Reed's Recommendation Corner: The Wild Dark by Katherine Silva


The cover is in pinks and reds with the silhouette of a woman facing away, with her hair flying in the wind.
The Wild Dark by Katherine Silva

We are utterly fascinated with the end of civilization. Whether it comes from war, plague, outer space, or rapture, we constantly imagine the end of the structure of our lives and everyone else's. We witnessed what a full stop looked like in 2020, but authors have been envisioning it in many different ways. In this novel, the end comes when a certain percentage of people begin to see the ghosts of someone who they have an attachment with. 

The novel begins with Liz Raleigh, a former police detective, hearing footsteps on the porch of the rural cabin she has hidden herself away in. From there, the novel careens off into an apocalyptic nightmare. As with any situation like this, those who aren't able to see these dead people decide that the others need to be contained. It isn't just these dead people have appeared. They've brought purgatory with them - deadly woods with terrible creatures that hunt souls with no mercy and no remorse. 

This novel brings in a lot of cop drama moments, as the main character uses her skills to navigate this new world. The story of why she has left the force, of why her partner is now appearing to her, is woven with the present, as Liz descends into a world of chaos. 

The writing itself pulses with the darkness and guilt that Liz feels about the loss of her partner, of her struggle with her feelings towards him. It weaves in her anger, her stress with dealing with the day to day life of being a cop (even one in a small town). The panic and pain that others feel, especially those who don't get to see their loved ones, comes almost like a slap. The closest I can compare it to is the scene in The Stand by Stephen King, such as when William Starkey descends into the base where it all began after the world has basically ended. (I just noted that Silva's from Maine, so maybe that comparison is more apt than I originally thought!)

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers, paranormal horror, and end-of-the-world novels. It has a fresher look on what an apocalyptic society looks like. It is a great first novel in what looks to be an interesting series. 

The Wild Dark has a sequel that came out on August 3, 2023 titled The Wild Fall. The series as a whole is called The Wild Oblivion, which really gets me excited about the possibility of more books in this world. 

I highly recommend purchasing from as their site supports local bookstores. You can also purchase it on Silva's website, as well as other goodies like signed copies and shirts. I imagine that any purchase will directly support the author!