Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book Review: White Space by Ilsa J. Bick

White Space: Book One of The Dark Passages
By Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Published: Feb. 11, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it's as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she's real.

Then she writes "White Space," a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, "White Space" turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she's never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she's dropped into the very story she thought she'd written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and 

strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they--and Emma--may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they've been brought to this place--a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written--before someone pens their end.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Let me start off by saying that I found this book a difficult one to review and rate. Reading it wasn’t so much a problem, it was in being able to put my opinion into words.

There will be people who absolutely love this book. If you are the kind of horror-junkie that likes gore and monsters and things from nightmares, this may be the kind of book that is right up your alley. However, if you like a book with some character development and a little bit of plausible reality with your horror novels, you may be more guarded in your accolades.

This novel jumps from character to character in different places and different times where different terrible things are happening to them. They are all eventually tied together by the main character Emma Lindsay who turns out to be a character from an unfinished novel. Someone is using her to pull the other characters out of their stories for some purpose.

I found this book to be rather long and didn’t really have an ending. I know it’s the first book in a series, but I don’t mean the ending was a cliff-hanger, I mean it just didn’t end. It just stopped, kind of like the way several of the other chapters ended, where you turned the page and kept going. Only this time you turned the page and it was blank.

White Space was definitely full of action and fast-paced. It certainly was not boring. I have to admit however, that I had trouble keeping up with the logic of the Nows and the whole purpose of this convoluted story.

I gave White Space 2 stars out of a possible 5. In my books that doesn’t make it a bad book, it’s an okay book –that’s just my opinion. As I said earlier, there will be people who think this is a fantastic book. I don’t read a lot of books in the horror genre, and this book is, in my opinion, even on the outer fringes of horror.

Thank you to the publishers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

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 (fill in the blank)." 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), a wannabe surgeon, a former Air Force major--and an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories, e-books and novels. Believe me, no one is more shocked about this than I . . . unless you talk to my mother.

Author Links
Goodreads  *  Website  *  Amazon


  1. Your honesty will help the author grow in her craft. Although I'm a bit afraid, If I may, I will ask you to review one of my novels as well. I'll post the link below so you can take a look at it. However, if you decide to review it, I will PDF a copy to you via email. Thank you, NJ.


    1. Thank you for your comment. I will take a look at your novel.