This is a plea to those who recommended or enjoyed the The Dark Is Rising sequence. Right now, I’m very near to tapping out.
I’m trying. I get that these were written for a younger audience. Younger, even, than I realized when I picked them up. I wasn’t expecting an eleven year old protagonist, which admittedly threw me off a bit. It’s a little out of my comfort zone for a book I didn’t first read closer to its target age. I could probably re-read The Mouse and the Motorcycle, because I know what it felt like to read it when I was a kid. I’m finding it difficult to project into something new, though. That might be part of the problem.
But a lot of you really enjoy these books, and I’d like to know why. I’m about 40 pages from the end of the second book, The Dark is Rising. As it stands, I’m not sure if I’ll have the will to pick up Greenwitch. I don’t want to crap out. I want to see what those who recommended it are seeing, even if it turns out I don’t like them the way they do. I don’t want to just return the last three books to the library unless I’m sure I’m not going to enjoy this.
Right now, the series is feeling like a well written but dry object hunt. I’m not feeling any of the characters as people, just as relic hunters and puzzle solvers. With a few exceptions (Simon being chased in Over Sea, Under Stone and the building cold in The Dark is Rising), the stakes are almost nonexistent. It’s just a sequence of problems solved immediately by external forces. I gave Over Sea, Under Stone the same pass I did the first Narnia book (The Magician’s Nephew, a book Over Sea, Under Stone unfortunately reminded me of), but I can’t take another 3 books of slogging.
So here’s my plea: Tell me, in the comments or on Twitter, what it is you love about the The Dark Is Rising sequence. Am I missing something? Are the problems I’m feeling just part of the early series? Does this get deeper, more emotionally involving or at least more complex than a series of puzzles leading to a series of powerful objects? If this is the series and it’s just not hitting me, maybe it’s time to call it quits. But if I’ve missed something, or if there are deeper waters to be found, I’m happy to stick around. I just need, at this point, a lifeline. I need to see this through your eyes before my eyes crust over and refuse to read another word.