I Shall Awaken by Kateřina Šardická

I Shall Awaken by Kateřina Šardická, translation by Tereza Novická. Albatross, 2022. 9788000063478

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Hardcover

Genre:  Horror

What did you like about the book?  In a small unnamed village demons are feared and superstitions rule the villagers’ lives. The village has very good reasons to be afraid. Twelve years ago, four six-year old children disappeared from their locked kindergarten classroom during naptime. Sonia, Tom and Astrid along with her little brother, Max were taken away; only Dora knows what happened but no one believed her.

Suddenly during the first night of the winter solstice, the most dangerous time for the villagers when the veil between the real world and the otherworld is thinnest, three of the missing children, now young adults, return naked, covered in mud and with no memory of what has happened to them over the last 12 years. 

Then things get frightening, nightmares seem to come to life and the animals in the forest around them are dying. Astrid wants to go back for Max, but where does she go and how will she get there? The story is mostly told through Dora and Astrid and their home lives are almost as horrible as their nightmares making the reader sympathize with them. Reading this novel by a Czech author, translated into English, featuring folklore and legends of a different culture is a great way for readers to expand their reading horizons, and this is a good book to start with.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Horror fans will like this book.

Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries should definitely consider adding this book to their shelf.

Where would you shelve it ? YA Horror

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not on top, but should be read

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Malden Catholic High School, Malden, MA

Date of review: May 23, 2022

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Maria Touet, Malden Catholic High School, Malden, MA

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