Monday, October 5, 2009

Review: The Dark is Rising

I kind of can't believe I've never read The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper before. It came out in 1970-something (a few years before I was born) received the Newbery Honor, and has been a well-read children's fantasy classic ever since. Not sure how, when I was scarfing up everything the library had to offer as a kid, I missed this one.
On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift -- that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.
I very much enjoyed this book. It is action packed, and fun. This is a classic battle between Good and Evil. There's not much in the way of character development, just an exciting adventure.

I have to say this, though: reading this as an adult for the first time, my experience is just so different than what it would be if I was reading this as a child. So I have to think about how a child reading this today would react. To me, it seems like the book hasn't entirely aged well, particularly the language, as it feels somewhat old-fashioned. I am just not really sure a child reading it today would be as enthralled as I know many adult fans of this book were.

That said, I could be totally wrong, and a child reading this would be just as caught up in the fun story as I was reading it. If you've read it, I'd love to hear your opinion.

Buy The Dark is Rising on Amazon.


  1. I have to say I agree with your comments. I loved this series as a child. Last year I reread it before the movie came out; and didn't find it nearly as compelling. I am not sure if it is just dated, or if there are just so many wonderful fantasy books out there.

  2. This is the most boring book i have read, this book should not be read by any ages


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