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Friday, February 1, 2013

Review + Giveaway - IN DARKNESS by Nick Lake @bwkids @nicholaslake



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 ...


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 its 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. Lake does a brilliant job capturing the devastation and raw emotion. He also has the amazing ability to capture the raw and heart-wrenching feelings that belong to these characters. He makes you feel as if you are right there with them and going through the horrific tragedy that brought Haiti to its knees.

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.

-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."

My name's Nick and I write books for younger readers. My latest, BLOOD NINJA, is about ninjas who are also vampires - because the only thing more awesome than a ninja is a vampire ninja.

I like all the things you like, and I hate all the things you hate. I swear.

I live in a picture-postcard village in Oxfordshire, protected by trip-wires, boobytraps and a fat, lazy tomcat. Life in a picture-postcard village is very nice, but it's a bit two-dimensional.

Nick lives with his wife and daughter in England.


Find Author Nick Lake on the following websites: 

Find IN DARKNESS on the following websites:  

                                                                                                    Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Goodreads
For Q&A with the Author and a note from Nick to the Readers visit his Website here. You will also find the playlist for IN DARKNESS and information/facts on Haiti and the devastation that was caused from the Haitian Earthquake as well as the history on Toussaint L'Ouverture.

 Open to US & International Residents 14+
* Winner must respond within 48 hours*

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  1. Look at how awesome those colored blockquotes are. So pretty. How the hell did you do it? Also book sounds fantastic!

  2. This sounds interesting... Thanks for sharing it ans your thoughts of it.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  3. I just checked out this book today after it ws announced as the Printz Award winning book yesterday. Thanks for this wonderful blog post.

  4. I'm looking forward to reading the new Printz Award winner! Though I had heard of In Darkness before Monday, I hadn't heard much about it before then, so I'm glad to see it getting some attention. :) Excellent review.

  5. Oh man. I remember when we talked about this. It sounds so good.