Draw the Dark
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Draw the Dark

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  632 ratings  ·  155 reviews
There are things in Winter, Wisconsin, folks just don't talk about. The murder way back in '45 is one. The near-suicide of a first-grade teacher is another. And then there is 17-year old Christian Cage. Christian's parents disappeared when he was a little boy, and ever since he's drawn and painted obsessively, trying desperately to remember his mother. The problem is Chris...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Carolrhoda Books (first published August 1st 2010)
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karen
this is one of those three-star situations where i am giving it three stars for me, karen, and not for the larger world. i liked her writing a lot, and i liked the premise, but i have been around the literary block a few too many times for this story to own me. i am certain its audience; those far younger and less handled by literature, would like it more.

it would have made a fantastic amazing stories episode. (you see how old i am??)

without giving too much away, i think that some of the element...more
Donna
Reading this book was kind of like riding the TGV train in Europe. It starts off kind of slow, just chugging along, until it gets it footing in wide open fields and starts barreling at its full potential: ramming down the countryside at 200 miles per hour and you're sitting there wobbling with the carriage enjoying the ride but somewhere deep in the back of your mind you're hoping the brakes are good.

This was such an amazing book. The more I read, the more I wanted to devour. I didn't want my lu...more
Dani Harper
To say that I loved this book would be an understatement. To explain why I loved it so much is difficult, perhaps because I don't quite know myself. All I do know for certain is that I couldn't put it down, I cared about the characters, I didn't see the twists and turns coming, and the end was amazing. I could not ask any more of any story. Because I'm an author myself, perhaps the best compliment I can give is to say that I wish I had been the one to write it. Draw the Dark will have a place of...more
FasterKillFastPussycat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chibineko
Sometimes first impressions can be misleading. When I first took a look at this book, I have to admit that I passed it over in favor of other flashier titles that were out there in the YA categories on NetGalley. I kept coming back to it though- the idea of the book just sounded interesting. I have to keep reminding myself that sometimes some of the best books can be the most unassuming.

Christian would like to tell you that he's just your average teenager, but that'd be far from the truth. From...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Review for this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book is below the PSA. The PSA does not reflect this book or the author (who is lovely)

 photo Goodreads_zpsfd34dfc1.jpg

Draw the Dark is gritty, original and unnerving. I'm going to be honest with you. It's been a couple of months since I've listened to the audiobook. I hate myself for procrastinating this review. However I really liked this book and want other people to read it so I'm reviewing it anyways.

Christian Cage is a bit of an outcast. After both his parents disappear, he turns to a...more
Anna
Mar 06, 2012 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror, ya
Christian is a great protagonist, someone who can keep a reader's sympathy while he flails around out of his depth. He's trying to prove himself like any normal teen, he has a hard time fitting in, but if he could just learn how to use his abilities, he could be the most powerful of any of them. He's a genius who hasn't come into his own, but somehow his genius makes him more relatable. Maybe it's because he's very aware of how "weird" he appears to everyone else, or maybe I just have a fondness...more
Kate
Pretty much from the moment I first saw this cover I wanted to read this book... and lucky me got the chance via Netgalley (it doesn't come out until October). Somehow the red barn looked really creepy.

Ever since his mom disappeared into the sideways place, Christian has been drawing on his walls, drawing things OUT. People in the small town of Winter, Wisconsin are leery of him since that incident with his first grade teacher... and his Aunt Jean... and now he's being blamed for painting a cryp...more
Laura Lulu
A dark & creepy story about a 17 yr old boy with strange "powers", along with a great murder-mystery from 1945. I don't think this is YA--except for the protag being a 17 yr old boy, the story reads like a suspense novel, with some added creepy paranormal goodies. So if you're not a fan of YA, don't let that deter you from this story--it was a good one, with barely any teen angst.

I might have given it 5 stars, but for the 1st & last chapters. They were about his missing parents & a "...more
Bry
I was just so slow. I do not remember the last book that I read this slowly. I kept saying another 20 pages and it has to pick up but it didn't. I got about 100 pages in and decided since it was due back at the library I was done. I an just not going to pay late charges on a book I am having to force myself to read.

Who knows maybe for other people this book held their attention. But it just wasn't my cup of tea.
Anna
I really wanted to like this one, I really, really did. I am, after all, a northwoods girl, & I been to many a b-ball game in Winter, WI. And, somehwere, buried deep, there appears to lurk a great story...
I just couldn't find it -- the book cries for a tighter editing job.
Scott Freeman
Far and away the best YA book I have read this year.
Bookworm1858
Draw the Dark by Ilsa J. Bick
Carolrhoda Lab, 2010
337 pages
YA; Fantasy
4.5/5 stars

Source: Received a free e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

At first I found this book really hard to get into. Christian lives with his uncle in Winter, Wisconsin as both of his parents have disappeared into a sideways world and he feels that it is his responsibility to figure out how to join them. This is derailed when he wakes up, having defaced a prominent wealthy businessman's barn while sleepwa...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick and Dirty: The mysteries that surround Winter, Wisconsin and Christian Cage make this an interesting and surprising read.

Opening Sentence: So. Everything I need to leave is here: My brushes. Paint. The wall.

The Review:

Christian Cage wakes up one morning after an intense dream about a kid pleading with his father with red paint covered hands, but no notion of how it got there. After being accused of vandalizing a barn with Nazi imagery despite not remembe...more
Ian
I wanted to like this book a lot more, but I had two major gripes with it. But let's start with the good: the story is both an accurate portrayal of the growing pains of an outcast boy, someone who doesn't 'fit' with the mold and actually has odd seizure-like episodes, and an interesting murder mystery from the past, 1946 to be precise, dealing with the relatively unknown history of the US using German POWs as cheap labour during and after WW2.

That said, I still don't know what to make of the p...more
E. Anderson
Christian Cage lives with his uncle, the town sheriff, since his parents disappeared when he was young. He's an outsider, picked on at school for being the weird kid. He's socially awkward and his only release is his art. He's an amazing artist, but he has a secret -- he believes his art is responsible for some of the bad things that have happened to him and his family.

Lately Christian has been having vivid dreams, so vivid that they almost seem like visions. When he sleepwalks himself out to th...more
Nix
The cover of this book was a little . . . I don't know, it evoked scary things that were behind the door, and I thought Christian would be going into the door very quickly and start getting owned by monsters, just barely escaping with his life each time.

Wrong. And I'm glad to be wrong. This book was way better than that.

It had a sort-of time travel mechanism, which I loved (a little bit like King of Shadows, which I also loved) and the mystery that threaded itself between the past and the pres...more
Alisha
Draw the Dark is a fantasy young adult novel unlike anything I've ever read. No, seriously, the idea behind it was just so unique that I really couldn't help but want to get back to this book immediately. Does it really get any better than a guy (our hero) who can draw your death? Okay, so realistically I'm sure it must suck for the drawee and it definitely must suck to be the drawer since he has no idea what's going on with this power most of the time, but for us as readers, it's really pretty...more
Jason (RawBlurb)
Shelved as a Young adult novel, I feel it is incorrectly categorized, instead it should just be standard dark fantasy. The only aspects of this that make it YA is the 17 year old protagonist and the heavy handed coming-of-age vein, other wise it is “King/Koontz-lite”.

Winter, Wisconsin. Murder. Nazis. Dead Bodies. Ghostly visions. Fatal fires. A boy who can draw people’s nightmares. All of these topics are discussed on the cover liner notes. What is not discussed is how well put together it is. I...more
La Coccinelle
When I first read about this book, I thought it sounded pretty interesting. And it was. It was pretty different from anything I'd read before, not least because the narrator is a 17-year-old boy (an unusual choice in young adult fiction, it seems). But I quite liked Christian and his take on what was happening around him. He seemed pretty real, and I was impressed that a female author could take on the voice of an adolescent boy and have it ring true.

As for the story, it was engaging enough to k...more
Wonderbunny
Single sentence summary: Christian has drawn a mural on his bedroom wall with a door without a doorknob and Christian is scared that if he draws the doorknob he too will die like others have done when he has drawn the dark.

I don't know why, but have been sitting on this book way too long. My galley copy was for my computer and not my kindle, which makes me a little slower about reading it. I forgot about this book but saw it the other day as an audio and without remembering about the galley, I p...more
Sarai
It's taken me a while to write my thoughts on this book. I gave it four stars because by the end things had mostly been explained and wrapped up so that the book made sense to me, but I struggled through the first few chapters kind of wondering what I was reading. Are these real wolves? Werewolves? Or just people being called wolves? A child's nightmare turning a person into a wolf? Those were just my questions about one issue. I had lots of questions about other things.

I did kind of like the ma...more
Carien
Jun 14, 2013 Carien rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Draw the Dark is a beautiful and intriguing story.
The mix of history and the paranormal is done really well and I was drawn into the story from the start.

Christian starts seeing scenes from the past in his dreams and during his waking hours as well. Intrigued and confused by what he sees he starts digging into the past only to discover that there are those who'd do anything to let the past stay buried.

I was very intrigued by the glimpses into the past. Bick used historical fact to create a re...more
Mandy
Christian Cage isn't a normal seventeen year old. He knows it and the town of Winter knows it. What he can do frightens people. They don't understand him. They shun him. So he is alone, most of the time. Except for the voices...

A small town just wants to forget, but something keeps haunting Christian. Visions of blood, the smell of hay and the cries of a child. What does it mean?

Christian's parents disappeared when he was a little boy. Ever since, he's drawn obsessively: his mother's face...her...more
Carolyn
After being given the book Ashes as a gift, I became intrigued by Ilsa J Bick’s other books. I have already read Drowning Instinct and The Sin Eater’s Confession so I was aware that the main character wasn’t going to be your normal everyday teenager but Christian really is as far from this as any kid could possibly be.

Although I have the physical book I listened to the audio book edition on my commute to and from work and found that although it was a bit slow to start with as the storyline progr...more
Samantha Boyette
I'll start off by admitting that I've been drooling over this author since I read Ashes last summer. Why did it take me so long to get around to reading another book by her? Fear. Total fear that Ashes was a one off and I would be disappointed by her other work, especially a book written before Ashes. Was I disappointed? Hell no!

This book almost reminded me of The Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox, but it's not quite as developed as those books. That didn't stop it from being hard to put down...more
Mti Librarian
Nice creepy book! I had a bit of trouble getting into this book, it doesn't really pick up until after page 50. The first bit of this book makes you think paranormal, but I'd relate it more to Chronicles of Narnia. Not overtly religious, which I prefer, it is all between the lines. The author, Ilsa Bick, is a child psychiatrist and you can tell. I enjoyed the background and analysing, I'm not sure if this would turn off teens. There's also so much cramed into this book, multiple intertwining plo...more
Carmen Yeung
This was the book i did my bookreview on, it was in a genre i said i really liked when i was in freshman year. I love horror, because i can think while reading and try to solve the mystery before the book tells me about it. Instead this book was filled with excitment and history. When i read the blurb, it said it was containing things from WWII. I didnt pick up much from the WWII, but it does connect with his drawings of dead people and histories that arent yet to be discovered but was dug up b...more
Rachel K
The fourth star is given only because I know where she is going with all this.
This was an interesting book with a lot of plot elements that don't quite balance. Ilsa J. Bick is a wonderful writer, and in her last two books she has proven herself a master of the sophisticated dispersal of information. She knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat, driving you crazy with what she withholds from you and keeping you on the hook with what she gives. This is difficult to do, and in Draw the Dark,...more
Neil Hepworth
The Quick Review That Focuses on the Good Because Overall I Did Like the Book

I rate this book a three. If you like historical mystery with a healthy dose of the supernatural, or if you like painting, or if you are from Wisconsin and so you’re not scared by enormous German, Polish or Jewish last names, then I think you’d like this book.

The Good
The concept of being able to draw people to death/draw their feelings/memories, etc.
The main character, Christian. He felt real.
The dialogue.
The setting,...more
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Draw the Dark 3 12 Feb 18, 2014 12:03AM  
English 11 1B/D: Draw the dark 3 6 Oct 04, 2012 05:59AM  
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143691
Among other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I'm supposed to write things like, "Ilsa J. Bick is ." Except I hate writing about myself in the third person like I'm not in the room. Helloooo, I'm right here . . . So let's just say that I'm a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right)as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe (meaning I did an internship in surgery an...more
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Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1) Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2) Drowning Instinct Monsters (Ashes Trilogy, #3) The Sin-Eater's Confession

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