White Crow

White Crow
Age Range
14+
Release Date
July 05, 2011
ISBN
1596435941
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Some secrets are better left buried; some secrets are so frightening they might make angels weep and the devil crow.

Thought provoking as well as intensely scary, "White Crow" unfolds in three voices. There's Rebecca, who has come to a small, seaside village to spend the summer, and there's Ferelith, who offers to show Rebecca the secrets of the town...but at a price. Finally, there's a priest whose descent into darkness illuminates the girls' frightening story. "White Crow" is as beautifully written as it is horrifically gripping.

User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0(2)
Characters
 
5.0(2)
Writing Style
 
5.0(2)
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White Crow
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
I’ve never been a big reader of horror, simply because I don’t get scared very easily. Almost every horror novel I’ve ever read has been a huge yawn. White Crow is probably the first “scary book” I’ve read that actually scared me. Real, oh-my-god-help scared. That was a first, definitely. And the fact that it came from a young adult novel (where things are supposed to be “tame” and “age appropriate”) is just so much better.

The set-up for this novel is quite unique, and while I don’t think it would work in ordinary circumstances, Marcus Sedgwick really made it work. White Crow is told from the perspective of three narrators, using different tense/perspectives. Rebecca (third person present tense), a girl from London who’s staying with her dad in Winterhold over the summer; Ferelith (first person past tense), a strange, spiritual sort of girl who grew up in Winterhold; an unnamed 18th century priest (journal entries), who embarks on a quest to find out what happens to us after we die.

The two storylines, historical and modern-day, start off seemingly unrelated, but they become entangled as the girls investigate the ruins of an old hall and discover a mysterious room with a “contraption”. Because of the priest’s journal entries, the reader knows what the contraption is for, and I was literally biting my nails during those scenes, because holy cow was it freaky. It’s totally like that moment in a movie when you want to shout “No, don’t go in there!” but obviously the characters can’t hear you so you’re scaring yourself just imagining the possibilities.

Okay, and let me just say that the experiments the priest was performing in that room are absolutely terrifying, gruesome, and, because technically they have scientific merit, they’re just that much more freaky. Like, wow wow wow. As I said, I like to think of myself as a fairly unflappable person, but White Crow was a brilliant sort of edge-of-your seat horror story where I seriously didn’t know what was going to happen next.

The absolutely brilliant thing about this novel is in the set-up and handling of a dual storyline. It’s only because of the priest’s journal entries that Rebecca and Ferelith’s actions are so terrifying. And it’s only because the girls are inside that room, centuries later, looking at the contraption the priest used, that the story takes on a realistic, gritty edge to it. Absolutely phenomenal plot construction on Sedgwick’s part.

Additionally, Marcus Sedgwick is a very strong writer. His prose was wonderfully dark and added a great atmosphere to the various character viewpoints and locations. I was really impressed with the way he balanced the more formal diction of the priest with a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl’s mindset.

White Crow may not be for everyone, but it was certainly for me. In this book, Sedgwick portrays a subtle, understated sort of horror that worked really well for me, and was much more effective than an in-your-face type of demonstration. I was highly, highly impressed with this book.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
White Crow
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
I’ve never been a big reader of horror, simply because I don’t get scared very easily. Almost every horror novel I’ve ever read has been a huge yawn. White Crow is probably the first “scary book” I’ve read that actually scared me. Real, oh-my-god-help scared. That was a first, definitely. And the fact that it came from a young adult novel (where things are supposed to be “tame” and “age appropriate”) is just so much better.

The set-up for this novel is quite unique, and while I don’t think it would work in ordinary circumstances, Marcus Sedgwick really made it work. White Crow is told from the perspective of three narrators, using different tense/perspectives. Rebecca (third person present tense), a girl from London who’s staying with her dad in Winterhold over the summer; Ferelith (first person past tense), a strange, spiritual sort of girl who grew up in Winterhold; an unnamed 18th century priest (journal entries), who embarks on a quest to find out what happens to us after we die.

The two storylines, historical and modern-day, start off seemingly unrelated, but they become entangled as the girls investigate the ruins of an old hall and discover a mysterious room with a “contraption”. Because of the priest’s journal entries, the reader knows what the contraption is for, and I was literally biting my nails during those scenes, because holy cow was it freaky. It’s totally like that moment in a movie when you want to shout “No, don’t go in there!” but obviously the characters can’t hear you so you’re scaring yourself just imagining the possibilities.

Okay, and let me just say that the experiments the priest was performing in that room are absolutely terrifying, gruesome, and, because technically they have scientific merit, they’re just that much more freaky. Like, wow wow wow. As I said, I like to think of myself as a fairly unflappable person, but White Crow was a brilliant sort of edge-of-your seat horror story where I seriously didn’t know what was going to happen next.

The absolutely brilliant thing about this novel is in the set-up and handling of a dual storyline. It’s only because of the priest’s journal entries that Rebecca and Ferelith’s actions are so terrifying. And it’s only because the girls are inside that room, centuries later, looking at the contraption the priest used, that the story takes on a realistic, gritty edge to it. Absolutely phenomenal plot construction on Sedgwick’s part.

Additionally, Marcus Sedgwick is a very strong writer. His prose was wonderfully dark and added a great atmosphere to the various character viewpoints and locations. I was really impressed with the way he balanced the more formal diction of the priest with a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl’s mindset.

White Crow may not be for everyone, but it was certainly for me. In this book, Sedgwick portrays a subtle, understated sort of horror that worked really well for me, and was much more effective than an in-your-face type of demonstration. I was highly, highly impressed with this book.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0