Friday, September 16, 2016

73:120 The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

The 2nd book in the Dark is Rising sequence (but apparently the first one is more of a prequel so...)

Will Stanton's 11th birthday is approaching and strange things are happening all around him.  He is given strange gifts and is starting to see things that others are not.   Finally, on Midwinter Day and his actual birthday day, he discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals who are dedicated to keeping the Dark at bay.  Not only is he to be the last one born but he is The Seeker, the one who will find and unite the Signs that will help to drive the Darkness back in the final battle between Dark and Light.

Interesting take on the standard good vs evil troupe and well done.  I like that the Light is more nuanced than the typical "good" side and will do things that they know will hurt others and have longer reaching consequences because it's the only way they can see to get the outcome in the end but even so, one thing they believe strongly in is free will and individual choice.  That does seem to be something that is more shadowed rather than stated outloud in the genre and I like that even when it came down to someone's death, they honored that person's decision to embrace death.  A powerful message for children of how important choice can be.

Page count: 244p/19,690p ytd/268,840 lifetime

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