Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"The White Darkness" by Geraldine McCaughrean

As a teenage girl who is obsessed with Antarctica, Sym is thrilled when her brilliant Uncle Victor steals her away from home and school for a three-week trip of a lifetime to that frozen wonderland. Sym is definitely in need of an adventure after experiencing the death of her father and bullying at school, and at first, Antarctica is everything she had always dreamed it would be - a place of incredible beauty and unimaginable emptiness, which somehow makes Sym feel stronger and more confident than she had ever felt at home. Soon, however, the other members of the travel group are feeling sick and incapacitated, and Uncle Victor's hidden agenda for the trip is revealed. Sym soon finds herself fighting for survival is one of the most uninhabitable places on earth, where even a few seconds of unprotected exposure means certain death.

McCaughrean's writing is lyrical, spell-binding, and spine-tingling. The visually lush descriptions of the hypnotic beauty of Antartica are seamlessly intermingled with Sym's attempts to remain sane and alive in unendurable circumstances. The reader, along with Sym, is drawn slowly and magnetically into the truths hidden in the alien landscape.

I rate this fiction tale of suspense FOUR and a HALF out of FIVE Stars.

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