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The Dark Light Hardcover – August 28, 2012

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Mia Stone is 17 and fatherless-the man who abandoned her and her young stepbrother, Jay, has been gone for years. Sol, the mysterious and gorgeously tattooed hunk newly arrived at Crownsville High School, troubles the normally steadfast Mia, especially when she sees that the tattoo on his well-muscled back matches a smaller version on Jay's leg. The sudden disappearance of seven local boys, including Jay, leads Mia to inadvertently open the Barrier, the gateway to Bordertown and a parallel other world. She discovers her destiny-she is heir to the Solenetta, a necklace of magical stones on which the safety of both worlds rests-and falls for Sol during a race to rescue the stolen stones and the boys from the evil Suzerain. Mia's narrative lacks intensity, the consistently earnest tone making the emotional arc of this lengthy novel a trifle flat. In the final battle, she unlocks the power of the stones, saves her newfound father, and returns to Crownsville (with Sol, who has revealed his passion for her) to hold the barrier between the worlds. The predictable plot might be palatable with tighter exposition, but what should be a fast chase and escape suffers from slow pacing and stock characterizations. Still, the dramatic cover photograph may attract fans of fantasy romance looking for an easy read.-Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“Action packed and compulsively readable, The Dark Light pulls you in with the mystery of strange lights on the horizon and a rash of sudden disappearances, and takes you on a fantastical journey full of magic, romance, and adventure.”

--Heather Anastasiu, author of Glitch

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442434554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442434554
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,321,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sara Walsh is British, but happily lives in Annapolis, Maryland. She graduated college with a degree in psychology, but soon decided that telling stories was much more fun.

During a road trip to Wyoming, a local news event became the inspiration for The Dark Light: A boy mysteriously reappeared a decade after disappearing. Thinking of all the places the boy could have been, and surrounded by the open plains, the two things came together, rapidly snowballing to become The Dark Light, the author's first novel for young adults.

When not writing, Sara is usually reading, drowning in tea, or frolicking around town with the world's cutest St. Bernard.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nikki Wang on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
(You guys, I had reviewer's block so if I'm redundant, sorry! I'm afraid I may squeal too much if I unleashed my full thoughts. Redundancy is the best I can do!)

Crownsville is a town where strange lights dance across the sky, lights that are enchanting, but usual. In this small town, Mia lives with her little brother, Jay and her Uncle Pete, a guy who's not that reliable and comes home late at night. Everything's normal, but kids have been disappearing almost every week near Crownsville. Then, Sol enters the scene. Mysterious and older than he says with a giant tattoo on his back, Mia's more than suspicious. Then Jay gets kidnapped and Sol is there. But no matter what Sol says, Mia knows that she saw a hooded figure and that the lights are part of it. And that Sol knows more about the kidnappings than he's letting on. But...exactly what?

ZOMG you guys have absolutely no idea how much I've been dying for this book! When I got it in the mail, my mouth literally dropped open and I started squealing. So. Much. I forever love S&S. but honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into. Me? I was thinking "Vamps? Weres? Nah, too cliché. Maybe...another paranormal species that Sara created?" but you guys, you guys, it was way better than all that! I was in another world. (Literally)

The world-building? Absolutely amazing. Creating a new world is never easy, especially when it's like a parallel universe except with demons, magic, a tyrant, and that "destroy-the-known-world" plan. It seemed creepy, dangerous, and enchanting all at once and I found myself drawn into the world, waiting to see what else was in it, what else I would discover about it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa on December 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Dark Light by Sara Walsh
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Won a giveaway

(This review is a little late. I read this book back in September! The first review was originally posted HERE, on December 28, 2012)

For the year of 2012, I have not given many five-star ratings (most of my reviews are on Goodreads), but this book definitely deserved all five stars. I do not understand why the overall rating of this book is so low. This book is incredible.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Mia is torn between two guys--and two worlds--in this epic, romantic fantasy.

Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she's concerned, that's about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia's not one to fall for just any guy, but she can't get Sol--or the brilliant tattoo on his back--out of her mind.

Then Mia's brother goes missing, and Mia's convinced that Sol knows more than he's sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol's not who Mia thought he was--and neither is she.

What I Liked:

I am going to be honest - I had very high expectations for this book. I am a sucker for fantasy, paranormal, and a little science fiction. This book met all of my expectations and then some. I expected to see a weak-ish protagonist in the beginning of the book, with tunnel vision (to find her brother), and at the end of the book, she is defiant and brave, but still wary and concerned about herself and others. I definitely saw the character development in Mia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AJ VINE VOICE on August 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reading THE DARK LIGHT was like reading two books. The first is the one the description hints at which focuses on Mia, the mysterious lights that are related to missing boys, and also the new enigmatic guy at school who may have answers. But, that's only the first part of the story. The second, larger part was a complete surprise, and the good news is that both parts are excellent paranormal fantasy.

THE DARK LIGHT begins in a small town with a tenacious but down to earth girl struggling to maintain as normal a life as possible for her little brother in the wake of their parents' abandonment. Mia works hard, doesn't complain, and embraces happiness where she finds it. Enter a bunch of missing boys, a smoking hot and secretive new guy, strange phenomenon, and Mia's brother vanishing. Without giving away the second half of the book, the setting shifts from Nebraska to someplace entirely other with new and frightening threats both creature and environmental. Mia takes this new situation in stride by focusing on the important life and death questions, and never once wavering from her main objective of finding her brother.

Based on the cover, I was expecting THE DARK LIGHT to be on the steamy side for YA, but it's actually pretty tame. Just a few kisses. The romance is still a large part of the story, but the focus is on the build up, the attraction, rather than physical interaction. Considering the situation Mia is in and the urgency to rescue her brother, anything more than a few kisses would have been wildly inappropriate. However, I could see the romance heating up in possible sequels (which I sincerely hope there will be, though nothing is contracted just yet).
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