REVIEW: Wranglestone by Darren Charlton

The Official Description: 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.

Just the facts: Coming of ager in a post-apocalyptic world, queer teens, zombies!

A wonderful novel about coming of age in a post apocalyptic world. It has walking dead people, a love story and is full of intrigue and mystery! – Kinzie Things


My thoughts bit: 
Wranglestone is one of those books that I wish had existed when I was a kid! I didn’t find books and characters that I could relate to until I was in my late teens! And, let me also so that I have read a lot of Zombie/apocalyptic books and this one is clever! Darren Charlton has written a tale that is clever! For once, people make choices to protect themselves that make sense to me! If you’ve ever found yourself watching The Walking Dead and found yourself yelling things at the TV like, “Why aren’t you living in a treehouse!?” then you are going to really enjoy this book.

The book is from the perspective of Peter. He’s almost sixteen and living in a type of colony of survivors. Peter lives on Skipping Mouse Island in a lake.. in a national park. He lives with his father who was taken into the colony because of his building/carpentry skills.

Early on in the novel, Peter makes a mistake. He is down at the water when a canoe arrives. There’s an old man, chatty, who compliments Peter on his wood chopping skills – and sadly Peter doesn’t see the man as a threat. The tables are turned quickly, and too late, Peter realizes that the man is not just a friendly person looking for refuge. Things escalate, there’s a violent encounter with the old man… and his not-dead wife. Peter is stabbed and when he regains consciousness his father is missing. Fortunately, Bud and his son, Cooper arrive in time to help them.

There are some dissenting voices in the group after the attack. Bud accuses Peter of being a weak link because he didn’t act to protect himself and save his father. There’s some truth to it. Peter was frozen with fear, but I mean, who wouldn’t be? Ultimately, Peter’s punishment is to be sent.otu as bait. He’s to draw the not-dead away.

When Cooper ends up assisting Peter with his task, the two young men talk about their attraction for one another. Peter’s always thought that Cooper wouldn’t be interested in him, and Cooper senses the same.

There’s a mystery in this book – don’t be deceived into thinking this is a simple story. Charlton has written a lovely story full of twists and turns. Things aren’t what they seem at the beginning, and the novel winds its way through some truly interesting places.

One of the things that I really enjoyed is that Peter and Cooper’s relationship isn’t challenged by the adults in the community or in their minds. Their sexuality isn’t an issue… and YES! I really think we need more books like this. I’m probably not wording that in the right way but they’re such a great couple. I loved the way they spoke to one another, the way they quickly developed their little ways of being intimate in such a crazy world.

As action-packed as this story is, it’s also full of tender moments. In particular, I enjoyed the moments between the male characters. There were some beautiful moments written with few words between fathers and sons, between friends and between lovers. The characters are authentic and well-written and this novel was a delight to read!

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Descriptions of characters dying, undead human attacks described, past death of loved ones, betrayal by friends.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I purchased a copy of Wranglestone by Darren Charlton from Little Tiger.


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