The Darkness Rises

Viking. Apr. 2024. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593327692.
Gr 9 Up–Whitney has a secret—she can see dark clouds over people’s heads when their deaths are imminent. This gift makes her feel special as she saves people’s lives, but tragedy occurs when a boy she saves from dying by suicide commits a mass shooting at a high school football game. A year after the tragedy, Whitney feels like her gift is a curse and doesn’t want to save anyone. The guilt she feels is tremendous, but she can’t tell anyone she saved the one who then hurt so many. Only she and her grandmother, who shares her talent, know the truth—or so she thinks. Mysterious notes suddenly appear filled with threats about exposing what she’s done and revealing all her magical secrets, unless she turns herself in as an accomplice. This mysterious person wants revenge for the tragedy. With twists and turns readers definitely won’t expect, this story takes a very heavy topic and through speculative storytelling explores the reverse idea of the film It’s A Wonderful Life; it’s not about never being born, but the idea of not dying when you are supposed to, and the ripple effects on the future. Are all lives worth saving? And should you be the one to make those choices? Stokes knows how to write edge-of-your-seat scenes and excels at revealing tidbits of info just when readers need them—but still leaves one guessing what will happen next.
VERDICT Suspense stories are in high demand with teens and this one won’t disappoint. Readers will be left with their jaws hanging open when all is revealed.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing