Why Did I Choose To Listen To This Book?:
I had recently reviewed a book with cults and found myself disappointed by it. I then was talking to Christina at A Reader Of Fictions when she brought up A Darker Place by Laurie R. King and mentioned that the cults were satisfying and I would probably like it. As I have no time for physical books that are not on my review stack and as A Darker Place was on sale at Audible, I immediately plunked down money for a copy and found myself ready for some cult- excitement. Turns out that for the most part, Christina’s recommendation was legit.
What’s The Story Here?:
Basically Anne Waverly is a professor at college. She’s quite unassuming but when she lectures she has a quiet intensity to her. Sometimes she goes undercover and infiltrates cults, because she has intimate experience with cults. You see, years ago she was in one with her husband and daughter. Unfortunately, her family ended up victims of mass suicide while she lived. Anyways, now she leads a satisfying life where she has a nice house and dogs. When Glen, this FBI agent, comes knocking on her door asking her to infiltrate a new cult, she almost refuses, but then remembers her past and agrees to do it as a sort of penance. From there, Anne joins the Change movement and finds herself more and more involved because of all the children who live within the cult’s compound.
What’s The Deal With The Main Character?:
Anne Waverly is quite maternal. She’s incredibly good with kids and gentle. At first she does not seem all that interesting because she’s quiet and not really in your face. She’s not a Buffy Summers by any means. Then, I don’t know, I guess she became more compelling to me the deeper she got into the cult. There were certain things about her though, that I found unrelatable because of my age. Like, she gets it on with Glen quite a bit and it’s basically just meaningless sex and she’s older than him and idk. I guess as a youth, it’s hard for me to relate to someone who is 50 and you know has all these life experiences that I do not have. Then there’s a few scenes where she natters on about her attraction to Jason, a 15 year old boy, which grossed me out so much. I am sorry, there’s nothing sexy about children. Ugh. Ugh. Gross. So, that really turned me off while reading and was the reason for my 3 star goodreads rating.
Is The Cult Actually Interesting?:
Actually, yes it is! The Change group has a compound in Arizona and one in England. Anyways, they do lots of meditation and have punishments that involve forced labor in hot conditions. AND AND ALCHEMY! And a cray cray leader. So yes, this meets all the checkboxes for interesting cults.
How’s The Narration?:
A Darker Place is narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan. Bresnahan has a soothing and unassuming voice which actually matched up quite well with my image of Anne Waverly’s character. I found her voice to be relaxing. It was not unpleasant to listen to. The audiobook is short too, it’s 14 hours and 32 minutes long. I will say, my complaint about it is that it had these long pauses between parts and the pauses did not represent a chapter break or anything and would last for several seconds. As a listener, I would have prefered those to be edited out as my time is too valuable to listen to nonsensical pausing.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
Basically the best GIF I could find on cults.
Disclosure: Purchased on Audible
Other reviews of A Darker Place by Laurie R. King:
Lit Nerd Around The World – “This book is definitely what I call a “wannabe thriller.””