Summary and book reviews of In Darkness by Nick Lake

In Darkness

by Nick Lake

In Darkness
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2014, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Raw, harrowing, and peopled with vibrant characters, In Darkness is an extraordinary book about the cruelties of man and nature, and the valiant, ongoing struggle for a country's very survival.

"Shorty" is a Haitian boy trapped in the ruins of a hospital when the earth explodes around him. Surrounded by lifeless bodies and growing desperately weak from lack of food and water, death seems imminent. Yet as Shorty waits in darkness for a rescue that may never come, he becomes aware of another presence, one reaching out to him across two hundred years of history. It is the presence of slave and revolutionary leader Toussaint L'Ouverture, whose life was marred by violence, and whose own end came in darkness. What unites a child of the slums with the man who would shake a troubled country out of slavery? Is it the darkness they share... or is it hope?

Raw, harrowing, and peopled with vibrant characters, In Darkness is an extraordinary book about the cruelties of man and nature, and the valiant, ongoing struggle for a country's very survival.

Ages 14+

1
NOW

I am the voice in the dark, calling out for your help.

I am the quiet voice that you hope will not turn to silence, the voice you want to keep hearing cos it means someone is still alive. I am the voice calling for you to come and dig me out. I am the voice in the dark, asking you to unbury me, to bring me from the grave out into the light, like a zombi.

I am a killer and I have been killed, too, over and over; I am constantly being born. I have lost more things than I have found; I have destroyed more things than I have built. I have seen babies abandoned in the trash and I have seen the dead come back to life.

I first shot a man when I was twelve years old.

I have no name. There are no names in the darkness cos there is no one else, only me, and I already know who I am (I am the voice in the dark, calling out for your help), and I have no questions for myself and no need to call upon myself for anything, except to remember.

I am alone.

I am dying.

...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

In Darkness is a powerful, violent story. It is suitable for both teens and adults who can handle brutal, descriptive detail. It is absolutely worth reading and will leave the reader wanting to know more about Haiti's incredible history.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

Full Review Members Only (642 words).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. A dark journey well worth taking - engrossing, disturbing, illuminating.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The portrait it reveals of a country relegated throughout history to brutality and neglect is powerful and moving.

The Wall Street Journal

Remarkable... Lake's elegant, restrained prose and distinct characters will reward adults and older teenagers able to brave a story with strong language, harrowing scenes of brutality and an almost painful stab of joy at the end.

The Bookbag (UK)

Readers, old and young alike, will come away from In Darkness with a meaningful understanding of what it is to be Haitian. And what it is like to have the world fall down on you. Highly, highly, and thrice highly recommended. Don't miss it.

Author Blurb Patrick Ness, author of A Monster Calls
In Darkness is a serious, nuanced, challenging novel. Trust me, there are plenty of young readers who hunger for exactly that.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Toussaint l'Ouverture

François-Dominique Toussaint l'Ouverture was born circa 1743 in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (which would later become Haiti) to an educated slave named Gaou-Guinou, who was probably a member of the African Arrada tribe. According to biographer D. Augustus Straker (1908), "So remarkable were [l'Ouverture's] traits of character that the superintendent on the plantation where Toussaint worked as a slave granted him, it is said, unusual privileges, among these the opportunity to learn to read and write, which he did, making also fair progress in arithmetic."

He was a dedicated Roman Catholic, which was the official religion of Haiti, and purportedly did not believe in vodou, a popular Creole religion. Clever, hard-working, and ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked In Darkness, try these:

  • The Emperor of Any Place jacket

    The Emperor of Any Place

    by Tim Wynne-Jones

    Published 2015

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    The ghosts of war reverberate across the generations in a riveting, time-shifting story within a story from acclaimed thriller writer Tim Wynne-Jones.

  • Thanks for the Trouble jacket

    Thanks for the Trouble

    by Tommy Wallach

    Published 2016

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Tommy Wallach, the New York Times bestselling author of the "stunning debut" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) We All Looked Up, delivers a brilliant new novel about a young man who overcomes a crippling loss and finds the courage to live after meeting an enigmatic girl.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

There is no worse robber than a bad book.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.