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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: Dark Song by Gail Giles


Title: Dark Song
Author: Gail Giles
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Pub. Date: 9.7.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Manipulation, Family, Relationships, Lies, Secrets
Pages: 304
Description (from GoodReads):
Mark said he heard the dark song when he creeped houses. The song the predator's heart sings when it hears the heart of the prey. I heard it now. Mark said it had always been in me. Lurking. Waiting for me to hear.

Ames is not the person she was a few months ago. Her father lost his job, and her family is crumbling apart. Now, all she has is Marc. Marc, who loves her more than anything. Marc, who owns a gun collection. And he'll stop at nothing--even using his guns--to get what he wants. Ames feels her parents have betrayed her with their lies and self-absorption, but is she prepared to make the ultimate betrayal against them?

Gail Giles' DARK SONG is not a horror novel, but it is one of the scariest novels I've ever read. It wasn't ghosts or ghouls that kept my eyes from closing, it was the idea of a girl being so easily manipulated by such a creepy, sinister man.

I had a difficult time with the main character. Ames' is in turmoil... her parents, who she blindly trusted, have been keeping some huge secrets and she lashes out in response. I understand this to a point, but I felt like she just took it too far. As far as I could tell, her biggest loss was her lifestyle, which would be a shock, but not impossible to adapt to. I expected more from her, not only because she's a young adult, but because she's an older sister. She felt deeply betrayed, I get that,  but, in my mind, it doesn't excuse her reckless, immature behavior, especially when it put her sister at risk.

I think it's natural - and important - that I didn't like Ames, but it worries me that I still lacked any positive regard for her by the end of the novel. Perhaps this was due, in part, to my unwillingness to believe that a girl could be so easily played. The realist within knows that this scenario has happened in real life, but it's a terrifying thought. Ames is, in part, a victim, but I cannot bring myself to sympathize.

Marc's character was remarkably well written. His manipulation of Ames is clear to the reader, but Ames is completely oblivious. It was horrifying to watch the story unfold... to see just how close Ames comes to giving into his twisted idea of right and wrong. I wanted to believe she'd break free of his control, but I wasn't sure she would have the strength. 

It was Marc, and his ability to make my skin crawl, that made DARK SONG memorable. It isn't something I'd reread - I'm not sure I can actually bring myself to witness the story again - but I don't regret reading it and I'd be willing to read more by Giles in the future.

Review Copy provided by publisher.

53 comments:

  1. Ooh. It's too bad about the MC. But I'm definitely curious about Marc's character. Great review!

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  2. I just finished this book! I agree that Marc was the best (and by best I mean very creepy) part of the book.

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  3. This sounds like a good book. This was a really good review. :)

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  4. Wow! You definitely got me interested in this book. I hadn't read a review of it before, but it definitely sounds like something I would enjoy.

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  5. Both the book and author new to me so thanks for this review.

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  6. OMG! This sounds great! Thanks for the review - I will definitely be entering your giveaway! Thanks!

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  7. This was a good, honest review. I hate it when I can't find anything to like about the main character though. Hopefully, there were a few redeeming factors.

    i'll be entering the giveaway!

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  8. Ooohhh! This sounds like my kind of book. I like the premise and I can care less about the main character. I just like reading about what's involved. Thanks for the review.

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  9. Thanks for your review :) I wasn't sure about reading it, but I entered your giveaway anyway... so hopefully when I get the chance to read it I'll like it :)

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  10. I've seen the book cover, but had no idea what this book was about! You definitely got my attention with that review, especially the scary bit, I want to read it!

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  11. Thanks for the review. I've been wanting to get this book for some time so its good to know I have a chance of winning it. :)

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  12. Wow, that review just made my skin crawl as well. I don't mind reading "dark" novels once in a while, and I'm very interested in this book. Now I'm more curious to form my own opinion about it because of your review. I have a feeling I'm not gonna like the female lead though, but we'll see... ^^

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  13. Hmm interesting review. I like a scary 'dark' book from time to time...

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  14. Wow. You made it sound really interesting! I have a feeling I'd have mixed feeling for this book, though. But I'd still like to have a chance to read it :)

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  15. +JMJ+

    I almost don't want to read this because of the weak main character . . . but then again, it sounds as if it has a really worthy villain--and that's always a good thing! ;-)

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  16. this sorta reminds me of Prophecy of the sisters book

    scary and nice.

    :D

    simple and neat review btw.

    regards,

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  17. From your review it certainly sounds like a book to ignore!

    The only part that sounds interesting is the story of how Marc manipulates the heroine.

    I don't think it is my type of book but if I can get the ARC for free, I can satisfy my curiosity as to whether the book is really as bad as you say.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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  18. I'm dying for read this book!
    I don´t know if I'll like the character of Ames, from what you say about it. But if Marc is a character well-developed, I have to give a chance. Thanks for the honest review.

    ~Yelania

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  19. Wonderful review! I'm really interested in reading about the manipulation of the heroine. Seems like such a powerful read to me.

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  20. This sounds like such a disturbing story but apparently it's also a good one. I'd love to read it. The cover is gorgeous!

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  21. Sounds like a great Halloween read. I've had this one one my To Read list ever since I saw the cover. I love it!

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  22. This sounds really scary...and it has been a long time since I read something like that...*adds Dark Song to her wishlist*

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  23. forgot:
    for the contest, this is me
    jen7waters
    jen7waters(at)gmail(dot)com

    (don't want to waist the opportunity of 5 extra entries :'D)

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  24. I love Gail Giles books! I've read most all of them, and am always impressed. I need to wishlist this one!

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  25. Sounds good!! Can't wait to read it.

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  26. After reading Elizabeth Scott's A Living Dead Girl, I can handle those more disturbing stories better. Whether that's a good thing...

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  27. Wow... your review got me having goosebumps all over my arms... I'd always love a strong character, but from what I gathered from your review, it seems that Ames is the exact opposite of strong.

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  28. I like the sound of a scary novel since halloween is coming up, the cover is also very pretty ( in the creepily beautful way) Great review!

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  29. I never thought this was a scary novel...now you got interested in this book. Great review.

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  30. Sounds creepy! Thanks for the review.

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  31. I think the scariest books are about real life things that happen. This sounds like a I would have to sleep with my lights on. (give me vamps, weres, fae anytime!)

    kjovus
    kjovus.blogspot.com
    kjovus(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. I should love to read a scary novel that is not a horror book!

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  33. This definitely sounds interesting. It's not your average YA novel. I've never read anything from this author before but I'd love to read this :)

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  34. Thanks for the review. This books sounds quite intriging. The cover is a little creepy. I may have to sleep with my light on but might have to try and read it to see if I like it

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  35. This sounds very creepy with two well written characters.
    I can understand your reaction to Ames. I find it hard to feel sympathetic towards weak, easily-manipulated female characters.

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  36. Your review captured my attention. I'll have to check this book out.

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  37. Thanks for the review! I think I'll like this book. Dark and twisted. Just my type <3

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  38. Wow thanks for this review it sounds really great ! I've heard nothing about this book but I want to read it now :). And I like the cover :p !

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  39. Wow thanks for this review it sounds really great ! I've heard nothing about this book but I want to read it now :). And I like the cover :p !

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  40. I'm actually intrigued by this story now...it sounds like it would be a refreshing and very different read for me.
    I absolutely adore creepy books and I have to point out the cover; it's amazing.

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  41. Im intrigued about this book, I have never read this kind of books..looks interesting

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  42. I've been really interested in this book ever since I saw the cover. I think it's beautiful! Great review!!

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  43. Lol, your review has creeped me out already and I haven't even read the book yet!

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  44. This book definitely got my attention and I'm willing to give Ames a chance :) Thank you for being honest!

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  45. Sounds scary, creepy... but so interesting!

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  46. Its amazing when a story can bring such strong feelings, even when the feelings are unpleasant

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  47. Wow, this book sounds fascinating! I don't know if I'd be able to believe someone is so easily manipulated also. But it's strange how one's emotions can work. Thanks for the review!

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  48. Looking forward to picking this up. Thanks for sharing!

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  49. Either Marc is a good pretender or Ames is too naive :)

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  50. I was the only one who got scared of the book just reading the review? D:
    But I still want to read it XD

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  51. Even if it sounds very scary to me, I'd like to read it. :)

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  52. Really interested in this book now! Hope it will be released in France someday :)

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