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White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
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White Crow (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Marcus Sedgwick

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2061756,890 (3.42)18
Member:gaskella
Title:White Crow
Authors:Marcus Sedgwick
Info:Orion Childrens (2010), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:Fiction, TBR, Hdbk, YA

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White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick (2010)

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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A couple of really scary scenes, but overall not quite as scary as I expected. Still, a quick, fun and spooky read. A Cybils 2011 nominee. ( )
  SheilaRuth | Aug 23, 2013 |
Creepy and well-written, but not something I exactly enjoyed. [Nov. 2011] ( )
  maureene87 | Apr 4, 2013 |
When you pick up a new Marcus Sedgwick book you never know what to expect from the author as he has become a master of surprises and loves to keep his readers guessing as to what twist or turn his story will take next. And yet again he took this reader completely by surprise - this book was totally different from what I had expected, and all the better for it.

The story is told from three different points of view. There is Rebecca, daughter of a policeman who has taken the pair of them off to a small seaside town for the summer; we are not initially informed what he is trying to escape from, but this is revealed as the story progresses. Next there is Ferelith, a seemingly friendless, and certainly eccentric local girl who appears to be very keen to befriend Rebecca, a notion that the new girl in town initially resists. The third voice is one from the past, written as the journal of the local rector back in the 17th Century. For me the story as told by the two girls flowed well, with tantalising snippets of information being revealed as the story progressed. However, even though it sometimes interrupted the flow of the modern day story, the Rector's journal is the device that really got my mind whirring, and made me start trying to fill in pieces of the main story, often with an intense feeling of creeping dread.

This is one hell of a creepy story, but not the kind that will necessarily appeal to fans of the more gory aspects of horror. Although there are some bloody moments, the real scares in this book are purely psychological, so if you like your horror to really play on the primal fears that lay buried deep in your mind then this book is most definitely for you. And the character of Ferelith is one of the principle causes for this. Right from the first time we meet her we know there is something not quite right about her; her mind obviously does not work in quite the same way as your average teenage girl's, but these differences, that initially seem like eccentricities, soon had me knowing that she is not the kind of person I would like to turn my back on. This strangeness in her personality adds a wonderful amount of suspense to the story, as we constantly wonder whether Rebecca is actually safe in her company. In addition to this her character also ensures that element of unpredictability that I so love in Marcus Sedgwick's storytelling.

To say much more would be to give too much away about this story. It is a dark gothic mystery, with an intelligence that will really make you think. It requires reading in as few sittings as possible, but maybe not when you are alone on a dark cold night; if you do then you may not get much sleep that night - elements of this story played on my mind and entered my dreams for some days after I finished it, and even now, some time later, writing this review has brought back some slightly uncomfortable memories of the truly chilling ending to the story: Ferelith is a character that could haunt me for some time to come. ( )
  book_zone | Apr 1, 2013 |
You would say that all of the crows in the world are black, right? You wouldn't have to see all the crows in the world to know this -- you just know that all the crows you've ever seen have always been black. But what if I showed you a white crow?

This was one of the most unexpected books I've ever read. Everything from the characters, the setting, and the story line threw me for a loop. It was beautifully rendered, haunting, and at times, frightening. I highly recommend this to readers of horror as well as contemporary who are looking for something a bit more.

The town of Winterfold, the setting, is a character itself. With its old churches, close-knit citizens, and the roiling waves on the coast, it is beautiful and mysterious. But that beauty is slowly being eaten alive by the ocean. Every time there is a storm another piece of the town is taken into the sea, leaving graves upturned and open to the sun, churches dismantled, toe-paths suddenly ending on a cliff side. The idea of a town being torn apart by the ocean, yet its inhabitants still living there, was fascinating to me. I longed to actually see it with my own eyes.

In Winterfold is an old hall, almost like a castle. It's long been swallowed up by the nature around it, but our two main characters, Ferelith and Rebecca find their way there, into it's old musty turrets and creepy Candle Room. Together, after a long, tortuous prank played by Ferelith, the two girls unlock Winterfold Hall's dark secrets.

There were times I had to actually put the book down, it was so scary. Between the girls exploring Winterfold's underbelly, and dark experiments held by Dr Beaurieux and the 18th century Rector, I could feel the anticipation building, bitter in the back of my throat. Something terrible was coming, I just didn't know what or when. And when it hit (and I found out that this doctor actually existed) I was fascinated and intrigued and I could NOT put the book down.

The three characters caught in the middle of this story were wonderfully fleshed out. I felt so bad for Rebecca and her father. His past mistakes, and her broken romance, really spoke to me, and I really did want them to heal their relationship. The old Rector from the 1700s was amazing. Watching a man of the cloth battle his demons is always an interesting story, and the unique perspective of his diary entries gave us an insight I'm not sure I've experienced before. But if the rector and Rebecca were interesting, Ferelith takes the cake. Her past was shrouded in so much mystery that even though her passages were told in first person I couldn't tell if she was being truthful or not. And the way she was described by the other characters had me wondering if she was human, or something more.

The ending of WHITE CROW was utterly perfect. I couldn't have asked for more. There was a delicious twist, but I won't tell! Just know that WHITE CROW explores the idea of an after-life, and the story is actually resolved by the end of the book.

As I said earlier, I would definitely recommend this book. WHITE CROW was unexpectedly scary, and surprisingly moving. Just make sure to read with the lights on! ( )
  PrettyDeadly | Mar 31, 2013 |
Wanted to love it and just ... don't. Wandering off from it now.
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
As with Sedgwick's previous novels, his interest in ideas and subject matter, coupled with his skills as a wordsmith, have produced something above the ordinary, but White Crow is not without its flaws. The three competing narrative voices do sometimes fragment the action, but this is intelligent writing dealing with everything from corrupting obsession to friendship, in a modern gothic mystery where ideas and images linger long after the final word has been read, and take flight.
 
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Book description
It's summer. Rebecca is an unwilling visitor to Winterfold - taken from the buzz of London and her friends and what she thinks is the start of a promising romance. Ferelith already lives in Winterfold - it's a place that doesn't like to let you go, and she knows it inside out - the beach, the crumbling cliff paths, the village streets, the woods, the deserted churches and ruined graveyards, year by year being swallowed by the sea. Against her better judgement, Rebecca and Ferelith become friends, and during that long, hot, claustrophobic summer they discover more about each other and about Winterfold than either of them really want to, uncovering frightening secrets that would be best left long forgotten. Interwoven with Rebecca and Ferelith's stories is that of the seventeenth century Rector and Dr Barrieux, master of Winterfold Hall, whose bizarre and bloody experiments into the after-life might make angels weep, and the devil crow.
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Sixteen-year-old Rebecca moves with her father from London to a small, seaside village, where she befriends another motherless girl and they spend the summer together exploring the village's sinister history.

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