Not Yet Dark by Simon P Clark
|Not Yet Dark by Simon P Clark|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Story of magic and friendship with many layers. Unsettling but also, in a strange way, also very comforting. A welcome second story from the author of Eren.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: October 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Philippa and Danny have been friends since they were tiny. But now, at fifteen and into the unforgiving world of adolescence, there are stresses and pressures. Danny has some new friends in the rugby team and they are full of the obnoxious, somewhat sexist, bravado of the jock world. They make jokes about Philippa and she doesn't like it. She gets angry when Danny doesn't shut them down. And, if she's truthful, she's a tiny bit jealous of the time Danny spends with them. For his part, Danny feels a bit suffocated by this.
But they still spend time together and, one night, exploring an abandoned house on the cliffs by the beach, the pair stumble across a secret Society of adults who are performing a strange rite in the hopes of summoning Death. Thanks to the unwanted presence of Philippa and Danny, it all goes wrong and the pair barely make it out without being caught and with some ruthless enemies on their tails...
... and two children of about their age who seem to be able to appear and disappear at will. Garth and Dee say they're not human and have been called into this world by the Society's rite. They need Philippa and Danny's help to get back - but first the Society needs to be defeated.
I loved this supernatural thriller. It has a great narrative drive and I read it in one, rather breathless, sitting. But it's not just magical adventure. It's about the nature of life and death and is really quite profound as it ponders some very deep existential questions. It's also about the friendship between Danny and Philippa and the ways in which it comes under pressure as they go through the stresses of adolescence. So there is quite a lot in this story and Clark handles it all with elegance and great sensitivity.
I liked both Philippa, who is quite reserved and self-contained and thoughtful, and Danny, who is more impulsive but fiercely loyal and who is struggling to reconcile two aspects of his life. And I was fascinated by Garth and Dee, who are both individuals and part of an eternal whole, and who speak so eloquently about the nature of life, even though they are not technically alive themselves.
Not Yet Dark is a fabulous follow-up to Eren, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. It's one for all fans of supernatural fiction who like it to come with some added philosophical bite.
If Not Yet Dark appeals, you might also enjoy The Song from Somewhere Else by A F Harrold and Levi Pinfold, a fantasy story about two worlds colliding with each other and a kitchen sink story of bullying and a friendship made from both loyalty and betrayal.
You can read more book reviews or buy Not Yet Dark by Simon P Clark at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Not Yet Dark by Simon P Clark at Amazon.com.
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