Book Review: Awakening by S J Bolton

The Blurb:

“How did it all begin? I suppose it would be the day I rescued a new-born baby from a poisonous snake, heard the news of my mother’s death and encountered my first ghost …Veterinary surgeon Clara Benning is young and intelligent, but practically a recluse. Disfigured by a childhood accident, she lives alone and shies away from human contact wherever possible. But when a man dies following a supposed snake bite, the victim’s post mortem shows a higher concentration of venom than could ever be found in a single snake. Assisted by her softly spoken neighbour and an eccentric reptile expert, Clara unravels sinister links to a barbaric ancient ritual, an abandoned house and a 50-year-old tragedy that left the survivors fiercely secretive. Then the village’s inventive attacker strikes again, and Clara’s own solitary existence is brutally invaded. For someone the truth must remain buried in the past …even if they have to kill to keep it there.”

(blurb source:

  What I thought:

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Sacrifice by S J Bolton and I said then that I couldn’t wait to read more of her books. In fact, I found I couldn’t wait any longer to read them and hotfooted it down to the library to pick up Awakening and got stuck straight in. What is it that I love about Boltons books? Multi-layered plots, gripping storylines and a hint of gothic.

Awakening, just like Sacrifice, has a young female protagonist – this time 30 year old vet Clara Benning who has moved to the countryside so that she doesn’t have to mix with other people and will be left alone. After a series of incidents in the village she finds that she can’t be left in peace however and becomes an unwitting participant in catching a killer with a penchant for snakes. Clara is a flawed and scarred (quite literally) woman and she struggles as much with the human intrusian in to her life as the reptilian one.

If you are seriously frightened of snakes (i.e. have a phobia) then this may not be the book for you as I learnt more about snakes than I ever realised I wanted to know, and also sitting in the bath one night with my book, I became obsessed with glancing over at the toilet lid, lest one of these horrible beasties decided to headbut the lid and slither out into my bathroom (*shivers*). However, if like me you merely just dislike them then this is a great action filled thriller and pretty scary too.

Again, expect a pacey plot, lots going on, unravelling of long-forgotten incidents which some would rather keep hidden and plenty of action. Now, on to the next …..

(source: I borrowed this book from the library)


6 thoughts on “Book Review: Awakening by S J Bolton

  1. sounds great!! ive just bought this today.nearly new for £2.00! and a whole bag of other books for £1,i do love the library sale 🙂 after reading your review for Sacrifice i got that too…i think Harvest is out in 28 days!


  2. I read Awakening first and while I enjoyed reading it, I definitely liked Sacrifice more. I don’t like snakes much, but I do think I liked the main character in Awakening better, the vet. She seemed more real, believeable, likely.


  3. WOW! I don’t know if I could read that book, I hate snakes, but I am intirgued by your review. As you wrote about watching the toilet lid as you read, I cringed, knowing I would do the same. I think I’d opt for reading in a well-lit area in the open instead of in the tub. I’m not so brave, perhaps.


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