Dark is Rising-Dark is Rising 02-3/5

By Susan Cooper

Memories awaken, of places he’s never been, and people he doesn’t know.

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The night before his birthday, Will Stanton looks up at the sky and wishes for snow. Before the night is through a thick blanket covers the valley. In the morning he wakes to a song, a haunting melody that beckons him onward. He steps into a world of magic, and finds it familiar. For Will Stanton is a creature of legend, an Old One, newly woken to face the Dark.

A light hearted opening eases audiences into a busy home, as Will and his brother step out to tend to the animals. But things soon turn strange, and vague warnings set the stage for a magical adventure. The story alternates between the larger plot of the Light and the Dark, and these very personal moments between a young boy and his family. Through it all the focus is kept on Will, and his struggle to reconcile his familiar identity as an 11 year old boy, and his newfound distance as an Old One. Strong language paints vivid images, sometimes flashing them so fast it feels like a montage.

As a whole the story is very young, though it engages some interesting ideas. The plot is very predictable, but the scenes remain well written, and the beauty of the prose may distract audiences from an obvious ending. A young book, but full of beautiful imagery.

+Strong characters
+Strong descriptions
*Some interesting ideas
*Very young read
-Predictable Plot


Next Time…
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5 thoughts on “Dark is Rising-Dark is Rising 02-3/5

  1. Would you say the prose in this novel is your usual YA, minimal descriptions, voicy prose, etc.? The plot looks like something I’d read, so I’d appreciate your input. Also, would you consider 3 in your scale to be average or good?

    • I would say that the descriptions are young in vocabula6ny, and slightly shorter in length and complexity than Harry Potter, though I’m not sure if I’ve read enough YA to know what’s typical.
      In general I would say 2.5 is my okay/nuetral. Ranks are very subjective, but I did give three Harry Potter books 3/5; Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, and Order of the Phoenix. Granted all 3 are much longer.
      If you want to start Dark is Rising the series, this is probably a good start, though you’ll need to read Over the Sea to understand Greenwich and beyond.

      • I think in general I tend to rate things about .75 less than most would, but that’s partly because I feel like there’s a point where something is “below average, but still an enjoyable read”, and to me that’s a 2 or 2.5, often a little generic, but fun, while 3 and above have something unique to them.

  2. Pingback: Over the Sea, Under the Stone-Dark is Rising 01-2.5/5 | Write Thoughts

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