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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 1 September 2009
Awakening is written with true expertise. S J Bolton has truly done her research to create this masterpiece of a novel. Her second novel was recommended, the books i tend to chose being crime/thriller/pyschological and i was not disappointed. I was terrified at points yet unable to put it down for needing to know what would happen next. I was fascinated in her details of snakes, their habitats and behaviour as was i in the details of the religious sections that do indeed exist. The characters were believable and you could imagine them as people you know. Clara (the main character) carries so many wonderful emotions, disfigured as a child and living away from public attention working as a vet in a small community "animals don't judge", she is an authority on all things reptilian and is called in to help when her sleepy village discovers a snake problem. There is sexual tension between her and the local policeman and the world famous snake expert and the only disappointment to me was not knowing which one she would chose ! - Clara's emotions were conveyed in such a way that you felt you were going through them with her, especially when her mother dies, a real tear jerking moment, yet not written in an over worded sloppy manner. I won't write about the details of the plot as the book really is so good you have to read it yourself.
I thought her first novel Sacrifice was pretty good but it is not a patch on this brilliant piece of work.
I can't wait to read the next book. Congratulations to S J Bolton.
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on 20 April 2009
S.J.Bolton's second novel, following the first-rate
'Sacrifice', is a meticulously researched,
well-paced and throughly scary thriller.
Young veterinary surgeon,Clara Benning works in a
wildlife santuary in Dorset.She is facially scarred
and psychologically damaged and avoids contact with
humans wherever possible-until deadly snakes appear
in her village, killing a man.As the local expert,
Clara becomes involved as the deaths increase,and a
terrifying secret from the village's past is slowly
A tremendously good read,and marks S.J.Bolton as one
of the best writers in this genre.
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on 18 April 2009
Really enjoyed this. Clara is a vet in a village, she trys to be a recluse as much as possible due to a accident as a child where she is disfigured. An encounter with a snake sets things in motion in this great story. I think the book is well thought out and really does keep your attention, and keeps you guessing.
The attention to detail is really well done, the author really sounds like she knows all about snakes. There is definitely a local village feel to the book, and the way she deals with the disfigurement is very realistic in the sense of how people react and how she feels when out in public.
This is her second book, and I would recommend all crime and thriller fans read this. In fact everyone should give it a go. It is also good that you don't need to have read her first book (Sacrifice) as it is a different character. I am looking forward to her next book already.
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on 26 June 2016
Another thrilling five star from Sarah Bolton. I don't think she can do anything less. Again this features an outsider, a damaged woman, albeit one of skills and courage. There is a gothic house and ruined church, a less than picture postcard village, demonic charismatic villain...but guess who he is. Two rivals for our maimed female's affections, ancient secrets coming back to bite the guilty, a tangled family tree, religion gone sour, and snakes. Slithery, lethal, sliding, erotic snakes....everywhere. Eeek....horror! And joy, for this a real nail biter. You are never sure the main character will win and survive. But you can be sure you will enjoy the breath stopping, nerve racking, roller coaster ride on the back of a venomous serpent straight out of Eden with a side slip to Hell itself.
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on 1 March 2014
I don't know how I came to buy this book; actually, I think I'd been searching for something else with the same title, and I ended up reading my first book by Sharon Bolton. It was so gripping I couldn't let this book down, I even kept reading snatches in advance to see how the plot would develop! What I liked especially was the unusual main character: Clara,a wildlife vet, disfigured, wounded by life and almost misanthropic, not at all the type you would expect in a crime novel; then the crime weapons: poisonous snakes! On top of enjoying myself a lot with this book, I learned a lot about British snakes. This is certainly not the last book I will read by Sharon Bolton. I enjoyed it immensely and would heartily recommend it.
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on 6 December 2015
Great book exciting easy to read but I wanted a wee bit more of the romance we are given a glimpse into the characters lives but never quite let in. It would have been a more rounded and believable story had the characters shown more emotion. I won't say what happened to her face but when I found out it wasn't very convincing or believable and rather cringe worthy. This is the second book I've read by this author and I do enjoy her writing style I feel she starts these relationships that don't come to anything and one is left hanging and not in a good way.
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on 22 November 2014
Every time I read one of Sharon Bolton's stand alone novels I end up having palpitations after the first few pages & Awakening is no exception! Small quaint villages, dark twisted relationships & snakes...what is there not to like! Fantastic research into snakes and religious movements from the 1950s result in a book you won't want to put down. If you haven't already read any of Sharon Bolton's books then I suggest you do so now!
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on 8 March 2013
Awakening is set in a small town village where many snakes; deadly or not have been showing up in houses recently. The citizens confront Clara Benning, a vet who is another citizen of the small village. Clara is a quiet woman who doesn't like interacting with humans very well after a tragic childhood accident.

As more and more snakes keep appearing Clara realizes that a man who's death was supposively an accident, was actually murder. More murders keep coming and Clara soon finds herself involved in the case despite her wishes. With the help from her neighbor, Matt and Sean North, a celebrity who has experience with snakes Clara tries to uncover the culprit of the strange happenings.

The only part of the book that I did not enjoy was the ending that was not very specific and made me wondering what happened next for Clara. Which I suppose is what the author always wants their readers to wonder, but not when there is no sequel or long epilogue
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on 16 April 2012
I bought this due to all the five star reviews but am left feeling quite confused as to why it had such brilliant reviews. Yes it was very good in places but too much time was spent on discussing snakes and their habitats etc and I did an awful lot of speed reading.. I didn't particularly like Clara and got increasingly frustrated at her seeing dark figures looming and the impossible situations she kept finding herself in. I will read more of this author's books as I'm certain these will be more enjoyable.
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on 8 April 2010
Clara Benning is a reclusive vetinary surgeon living in a rural English village. When a man dies following a snake bite, Clara discovers that the man has much more venom in his system, than from one snake bite. Soon, more snakes start appearing in the village.

I found this book heavy going for about the first 200 pages, which is a large chunk of the book. My interested only got raised when the sinister events of fifty years earlier in the village, began to be revealed. The last quarter of the book is good, and character development is not too bad, but as thrillers go, I did not find this one very exciting.
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