Book Reviews

Review: The Restless Dark by Erica Waters

The Restless Dark has to be my favorite of Erica Waters’ books. In this multiple POV novel, Waters asks us about our motivations and sacrifices. If you love thought provoking thriller/horror books with introspection, keep reading this book review.


The Cloudkiss Killer is dead. Now a true-crime podcast is hosting a contest to find his bones.

Lucy was almost the serial killer’s final victim. Carolina is a true-crime fan who fears her own rage. Maggie is a psychology student with a little too much to hide.

All of them are looking for answers, for a new identity, for a place to bury their secrets.

But there are more than bones hiding in the shadows…sometimes the darkness inside is more frightening than anything the dead leave behind.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

This queer YA horror (which I think very much feels more like a thriller to me) was an action packed ride. The Restless Dark from the very beginning has a strong sense of fear. Of that eerieness we feel when we think we are alone. That transformation from, “I’m just hiking alone in nature enjoying the solitude” to “I’m hiking isolated and vulnerable from help alone without any knowledge of where to run”. Paired with this very real fear which sets in, Waters introduces just enough of a supernatural. There’s that distinct feeling of something about nature just being one step away from the supernatural.

The fog that descends in a moment into a valley. How it can obscure our very presence, reflect our own thoughts like echoes in glittering caverns. All the ways that the mist can force us to re-evaluate ourselves when we aren’t being watched. The Restless Dark never lets us forget that fear. And Waters only takes it further. Introducing the element of true crime, and the very real fear of being murdered, The Restless Dark introduces a cast of characters you can never quite trust. Especially our very own narrators in this dual POV story. Lucy wants to put her ghosts to rest – almost literally – while Carolina is too busy running, but from what?

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The Restless Dark becomes a study not only in characters, but atmosphere. How a place can become a force to be reckoned with. And how the ghosts of what we think manifest in front of us. The secrets we keep even from ourselves. This fragile line of unreliability elevates The Restless Dark to something impossible to put down. It reminds us of the truths we don’t want to admit, while also interrogating our own fears and ghosts. And how true friends know what to push us to the brink and when to pull us back. Love in all forms from friends who support us even when we’re wrong, to love which becomes all twisted up with possessiveness. Find The Restless Dark on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite sapphic thriller?

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