Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Over Sea Under Stone by Susan Cooper

Completed: December 9, 2008
Rating: 3.0

This is the first book in the Dark Is Rising Series by Susan Cooper, which includes a Newberry Award winner, I believe. It is another nostalgic read for me, since I read the whole series about 20 years ago, and I have been returning to the classics on-and-off all year. Unfortunately, a few of the other characteristics common to these nostalgic reads are found in this book as well.

A well-written work, the speed of the novel is a half-step behind where today's readers would expect. A good portion of that can be attributed to mannerisms that seemed normal when the book was authored, but just seem so slow and awkward by today's standards. After a chase seen where the hero narrowly escapes the bad guys, it is weird to pause the story to "put the car away." Also, the whole story hints at a mystical power found in people and objects; in fact the main goal of the protagonists is to find one such object. However, we never run into this power, either in function or form. To me that made it all a little anticlimactic.

Aside from that, it was a solidly written story, and I can appreciate that. I will be taking on the second book sometime soon, so it isn't like I would give up on the series. Instead I would label it as I have indicated with my rating: average.