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Friday, January 13, 2012

Review - In Darkness by Nick Lake & copy up for grabs

In Darkness
Title & Author:
In Darkness by Nick Lake
Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date:
January 17th 2012

In darkness I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One: I am alive. Two: there is no two. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake a boy is trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital: thirsty, terrified and alone. 'Shorty' is a child of the slums, a teenage boy who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime, and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule Site Soleil: men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that blazes inside him and a burning wish to find the twin sister he lost five years ago. And he is marked. Marked in a way that links him with Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haitian rebel who two-hundred years ago led the slave revolt and faced down Napoleon to force the French out of Haiti. As he grows weaker, Shorty relives the journey that took him to the hospital, a bullet wound in his arm. In his visions and memories he hopes to find the strength to survive, and perhaps then Toussaint can find a way to be free ...

My Thoughts

Oh. My. Goodness. 

Nick Lake has written a phenomenal story. He did so with such emotion and horrific facts that I was teetering back and forth on the brink of shock and tears. There were so many facts interlaced through the entire story, it's almost as if IN DARKNESS was written as non-fiction.

Lake did an amazing job with explaining the devastation of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. Life details of slave and black revolutionary leader Toussaint L'Ouverture were intertwined with the present day character, Shorty and his life events living in the slums of Site Soleil. 

Each time period held it's own trouble for each man. Both were violent and desolate. Both Shorty and Toussaint lived an austere and future-less life, their days were filled with death, violence and a desire for something better. 

-From The Authors Note:
"Route 9 and Boston and the war between them - are real, as is nearly every detail of life in Site Soleil. It is one of the poorest, most violent slums in existence, even more so now in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. It has frequently been named as the most dangerous place on earth. People really did, and do, eat pies made of mud, such as their desperation. Babies really were, and are, left to die on piles of trash. For years, the slum was virtually cut off by roadblocks and especially during the bloody period in the first decade of the new century, police and attaches were accused many times of shooting unarmed civilians during demonstrations and home invasions. Many residents simply disappeared, never to be seen again."

IN DARKNESS is desolate, gritty and harsh. Nick Lake weaves it all together with a hint of promise. In my opinion this novel is a must read.

Bloomsbury has been super-awesome to offer a finished copy for a giveaway.

 The Deets:
1. One entry per person.
2. You must be 13 or older.
3. Giveaway is US Only - Publisher is shipping.
4. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on January 21st

Enter Giveaway -->  HERE.


  1. You know I just noticed this book a few days ago and it sounds incredible and no doubt haunting. I really want to give it a try. Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. Wow. I hadn't heard of this book before, but I sounds, to steal Giselle's word...incredible. I hadn't known much about Haiti before the earthquake, and I'm interested to find out more about the country's history and hear a realistic portrayal of the aftermath of the earthquake from a native rather than a news station. Love the reviw. :) Randi
    randi.wedekind (at)

  3. Thanks for the contest! I submitted my name.

  4. Hi Amy,

    Lovely review - thank you! Did you know I'm coming to Georgia? 7pm at Barnes and Noble in Mansells Crossing Shopping Center, Alpharetta. (If that means anything to you - it doesn't to me, but I trust my publisher ;) )

    If you're around, say hello!

    Nick Lake

  5. What date, Nick? We know exactly where that is. It's our temple of stories.

  6. For those of you interested:

    After this giveaway was posted & closed, I went to an event and met author Nick Lake. It was amazing!

    I bought a signed copy of IN DARKNESS for a giveaway TBA soon. (So, if you didn't win this time, you'll have another chance.)