Friday, May 11, 2012

The White Oak by Kim White

Cora Alexander thought that all her problems were over: her abusive father was finally gone and she and her twin brother, Lucas, were finally left to peace. What she didn’t know was that her father was bringing her down with him, as well as Lucas. They knew that the ground underneath the White Oak, the locations of her father’s burial, was riddled with caves, which Cora and Lucas had explored all throughout their childhood. When the ground collapsed, her entire family was sent spiraling to the Underworld. Cora is the only one left alive in a world full of dead, including her brother. Desperate to escape and find a way to bring final peace to her brother, Cora struggles through the many trials (literally) that she must face, with the help of the advanced computer program, Minotaur.
Overall, this story was quite captivating. It held my attention and kept me fairly interested throughout the whole thing. There was an air of mystery throughout this book and I became slightly frustrated with it because I wanted to know what the truth was, which I suppose is a good thing. Another thing that frustrated me was the abrupt ending. It was supposed to end “in the middle of the action,” but she did not execute that exactly right. It felt as if she ran out of things to say, so she just decided to end it there. The abrupt ending was not as bad as some others that I have read, but make sure you have the second book handy so that the story can continue. Another negative thing about this book is that we never get to meet the love interest (well, who I think will be the love interest. I’m not sure.).
Other than those few points, there was nothing else wrong with this book. The strong point of this book, in my opinion, is the world building and her descriptions, as well as ideas, of her world. The Underworld is awesomely described and I could really picture the setting in my head. The picture I received was awesome: A giant, glinting, silver metal ball the size of a planet rotating on a river of black tar. In addition to this, the inside of the ball was spectacular. It is not something that I can describe to you, so you will have to read the book.
I also thought that the characters were really interesting. White describes characters really well and has new ideas for them that I have never really heard before.  In particular, the computer program, Minotaur. Minotaur could change his shape to become anything he wanted and he had access to all of the information recorded on an electronic device. I found his character really interesting, even though he didn’t have feelings (or did he? It’s a mystery!). Cora, the main character, was tough and not whiny, so I liked her for that. Her brother, Lucas, was really cool, too. He was really smart and created elaborate videogames. He also knew several types of martial arts, which was awesome, but sometimes it seemed as though he was in love with her instead of loving her like a sister. These moments were few and far between, though, so it didn’t really bother me.
Overall, I would say to read this book! It is entertaining and captivating, so it makes for a good, but rather quick, read.

3 1/2 Smileys! It was interesting and quick-paced with awesome world-building!

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