Welcome to Czarny Staw
Wiła is already the second volume of Robert Ziębiński’s youth horror series. The first one is called Czarny Stawand tells about a clash of a group of friends with a demon inhabiting the title water reservoir. Let’s start briefly with the plot of the novel. Here we meet Kamil Jura and a group of his friends: Dlugi, Niedźwiedzia and Akira. The pack goes to elementary school, and in his spare time he also hunt for restless souls. As it turns out, the town of Czarny Staw is full of paranormal phenomena, thanks to which the young ghost hunters have their hands full. This time, the apparition of a beautiful woman stands in their way. Despite its charm, she is responsible for numerous disappearances of people, murders, and even driving the townspeople insane. Who is the mysterious Wi? You will learn this from the content of the book.
From a fan to fans
Robert Ziębiński is known on the Polish publishing market mainly as a lover of Stephen King’s work. Also, my first encounter with our native writer was through his book Stephen King, The Merchant of Fear . Does the impressive knowledge of the works of the Master of Terror influence the shape of Ziębiński’s prose? Definitely! Moreover, it works to the advantage of the Polish writer. Apart from numerous references to King’s books, the main character often watches films based on his novels. It can be said that Ziębiński adds his favorite author wherever possible. Also the plot of Wiła itselfit is quite obviously inspired by an American writer. A small town in the middle of a forest, a ghost hunting a group of kids, attacks of paranormal forces at school, a mysterious cemetery in the woods? The themes are already well known to us, but rarely shown in Polish realities. Placing this type of novel in the home province gives the already hackneyed themes a breath of fresh air.
Slavicness? Not only The Witcher !
The “Slavicness” so adored by Witcher fans plays a very important role in Czarny Staw. The main opponent of young paranormal detectives is the title wiła, i.e. a demon that drives people insane. According to legends, these creatures danced to the death of the men they encountered, blinded them or drove them mad. The book spook adds bloody murders and possessions to the pool of its crimes. I must admit that despite the youthfulness of the novel, the novel can really scare, also adult readers. You can see the author’s horror experience here, some scenes bring to mind brilliant horror movies and genuinely chill your blood in your veins. The writer also does not limit himself to the use of pagan demons, which are recently so popular on the publishing market, both in the section of books and board and computer games. There is also the theme of “Kraina Twardowski”. It turns out that the sorcerer, known to all, received land in the vicinity of Czarny Staw from King Zygmunt August. As you can easily guess, he devoted himself to contacts with the devil before he disappeared under mysterious circumstances. A very good idea to refer to Polish legends and build a broader plot on which the next volumes of the series will be based. Yes, Robert Ziębiński is planning the next partsCzarny Staw , for which thanks be given to him!
Nie bardzo jest się do czego przyczepić w tej książce, mimo że bardzo bym chciał. Banalność oraz miejscowy brak logiki w działaniach bohaterów łatwo można wytłumaczyć tym, że powieść skierowana jest do młodzieży. Co więcej, Wiła i tak wychodzi poza ramy horroru młodzieżowego dzięki mocnym, krwawym scenom grozy, które wręcz ocierają się o gore. Słowem, autor nie traktuje młodzieży jak dzieci, przed którymi ukrywać należy przemoc. Powieść kieruje raczej do „młodych dorosłych” i nie boi się lać hektolitrów krwi, za co na pewno grupa docelowa będzie mu wdzięczna. Książka Ziębińskiego jest także bardzo filmowa. Jeśli producenci zainteresowaliby się serią, dostaliby gotowy scenariusz, według słów wydawcy, na „Stranger Thingin Polish reality ”. As it turns out, this is not just an empty cliche, and the novel is actually chasing one of the best Netflix series in recent years with the quality of the plot.
To sum up, this is what we need youth literature! You can see here a lot of inspiration from King’s work, but this is one of the advantages of Ziębiński’s prose. Czarny Staw does not try to frighten with banal motives, but creates a monster that genuinely causes terror, even among older readers. Wiła is also a really well-written novel. The heroes are distinctive, the surroundings are well-defined, the demon is terrifying – that’s what it should look like. We even have a caring cat here – Mr. Pulman. The animal, inspired by the author’s favorite, often saves heroes from haunting the ghost. Even though I am a dog lover myself, the tomcat in the book is one of the best characters!