Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review of The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Release Date: Originally published in 1973
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 230 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Rating: 2 stars

Source:
Library
Goodreads Summary: Will Stanton discovers on his 11th birthday that he is no mere boy. He is the Sign-Seeker, last of the immortal Old Ones, destined to battle the powers of evil that trouble the land. His task is monumental: he must find and guard the six great Signs of the Light, which, when joined, will create a force strong enough to match and perhaps overcome that of the Dark. Embarking on this endeavor is dangerous as well as deeply rewarding; Will must work within a continuum of time and space much broader than he ever imagined.
Review:  I have read some really good middle grade books and hoped I would love this classic as well, unfortunately, I did not. The book was slow and confusing. I still don’t understand how the folklore elements, the Hunting of the Wren and the Wild Hunt, tied into the core story of the Old Ones and the never ending battle between good and evil. Additionally, Will’s explanation of how parts of us, the things we think and believe, exist on another level outside of time made no sense to me. The story lacked cohesion and did not flow very well.
To be fair, The Dark is Rising is the second book in a series but they are all supposed to be stand alone books. Maybe the plot would tie together a bit better if I read the other books, but this one was hard enough for me to get through, I just don't think I can read the rest. I know The Dark is Rising is a classic and there are tons of people who love it but it is not for me.
Content: Some violence.

2 comments:

KM said...

I've noticed that some fantasy books can be really confusing and have obscure references. To write a good fantasy, you have to be especially sensitive to this possibility IMHO

Sara Thompson said...

I'm so glad you felt this way. I read it and felt the exact same way - I just didn't get the book. I thought perhaps there was something I was missing. I enjoyed the movie and felt it made more sense than the book (so many others felt the opposite way).

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