Cathedral Caverns

Cathedral Caverns
the locale of the book and a magickal place


Enter the fantasy world of Dividing Dark

Monday, October 11, 2010

What I Like About Book Reviews

When people read a book, each person connects to the part that speaks to them, and that really touches me. Being introverted, I find it profoundly moving when a stranger can take something away from my a way of indirectly touching a life in a good way.

For instance,Dawn of NOR had been in a cave so she related to the difficulty and to Fee's caution and fears (which are also my fears), and she understood about the darkness and also kind of the deeper spiritual aspects in this book, which I was happy to see.

Another review that stood out to me was Heather's, from Beside the Norm, which I hope you will check out below and at the link provided. Being a diabetic, she can relate to Fee's health problems, which are my health issues (not the anorexic part...just the sometimes going blind and numb part, which can happen to diabetics too if they aren't careful. My issue is undiagnosed...migraines, MS, TIAs? doctors shrug, "Yes, its MS." "Its not MS, its TIAs." "It can't be TIAs." "It might be TIAs." Oh, well.).

I was afraid to give Fee a disability, but I am so tired of reading books about the main players in the book being so beautiful, too perfect, no flaws, no weaknss. I want my readers to know that we all struggle in some way whether physical or spiritual, but its what makes us who we are and its okay.


After her father dies, Fee finds herself relocated to a nowhere Alabama town, riddled with fears and an eating disorder that make it difficult for her to feel at ease, much less at home. When Fee agrees to go spelunking with some classmates to help her fit in, she soon realizes that she is in way over her head, since caving encompasses many of her fears. To help get over those fears, Fee decides to go on a cave tour, where she meets Faron, the tour guide who doubles as a half-Reptilian emissary for humans and Reptilians. In spite of this, Fee does not fear him or his kind, and that bravery will be put to the test the more her relationship with Faron grows….

Dividing Dark by Melissa Swaim is a fast-paced YA fantasy that manages to be both unique and similar to common tropes in the genre. Fee is the new girl in town, and human at that, while the boy she falls for has a secret supernatural side from which he tries to protect her. However, the age gap between her and Faron is only by a couple years, and seeing how that’s often a couple hundred years in fantasy, I found this welcomingly refreshing. Also, Faron doesn’t simply try to protect her from the things she fears--he tries to help her overcome them, allowing her an independence and equality I quite enjoyed seeing develop. Although Fee and Faron’s relationship definitely has its angsty moments, it is sweet as a whole, and I couldn’t help but root for them the more the book progressed.

There were other elements I loved about this book as well. One notable element is Fee’s eating disorder. Not only is it an important part of her character, but something that her mother doesn’t simply ignore--nor does Faron, once he catches whiff of it. I also like how Fee having this disorder didn’t suddenly morph Dividing Dark into an “issue” book. While it is an issue, it is not the only thing that defines Fee or this story, and as a diabetic who gets easily annoyed by certain portrayals of the diseased/disabled, I was ecstatic to see such a character not be reduced to that kind of storytelling.

The mythology of Dividing Dark was another element I enjoyed. Melissa Swaim touches on many types of lore, be it vampires or aliens, and combines them into her own distinct creation. This use of mythology not only makes her book stand out amongst many in the genre, but gives the fantastical aspects a more realistic feel, since much of it is given an underlying heritage in the world of Dividing Dark.

Visit this awesome site for the rest of the review and to read my interview...the only one I will do as I am social phobic.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you weren't afraid to give Fee a disability. More authors need to take chances like that with their characters!

    And aw, my blog is the only one you'll be doing an interview for? Thanks for conquering your social phobia to do it! :D