Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it's as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. Read more...
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Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it's as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she's real.
Then she writes "White Space," a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.
Unfortunately, "White Space" turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she's never seen, is a loopy"Matrix"meets"Inkheart"story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she's dropped into the very story she thought she'd written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they--and Emma--may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.
Now what they must uncover is why they've been brought to this place--a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written--before someone pens their end."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-12-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Bick (the Ashes trilogy) launches the Dark Passages series with this ambitious meta-textual adventure, which invokes Stephen King levels of psychological and physical horror, while defying readers’ perceptions of reality at every turn. After a car accident, Emma Lindsay is inexplicably trapped in a valley with a handful of other teenagers, unable to escape the pervasive fog and the monsters hidden within. As Emma and her companions attempt to escape, they’re thrust into a series of shifting realities based on the works of a deceased author, where no one and nothing are as they seem. Faced with unsettling revelations and disturbing questions, they must fight for their lives and determine what’s real and what’s fiction. Though the story starts off slowly, and the often-shifting perspective makes it hard to empathize with many characters, things pick up considerably once the heroes start unraveling the underlying mystery. While Bick does an excellent job at conveying tension, atmosphere, and the multi-layered premise, the epic length, frequent character-hopping, and convoluted action detract from an otherwise intriguing tale. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb.)