Ready to smash that pre-order button? You’ll want to for Catriona Ward’s new novel Sundial releasing on March 1, 2022. You can read my review of Ward’s previous novel The Last House on Needless Street here. While Last House was impressive, you’ll want to hang on for the ride of a lifetime in Sundial.

The Plot

Rob has what looks like the ideal family: a husband, two kids, and a middle class life. What lurks below the surface is unsavory. Her husband, Irving, is manipulative and abusive. Rob begins to fear for her oldest daughter, Callie, when she begins to harvest animal bones and speak to an imaginary friend.

Rob’s past lurks in the rearview and Rob knows she must confess her history to Callie. Rob takes Callie to Sundial, her family’s farm in the desert, where gruesome knowledge awaits.

Alternative cover for Sundial

The Verdict

It is difficult to discuss this novel without revealing too much. Do not read reviews and do not spoil yourself on the multitude of twists and turns that Sundial takes. A blind reading experience will produce lasting chills. This novel is dark and serpentine.

“A wild, twisted, family gothic unlike any you’ve read before, and one you won’t soon forget.” 

—Paul Tremblay

Sundial is the most bizarre, twisted horror novel I have read in a long time. I hung on every word and savored the journey of Rob and Callie and the way it intertwined with Rob’s past. Usually, I race to the ending of a novel like this to get the answers I crave, but I relished in Ward’s prose and her ability to make me feel a part of the story. I journeyed with Rob and Callie as the two found answers in this family gothic like I’ve never seen before.

In places, I felt as if I was in a fever dream, floating above the intensity of the prose and plot with disassociation. When the written word can produce such emotions and internal dialogue, you know it’s a winner.

This could easily win the Goodreads Best Horror category in 2022 and this is the easiest five Cthulu rating I’ve given in my life. I will be raving about this one for years to come.

It is worth noting that possibly every trigger warning that exists needs to be given: animal abuse, animal cruelty and experiments, physical and psychological abuse, graphic depictions, self-harm and blood, mental illness, and infidelity among others. Be warned. This is a seriously graphic horror novel.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

If you want to read Sundial, click below!

Want to read reviews of other horror novels I was impressed with? Check out this one.

About the Author

Sarah Moon is a stone-cold sorceress from Tennessee whose interests include serial killers, horror fiction, and the newest dystopian blockbuster. Sarah holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. She works as an English professor as well as a cemeterian. Sarah is most likely to cover horror in print including prose, poetry, and graphic forms.

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