White Space

Ilsa J. Bick. Egmont USA, $18.99 (560p) ISBN 978-1-60684-419-9
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.)
Reviewed on: 12/09/2013
Release date: 02/11/2014
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