University of Utah

The Geekwave

University of Utah

The Geekwave

University of Utah

The Geekwave

Follow us on Instagram!

Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward


“Writers are monsters. We eat everything we see.” – Catriona Ward in Looking Glass Sound

How far would you go to write a book? Sacrifices are necessary in almost everything we do, but when does it become too much? Go too far? Catriona Ward explores this boundary, or the lack thereof, in her newest novel Looking Glass Sound. 


Wilder Harlow’s whole life changed the year his uncle passed away. His family finds themselves in the possession of his uncle’s old cottage located in a small town called Whistlers Bay. This town is where Wilder will find out what real friendship is. What real fear feels like. 

  What happens to Wilder in Whistler Bay will haunt him for the rest of his life. It will also be the greatest source of inspiration for his future novel. Decades later he will return to that cabin from his youth and try to unpack everything that happened. But it’s not just the memories that haunt him, there is something else there, something that demands to be seen.  

OpinionSummary Bibliography: Catriona Ward

The Looking Glass sound was truly a unique reading experience for me. Usually being confused in a book is not a positive for me as a reader. But the way Ward writes her mysteries had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Intentional confusion for readers can be hard to accomplish, either it’s too light and the effect is lost or it’s too heavy-handed and the reader is just left frustrated. Catriona Ward has mastered this ability, the whole time I was reading I was completely lost, and I loved it. She helps ease the frustration of not knowing with characters that stand out even outside the narrative. Every element of this book was just so thought out, not a single detail felt out of place to me. 


I was not expecting to get as attached to Wilder as I did. Usually with horror novels, characters aren’t supposed to be the type you get attached to. Not when they are written to die or are the thing you are supposed to fear. But with Wilder I couldn’t help but feel for him as he not only processes the horrors of his teen years but also his struggles with the concepts of love and sexuality. Fleshing out these teen/young adult characters adds an extra layer of horror that almost everyone can relate to. The horrors of getting older and the change that comes with it. These characters are not good people by any means, but the way they are written is so human I couldn’t find it in myself to care. 


The horror in this book is slow, but to me it was extremely effective. Most of the first half of the book is just creeping dread, a twist in your gut as you wait for something to happen. I know that this can be a major turn-off for some people, this book focuses on the psychological aspects of horror over gore or violence. The payoff is also very slow, the pieces really don’t start to make sense till the very end of the book and that can also be frustrating for some readers. I will say though that the payoff is more than worth it, my jaw was on the floor, and I wasn’t able to think or talk about anything else for the rest of the day.  

Final Thoughts 

As mentioned, I can understand why people might have had issues getting into this book. It definitely wasn’t the type of horror I was expecting to get into when I bought it, but it really blew me away. It’s such an ambitious book that I am still surprised it was able to accomplish everything that it did in less than 400 pages. It’s one of the most solid psychological horrors I have read to date and is the perfect summer to fall transitional book for all the spooky readers out there. As always make sure to check out the trigger warnings for this book before purchasing and happy reading! 

Make sure to buy Looking Glass Sound on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or support your local book stores near you!
Make sure to check out Ronny’s newest review of Gunbrella!
For everything else Geeky, stick with Geewave!

More to Discover