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Wakenhyrst

Narrated by: Juanita McMahon
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

By the best-selling author of Dark Matter and Thin Air, an outstanding new piece of storytelling, a tale of mystery and imagination laced with terror. It is a masterwork in the modern Gothic tradition that ranges from Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker to Neil Gaiman and Sarah Perry. 

Something has been let loose....

In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father. 

When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened. Maud's battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen - and the even more nightmarish demons of her father's past. 

Spanning five centuries, Wakenhyrst is a darkly Gothic thriller about murderous obsession and one girl's longing to fly free. 

©2019 Michelle Paver (P)2019 Head of Zeus

Critic Reviews

"A ghost story to chill and thrill...Like Touching the Void rewritten by Jack London, Thin Air is a heart-freezing masterpiece." (Guardian)

"Paver is the mistress of suspense." (The Times)

"A wonderful atmospheric and hugely enjoyable ghost story." (Anthony Horowitz)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

I enjoyed the book but it pales in comparison to Dark Matter. There wasn't a great deal happening under the surface. It would have benefited from two narrators for the male and female voices. Still a good read with some lovely writing.

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Profile Image for Bob Scratchitt
  • Bob Scratchitt
  • 08-05-2019

A disappointment

After loving every previous audible version of Michelle’s books I just couldn’t engage with this. The narration was good but the story was dull. I couldn’t get into the characters or plot even at the climax. Hopefully the next one will grab me as the many before this did.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • C
  • 06-05-2019

Promising start but kind of fizzled out

Started off well - interesting characters, hint of intrigue and slow build of the “horror” but in the end, didn’t really go anywhere. Characters ended up very flat with little narrative development and the denouement was predictable from about 1/3rd of the way in. Juanita McMahon did a good job with the narrative -shame about the plot

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss S D Williams
  • 29-05-2019

Enjoyable but lacks all the tension of the author’s previous work

I adore Dark Matter and Thin Air (albeit the two are incredibly similar), for me this lacked the authenticity of those previous novels. Personally I felt the story was over-wrought, lacking the foundations of a strong underlying plot. It isn’t very believable and is hindered by a slow, rather flabby start. Dark Matter and Thin Air are both defined by incredible, drawn out tension, loneliness and desolation, this is a very different story. Credit to the author for not merely repeating the same recipe, but whilst an enjoyable listen, I don’t think it’s of the same calibre.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • kate bluffield
  • 26-05-2019

Didn’t reach expectations..

I really enjoyed the authors previous books, so bought this one on the basis that it would likely be as good. Unfortunately, it was tedious, the story was depressingly mundane and I got bored with the haughtiness of the characters. Shame.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • janien
  • 29-04-2019

Not Paver’s Gothic Best...

The third of Paver’s Gothic feeling horror, mystery reads and not her best. I grabbed this on release as I loved her Dark Matter so much and can listen to that time and time again.

This was pretty creepy but felt more drawn out with some of the mystery impact lost.

Worth reading, just not her best. Presentation is flawless.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel Redford
  • 23-05-2019

The Fens are the winners

Michele Paver excels at creating intriguing & chilling stories - Thin Air is well worth downloading.
In 1913 the obsessive historian Edward Stearn killed a man with a pick axe in a random, bizarre and horrific attack, so we know WHO. The story set in the Norfolk fens fill in the why.

The main character is Maud, Edward's slighted and insulted daughter, the only child along with much younger Felix. Maud's beloved Maman survived a catalogue of 'chamberpots of blood', but died giving birth to dead Rosie. Maud grows to be her father's loathed amenuensis - and also to read her father's journals which detail not only his constant 'connections' with the uppity servant girl, but also his obsession with devils,as he slides into madness. The other impressive presence in the story is the Fens themselves with their oppressive and sinister miasma and dark writhing eels. The story is certainly packed and absorbing but suffers from having no likeable characters.

The narration is uneven. The start was alarmingly bad, as though it was a reading of a spooky story for 5 year-olds. Quite dreadful, but it did improve and quieten down. The first part should have been re-recorded

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wren
  • 12-05-2019

Really good. But maybe not for me.

I was a big fan of her previous book " Thin Air" which was a real gem so I was keen to listen to this. It too is a really good, well thought out, and well written book but I didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much. Romance/growing up puberty type stuff often puts me off in a lot of narratives and it did in wakenhurst. It makes me cringe a bit. Also I just felt a kind of grim dislike of all the characters (which I think is what the author intended) and therefore wasn't cheering for anyone or as invested in it as I expected. Its a good book but an uncomfortable one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan at Empire of Books
  • 03-04-2019

Michelle Paver strikes again

Michelle never fails to draw me in to her settings, and deep into her characters minds.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 25-04-2019

Wakenhyrst

This book kept me awake at night, and I couldn’t get the story out of my head, or the feeling of being watched when I was alone and had stopped listening for a while. It’s so atmospheric and so detailed, you can breathe the air of the fens as you listen. A descent into madness that is so gothic and so well controlled; though this is unlike any of Paver’s previous creep tales, “Dark Matter” and “Thin Air”, it’s brings back the atmosphere of her earlier novels, before Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. The mention of the clatter of clawed feet made me think of Tokoroth instantly and I was terrified the whole way through which such scenes. Beautifully written, though I felt vague in places. A wonderful narration by Juanita McMahon. Perhaps the best book I’ve listened to this year.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Natasha
  • 13-04-2019

atmospheric, gripping & well written

I rarely leave reviews but was moved to by Wakenhurst as I was so impressed by it. Michelle Paver skilfully weaves a haunting atmospheric tale which intertwines supernatural and psychological happenings. She really effectively maintains suspense for a novel length ghost story...an impressive feat on its own.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful