Book Review: White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick


White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick


Released July 5, 2011 in the US.

In a tiny English village that is being slowly eaten by the sea, Rebecca and her father spend their summer.  Rebecca is all alone, her friends back home ignoring her, thanks to her father being accused of something horrible.  Then Ferelith enters her life, a strange girl who speaks in riddles, plays dangerous and illegal games, and gets Rebecca thinking of something other than her despair.  But everywhere there are secrets, some hidden, walled up and shocking.  Some from long, long ago that have never completely died.  Some that search for angels or devils.  Some that may trap new people.  Secrets are at the heart of this eerie, frightening read that is perfect for dark summer nights.

Nominated for the Carnegie Medal in Literature, this book is a taut, thrilling ride that combines several elements into a disturbing novel that is impossible to put down.  There is the amazing setting of Winterfold, a town that is withering away as the sea reclaims chunks of the cliffs.  The setting is a powerful piece of the book, a presence that is important and vital to the entire story.

Then there are the characters.  Rebecca, a thoroughly modern teen, who finds life in Winterfold even for the summer entirely too dull.  Ferelith, the strange girl, who both loves Rebecca for who she is and also hates her for it.  And finally, the voice from the eighteenth century who speaks of horrors, of blood running, of experiments, that will amaze and torture.  They come together to create a book that is wild, vivid and scary.

A modern gothic story, this book is intense and horrific enough that you will want a light on.  Seriously.  Appropriate for ages 14-17.

Reviewed from copy received from Roaring Brook Press.

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