Thursday, June 4, 2009

Enchanting Review: The White Darkness

Young Adult Action & Adventure
ISBN# 0060890355
384 pages
Paperback--Available Now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Titus Oakes is a long dead adventurer, having met his maker on a doomed trip to the South Pole. He’s funny, witty, charming and lives entirely in Symone’s head. Even though he is 125-years-old, he loves Symone and cares for her at times like a big brother and other times like a romantic gentleman.

Our heroine of THE WHITE DARKNESS, Symone, is a shy fourteen-year-old girl. She doesn’t like to give speeches and hates to be pestered about her nonexistent love life. In her world, boys are immature and she has no interest in spending any quality time with them. She has Titus; what more could a girl ask for? Why waste time dating younger boys when she has her mature and charming adventurer at her beck and call?

THE WHITE DARKNESS is a story of friendship, adventure, betrayal and survival. Symone is a strong girl, bound and determined follow her Uncle Victor to the ends of the Earth and back. Uncle Victor, an interesting and then suspicious fellow, feeds her sense of adventure as he pulls her down in a mystery so dangerous that they will be lucky to make it out alive. Meanwhile, Titus plays the part of Sym’s true friend and confidant, frequently making appearances and helping Sym along the way as they unravel the secrets of The Ice. Two other players, Manfred and Sigurd, show up as father and son, chosen by Uncle Victor to help lead them on this treacherous journey. This new pair brings with them a whole new mystery; one that Symone has to unravel before time runs out.

THE WHITE DARKNESS was a great read. It had a fantastic storyline and was full of sharp twists and turns. The complexity of the characters was just amazing. Geraldine McCaughrean does an amazing job of developing her characters. Symone’s mother is really the only character that we didn’t get to know very well and she was only present in a handful of pages. McCaughrean lends real-life traits to her characters, making them both legendary and believable. Symone is easy to relate to with her quite nature and yet still has her own quirks that make her unique. Where I got stuck in THE WHITE DARKNESS was in the flow of the writing. McCaughrean has a habit of creating short sentences or sentence fragments and this slowed me down while reading the story. Don’t get me wrong; it was still great, just difficult to read. The discussion between Sym and Oakes as well as Sym and everyone else was differentiated by italicized text, but it was still difficult at times to figure out which parts Sym was imagining and which parts were really occurring. Perhaps this is all part of the story, I’m not sure. Either way, it was a great book, but one that requires quite a bit of concentration and rereading.

Geraldine McCaughrean is an award-winning author with over one hundred and forty books under her belt. She can be found at

May 2009

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