this disturbing adventure to the truth? 

I highly recommend that you pay attention to the trigger warnings on this book, as it is very DARK, GRUESOME, and difficult to read at times.  If these don’t bother you, then buckle up for a very original plot with plenty of twists and turns that will make your head spin! 

The crazy dysfunctional dynamic between Rob and Irving is reminiscent of Samantha Downing.  It is cringeworthy at times, but I could not look away!  Many parts of the plot are over the top, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I am excited to see what Ward will come up with next!

4/5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan-Tor/Forge for the ARC of Sundial by Catriona Ward in exchange for an honest review.
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I had never read a Catriona Ward before this one. All is can say is wow, talk about a dysfunctional family. This one is Dysfunctional with a capital D! At first I wasn't sure I would finish this one but as I kept reading and wow it really drawn me in! Great book, Now I am anxious to search out some more of her books. Great book, make sure to grab a copy on the expected publication date of March 1, .2022! Thank you Netgalley and thanks to the author and publisher Tor Nightfire for the chance to read this one early!! Its disturbing and oh so good all rolled into one.
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