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In Darkness by Nick Lake

Friday, February 17, 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 ...

Goodreads Summary

The best quality of this book is the raw emotion.  The author writes beautifully, capturing the tone and syntax the main characters would have utilized.  The author incorporates Haiti's earthquake to the country's attempts at liberation.  The plot line flows perfectly, the reader will not be confused at all with the switching view points.  The reader will be introduced to both characters early on in the book and will get to know and like them both within the first few chapters.

The Goodreads summary does a wonderful job of explaining the plot.  The events are fast-paced and there is plenty of action and suspense to keep the reader turning the pages.  The characters are very likable, they both have qualities that make them very similar.  The main characters are brave, resilient, strong, and charismatic in many ways.  The secondary characters mold the main characters into who they are; in that way, they do have a large impact on the story.  The author is very descriptive, the reader will be able to picture the scenes and environment. 

Overall, this book is a terrific read.  The reader will see the parallels between modern day Haiti and the sordid past.  The reader will be able to connect with the main characters and think of them as friends, he/she will be rooting for them.  There is a raw intensity to this book that makes it very hard to put down, the reader will likely finish the book within a day or two.  This book is highly recommended to young adult/adult readers.

5 Stars

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Giselle said...:

    Ooh wow! I just noticed this book a week or so ago and I was wondering if it was any good. This is the first review I see on it so, so far so good! :)

    Xpresso Reads

  1. Rachel V said...:

    Wow this books sounds like it will grab at your heart. I have seen it on several blogs but I have not read it yet. Sounds like I need to.

  1. Amy S. said...:

    I love history, and will admit that I do not really know that much about Haiti. As a country it really wasn't mentioned much until the devastating earthquake in schools I think. I think I might want to read this book.