The White Darkness

( 18 )

Overview

Sym is not your average teenage girl. She is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates from Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole. In fact, Oates is the secret confidant to whom she spills all her hopes and fears.

But Sym's uncle Victor is even more obsessed--and when he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival that will challenge ...

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Overview

Sym is not your average teenage girl. She is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates from Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole. In fact, Oates is the secret confidant to whom she spills all her hopes and fears.

But Sym's uncle Victor is even more obsessed--and when he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival that will challenge everything she knows and loves.

Winner of the 2008 Michael L. Printz Award

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Symone, 14, narrates McCaughrean's (Peter Pan in Scarlet) tale about the trip of a lifetime gone horribly wrong. Hearing-impaired and unpopular, Sym appreciates the attentions of "Uncle" Victor, her dead father's business partner and the family's seeming benefactor. Victor, an eccentric genius obsessed with proving the discredited Hollow Earth theories of John Symmes, has fostered in Sym a lifelong fascination with Antarctica. Indeed, Sym's only companion is an imaginary friend, Lawrence "Titus" Oates, who perished in 1912 during Captain Robert Scott's ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. Sym is thrilled when Victor spirits her off for an impromptu trip to Paris, which morphs—incredibly—into a trek to Antarctica, as the two join a crowd of rich tourists for a guided look at "The Ice's" astounding landscape. Victor aligns with Manfred Bruch, a purported Norwegian filmmaker, and his son. Guests and guides alike become mysteriously ill, and the tour is cut short, but the plane intended to return the group to safety explodes. After Victor's "nice cup of tea" induces sleep in everyone else, the four abscond on Victor's mad quest for Symmes's Hole. The heroine's relentless self-deprecation, a necessary element of her unconditional acceptance of Victor, is nonetheless somewhat overplayed. But the ratcheting terror, thrilling double-crosses and gorgeously articulated star character—Antarctica itself—combine for a girl's adventure yarn of the first order. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Elaine J. O'Quinn
Reading this book is like no other reading experience for this reviewer. The combination of the surreal setting of the Antarctic wilderness, the main character's "imaginary" friend Oates, and the completely deranged uncle who brings these two things together makes for a text that crosses back and forth between fantasy and reality in a nightmarish way. As Symone (Sym for short) and her Uncle Victor trek across the frozen plains and glaciers of the South Pole, readers cannot help but be drawn in by what is clearly Victor's spiral into insanity. Between the extreme conditions of the environment and the overriding obsession of her uncle to find an underground world that he is convinced exists, Sym is led into another form of madness. With only Oates and her own wit to count on, Sym must find a way to remain sane enough to survive an impossible situation. McCaughrean's writing is a bit verbose, and some might find the story's ending a tad unbelievable, especially considering that Sym is traveling in an impossibly hostile setting with a man who is not afraid to murder, lie, and risk the lives of others to achieve his "dream." For those who like adventure and unrelenting wickedness, however, it might be the right book. Those not familiar with the story of Captain Scott's 1911 South Pole expedition should read the brief history provided at the end of the story. It helped this reviewer make sense of what was going on sooner than she would otherwise have done.
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
This is an amazing work, highly praised in Great Britain where it was first published; there is no question that McCaughrean is a fine writer. The novel is difficult, however, to read and absorb; and it is a challenge to describe briefly in a review in this format. It is about an obsession about Antarctica. Sym has "issues" that set her apart from "normal" teenagers in England, and when the opportunity comes to take a leave from school to go with her brilliant but odd Uncle Victor on a tour of Antarctica, she is thrilled. He has been giving her books for years about the Scott expedition and other historical sagas featuring the place, and in her own odd way, she has created an imaginary companion in the long-dead Captain Oates from that doomed Scott expedition. She talks to Titus and imagines he speaks back to her. Any other relationship in her life is weak by comparison. Once in Antarctica with a group of tourists, she finds she fits in better than she is used to fitting in—this is a place she has spent years preparing for. However, Uncle Victor reveals his madness, his lifelong passion to prove there is a gate to the interior of the Earth near the pole, and in his madness he takes Sym and some others into the white darkness that is Antarctica. Then the story becomes one of survival, and Sym finds strength and essential knowledge from the dead Titus who is with her. The minute details of the landscape, the doomed expeditions—both Scott's and Uncle Victor's—and the imagined mind and heart of Sym as she survives and becomes reborn in a way: these are the elements of this story that make it unusual and challenging.
Children's Literature - Kelly Grebinoski
Going to Paris is a trip of a lifetime, especially for fourteen-year-old, Sym. She does not get to Paris but rather she ends up in Antarctica. Luckily for her, it is a place she has always wanted to go. Her father is dead and his business partner, Victor, takes her on this incredible journey. Uncle Victor is really insane and the extent of his madness comes out. Sym is not really the typical middle school girl either. She is not into boys, passing notes, and make-up. She is into Captain Lawrence (Titus) Oates, a hero of the Antarctic who is no longer alive. Her fate is not the same as Titus Oates, but he does play a large roll in her adventure. She relies on him, confides in him, and needs him. Titus Oates is real—as real as he can be in Sym's head. When the expedition gets out of control, Sym struggles for her life, learns to rely on those who are not there, and finds true love along the way. She learns a lot about survival, about herself, and her uncle. The scenery is beautifully described in vivid details and elaborated scenes. The pages turn quickly and excitingly like the reader is there in the mix. Readers will find something they can connect with, be in awe of, and will realize not everything is what it seems.
Kirkus Reviews
A teenager's coming of age undergoes particularly harsh annealing in this intense, inwardly focused survival tale. Eccentric but ever supportive, both before and after her father's slow death, Victor has been "Uncle" to shy, nearly deaf Sym since childhood. When she trustingly steals away with him to Antarctica, however, and finds herself roaring off into the howling wilderness in a stolen all-terrain vehicle, she gradually comes to learn that he has involved her in a mad effort to find a legendary entrance to an equally legendary underground world. As layers of deception peel away, Victor turns out to be a scary character indeed-outwardly brilliant and genial, but in truth an obsessed, treacherous, blithely murderous poisoner. Readers will find this a triply compelling tale: for its slow revelation of a deranged soul; for its young narrator, who turns out to be tougher than she or anyone else supposes; and for its wildly hostile setting, which quickly turns the secret expedition into a frantic struggle to survive. (author's note) (Fiction. YA)
Booklist
"Lyrical language actively engages the senses, plunging readers into a captivating landscape that challenges the boundaries of reality….This imaginative novel offers plenty of action."
The Horn Book
“What makes the book truly stand out is Sym’s unique personality... and, through it all, McCaughreen’s inspired wordplay and powerful imagery.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Lyrical language actively engages the senses, plunging readers into a captivating landscape that challenges the boundaries of reality….This imaginative novel offers plenty of action.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405655576
  • Publisher: AudioGO
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 8
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Geraldine McCaughrean is the Printz Award-winning author of The White Darkness. She has been honored with England's most prestigious children's book award, the Carnegie Medal, and is the only three-time winner ever of the Whitbread Children's Book Award. She also wrote Peter Pan in Scarlet, the first official sequel to the treasured masterpiece Peter Pan, and the critically acclaimed The Death-Defying Pepper Roux. Geraldine lives in Berkshire, England, with her husband and actress daughter.

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Read an Excerpt

The White Darkness


By Geraldine McCaughrean

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Geraldine McCaughrean
All right reserved.



Chapter One

"Titus"

I have been in love with Titus Oates for quite a while now--which is ridiculous, since he's been dead for ninety years. But look at it this way. In ninety years I'll be dead, too, and then the age difference won't matter.

Besides, he isn't dead inside my head. We talk about all kinds of things. From whether hair color can change spontaneously to whether friends are better than family, and the best age for marrying: 14 or 125. Generally speaking, he knows more than I do, but on that particular subject we are even. He wasn't married--at least, he wasn't when he died, which must have substantially cut down his chances.

Uncle Victor says I shouldn't marry at all. Uncle Victor knows about these things and he says that "marriage is a bourgeois relic of Victorian sentimentality." That suits me. No one would match up to Titus. And we have a kind of understanding, Titus and I.

Uncle Victor is marvelous. He's done so much for us--for Mum and me, I mean. And anyway, he's just so clever. Uncle Victor knows a fantastic amount. He knows at what temperature glass turns to liquid, and where Communism went wrong and how the Clifton Suspension Bridge was built and just what the Government ought to be doing; you can't fault him. He's read books about everything: history, geography, politics, astrology, animals . . . the Fount of AllKnowledge, Dad used to call him.

I would get stuck doing my homework, and Dad would say, "Ask the Fount of All Knowledge." And I'd telephone Victor and he would tell me. Quite often he knew more than the teachers, so they'd think I'd got my homework wrong, but as Victor says, "What teachers don't understand is that the body of learning is still growing. They reckon it stopped the day they came out of college. That, or they're plain ignorant. Lot of ignorance in yon schools."

It's true that none of my teachers knows much about Antarctica. When Dad and Victor and I went to Iceland, one of the teachers had been, too, and knew all about Dettifoss and the hot springs and people having stinking saunas in their backyards. But none of the teachers at school has been to Antarctica. Some of them know about Scott of the Antarctic going to the South Pole and not coming back. But they mostly mean John Mills in the movie. I don't.

In the general way of things, I don't know much about anything. Uncle Victor says I'm "the victim of a shoddy education system." But I do know about the Polar Regions. The bookshelves over my bed are full of books about the North and South Poles. Icebound almost. A glacial cliff face teetering over my bed. I remember, the night after Dad had been rushed into the hospital, one of the shelves sheared off and crashed down on me. I woke up thinking the house was collapsing--books gouging at my head, bouncing off the bed frame, slapping flat on the floor. I looked at the hole in the wall and the brackets on the pillow and I didn't know what to do.

About the shelf. About anything.

So I went back to sleep, and dreamed that I was sailing toward the Ross Ice Shelf, and that crags were splitting off its face, plunging down, massive as seagoing liners foundering.

Come to think of it, Uncle Victor gave me most of my ice books. Every birthday and Christmas. Books about The Ice and the North Pole; about Shackleton and Scott, Laurence Gould and Vivian Fuchs, Nansen and Barents, Franklin and Peary; about penguins and polar bears, whales and seals and boreales . . . About Captain Lawrence Oates--the one they called "Titus." Uncle Victor understands how the whole idea creeps up on you like pack ice--pressing in and pressing against your head, then crushing the hull and tumbling inside. . . . If we ever did a project at school on Antarctica, I could shine. Like Mount Erebus in mid-summer, I could, I could shine!

Except that I don't think I would choose to. It's all bound up with Titus, and I know better than to mention Titus at school. I do now, anyway. I made that mistake once. I won't do it again.

"Symone has a pretend friend! Symone has a pretend friend!"

It was the conversation about kissing--or snogging, as they invariably call it. Like the ant nest in the larder: You think you've done everything to be rid of it--that it can't possibly come back again--but there it is: "How many boys have you snogged?" There is no right answer. You say "none" and you're sad and frigid or they know someone whose brother would be willing to snog you for cash. You refuse to answer and you are sadder still--or hiding something, or prefer girls, or . . . It's not that they care; they only want to tell you how many they've snogged--chiefly because they like saying the word. It makes them feel as if they are wearing red underwear. But on and on they go: "How many boys, Sym? How many boys have you snogged?"

Why is it that all the words to do with sex are ugly? Words to do with love aren't. No wonder Titus thought women were a nuisance. No wonder he died without ever . . . getting mixed up with all that.

Anyway, I said that I could do without it. (At least that's what I tried to say. I don't explain things very well out loud.) I tried to say that I was happy to stick with imagining for the time being, thanks all the same. Later, maybe. If I ever met anyone who could compare with Titus . . .

And after that I was the mad girl--sad, frigid, and mad, all three--the retard who had an imaginary friend: "Like little kids do, oo-hoo. Like little kids do!"



Continues...

Excerpted from The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean Copyright © 2007 by Geraldine McCaughrean. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    Stark and sublime

    This book was not 'easy' to read, but the suspense and grittiness and even romance kept me entranced and just as I was about to be disappointed in the ending, the author threw in a little twist that left me with a smile on my face and a happy heart. Very satisfying read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2006

    Abound with Ice and Snow

    Sym, the narrator, told this novel in a down-to-earth way and I enjoyed her spritzes of dark humor. The author Geraldine McCaughrean used excellent imagery so Sym's thoughts were crystal clear. Her tale of traveling in the snowy void of Antarctica with her eccentric Uncle Victor was an engaging one, that had more than a few well-defined and outrageous characters. Sym's active imagination was something that I especially noticed since few people have great imaginations nowadays I grew very fond of her charming companion, Titus Oates, who turned out to be more than just a figment after all. I was able to easily identify with Sym's self-doubt and reluctance to mingle. What started out as just a harmless jaunt to the South Pole with her uncle turned into a fruitless quest to find Symmes's Hole which just as quickly turned into a nightmarish fight for survival against the elements and just-as-unpredictable humans. This terrifying tale had me hanging on every last ice-frosted word!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    check it out

    From the beginning, the story follows a teenaged Sym who ends up on a surprise trip to Antarctica with her polar obsessed Uncle Victor. The flaky uncle would raise red flags for anyone right away but it is Sym's self professed love for doomed Antarctic explorer Lawrence "Titus" Oates. Initially Sym is just like any other kid with a dead father, overwhelmed mother and rather pushy relative (who it turns out is really only a relative in that "old family friend" kind of way). Titus is her imaginary friend but even that makes some kind of sense; from her own reading she has known about his part in Robert Scott's final doomed South Pole expedition for quite awhile. But while watching DVDs of The Last Place on Earth alone one night she became captivated by the story, particularly one element of it. "And there, at the heart of it, was Captain Oates” Sym and Oates were an inseparable "couple" from that point on. Sym's rather quirky affectation of "talking" to the explorer (something she knows enough to keep to herself), becomes of deadly importance after she and Uncle Victor embark on their Antarctic cruise. After their tour group finds itself in more and more dire circumstances, (all for very mysterious reasons) Victor reveals that he has long ago succumbed to a myth of his own. It turns out that Sym's know–it–all uncle is a follower of John Symmes's hollow Earth theory. (This revelation is when our heroine's name starts to make a horrible amount of sense.) Victor thinks there is a lot more going on underground in Antarctica than above and he is determined to prove it in a very big way. Sym finds herself literally dragged along for the ride as Victor maneuvers them further and further away from civilization looking for his hole in the ground. It is only Titus Oates who sticks with her, refusing to give up; it is only Oates who convinces Sym that survival is even possible. The deeper she travels into the continent's interior as part of her uncle's twisted dream, the more Sym finds herself disappearing into the real life of Titus Oates in her mind. It's an old trick; something she has done before when overwhelmed with problems in her life. "Sometimes when I need to get further away than usual," she thinks, "I'm Florence Chambers." Chambers was a young woman Oates met only briefly but apparently carried a flame for until his death. As a different Florence, one who eloped with Oates, Sym imagines changing history, she considers sharing a real life with Oates as the kind of woman he would have loved: "And I ride on the back of Titus's motorbike, and look after his pet deer and exercise his horse in the cool, misty mornings, and afterward we curry the sweat from its flanks, the horse in parentheses between us, our arms mirroring each other as we brush, the tail, splashing us each in turn, amid a smell of saddle soap and straw, because if Titus were ever to love a woman, it wouldn't be anyone helpless or feeble who cried for want of an airplane or out of fright and couldn't make her legs stop shaking or keep her wits about her or marshal her facts; it wouldn't be anyone like that; it wouldn't be anyone like that; no one like that." The myth of Oates's strength on that last horrific march back from the Pole is what Sym needs to provide comfort on her own dangerous journeys, her own difficult adolescent moments. She remembers also the Brontë sisters who ". .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2011

    Amazing!

    So, I will say that at some areas in the book, it really slows down and gets a smige boring. But, then it picks right back up again and you simply CANNOT put it down. I found the small, short relationship between Sigurd and Sym to catch my attention and it helped keep the story interesting. Some minor swears DEFINETLY caught my attention and they gave everything a more relaxed feel in some moments, compared to the historical references. If you aren't familiar with Scott's expedition, read the postscript in the back first, so you aren't totally lost. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a decent adventure/action novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2010

    A Great adventure story-you'll be suprised

    The White Darkness (By Geraldine McCaughrean) : is a mysterious, surprising, and adventurous story about a young girl named Sym and her trip to the Antarctic. Sym is whisked away from school, her mother and all responsibilities by her Uncle. At first she was thrilled to be taking a trip the Antarctic, it was a land she had a fond and vast knowledge of. Sym soon learns about her Uncle Victor's hidden agenda with the trip and with her, as he tries to find Symmes hole ( a hole that he was convinced lead to an inner part of the world). Sym ends up finding out many secrets in her life by the end of the story, as she tries to survive the Antarctic looking for Symmes hole.
    While the story has many eventful twists and turns that keeps you on your feet, it also has parts where pages would go on, yet nothing seems to be getting accomplished. Sym would be in a difficult situation and go on thinking about miscellaneous subjects, yet the plot was not advancing and as a reader I was not entertained, I wanted to get on with the story. The white darkness has an interesting ( just not always upbeat) story line. If you enjoy being really involved with the main character to the point when you know their thoughts even then there isn't a point to them, and you have patience, you will enjoy this book. If your looking for non-stop action novel with a clear plot this would not be a story I would suggest. I give it 3.5 starts out of 5.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2010

    Not Worth the Time

    The White Darkness is a long drawn out read with little to offer. It took about half the book to get to the story, only to have a disappointing ending. I found the book predictable as I was reading and more so as it went on. I think the mystery villain was obvious, as I figured out what he had done in the third chapter. I kept waiting for something to happen that was unexpected, something that would allow the book to redeem itself. I was disappointed. Then when the book ends, you don't have any resolution. You follow the heroine through a harrowing experience with out solving the problem. The history that the book mention was interesting but only if you are interested in the Antarctic. However I did like the invisible friend who helps her keep things in perspective. I thought he was interesting and fun. All in all I would not recommend this book.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The White Darkness

    McCaughrean, G. (2007). The White Darkness. New York: HarperTempest.

    ISBN: 0060890355



    This Printz award winner was first published in England in 2005 by British author Geraldine McCaughrean. This beautiful and challenging read takes readers and fourteen-year-old Simone on an unexpected and arduous odyssey to Antarctica. The 373 page novel features wonderful characterizations, from the masterfully depicted insanity of one character, to the betrayal of a love interest and then to the well-researched portrayal of the historic figure of Captain Oates as an imagined friend and coping mechanism.

    The novel features references to Greek myths, historic facts and some works of literature that McCaughrean has delved into before in her previous writings.

    This book is challenging not only due to its use of vocabulary, but also because of the dangerous quest naïve Simone is recruited to make. About midway through my reading of the book, I found myself asking, "Is it over yet? Please let this end." but at the same time, I did not want it to end.



    Activities to do with the book:

    Research projects on Antarctica, Antarctic explorers, paranoia, coping mechanisms, antibiotics, pollution, Symmes's Theory etc.

    Dramatic inquiry with visiting the Antarctic.



    Favorite Quotes:

    "I have been in love with Titus Oates for quote a while now-which is ridiculous, since he's been dead for ninety years. But look at it this way. In ninety years I'll be dead, too, and then the age difference won't matter" (p. 1).

    "I'm planning on being older in a year or two" (p. 363).

    For more of my reviews, visit sjkessel.blogspot.com.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    Great Book Kept Me Reading

    Book Review on A White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean This book has a unique plot filled with suspense and action. The book was well written and I was reading it for hours at a time. Overall I would say it was an interesting book and I would suggest it to anyone who likes adventures. Summary In the book the main character is Sym. Sym is a normal high school girl who gets good grades and a victim of bullies. Right before exams Sym¿s uncle takes her on a trip to Paris, this trip however ends up later in Antarctica with a bunch of tourists, her uncle however had other plans for them. Before Sym could say anything she is on a journey into the middle of the Antarctic. She has to battle fierce winds and subzero climate to survive. This book contained very good suspense and ¿out of the box¿ thoughts and actions. When a son turns out just to be an actor it was very surprising. Later a scam set up to kill and take the money from tourists was the father and actor¿s plan all along. The actor who pretends to love Sym was something that I had never expected to happen. This book overall was a well balanced book. Geraldine McCaughrean has written this book in just that way that made me not want to put the book down. She created a huge rising action and shocking downfall. If I could only take one book with me somewhere this book would defiantly be in my top ten choices.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    Antartic gone wrong

    The White Darkness By, Geraldine McCaughrean I did not like the book, The White Darkness. I thought the book would be a great adventure story however, it focused more on the main characters obsession with an Antarctic explorer who had been dead for 90 years. Symone, or Sym, as she is called grew up with a father and uncle who were obsessed with Antarctic exploration. She was knowledgeable about all the explorers but had an obsession with Captain Titus Oates who had died in the Antarctic 90 years ago. Sym has ¿conversations¿ with him about her life¿s problems. Sym gets the opportunity to go to Antarctica with her uncle but her adventure begins to unravel as her uncle seems to have some mental issues and puts their lives in danger. The book continues with a struggle for survival not just in the wilderness but with each other. The White Darkness is a strange book. Sym is a strange girl. Her father dies of some unknown mental illness. Her uncle wants to risk her life in the Antarctic so he can reach his summit as an explorer. The characters all have some sort of mental issues. Sym is obsessed with a dead explorer. She comments in the beginning of the book, ¿I have been in love with Titus Oates for quite a while now ¿ which is unusual since he has been dead for ninety years. We talk about things.¿ Then as Sym embarks on her trip across the Antarctic, she has a conversation with the dead Oates in which Oates says, ¿I won¿t come on that one¿.I went once before and I didn¿t enjoy it.¿ Obviously, Sym has some mental issues that a dead explorer is talking back to her. In addition, her uncle is willing to sacrifice Sym¿s life to reach his destination within the Antarctic. Sym states, ¿I thought Uncle Victor loved me. But he only wants to drop me in a hole in the ground¿part of his great obsession.¿ The plot of the book has an adventurous theme. Sym and her Uncle Victor are on his quest to reach a summit in Antarctica, called Symmes Hole. Their attempts to reach this location and survive in such a harsh wilderness are exciting. The authors style of writing when describing the adventure of it all keeps the readers attention. Her descriptions of the Antarctic make it easy to visualize. However, I found it hard to follow when the author writes the conversations between Sym and the dead explorer Oates. I found it all to be too weird. The characters were ¿crazy¿. I believe the author¿s message is that everyone needs someone to talk to. In Sym¿s case it is a dead explorer. She could ¿talk¿ to him about her fight to survive in the dangerous Antarctic and share her feelings about her dangerous uncle. This book, although an adventure, has characters who would risk their own family¿s lives to achieve a goal and who talk to dead explorers. I would only recommend it to people who can relate to those who talk to ¿imaginary friends¿. I give it a rating of ¿strange¿ on a scale of normal to weird.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    White Darkness Book Review

    September 8, 2008 Section 08 ¿ Plath The White Darkness ¿The White Darkness¿ was different, not in the exciting way but dull and depressing. It is not a fun loving book, not adventuress in any way for me. The story is about this girl who is hard of hearing and she loves Antarctica. The main character has a dead Antarctic explorer in her head like an imaginary person. Things start to go wrong while in Antarctica, Sym the main character with her Uncle Victor are in search of a hole that leads into the inner layers of the Earth. There is deceit among the group that is also with Sym and her Uncle on the trip. The fight for fame or survival is at risk. The book was not ¿bad¿ or ¿good¿ or even ¿boring¿ it was just not in my interest to read it. The reason I read it was because when I read the description on the book I found it the least depressing out of all the other choices. The only moments I can think of from the book that relate to this are when Sym is being taken away from Antarctica and she says that she will never return and that she never wants to read or hear about this place ever again. The plot was not the way I expected it to be, it really wasn¿t the way the summary described the book. The author¿s style of writing was interesting because he wrote it from the main characters point of view while she was telling the story when the story had already happened. The characters were simple, not too much crazy backgrounds for their lives. The message I received was don¿t go there its cold and miserable and bad things happen to people. I did not enjoy this book that much but the audience who it would attract to would probably be the ones experiencing the ¿not fitting in with other people.¿ The rating is just my opinion be free to express yours in a comment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    Fabulous and Unique

    This has to be one of the most interesting and thought provoking books i've read in a long time. The fabulous writing style of mccaughrean kept me eagerly turning page after page well past 3 in the morning. Although hesitant over the prospect of reading another tale about arctic adventure, (i've read a series with the same jist)i was happily surprised to find that White Darkness was so much more than that, revovling much more around deeper themes like betrayal, love and impossible hope, opposed to the shallow plot of just another adventure. A great read for anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    Very Different

    This book, The White Darkness, is something very different from what I'm used to reading. Sometimes, while I was reading, I'd have to go back and re-read passages because I wasn't getting the jist of it: The British dialect and writing isn't something I'm used to. Normally, I would've given this book 4 stars but since it was quite creative and unusual how the author wrote about Antartica (something I've never even dreamed of having interest in) I gave it 5.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2008

    Ummm, what?

    This book was good, I guess, but I couldnt finish it. The action was confusing, and I don't like the way it was written. I suppose the concept and plot was good, but I couldnt finish the last hundred or so pages simply because I had better things to read. Sym, the main character, was frustrating in her naivete and stupidness. It was confusing and boring, like most award winners.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2008

    the best

    this book was awsome. I ursaly don't read books like this , but this one really pulled me in .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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