White Space by Ilsa J. Bick (Dark Passages #1)
Published Egmont 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardback from the library
In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.
Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.
Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.
Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.
Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.
But seriously. This was one of the most insane, crazy reading experiences I have had in a long time. I had absolutely no idea what was going on, but I totally enjoyed it. If you are a fan of mind-twisting, complex books, this is definitely one for you. However, if that’s not what you are into, this is not your cup of tea. Nor is it a good book to get you into this style of writing either. This book is very similar to The Matrix and Inception, as pointed out in the summary.
The first half of this book was incredibly insane. The points of view are always changing, although it is written in third person, which makes the changes a little easier to read. I really liked how the chapters ended and began, always following together. This book read like a movie, which also helped when a scene got confusing. It was nice to have a visual idea of what was happening. My mind exploded multiple times throughout this book. The first part is all of this craziness and the second half focuses more on explanation, but that doesn’t make it any less mindblowing.
The characters aren’t the strongest part of this book and it was more plot based. However, that did not draw me away from the book. Sure, some of the characters do have some big influence on what is happening, but it’s mostly their environment throwing them around and them dealing with the situation. That being said, I still loved the characters. I really wanted them to figure out what was happening, but I also wanted to know too! In that way, I really related with them.
The writing is insanely good. I never expected anything that came in this book. It’s also quite long, but I was never bored through the entire thing. It was so crazy how a little hint dropped at the beginning of the book would come up hundreds of pages later and prove to be really important. The world building was great, a little confusing at times, but it cleared up as the story went on.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait for the second book in this duology! It was a crazy fun ride, I just wish I connected with the characters a little more.