Author: Darren Charlton


ISBN: 9781788951210 Category:

PUBLICATION DATE: February 6 2020

BINDING: Paperback

EXTENT: 384 pages

DIMENSIONS: 129 x 198 mm

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Winter was the only season every Lake-Lander feared…
In a post-apocalyptic America, a community survives in a national park, surrounded by water that keeps the Dead at bay. But when winter comes, there’s nothing to stop them from crossing the ice.
Then homebody Peter puts the camp in danger by naively allowing a stranger to come ashore and he’s forced to leave the community of Wranglestone. Now he must help rancher Cooper, the boy he’s always watched from afar, herd the Dead from their shores before the lake freezes over.
But as love blossoms, a dark discovery reveals the sanctuary’s secret past. One that forces the pair to question everything they’ve ever known.
An action-packed and thought-provoking debut, for fans of Patrick Ness, Marcus Sedgwick, DREAD NATION and The Walking Dead.

‘Fresh and compelling and totally immersive.’ – Sunday Irish Independent
‘A bucolic, intimate twist on the zombie/post-apocalyptic story… It’s impressive how Darren has combined the pace, thrills, and gore you expect from zombie fiction with a genuinely tender romance.’ – David Owen, author of GRIEF ANGELS
‘Thrilling zombie epic meets gorgeous gay love story. The world-building is deft, the writing poetic … this is very special! Properly scary and properly heart-warming.’ – William Hussey, author of HIDEOUS BEAUTY
‘A complete treasure of a book – page-turning, stunning writing, an extraordinary setting and with a gorgeous love story at its heart.’ – Lisa Heathfield, author of I AM NOT A NUMBER

4 reviews for Wranglestone

  1. crazyaboutdelphin

    Such a beautifully written book. Absolutely amazing and Cooper and Peter are amazing characters.

    What a lovely win for the lgbt community!

  2. Molly

    I did like this book but I was expecting to love it. I think the pacing was a bit strange and I would have preferred a slower build to the romance. However, I did enjoy the storyline and will probably read the sequel when I can.

  3. Nick Bor

    Wranglestone is a post-apocalyptic zombie YA novel that takes place within a community based on a lake in a national park. The protagonist, Peter, must prove himself useful to the group, while uncovering some dark truths about the zombies.

    First of all, I’m so happy that this is written in third person. I’m so tired of first person narration being the default for YA fiction. As Charlton demonstrates, you can write in third person and still limit the perspective to the central character while putting across their thoughts and feelings. This also meant that we got some nice visual descriptions in the process which really helped with the world building.

    There were some hints of social commentary which I liked. For example, one of the characters expresses how he’s better off than he used to be, or at least that’s what he believes. He used to work a dead end job, trying to make ends meet, but now feels like he has a purpose, keeping people safe and fighting against the zombies that have taken over. It makes you question modern day capitalism and working class struggles.

    The romance was sweet and I liked that the fact they were gay was just accepted. It reminded me of Wolfsong by T.J. Klune in that way and I hope this trend in YA fiction continues. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom when it comes to gay relationships. I just wish we got to spend some more time with Peter and Cooper to show their romance blossoming.

    Otherwise, I got through the story very quickly, and I wasn’t sure if this was because I was super into it or if the narrative was simply fast-paced—perhaps a little bit of both. There were definitely times when the events of the story developed quickly. Certain conflicts are resolved before you even have time to feel the full weight of them. With that said, there were also some suspenseful moments and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread as Peter uncovered the reality of the world around him.

    Many thanks to Little Tiger Group and NetGalley for providing me with a Digital Review Copy.

  4. Maddie Brooks

    I love this book, i think the romance is great and I love the interactions between Peter and Cooper.

    I also love the setting with the lake and the different little islands as well as the build up to winter.

    I can’t wait to read the sequal, Timberbark and I hope I enjoy that just as much.

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Short-listed, Costa Book Award, 2020

Meet the author

Darren Charlton

Darren lives in London with his partner, Shaun, and works in the voluntary sector for a homeless organisation. His lifetime obsessions with the National Parks of America, horror, film music and 80s ki…


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