Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: The White Oak (Imperfect Darkness #1) By: Kim White

Title: The White Oak (Imperfect Darkness #1)
Author: Kim White
Published: April 9th, 2012
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary: 

In The White Oak, the first book in the Imperfect Darkness series, Cora Alexander is pulled through a sinkhole and enters the underworld still alive. Her living presence threatens the tyrannical rule of Minos and the Infernal Judges who have hijacked the afterlife and rebuilt it, trapping human souls in a mechanical, computer-controlled city that lies at the core of the earth. To survive, Cora must rely on her untrustworthy guide, Minotaur, an artificial intelligence. She is helped by a mysterious voice, and by Sybil, underworld librarian and author of each person’s book of life. When Cora’s own book is destroyed, Sybil gives her a golden pen and sends her into the City to begin writing her own destiny. Along the way, she reunites with the ghost of her dead brother, Lucas, a genius programmer who alone is capable of finding the chink in Minos armor. This fast-paced adventure begins, and ends, in the middle of the action; introducing the characters, themes, and mysteries that find their resolution later in the series.

My Thoughts:

I received this book through Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for review.

The White Oak was definitely a fast paced book, being only 200 pages you jumped right into the action with no time to waste. Kim White has created a complex and interesting new world that along with Cora Alexander you get to explore.

Cora and Lucas Alexander are the closest siblings that I have read about in a while. Best friends who are dealing with a life that no child should have to deal with. Growing up with an abusive father and a mother who did nothing to help them until she abandoned them completely. As Cora, Lucas, and their family are burying their father under the white oak tree, a sinkhole opens up taking the coffin and everyone standing around it down with it, Lucas and Cora both knew what was under the tree beforehand spending all of their free time climbing and exploring the underground caves they had found. Cora is all alone after falling through the sinkhole confused and scared she begins to hear a mysterious voice that she had been listening to for years as she explored the caves with her brother, the voice saves her from certain death m any times and leads Cora into a world she never knew existed, the underworld. 

I really enjoyed how fast paced the book was, you learned all about Cora as you went along her adventure with her. White has created an interesting and different aspect of the underworld in my opinion, reading in so many other YA series of this place, I was definitely interested in finding out how she would add her spin to it. One of the only complaints that I had about this one was some of the descriptions of things in the underworld would begin to get so long and complicated I would have to go back and reread certain parts to understand what she was describing and remember what was being described in the first place. There was so many different characters and I was really interested and curious about each one for so many different reasons. The guide that Cora meets in the beginning of the story Minos, was a robot, he could take on the persona of any person that you wanted him to. Taking computer data from everywhere in the world and finding everything he could about that person from the last purchase they made at the store. He made himself into so many different people and things throughout the story it always kept me guessing who he was going to be or what he was going to be next. The one character I was so curious to learn more about that unfortunately we didn't in this book (I hope to learn more about her in the next) was Sybil, living in a giant tree that gives life to the underworld in a giant library full of every person's book of life, I was fascinated with what she did. She was the author of every person's life constantly writing every single decision made by someone and connecting each person's book to each other's whenever they interacted or influenced another person. I wanted to keep learning about her and what her job was, she was one of my favorite characters in the book for sure.

If you are looking for a fast paced adventure in a complex and interesting fantasy world, I definitely recommend this one for you. A quick read for anyone who is looking for an afternoon of escape.

Happy Reading!

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