By Susan Cooper
Memories awaken, of places he’s never been, and people he doesn’t know.
The night before his birthday, Will Stanton looks up at the sky and wishes for snow. Before the night is through a thick blanket covers the valley. In the morning he wakes to a song, a haunting melody that beckons him onward. He steps into a world of magic, and finds it familiar. For Will Stanton is a creature of legend, an Old One, newly woken to face the Dark.
A light hearted opening eases audiences into a busy home, as Will and his brother step out to tend to the animals. But things soon turn strange, and vague warnings set the stage for a magical adventure. The story alternates between the larger plot of the Light and the Dark, and these very personal moments between a young boy and his family. Through it all the focus is kept on Will, and his struggle to reconcile his familiar identity as an 11 year old boy, and his newfound distance as an Old One. Strong language paints vivid images, sometimes flashing them so fast it feels like a montage.
As a whole the story is very young, though it engages some interesting ideas. The plot is very predictable, but the scenes remain well written, and the beauty of the prose may distract audiences from an obvious ending. A young book, but full of beautiful imagery.