The Dark Is Rising (The Dark Is Rising #2)
When Will Stanton wakes up on the morning of his birthday, he discovers an unbelievable gift -- he is immortal. Bemused and terrified, he finds he is the last of the Old Ones, magical men and women sworn to protect the world from the source of evil, the Dark.
At once Will is plunged into a quest to find six magical Signs to aid the powers of the Light. Six medallions -- iron, bronze, wood, water, fire, and stone -- created and hidden by the Old Ones centuries ago. But the Dark has sent out the Rider: evil cloaked in black, mounted upon a midnight stallion, and on the hunt for this youngest Old One, Will. He must find the six great Signs before the Dark can rise, for an epic battle between good and evil approaches.
This is probably my favourite book; it's certainly one of them, and it always surprises me that more people haven't heard of it.
Basically - Will Stanton is nearly eleven. He's got six older brothers and sisters, and yet, when they think about it, he's 'a very old eleven'. And when, on the eve of his birthday, he makes the radio go static and the normally friendly animals go wild, he realises that something strange is going on. It's the beginning of something huge; something which you want to share with Will, yet at the same time are so relieved that it's not you who has to carry the burden.
I can't really give a better summary without revealing some of the most interesting parts of the plot. But if you liked Harry Potter, and want something a little darker, with a few more references to mythology (not too many, but enough to make you feel clever!), with haunting lines that will stay with you forever and a story that will sink its claws into you and not let you go until you've finished, this is the book for you.
This isn't, technically, the first in the 'Dark Is Rising' series, but I suggest you read this one first. In my opinion, it's the best out of a series of absolutely fantastic books that really don't receive the credit they deserve.
I truly believe this book is as good as the Harry Potter series, perhaps even better, but maybe that's just because I read it first. This is actually the second book of a series by Susan Cooper. The whole series chronicles the journey of three ordinary kids, their great uncle, who is actually a wizard of sorts, and Will, an ordinary boy until his eleventh birthday, when he finds out that he is the last of the Old Ones, or people of the Light. In this book, Will's task is to find the Six Signs and return them to the Light, because, as the title hints, the Dark is Rising, and there is not much time left before the final battle between good and evil. It would be too complicated to explain more than this, so I will just say, this book is excellent. It is very well written and will captivate readers from age 10 to 100.