Bent Heavens – Daniel Kraus

       Bent Heavens – Daniel Kraus, read by Amara Jasper, Macmillan Audio, (9781250249081), 2020

Format: cd audiobook, 7 discs

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

 Genre: Realistic contemporary fiction/ Horror

 What did you like about the book? The story begins with a naked man running down the center of the street, not just any naked man but Liv Fleming’s father, beloved high school teacher.  Liv’s father gets “help” and returns to normal – for awhile. Now he claims to have been abducted by aliens.  He is building traps to capture rogue elements of the aliens who are out to kill.  Liv’s best friend, Doug, believes Mr. Fleming, helping him to make traps and set them in the woods.  One day after school, Liv is so fed-up with all of it that she goes to the woods to destroy the traps, to rescue any animals that may be trapped in one – and she finds in one – an alien!  She and Doug imprison the being, hoping to learn what happened to Liv’s father who has disappeared.  Doug is ruthless in his torture while Liv thinks she can teach the creature to talk to tell her what happened to her father.  All they get is nonsense: car bow hall.  It’s a while before Liv realizes that this is a name: carbohall – but by this time Doug has pulled all the creature’s teeth and cut out his tongue. Liv is determined to explore this clue and what she learns is a whole lot more terrifying than aliens.

Amara Jasper is superb in conveying the fear, the pain, the anger experienced by all voices of the characters.

Anything you did not like about the book?  I was thinking about this story when it occurred to me that it would be in the Horror genre.  I have never read a “horror” book before; it is awful to think of some of the things that happened in this story yet it is so compelling, so real actually.  If recommending it, make sure you warn your audience

 To whom would you recommend this book? Teens who like a psychological, supremely interesting/riveting, can’t’ put down book are a good audience for this one.

Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it?  YA audiobooks, fiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: 5/23/2020

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