Friday, February 11, 2011

Dark Song

Dark Song
Gail Giles
September 2010

Marc said he heard the dark song when he creeped houses. The song the predator's heart sings when it hears the heart of the prey. I heard it now. Mark said it had always been in me. Lurking. Waiting for me to hear.

Ames is not the person she was a few months ago. Her father lost his job, and her family is crumbling apart. Now, all she has is Marc. Marc, who loves her more than anything. Marc, who owns a gun collection. And he'll stop at nothing--even using his guns--to get what he wants. Ames feels her parents have betrayed her with their lies and self-absorption, but is she prepared to make the ultimate betrayal against them?

In this controversial novel about a good-girl-gone-wrong, Gail Giles returns to the fast-paced, chilling writing that attracted so many fans to What Happened to Cass McBride?.
Once again, Gail Giles has managed to thrill me with another fast-paced story of a teenager in an interesting but not altogether unrealistic situation.

Giles has this incredible ability- her books are just so interesting, I couldn't put a word on it. I might say sublime, but I'm not sure if that's the right word for what this book did. I was completely sucked in, while simultaneously repulsed by the main character. I absolutely hated her: Ames was spoiled, selfish, and had few redeeming qualities. But I couldn't help but be intrigued.

That being said, Dark Song isn't my favorite Gail Giles novel. No, that honor would probably go to Right Behind You. But Dark Song has something that will appeal to many. It has a mysterious murder-mystery thrill behind it.

Here is the problem that I found: the beginning was dreadfully dull. I understand why it was written the way it was. It makes sense to give the readers backstory and evidence before jumping into the darkest and deepest part of the novel. The summary describes all of Part 2, with Part 1 being summarized in one simple sentence: Ames is not the person she was a few months ago. Her father lost his job, and her family is crumbling apart. The end of Part 1. So the really exciting part of the novel didn't happen until Part 2: that's where you learn about the dangerous bad-boy Marc, Ames' hatred for her parents, her struggle to adjust to an entirely new life. THAT is what makes this novel interesting. I think that the story could have been told better if it started with Part 2, and was expanded on to give some glimpses of backstory. The interesting parts were really subdued, and the ending too abrupt for me to really enjoy the exploration into Ames' new life.

That being said, fans of Gail Giles will most certainly enjoy this novel, even if it isn't the best. The element of suspense and curiosity is definitely there. But if you have never read Gail Giles before, I wouldn't recommend this for the first. I'd give Right Behind You, What Happened to Cass McBride?, or Shattering Glass a try before attempting this one.

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