Thursday, March 09, 2017

Review: The River at Night by Erica Ferencik (audio)

Title: The River at Night
Author: Erica Ferencik
Narrator: Joy Osmanski
Published: Simon & Schuster Audio / Gallery/Scout Press
Length: 8 hours 26 minutes / 304 pages
Source: Personal copy via Audible / Publicist
A high-stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction.

Winifred Allen needs a vacation.

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.

What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare: A freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, The River at Night is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.

My thoughts: I was on the fence about reading this book - I'm not really the outdoor adventure type! I'm more the sit-my-butt on a beach and read type, but I decided to give it a go and I'm glad I did - it was a pretty good read and kept me interested throughout.

What I liked most about this book is that it is pretty well-balanced as far as being an adventure story, a thriller and being character-driven. There's just enough of each of these elements that you don't feel that one over-takes the other. I will say, though, that the beginning of the book is a little slow and then the pace picks up

It was easy to become invested in this group of four women, stuck in the wilderness, fighting for survival. The elements of nature only add to the ominous feel to the book - I felt like I kept waiting for the next catastrophe to happen - because you just knew it was only a matter a time before something else was going to go wrong. 

This was a really good book, but don't get me wrong -  you will NEVER find me going on one of these adventure-type, rafting trips anytime soon. Not that there's anything wrong with them, but they are just not for me! But, the writing of this book - it was good, it kept me hooked and had my heart pounding the whole time! I will definitely be looking to see what Erica Ferencik writes next!

Audio thoughts: This was a crazy story to listen to and Joy Osmanski did such a great job with the narration! She did a good job with the voices and kept the suspense level and tension just right...I was hooked immediately and had a hard time walking away until I finished listening. 



  1. I agree with what you said and I, too, listened to this one. I think it would translate well to film. It's that type of book. And I'll also be interested in what the author writes next. No rafting trips for me! LOL

  2. This has been on my radar but I've hesitated about picking it up because I'm not an adventure type either! It does sound like a wild ride and a good listen/read! I'll have to check it out -from the safety of my own couch of course!


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