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The Rift

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  123 reviews
When the Rift opens, death follows.

For generations, the Rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against horrors released by the Rift. Cal West, an apprentice Ranger with a rare scar and even rarer gifts, fights daily to prove he belongs within their ranks. After nine years away, Meg Archer returns to her childhood home only to find the Island is facing a ne
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Walker Books Australia
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Rachael Hey Sin, I wrote it as a standalone. No current plans for more. But who knows ... maybe one day?

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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Khrys ♡《TheWaffleGirl》
Woah. That was...woah.

I wasn’t expecting this, but I got so much Stiefvater vibes from this book! I am amazed lol.

“When the Rift opens, death follows.”

What’s this about??

For generations, the Rangers of Black Water Island have protected the sacred creatures of their land from the horrors caused by the Rift. Cal West, an apprentice ranger with rare abilities, is fighting hard every day to prove to other rangers that he belongs as one of them. Meg Archer, an old friend, returns to Black Wat
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Black Water Island is immersed in tradition, a millennia since The Rift emerged causing the mountain to fracture. The residents of Black Water are isolated from the mainland, without television or internet access to maintain the fragile ecosystem of the island. Every four years, hunters descent on the intimate pastoral community to participate in The Cull, the resident generational Rangers responsible for the Old Herd while young deer are harvested by Nutris Pharmaceuticals for their medici
Perfect for fans of Maggie Steifvater’s works, this is the ideal standalone book for readers who enjoy paranormal fantasy and magical realism. There is so much to love in this dark, creepy and wildly atmospheric story that is positively brimming with magic and mystery.

For generations, The Rangers of the mysterious and isolated Black Water Island have been tasked with protecting a mythical deer herd against the horrors of The Rift, an interdimensional tear between worlds through which ferocious m
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
What an incredibly unique and whimsical read about an island filled with ley lines, and the Rangers that live on it containing mystical powers! This one caught my surprise and I was soon swept up in the beautiful descriptions of Black Rock island, of the supernatural creatures living on it, and of Cal and Meg's story.

As others have mentioned, it definitely has a Stiefvater vibe to it, where you as the reader are left to experience the story without giving anything directly away. I got a bit con
Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library)
Check out the original review for a guest post by Rachael Craw as part of The Rift blog tour!

I received this book in a YA Chronicles subscription box some months prior to the announcement of this blog tour, which I then eagerly signed up for. I hadn't been able to stop thinking about this book since I discovered it in my subscription box, and I was so excited to read about this story that seemed to draw on some things that I was already really into: Greek myths, Gothic atmospheres, isolated isla
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I am the only one who was very confused by the world building ?
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, young-adult
I have many thoughts on this book. In some ways it's classic Craw but in other way it will surprise you . Will re-read closer to publication since this book is not out until November. ...more
Steph Cuthbert
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is Rachael Craw like you’ve never seen before. Her writing has always been stellar, and there are moments that are so Rachael in their cringing hilarity eg parental over sharing, however there’s a real level-up in the ambition and maturity of The Rift.
While I was reading, I kept thinking two things:
1. The setting of Black Water is so vivid.
2. This is so Stiefvater.
I absolutely loved the Spark trilogy (I promise I’m not going to have a rant comparing Spark and The Rift), but the setting wa
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Coherent review later maybe.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
OK, so I started this like two weeks ago and I couldn't get into it AT ALL. I read twenty pages and put it aside and read other things. Finally, I gritted my teeth and sat down and forced myself to keep reading- and at some point it was no longer forced. I really started that magical forget you're reading and just fall into the story mode. I've only recently moved and set up my book room properly, so in my chair with my slightly ironic deer blanket, I was completely comfortable and this made thi ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book! The Rift is an addictive, wonderful, warm, beautiful book. If it weren’t for animals & bugs & wilderness & dirt & how much I love wifi I too would want to live on Black Water Island 😂

Craw describes the island in such a way that’s equal parts beautiful & scary with vicious feral dogs that rip people apart, majestic deer, & this community that bands together to preserve & protect their natural surroundings.

The main characters Meg & Cal were wonderful. I loved that their alter
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get into this one.

Normally I start my reviews with a brief summary of the book but I genuinely have no idea what was going on and to attempt to write about what I thought it was would be a nightmare.

It almost had this kind of ‘Stranger Things’ element to it (I think?) with the rift itself holding these dog like creatures inside that had the power to give psychic like gifts to those who survive a bite and then there’s a magic deer who is in charge of e
Strong world-building, worthy pair of heroes and potential lovers, and a fast-paced narrative.

Will there be more?
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Invisible hellhounds, mythical deer, ley lines, a secret society of rangers, an evil corporation and reunited childhood friends. This combination makes for an unputdownable (it's a word!) read. ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An imaginative story that held my attention the whole time. Loved this and will be recommending it to my students.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my first ever Rachael Craw book and damnnnn it was good. I had heard amazing things about Craw’s work and have a few of her books on my TBR waiting to be read. However I was a bit hesitant as everyone compares Craw to Stiefvater. Stiefvater, in my opinion, a good writer but damn does she take forever to get to the point and her females characters suck at existing, like soul sucking suck. So I was a bit hesitant in picking The Rift up but overall I am glad that I did.
There were some majo
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully-crafted, -imagined, and -written novel. On an island that is home to a dimensional rift, the deer have magic in their antlers, the land is full of surprises, and the threat of giant Rift Hounds looms. Culled yearly, the deer are cared for by rangers who are often gifted with special sight, healing, and hearing powers. When Meg, a young woman, returns home to the island after many years away, she arrives at the same time as those who hunt the deer for a pharmaceutical compan ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tomorrow, when your teen rolls her eyes at receiving a Christmas book token from Aunt Alison (spare a thought for the poor woman, no one knows what to buy a teen), tell her to spend it on Rachael Craw's The Rift. She'll read it and discover books are still cool, and so is her mum. Win win! This book has everything - action, angst, romance (eventually), and the beautifully drawn world of Black Water Island (where ley lines and magnetism mess with electronics, so … no phones). She'll love the two ...more
Penny Poppleton
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I bought this book this morning at my local bookshop and literally couldn’t put it down. I want to reread it as soon as I can—I feel like there was so much I missed—but it really ticked a whole bunch of boxes for me, from magic forested islands to the complexity of rituals against capitalism to two teens with hormones aiming truer than arrows. A+ book.
Courtney  (courtneyandherbooks)
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was so original. The tension it created felt like a rubber band getting pulled tighter and tighter until SNAP! 8.5/10
Melinda Szymanik
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. 4.5 stars. A cool critique of modern corporate interests, wrapped in a plot shaped by mythology and fantasy. There is danger, doubt and drama with a pair of protagonists struggling with physical and emotional scars and damage. Throw in some romance (nicely handled) and an unexpected twist or two, and this makes for a thrilling ride. My only quibble is the few plot threads left dangling at the end. Will there be more to come about Blackwater Island?
CW: animal death, hunting

I loved loved LOVED this world! It’s unlike a lot of fantasy and urban fantasy out there, a curious mix of dimensional rifts, an isolated foggy island, hellhounds, psychic abilities, bonded familiars, and a magical herd of deer. They’re all things that sound like they shouldn’t go together but they just do.

The writing is atmospheric, eerie, and unsettling. The island doesn’t feel quite right in a “they’re not telling us the whole story” way. There are things about Black
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: publisher-gift
The story itself is intriguing but the structure of it left me unable to connect with the characters. If the flashback scene, which is told as one continuous narrative that is far too long and happens far too late in the book, had been doled out piecemeal throughout the novel it would have changed things entirely. As it was, I could have cared less about these protagonists because I just didn't understand where they were coming from until it was too late for me to enjoy the tale. So frustrating. ...more
Annie Deo
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted at my blog.


This has to be one of the most creative and unique books I've ever read - the author's pitch is 'mythology and dimensional rifts and mutant space dogs', and that's not even the tip of the iceberg! There's also a running theme of the importance of environmental conservation and it's amazing how naturally this nestles in alongside the paranormal aspects of the story. It's easy to see why 'The Rift' is a finalist in The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young A
Weaving Fiction ( Sj )
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
WARNINGS: Grusome scenes, prejudice, injuries
FROM: Walker Books Australia

-Cal, Meg, Bren, Rilke, Joss, Reeva, Fallon
-the ‘familiars’
-the deer

-the pacing
-Cora & Seargent
-the ending
Fleur Ferris
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Masterful and brilliant! Beautiful world building, stunning writing, a cracking plot, perfectly paced and hot romantic tension. Craw has outdone herself.
Amy Chiles
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on my blog On A Crafty Adventure

After following Rachael on social media I became curious about her newest novel - The Rift. It seemed totally different to her previous offerings and I was intrigued. I have just finished the novel and I must say that I am sad to say goodbye to these characters, they are very well written and have found a place in my heart. I am sure I am not alone in having my fingers and toes crossed for a follow-up.

The Rift is a Young Adult fan
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review and others bookish fun can be found on my website:

I need more! This book was incredible and I need more!

I honestly wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did! I don't really know what I was excepting, but this book took me back to the feeling of reading The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater for the first time and it was amazing! I knew it was going to be one of my new favourite books when I got about 3/4 of the way through and was frantically googling if the
M Gregs
Okay, listen up because this needs to be said loudly and clearly: This book is absolutely nothing like any one of Maggie Stiefvater’s books . Or, like, her thoughts. Or her thoughts that she has yet to think. The literal only thing that this book has in common with anything Stiefvater has written is the idea of ley lines, which isn’t even unique to Stiefvater. That’s it. Oh wait—both this book and TRC have ravens in them. The end.

So, separating this actual novel from any false promise
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NZ Intermediate S...: The Rift 1 16 Jan 21, 2019 11:38PM  

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Rachael is a reader, dreamer, joker, singer, believer, writer and lover of words.

Author of award winning #Spark, #Stray & #Shield available in AU & NZ, published by Walker Books Australia. #TheRift is out now AU/NZ with WBA and in USA/Canada with Candlewick Press.

She lives in NZ and teaches part time while writing her next novel.

Chat with Rachael on FB, Twitter & Instagram

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