White Space (The Dark Passages #1)
In the White Space (I am having an inside joke, with this pun :D), the construct is primarily of multiverses. It stands on the assumption that every idea, every imagination is thought-magic and springs forth a new Now, a world that is as real as any. So you see how it toys with your mind - any event in the book could be real or could be just a story, but real in another world. Hmmm...I can't explain this right. Basically, it echoes slightly of Jodi Picoult's Between the Lines but on a much more intense and twisted scale. There are characters within the book who live lives that feel real to them - as real as our lives feel to us. To reach them, one has to go through the Dark Passages, and for that, one needs the needed tools - one of which is the Dickens Mirror. Writers/creators can pull the characters onto the White Space, that is, where their stories exist. There is Emma - who can see glimpses of another litle girl's life, Lizzie - the daughter of a writer who created stories through the White Space, Eric and Casey - two brothers with an abusive dad, Bode and Cade - soldiers from the Vietnam war, Rima, a psychometric teen with the ability to soothe ghosts. All of these characters brought together onto a snowy mountain (winter is a kind of a theme with Bick's books?) and what continues is an adventure of nightmarish quality. They go through so much horror, each of their demons brought forth in a world where imagination is infinite and creation happens with a thought. It is gory and dark, intense and awful, I will warn this beforehand and scary as hell. It is like every bad dream come to life and makes you question reality. I was taking notes till about half the book just to keep track of all the developments, and there were plenty of them. Even though the book is dark and scary, it totally sucked me in (I don't really go for horror) and I kept coming back even though a little repulsed from the horror.
The beginning of the book plunges you directly into the storyline, no explanations whatsover and after a few initial minutes of what-the-heck, things get intriguing. The narrative keeps shifting perspectives and right at the most crucial moment, which means you are given mulitple cliffhangers throughout the book. It can make you go insane with the I-gots-to-know but in each POV, things are gettig more and more scary and everything just builds up to the point near the climax. The ending, whoa, hit like a wrecking ball (okay, okay, sorry for that) and as much as it was confusing and cryptic, it was also way too exhilirating. God, I want to really know what the deal is with Kramer! Right till the last line, I was going crazy with speculation - is he what I think he is? What will happen to Emma? What is going on? Why, Bick, why would you torture us so? It is almost cruel how the characters are each having such terrible pasts and perhaps that was necessary since the whole book is nowhere near the realm of sunshine and rainbows. There is also a tense moment of created-meets-creator, which makes you wonder how would a writer feel if they would meet a character they kill off or something like that. The book delves repeatedly into the ideas of perception, and the basis of realness. The world-builiding was elaborate, because it linked different book-worlds and I was really impressed by the way it was all explained - it was ingenious how Bick mixed in all that physics into thought-magic. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it left me a little exhausted and a teensy bit horrified.