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Bent Heavens

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  799 ratings  ·  280 reviews
Liv Fleming's father went missing more than two years ago, not long after he claimed to have been abducted by aliens. Liv has long accepted that he's dead, though that doesn't mean she has given up their traditions. Every Sunday, she and her lifelong friend Doug Monk trudge through the woods to check the traps Lee left behind, traps he set to catch the aliens he so despera ...more
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Henry Holt & Company
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Jennifer <spoiler>Yes there is a romantic relationship and, yes, there is a sex scene almost two-thirds of the way through the book in Chapter 20.</spoiler>
Crystal Castillo Since I don't want to give spoilers, I will just say the alien activity is explained.…moreSince I don't want to give spoilers, I will just say the alien activity is explained.(less)

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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  799 ratings  ·  280 reviews

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Yeah, it's gonna be a hard pass for me.

Here's the vlog where I read this book:
✨Brithanie Faith✨
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I, too feel as though I've been abducted by aliens after reading this novel. I'm still not entirely sure what I just read, but it was pretty great nonetheless!

If you're looking to dip your toe into young adult sci-fi/horror then this might be the book for you! The horror aspects of this were pretty mild, but at times it was definitely unsettling.

Aliens- and conspiracies- and inner conflict aside, Bent Heavens also t
"She widened her eyes as much as she could and took it all in, because she’d seen worse, participated in worse, was worse.”

I'm amending my star rating from 4 to 5 stars because I just cannot stop thinking about this book.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

For so long, I’ve been on the lookout for a YA horror that truly terrifies me, and I think I’ve found it. That’s not to say author Daniel Kraus doesn’t make a few plays toward YA traditions in Bent Heavens, but after reading it, I certainly feel as though I’ve been through a hellish, insanity-inducing nightmare and barely made it back with my mind intact.

Our story stars Liv Fleming, whose father Lee went missing more than
Tracy Robinson
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
YES!!! What a great read.

Family. Sacrifice. Suffering. Conspiracy. All of these things craft the main threads throughout Bent Heavens. This book was my first experience reading Kraus’ work. Prior to this I had only watched The Shape of Water, a collaboration with Guillermo del Toro that was also released as a novel. I even have two more Kraus books waiting in the wings, and after reading this one, I will be digging in sooner rather than later.

As the synopsis notes, we follow the MC, Liv, as she
This is going to blow a lot of readers' brains. It is part alien story, part story about conspiracy theories, part story about the power of the media, part story about growing up without much in rural Iowa, and part story about family. It's by turns heartening and heartbreaking, and it's a story featuring a main character who is unlikable and angry and violent...and also one full of compassion, discovering a moral compass, and wrestling with unbelievable grief and frustration, taking it out thro ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I don't know how much I can emphasize that, despite the ages of the characters, despite the parent trouble and the bully trouble and the general teen angst, this book is not YA.

It's brutal, dark, and depressing.

I also need to tell you that it's not E.T. Remember E.T.? Find the ugly/cute big-eyed alien, have compassion, try to save it?


I'm not going to spoil it for you. I'll just say that, in this case, E.T. should have stayed home.

It's a well written book and the author clearly didn't even t
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
The premise of this novel was so incredibly intriguing that I had to check out this novel for myself. However, the synopsis was almost bit misleading because I did not get the story that I expected. It’s hard to say more without giving away spoilers, but I know that this book is going to be divisive among readers. 

In many ways the story reminded me of the author’s previous work, The Shape of Water. I liked that one, but I did not love it. I feel similar about Bent Heavens. The writing w
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well, this is something I probably wouldn’t have looked at if I didn’t get the email from the publisher. It’s being marketed as YA and I’m not sure how because it’s quite graphic.

I liked Liv. She’s struggling with grief and doesn’t quite know how to deal with it, so she’s lashing out and pretty much being a dick. Her relationship with Doug is interesting and I feel like a lot of that is what kept me reading. There are a few other characters, but this story is 100% focused on Liv.

Plot wise, it
Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
My Review- Thank you Henry Holt Books For Young Readers for gifting me an E-ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 Stars. It is out today to buy at your favorite retailers!

I was so excited to see something new and fresh in the YA world! I love Alien stories, and I really enjoyed this one. Don’t let the fact that this is YA fool you though. It is pretty damn intense, and dark. I am not an avid horror reader, but this was the perfect

I've read one Daniel Kraus book before, The Shape of Water, so I had some hint of what I'd be in for. I thought it would be interesting to see what his YA is like. I buddy read with a friend who ended up DNF-ing the book because of all the body horror, and I completely understand that choice. I also find it unpleasant reading those parts and have stopped reading other books for similar reasons. If you're really averse to disgusting and physically horrific scenes, you may
Clare Carter
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
*2.5 stars*

Daniel Kraus books are weird and crazy and that's usually why I enjoy them, but this was not it. If you want the best from Daniel Kraus imo pick up Zebulon Finch or Scowler because this was just??? Not?? what I wanted??

This book focuses a lot on torture and while the author's note makes it clear why Daniel Kraus wrote about it, it was just really uncomfy to read. I didn't like that. Also, the characters' relationships didn't feel nearly as real as, say--Zeb and the that soldier guy in
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
Well that was incredibly heartbreaking.
Stay Fetters
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
"It stirred awake Liv’s practical side, not quite soppy with wine, damp and sullen in the knowledge that outer space wasn’t heaven. If anything, it was hell."

My first ever experience with aliens was from watching The X-Files. Mulder and Scully investigated some strange happenings and made believers out of all of us. They also brought my mind into the world of conspiracy theories. Some things in life are too farfetched to believe and that’s where these theories manifested. "I want to believe!"

Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Liv Fleming’s father went missing two years ago, after claiming to have been abducted by aliens. What Liv does and becomes because of this made this book so hard to read, mainly because of the brutality but it’s also filled with grief, love, belonging and not belonging, hope and hopelessness. At times I had to take a break from this book. Surprising twists and turns near the end kept me from putting this book down. I’ll be thinking about this for a long time. So, I’m still thinking about Liv’s s ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-o
3.75 rounded up. This was so much darker than I expected. When I started to realize where it was going I hoped I was wrong. When my premonition was proven correct in the most horrible way my stomach hurt from the horror of it. This is a brutally sad story. Humans are always the most savage in the end.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A bloody, scary good time, skillfully written and paced, Bent Heavens kept me flipping pages, even though I had some issues with a few elements.

I’ve seen some fantastic reviews for Bent Heavens, and so I went into it with high hopes, knowing this was a thriller/horror story revolving around aliens. And without spoiling things
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book messed with me. I won an advanced reader at an event the Greene County Library hosted with Daniel Kraus and as Kraus said, it’s a mix of ET and torture. The writing throughout is great and at times disturbing. The descriptions of certain characters is cringe inducing and disgusting. If you’re up for a little teen and torture, give this one a try.
[Content Warning: Depictions of physical torture, mutilation, (view spoiler)

Okay, listen.

This isn't a nice book.

In fact, it's a pretty damn depressing book.

It's a book that roams the dark and shadowy place that Mufasa warns about. Nothing good can come of chasing it but death and singing hyenas.

Which is why I'm here, on my knees, asking you to chase read it.

Contradiction, thy name is Bent Heavens.

This is my third Daniel Kraus read (well, two an
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The disappearance of a parent lead to a heart-breaking chain
of events in convincing genre-bending YA horror thriller

Although Daniel Kraus’s forthcoming collaboration with zombie godfather George A Romero The Living Dead will undoubtedly pick up the headlines in the horror world, I would suggest also checking out the excellent Bent Heavens. Kraus has a superb back-catalogue of dark/horror YA fiction, including the highly recommended Rotters, and this latest release maintains his high standard. Su
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
A disappointing read. I have really enjoyed Kraus’ previous novels - Scowler and Zebulon Finch especially. They were original, intriguing and detailed. This felt underwritten in comparison, maybe even rushed. The story was basic and barely there and the characters underdeveloped. I really didn’t like the main character, Liv. She was rude, whiny and often pathetic. Most characters acted irrationally and did things I thought normal people would not do in the same situation.

The ending redeemed it
Tracy (Cornerfolds)
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020, horror, ya, scifi
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars for Bent Heavens (audiobook) by Daniel Kraus read by Amara Jasper. This story was dark and twisted. It really went in directions that I wasn’t expecting. The narration was good too.
Albert Riehle
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok

That's the sound of of me being let down again. Daniel Kraus got off to an amazing start with his book Monster Variations and since then, every book of his I've read has been less than stellar. This one, in particular, was a clunker.

The plot was a clunker because you can see where it's going the whole way. I don't accept "but it's a YA book" as an excuse. YA does not equal stupid. Once the "Crossing the Threshold" portion of this book takes place, I think it's obvious to every reader, wh
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight


This is such a wonderfully bizarre book. Dark at times, and absolutely strange, it will leave you stunned in the best of ways. So let's chat about what was great and what was less so!

The Good:

• This is absolutely unlike anything else I have read. The unique genre mashup just works, somehow, even though I'll fully admit that I was skeptical.

• The ending is perfect. You kno
Claude's Bookzone
CW: (view spoiler)

Well that was a lot like being in a theme park. First you are sitting peacefully on the boring log flume and then suddenly you are in the House of Horrors with a machete wielding Jason (or Doug) jumping out at you, then you arrive at the ridiculous House of Crazy Mirrors and don’t know what’s real or not, then you head home feeling a little nauseous after all the crap you have ingested over the course of th
Melissa Jacobson
Trigger warnings - death of a parent, torture

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


I am screaming, I am shaking. I am quaking. This book ripped me to shreds and it is easily the best book I have read so far in 2020. Daniel Kraus has been a longtime favorite author of mine so when I saw he was writing a book about a possible alien abduction I knew I had to pick it up. Because I am nothing if not an avid lover of science fiction and aliens. I literally hav
Paul Ataua
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Started off well and I had a strange sensation of having stumbled on something special, but the story suddenly slowed down and became painfully drawn out. From about a third of the way through, it became just a matter of patiently waiting to see where the story would end up. All in all, it was a potentially great idea, but the message, albeit one we would do well to heed, was just a little too simplistic.

Joe Chianakas
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WHAT AN ENDING! Holy cow. Okay— so the first 3/4ths of the book felt pretty standard. It’s poetic, it’s interesting, and, well, I thought it was becoming a very predictable story and at times even lost interest (the author is great, but a little too descriptive and flowery at times). Then ... well, I can’t say much without giving it away. Read the premise. If it interests you, it’s worth reading. The last 50 pages are mind-blowingly amazing. Chills down my spine incredible. Similar here to The H ...more
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DANIEL KRAUS is a New York Times bestselling author. With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored THE SHAPE OF WATER, based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus co-authored TROLLHUNTERS, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. Kraus’s THE DEATH & LIFE OF ZEBULON FINCH was named one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 10 Books of the Year, and ...more

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“Writing, he'd said, is the most dangerous thing there is. Because when you write, you're only creating half the ideas. The reader brings the other half. And when you have two people involved in a plot, what's that called?

Her answer: boring .
His response: a conspiracy.”
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