Book Review: Weekender – “Wake the Wicked”

Weekender Book Review

Photo of review pictured above. Read on for text taken from The Weekender Newspaper review.

BOOK REVIEW: Local author spins 13 ‘Wicked’ tales

October 31. 2013 1:37PM
By Sara Pokorny

It’s that time of year for things that are delightfully twisted – and a local author’s 13-story compilation falls nothing short of that description.

“Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales” was written by Harveys Lake resident Christian Baloga. The book was published in e-form late last year and recently hit the shelves as a compact paperback, complete with illustrations to highlight some of the gorier [sic] images conjured up by some of the tales.

“Wicked” doesn’t quite fit under the horror genre – bizarro fiction seems to fit the bill more. In the tales, we meet a vengeful hive of wasps, as well as some birds who are not too pleased with humans, split Siamese twins with a connection unlike any other, and a doll that’s the total opposite of cuddly.

Baloga’s stories each start off as somewhat normal – a situation you could picture yourself in on any given day – and then veer off into totally different territory. It’s startling, and it leaves readers with a feeling of unease and questions of, “Did that just really happen?”

Such stories that induce this frame of mind for the reader are “Unraveling the Nest,” where a pregnancy goes terribly awry, and “Birds of Prey,” where Baloga proves that absolutely no one is safe from an ill fate.

Though it can be argued that leaving some things left to the imagination is the way to go when playing with horrific thoughts, there’s also something to be said about spelling it out plainly for the reader – which is exactly what Baloga does. Every little detail is put forth . . . it mostly throws the reader right into the middle of the action. (I dare you to try and not pay attention to every single shadow you see flit across a dimly lit room after reading “Poison Ivy.”) . . .

“Wake the Wicked” delivers on giving readers a sense of uncomfortable terror, keeping them looking over their shoulders long after the book is shut.