October 09, 2007

The Dark is Rising

By Susan Cooper
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Newbery Honor
Reviewed by Noelle

This is book 2 in the excellent 5 book The Dark is Rising Sequence. Will Stanton turns 11 years old in December, and his whole world changes. For Will is an Old One, the last one to be born in the world, and with his eleventh birthday, he becomes the Sign Seeker. He must collect signs from the different elements as he finds them, and in so doing, help to defeat the Dark. For the Old Ones are of the Light, forever fighting those who serve the Dark, in an everlasting battle for dominance of the planet. Will finds the change bewildering, as he still is a young boy celebrating the holidays with his large family as much as he is fighting the Dark in moments that are out of his time. As Will journeys through long winter days, he discovers the powers that are his right as an Old One, and the long arm the Dark has to reach into Will's every day world and family. It is as much an adventure in being and becoming and standing for what is right as it is racing the Dark to collect the signs. Merriman Lyon, the professor we met in Over Sea, Under Stone, makes an appearance here as well, as Will's mentor and an Old One himself. Readers will enjoy the many-layered plot, the symbolism, and the action, and will look forward to reading book 3, Greenwitch, when the characters from the first two stories come together. The film of The Dark is Rising: The Sign Seeker has just been released (October 2007), although what previews I have seen seem to suggest some pretty major changes. Still, fans of the book may be interested.

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