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A Hawk in the Woods

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  15 reviews
When newscaster Abby Waite is diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness, she decides to do the logical thing… break her twin sister Martha out of prison and hit the road. Their destination is the Waite family cabin in Minnesota where Abby plans a family reunion of sorts. But when you come from a family where your grandfather frequently took control of your body during ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Word Horde
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  34 ratings  ·  15 reviews


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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Working on this review today. I have to get my opinions and feelings sorted.
Emily
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Things always worked out for her, didn't they?"

3.5⭐

This is a difficult review to write. I absolutely loved the idea of this book. It sounded so fascinating, and I read it as soon as I got my hands on it. However, I struggled to connect to the story as a whole, and I wound up feeling like something was missing.

The story jumps back and forth between past and present. I enjoyed the scenes in the past much more than the present ones, and at times, it was a little confusing. Some chara
...more
Jen (Book Den)
There's a lot to process in A Hawk in the Woods! I know I'll continue to think about it for quite some time. Books like this one tend to grow in my mind and in my heart as all of the pieces continue to meld together. It's a little bit like a movie you want to start back from the beginning once you have reached the end so you can experience it again knowing all of the secrets. (I'm feeling the exact same way about Jordan Peele's Us right now.)

A Hawk in the Woods is told through two di
...more
Nicholas Kaufmann
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been a big fan of Carrie Laben's short fiction for years now and am pleased to discover her debut novel, A HAWK IN THE WOODS, is just as excellent. It's chock full of dark magic, family feuds, and complicated characters with equally complicated relationships (which, come to think of it, sums up the idea of family pretty well). Laben's prose is confident and adroit, and her narrative voice is strong and compassionate, even when her characters are being the opposite. Lurking just beneath the ...more
Joe Quenell
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. It's getting a lot of raves, and while it did not necessarily wow me they way it has others, it's still an engaging read. I had the ending guessed with about a hundred pages left, but this did not keep it from feeling satisfying. There's plenty of great character building, some humor, a lot of weirdness, and a few dashes of gruesomeness. Carrie Laben will be a voice to pay attention to.
Max III
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laben’s a master of multiple styles; she can be weird when the story calls for it, and she can be heartwarming, and goddamn she can be hilarious. This is a fun book, make no mistake about it. She possesses the wonderful ability to make you cackle up one second then punch you into silence the next. I can’t wait to follow the rest of her career. Pick up A Hawk in the Woods today so you can say you’ve been reading her from the very beginning.

[full review on LitReactor]
Richard Schaefer
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
The novel’s plot in a nutshell: twin sisters Abihail (not a typo) and Martha come from a family of what I would describe as Lovecraftian necromancers. One sister has the ability to psychically “push” people’s brains, influencing them to do her whim, and the other can fold time to go forward or back or make it pass faster or more slowly. In the present, the two sisters make their way to their family cabin for reasons you’ll find out over the course of the book that involve one sister’s terminal c ...more
Tenebrous Kate
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book delighted me in a ways that would compromise its surprises to explain in any depth. Suffice to say it’s a thoroughly modern family drama steeped in Lovecraftiana that turned my suspicion of that triple-play of stuff I generally don’t enjoy entirely inside out. Laben’s mastery of her craft is evident throughout, navigating between suspense, playfulness, grotesquerie, and sincerity to build a true page-turner of a first novel. I’m looking forward to see what she creates next!
Adam
Sep 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ebook, weird, fantasy
I've been excited about this book just based on the title and genre for a while, even though I didn't actually have a very solid idea of the premise. Now that I do know the premise, I should have been even more excited about it in retrospect. It's halfway between the Netflix Sabrina show and Library at Mount Char, which is a wonderful intersection of genres I would love to read 10 more books in at least. Unfortunately, A Hawk in the Woods was published a few major rewrites short of what it neede ...more
Diamond
Abby Waite just got diagnosed with cancer, so she does the only logical thing, and breaks her twin sister Martha out of prison and they embark on a road trip to the old family summer cabin. Oh, and their family, the Waite's have a knack for mind control, posession, and a tendency to just not stay dead...

A Hawk in the Woods is told from Abby's perspective, and is probably now my favorite use of alternating timelines. Laben avoids copious amounts of exposition, and instead gradually gi
...more
Lou
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twins reunited, the Waite girls, a decade apart, on a road journey with strange folk song and wilderness things, possessing of a kind and changing of fates, a mysterious mystery with the hawks in the woods.
The twins dark past will be unveiled with some walking blindly, the narrative slowly burns into your psyche into its finality.

The outer, the apparent, twins looking alike and the Hawks, birds of prey, a beautiful species, and there is the creepy inner crafted by this author t
...more
Jordi
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gripping debut novel by the Shirley Jackson award-winning author Carrie Laben. What starts as a homage to “The Thing on the Doorstep” by Lovecraft, soon grows to be a powerful narrative of how destructive family ties can be.

Written in a direct and absorbent style, it reads both as a get-away story and as a super-natural thriller, where the possibilities of personality transfer in the original Lovecraft story are explored in sick directions - there's always a sense of wicked irony at the core
...more
Thomas Flynn
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though this novel came to me on strong recommendation, I didn’t quite know what I was getting into. Even a third of the way into the story, I didn’t yet grasp the magnitude of what Laben had created.

A Hawk in the Woods is a delightfully dark tale, though the often aloof nature of the protagonist, Abby, initially had me fooled. This is not a story to be consumed quickly, or idly — devils dwell in the details, and though every thread introduced in this novel is eventually addressed, th
...more
Matt
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-books
I was lucky enough to get to review this for High Fever Books, so I'll be giving them the more in depth review, however I wanted to add something here for this wonderful book about a very powerful family.

Carrie Laben's debut novel is an awesome look at family bonds, cancer, and magic. The way she expertly weaves the past and the present creates a twisting narrative that culminates into a crazy third act. It does take a little time to get used to how many secrets all of the characters
...more
Jaq Evans
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clever, patient, and relentless. What a fun read!
William Gillespie
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Jun 29, 2019
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Ron Reese
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