Monday, January 04, 2016

loopyker's #CBR8 Review #02: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

When The Dark is Rising started I was very confused.  It was supposed to be the second book in a series, right?  But, it starts with completely different characters and in a different village than Over Sea, Under Stone.  Only as time goes on, do we see the connection.

The Dark is Rising audiobook cover by Susan CooperWill Stanton is the seventh son of a seventh son and just about to turn 11 years old.  Up until that point, he is a normal kid who has no idea there is anything special about his eleventh birthday.

Where Over Sea, Under Stone was subtle with its magical hints, this books throws you right into it.  On his birthday, Will finds out he is an "Old One".  This is some kind of immortal force of the Light who can travel through time and protects the world from the Dark.  Will is the youngest Old One and he is set on an important quest for a weapon to help the Light in what will be the final battle with the Dark. 

When Will learns all about what he is, we get all the explanation that was only hinted at in Over Sea, Under Stone.  It sets things up nicely to start bringing the bigger story together and it becomes clear that the series will draw on a lot of myths and legends from around the British Isles, not just the Arthurian ones.

Friday, January 01, 2016

loopyker's #CBR8 Review #01: Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

Over Sea, Under Stone audiobook coverI don't know how I hadn't heard about this series before now.  It seems exactly the kind of thing that someone would have recommended to me, or I would have picked up in the library if I had seen it growing up, but I didn't come across it until browsing my online library in my 40s.  Fortunately, that wasn't too late to enjoy it.

Over Sea, Under Stone is the first book in a series of five called The Dark is Rising Sequence.  

Simon, Jane and Barney Drew are siblings vacationing in Cornwall with their parents and Great-Uncle Merriman (Merry for short), in a little fishing community by the sea.  The parents are mostly absent from the story, letting the children play on their own in a way that was probably more common for that time, but happens less often now.  While exploring, the children find something in the attic that starts them on a treasure hunt.