Author: Darren Charlton
Genre: YA Dystopian
Published by: Stripes
Publication date: 06/02/20
My rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Winter was the only season every Lake-Lander feared…
In a post-apocalyptic America, a community survives in a national park, surrounded by water that keeps the Dead at bay. But when winter comes, there’s nothing to stop them from crossing the ice.
Then homebody Peter puts the camp in danger by naively allowing a stranger to come ashore and he’s forced to leave the community of Wranglestone. Now he must help rancher Cooper, the boy he’s always watched from afar, herd the Dead from their shores before the lake freezes over.
But as love blossoms, a dark discovery reveals the sanctuary’s secret past. One that forces the pair to question everything they’ve ever known.
An action-packed and thought-provoking debut, for fans of Patrick Ness, Marcus Sedgwick, DREAD NATION and The Walking Dead.
I know I’m not the only one who finds writing reviews hard when I really loved a book, Wranglestone is definitely one of them. I first heard about this around YALC last year, there was something about it and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. That little niggle was still there when a copy fell through my letterbox and it took all my self control to not dive straight in. I knew very little about it aside from it being a zombie adventure story with m/m rep, what’s not to love?!
Wranglestone is set during the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, survivors now live in national parks. Lake Wranglestone is where we meet Peter. Peter has lived a sheltered life and has never left the safety of the lake, unlike Cooper. Cooper is Lake Wranglestone’s best wrangler and regularly visits the mainland to herd the dead away from the lake’s shores. After an incident that compromised the safety of the entire community Peter is sent to help on the mainland. Romance between Peter and Cooper blooms, danger lurks and Lake Wranglestone’s secrets are about to surface.
What a ride this was! Wranglestone is the adventure story I’ve always wanted, it’s not a coming out story, they just are. It was perfect. Throughout the book there’s a subtle sinister vibe, a sense of wrongness lurking in the periphery, I found myself questioning everything and everyone I thought I knew and still didn’t see half of it coming. I was delighted by the direction Darren took the zombies, it’s a new and thought provoking take that’s also relevant to the society we live in. I can’t say more without spoiling it. I honestly loved it though! I devoured Wranglestone, staying up to the early hours unable to tear my eyes away from the pages for even a moment. I’m so ridiculously excited to find out where the story goes next.
Darren Charlton is a master storyteller in the making, bringing a fresh and unputdownable take on the zombie apocalypse that will have you on the edge of your seat for so many reasons. Definitely add this to your TBR’s, you won’t regret it!
Buy from: Waterstones