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The Dark Between Hardcover – August 27, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-When Kate Poole loses her job assisting a medium in defrauding grieving Spiritualist believers out of their money at the turn of the 20th century, the orphaned British teen has nowhere to turn. She seeks out lodging at Summerfield College, run by Mr. Thompson, who used to be good friends with the father who could not openly acknowledge her birth. Kate meets Thompson's niece, Elsie, who is suffering a strange condition that has her hooked on the same drug that killed Kate's mother, and Asher Beale, a young man estranged from his American father. The teens have each come to the college to escape the past, but they find their futures entwined as they investigate the death of Kate's friend, Billy. Reality and seemingly impossible phenomena begin to blend as Elsie discovers that without the dampening effects of her medication, she is able to communicate with the dead. Strange visions, photographic clues, and research into the local group of fringe scientists lead the teens to discover a real murderer preying on the dregs of society for his own nefarious purposes. Telepathy, communication with the dead, and electroshock therapy are all explored by the scientists and scholars in Kate Poole's town. The blending of the empirical and the ethereal creates a vivid and intriguing backdrop for this murder mystery. The teens are fully developed characters with well-defined motives for their actions, and the story will evoke empathy from readers.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Elsie, Kate, and Asher all have secrets to hide. But when they find themselves in the midst of an investigation into a series of unusual deaths at Summerfield College in Cambridge, they need to learn to trust each other as they work together to uncover the truth behind the deaths at the Metaphysical Society, whose members are dedicated to learning about the intricate, enigmatic goings-on of the human brain and its connection to psychic phenomena. As the teens search through the seedy underbelly of early-twentieth-century Cambridge, they discover a corrupt element of the organization whose research into the use of electricity to achieve psychic states has been used on misfortunate street urchins and vagrants. Adding to the paranormal elements are Kate’s career as a “spirit apparition,” their experiments with spirit photography, and Elsie’s apoplectic episodes, which allow her to communicate with the dead. Gensler (The Revenant, 2011) imbues her latest with plenty of information on the history of psychic research as well as a healthy dose of romance. Grades 9-12. --Sarah Hunter
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0730 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375867023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375867026
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,656,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was able to score an advance copy of the book, and my students and I read and loved this book. I now own a fancy hardback copy...it's that good.

Had to wait to review this since a student grabbed it out of my hands as soon as I read it. She just finished and the two of us have promised to buy all the copies at our local bookstore IF Sonia Gensler starts working on the sequel. NOW! Yesterday!!

Kate, Asher, Elsie. No more different three young people, and yet here they are, at Summerfield College in Cambridge. Each has a connection to the popular world of Spiritualism, and each is trying to run from a painful past.

The atmosphere of Summerfield is a character in and of itself -- mysterious, evocative. Menacing and nurturing. Sonia creates mood through setting as well as any author I know.

We see the concept of Spiritualism from several different points of view, and we are left to make up our own minds about the truth of messages from the dead. I love the plausibility of the explanations and discussions.

I gravitate to character, and there are so many to love. Kate...alone in this world, willing to work hard, no-nonsense. Kate, who thinks the best of everyone, even though she's been treated badly by this world. Kate is smart and sassy and willing to take risks.

Asher, so sad and confused. Running away from a father whose ideas Asher must reject, just as he rejected the man. Uncertain of his appeal, dazzled by the wrong girl for the wrong reason. Unbending in his beliefs, but so willing to help a friend.

And Elsie...maddening, fragile Elsie. Her own mother drugs her rather than believe Elsie's claims of being able to communicate with the dead. Love-sick Elsie who doesn't see her own power and influence.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Set in 1901 Cambridge, England, The Dark Between is a beautifully written and delightfully atmospheric Gothic murder mystery that follows the adventures of three extraordinary teenagers as they investigate the mysterious death of a friend.

Sonia Gensler's new book is a magnificent work of fiction. I loved every page of it. Revolving around spiritualism and seances - two subjects I find extremely fascinating - The Dark Between is quite eerie and dark, but also very fun to read. And the fabulous cast of colorful characters makes this book even more entertaining and absorbing. Kate, Elsie and Asher are so very different from each other, and yet they make such an awesome team! I can't tell you which one of these wonderful characters I liked the most. One thing for sure, I connected with all of them. Kate's background story was probably the most heartbreaking one and I often found myself wanting to hug her, protect her, comfort her (not that she needed that, she was so tough and brave!). The beautiful and fragile Elsie was equally fascinating, though not nearly as strong and sassy as Kate. Asher was the perfect gentlemen - at least until you got under his skin - charming, protective and chivalrous. They all have dark pasts filled with secrets, they're all running away from something, and they're all real and three-dimensional. I loved watching them interact with each other and thought the dynamics of their relationship was crackling with sweet chemistry!

I loved, loved, loved the historical backdrop, as well as the lushly described settings! Sonia incorporated enough period detail into her story to make you feel like you were there, right in the middle of it all, breathing the same air as her characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was a big fan of Sonia Gensler's first book, The Revenant, but I think The Dark Between is even better. The book has three POV characters, all sympathetic and interesting (though Kate was my fave). Motives and actions are realistically complex and ambiguous. There's a lot of suspense and some really creepy stuff. The book engages with turn of the century spiritualism, and Gensler has really done her research. The settings, practices, and lingo all feel authentic. The writing's terrific throughout. Best of all, there seems to be room left for a sequel at the end. Not to say that there's a cliff-hanger: things are well wrapped up. But there's some possibility, there. I hope this becomes a series! Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Dark Between by Sonia Gensler is a spooky, atmospheric novel that blends lovingly-crafted character portraits with a creepy, paranormal mystery-thriller set in turn-of-the-century Cambridge.

Mood and atmosphere collide with intrigue, romance, and a touch of horror. The Dark Between is smartly-researched and perfectly executed. Gensler elegantly blends historical fiction with the paranormal in an engaging, page-turning plot that will hook readers from the very beginning and keep them racing through the pages until the very last one.

And while the book ties up most threads neatly, Gensler leaves room for a sequel — something readers will definitely be craving (both for more twisting plot lines, and additional time with the excellent characters)!

The Dark Between is a seductive novel chock-full of genre-blending perfection that will capture the imaginations of readers at every plot twist. I would gladly read a sequel!
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