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Draw the Dark

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Draw the Dark Cover

ISBN13: 9780761356868
ISBN10: 076135686x
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

There are things in Winter, Wisconsin, folks just don't talk about. The murder way back in '45 is one. The near-suicide of a first-grade teacher is another. And then there is 17-year old Christian Cage. Christian's parents disappeared when he was a little boy, and ever since he's drawn and painted obsessively, trying desperately to remember his mother. The problem is Christian doesn't just draw his own memories. He can draw the thoughts of those around him. Confronted with fears and nightmares they'd rather avoid, people have a bad habit of dying. So it's no surprise that Christian isn't exactly popular. What no one expects is for Christian to meet Winter's last surviving Jew and uncover one more thing best forgottenthe day the Nazi's came to town. Based on a little-known fact of the United States' involvement in World War II, Draw the Dark is a dark fantasy about reclaiming the forgotten past and the redeeming power of love.

Review:

"Seventeen-year-old Christian is a loner at school--which is what tends to happen when you live in a small town with a hidden history, your parents have disappeared, you hear voices in your head from 'the sideways place,' and you can draw people to death. Sometimes Christian's drawings are taken over by the thoughts of those around him, and when he draws their deepest fears, they die. But now something new is happening: Christian is falling into the life of an eight-year-old boy who lived during the 1940s when Winter, Wis., was home to German WWII prisoners who performed labor in town. The boy witnessed an atrocious crime, and Christian gets caught up in the mystery he uncovers. Though the story is at times hard to follow, as Christian moves in and out of his life and tries to understand his connection to the mysterious 'sideways place' that plays a pivotal role in the story's climax, Bick builds the gripping supernatural/historical mystery to a satisfying conclusion that demonstrates the evils of the present can be just as terrifying as those of the past. Ages 12 — 18. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

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FNORDinc, September 10, 2010 (view all comments by FNORDinc)
Shelved as a Young adult novel, I feel it is incorrectly categorized, instead it should just be standard dark fantasy. The only aspects of this that make it YA is the 17 year old protagonist and the heavy handed coming-of-age vein, other wise it is “King/Koontz-lite”.

Winter, Wisconsin. Murder. Nazis. Dead Bodies. Ghostly visions. Fatal fires. A boy who can draw people’s nightmares. All of these topics are discussed on the cover liner notes. What is not discussed is how well put together it is. It was surprisingly enjoyable from a number of perspectives.

Detailing the events around social outcast Christian Cage. Dark opens with Christian, being investigated for graffiti on a local building, red spray paint with swastikas and eyes. Christian does not remember vandalizing anything. This isn’t the first time that Cage has been in trouble with the law. The suicide of a school teacher brought him into the limelight when much younger.

Cage is an obsessive artist, falling into a near hypnotic groove, pulling visions into his art. Christian’s shadowy and often cynical work leads him to investigate a mystery that has been buried in his town since WW2.

In ‘Draw the Dark’, Ilsa Bick cobbles together a solid story. Not to be viewed as a negative point, people with half a care about WW2 era history will have key points figured out very fast, main plot points are not as “little-known” as the marketing blurbs will insinuate. As such, some of the plot twists are more like a cinnamon-y churro and less like a tangy knotted pretzel (mmm. soo hungry now). It is really all about the character progression and the deeper details of individuals lives, personal interactions, forgotten history, unheard conversations, and the desire to bury the past. It is the malleable characters and the incredibly solid framework of the tale that make the book.

Readers be warned that there is no evidence that this is the first book in a series. There are a large number of loose ends at the end, things you will wish were explained are left unresolved. It is not detrimental to the story, just something that might frustrate some.

-- FNORDinc.com
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780761356868
Author:
Bick, Ilsa J.
Publisher:
Carolrhoda Books
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Series:
Carolrhoda YA
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
338
Dimensions:
8.00x5.50x1.50 in. .90 lbs.
Age Level:
14-17

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Related Subjects

Children's » Paranormal Fiction
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » General

Draw the Dark New Hardcover
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$16.95 In Stock
Product details 338 pages Carolrhoda Books - English 9780761356868 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Seventeen-year-old Christian is a loner at school--which is what tends to happen when you live in a small town with a hidden history, your parents have disappeared, you hear voices in your head from 'the sideways place,' and you can draw people to death. Sometimes Christian's drawings are taken over by the thoughts of those around him, and when he draws their deepest fears, they die. But now something new is happening: Christian is falling into the life of an eight-year-old boy who lived during the 1940s when Winter, Wis., was home to German WWII prisoners who performed labor in town. The boy witnessed an atrocious crime, and Christian gets caught up in the mystery he uncovers. Though the story is at times hard to follow, as Christian moves in and out of his life and tries to understand his connection to the mysterious 'sideways place' that plays a pivotal role in the story's climax, Bick builds the gripping supernatural/historical mystery to a satisfying conclusion that demonstrates the evils of the present can be just as terrifying as those of the past. Ages 12 — 18. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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