Book review: “Darkhenge” by Catherine Fisher

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by Catherine Fisher

You’re not supposed to feel sorry for Rob Drew. His family is well-off. He has an incredible artistic talent and a bright future to go with it. He has good looks that turn girls’ heads, a solid friendship, loads of positive attention from adults. But he can’t be happy, because his family can’t be happy. They are, in fact, being torn apart by the coma his kid sister Chloe has been in since a horse threw her three months ago. And since Rob read a page out of Chloe’s diary, he also knows how bitterly she resented being in his shadow, how violently she hated him for being so perfect and for constantly, casually, unknowingly slighting her.

Then a weird adventure begins to pull Rob in. It starts with a disturbing vision on the road where his sister fell. Then Rob witnesses the arrival of a being out of Celtic legend, an all-knowing man who calls himself Vetch. And finally, Rob gets a job sketching finds at an archaeological dig where really odd things start happening. Before long, Rob has climbed down a tree buried upside-down inside a mystic circle, down into a world where his sister reigns as queen.

Here is his chance to bring his family back together again. But only if Chloe allows herself to be rescued. And when she wants nothing more than to get out of Rob’s shadow, it is amazing what lengths she can go to in her race to the throne of the Unworld.

Occult content advisory: It is hard to reconcile the spiritual world of Rob’s adventure with Christianity, as the family priest in the story points out with deep concern. Some readers may question whether the priest’s subsequent behavior is becoming of a Christian minister. So once again, a heads-up to Christian parents who monitor what their kids read: approach this book with sensitivity, and be ready for a frank discussion with your kids.