Review: Shiver the Whole Night Through by Darragh McManus

Friday, 19 December 2014

22554125Shiver the Whole Night Through by Darragh McManus
Released: 6th November 2014
Published by: Hot Key Books
Genre: YA Mystery
Source: Publisher
Pages: 337
My Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
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After months of bullying and romantic heartbreak, seventeen-year-old Aidan Flood feels just about ready to end it all. But when he wakes up one morning to find that local beauty and town sweetheart Sláine McAuley actually has, he discovers a new sense of purpose, and becomes determined to find out what happened to her.

The town is happy to put it down to suicide, but then one night Aidan gets a message, scratched in ice on his bedroom window: 'I didn't kill myself.' Who is contacting him? And if Sláine didn't end her own life... who did?
Thank you to Five Mile Press Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Shiver the Whole Night Through didn't quite tick all the boxes for me, but the chilling setting in the woods and Irish influence, along with a darker paranormal twist towards the end did give it some positive points.

Unfortunately one of the reasons why I didn't rate this book higher was Aidan's character and the narratorial voice. While I can understand that writing with his colloquialisms made him more of a realistic teenager in his situation, I did find that his attitude towards his peers and the situation itself was irritating at times. He didn't exactly appreciate his friends or had much respect for the ones who had died, which irked me - though I do get the feeling that perhaps he wasn't 'meant' to be likable in the first place. In any case, I'd leave that one to you to decide if you get to reading this book.

The woods were more than a collection of trees and wildlife: they were some kind of eerie dreamscape, a hellish netherworld into which I'd been drawn. Mysterious, ambivalent, unreal, yet strangely comforting too. The forest, I remember someone writing once, was everything those fairy tales made you feel. 

What I did find interesting was the Irish cultural references and glimpses into their history. It's not very often that I've come across novels with this setting, and in combination with the site of Sláine's death being in the creepy Shook Woods I could tell where the author was coming from in setting the ominous atmosphere. There's even a guide to the pronunciation of Irish Gaelic words on the first page which was helpful and showed that there was research that had gone into this book to try and make this aspect authentic.

The paranormal element didn't quite work for me, and the romance seemed to come out of nowhere. Nonetheless, what saved the ending was the darker twist which I wasn't expecting, and the folklore came to life. By the end although I was glad that I'd finished it, this book still was able to portray an eeriness and space for you to wonder where Aidan and Sláine would end up next.


Shiver the Whole Night Through may not be my favourite murder-mystery novel, but that doesn't mean that it won't work for you. If anything, I'd still say to give it a try if you don't mind a more casual writing style and are looking for a snippet of Irish culture.


  1. Ah, what a shame! I've seen this one floating around Goodreads and actually thought that it looked quite promising. I don't know if I'll ever read it--but it's sure not going to be high up on my TBR list. I think Aiden would annoy me. Though I do like the sound of Irish culture--it's not something I see that often in books. Great review! :)

    1. Thanks Kara - I think that people could still enjoy this book, like I said if they like a more conversational writing style. The Irish culture was one of its best points, so hopefully you can still give it a go one day :)

  2. *hi fives* Aiden was just abominable. I seriously needed him to just grow up a bit and I agree the romance was just waaaay off. I'm sad. I wanted to love this because IRELAND and GHOSTS. Who doesn't like that combo?!! I almost wish the story had been by Slaine's perspective or something. Basically: anyone but Aiden. -_-

    1. I really wanted to love this one too Cait - the Ireland and ghost combination was great on its own, but just didn't quite get there for me because of the narration. It definitely would have been interesting to read it from Slaines point of view - I hadn't even thought of that!


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