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The Dark Light Hardcover – August 28, 2012
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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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
Top customer reviews
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The Dark Light was nothing like I expected yet more than what I hoped for. With a synopsis talking about strange lights, a new gorgeous boy and a missing sibling, a story could pretty much go in any direction, which is one of the reasons I immediately wanted to read DL. I've never been a big fan of mysteries, at least not in the Sherlock Holmes or NCIS sense but for some inexplicable reason I was drawn to this book. It might have been just because of the shirtless, buff and tattooed guy on the front (no shame here) but I'm sure the whole "strange" lights played a part as well. With the story options endless, I had a wicked fun time coming up with various possibilities.
Now here's where I try to convey my love for this book yet do so in a way that doesn't completely ruin the big reveal. Although the solving of the "lights" mystery is pretty early on in the book, it's but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the big picture i.e. the meat and bones of the story. Let me start off by saying WOW followed by HOLY COW. I of course had a few guesses as to what fantastical element was at play but was completely off! (Which I loved) Walsh takes this book in a completely different direction than I expected. Some books can be easily figured out, but not The Dark Light. Until we're literally told, I doubt anyone could figure out what's really going on which solidifies the wonderful creativity and imagination Walsh has.
So then there's the characters. You've got our main heroine, Mia who struggles with parenting her half brother, Jay due to the irresponsibility of their uncle, and actual parental figure, Pete. Sol of course is the new guy who brushes into town and keeps to himself while Andy, a fellow student and potential love interest of Mia's, just sort of the blends into the background along with Mia's best friend Willie. There's of course a sleuth of other minor characters used to support the story, but they don't really spark for me. I loved how Mia's so protective of her little brother, going as far as searching and literally battling her way to get him back. She has all the makings of a great main character but I just couldn't really get invested in her. The only real character I felt any connection with was Sol. The entire time I was reading I was mentally begging for more background info on the guy. His story was the one I eagerly ate up. As for the rest of the characters, for me, they sort of faded into the background.
Regardless of the weak character connections, I still loved this book. A lot. I didn't necessarily rush to finish reading it like I do with most books I love, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the story. It's creative and rich and entirely entertaining. I haven't read anything alluding to book two, but after Dark Light's ending there HAS to be a continuation. Although I neither hated nor loved the entire cast of characters, from the story standpoint I'm still entirely too invested in them to not see what happens next.
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. It wasn't too far-fetched and explanations for things that couldn't be possible (as in, would be too far-fetched even for books) made sense.
Mia was, in short, annoying in the beginning. She kept whining on and on about her brother, thinking she could save him, but messing things up in the way. But, like all characters, she ended up growing on me. I have to give it to her though; she was strong and she was stubborn. In the good ways, of course! She just had this quality that made you love her as a character!
Sol definitely fit the whole mysterious-hot-love-interest persona perfectly! He was definitely protective of Mia and had his share of secrets. I loved him and I think he was definitely a fit for Mia! He's quiet and careful, but at the same time, risks so much. Eep! Squeal time. Haha, I think I'm gathering too many book boyfriends!
As for plot, some things you could definitely predict, but about 80% of the story surprised and shocked me! It was unpredictable and full of action. I loved it and it kept me on my toes throughout the entire book. What would happen next? What secrets would be uncovered? You had no idea until it actually happened and I'm pretty sure the entire house heard my squeals of surprise! Plot twists were definitely full in number here.
Walsh deftly weaves an incredible story full of twists and action in an unpredictable world. The Dark Light is a page-turner for sure and you'll love everything: romance, characters, plot, world. Intriguing and magical, the synopsis doesn't do it justice! There's way more underneath the cover and I loved it all! Definitely pick this one up soon!
Most recent customer reviews
For as long as Mia Stone can remember she has seen lights in Crownsville, Nebraska.Read more
The Dark Light by Sara Walsh
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Rating: 5...Read more
17-year-old Mia lives with her Uncle Pete, and takes care of her 10-year-old brother Jay.Read more