Monday, May 2, 2011

The White Darkness Review

Just like in parts of the book where someone was teetering on the edge of oblivion, I am teetering on the edge between loving this book and hating it. The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean was very interesting and unique in some ways, yet a cookie cutter teen novel in others. Some parts were perfectly paced, others seemed to drag, and some went by too quickly. I honestly can’t decide.

This book is about a teenager, Sym, who goes on a surprise expedition to Antarctica with her Uncle Victor. The goal of the expedition is to find Symmone’s Hole, supposedly located in Antarctica at coordinates that Uncle Victor got from a man he met on the internet, which will open to the “underworld, like described by Jules Verne in Journey to the Center of the Earth.

I really liked the overall plot of this book. I thought a young girl going on an Antarctic expedition and having the amount of responsibility put on her that she did was very cool and something not a lot of books today deal with. It is unique because it weaves in lots of different plots into one very masterfully. However, since we now have this woven masterpiece, some of the threads sill look like other blankets, and some of the subplots, little romances, and “twists” were similar to many other books.

The plot also changed paces very frequently. There’s a time where on one page you were in Paris and the next in Antarctica, then another where you stayed on the ice shelf for what seemed like ages. Then there were some that were paced out perfectly. It was almost tiring to read at times because of the constant pace changes, or so it felt to me.

The age of people to which I would recommend this book are teenagers. It does deal with small bits of more mature romance, so it’s not ideal for younger readers. People that might enjoy this book would probably be people that like adventure stories, mixed with a little romance, and possibly even science.

The White Darkness, while cookie cutter in some parts, is very unique on the whole. I come up a little empty when trying to make a comparison. If you liked books like Life as we Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer or The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you might enjoy The White Darkness.

Overall, I would say I enjoyed this book.

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