Most of my reading is done on buses, in people’s receptions and on my bed. In that particular order, so apart from on my bed most of the places I read involve a couple of stares from people, and I’m okay with that. I know you are probably wondering what this has to do with the fascinating piece of literature that is Dark is A Colour. Well, here’s the thing. This book is young adult fiction. Written for young adults, large print words simple language and everything. SO you can imagine the looks I got on the bus when me, a grown man, sat down and unleashed a kiddish book, only to get completely engrossed in it. Smiling when I needed to and frowning when things got thick. That, however, is just how good this book is. Sure it is about stuff that could never ever happen, at least not in our lifetime, and sure the basic storyline is very cliché but I have to say this is an amazing book. One of the only books that I happen to have read severally (four times to be exact).
Anyway away from all the poppycock let’s talk about the book. Dark is a colour is a book set on Clytie. Now, for all of you who know a bit of greek mythology you must know that Clytie was a character in one of their stories who was turned in to a sunflower to face the sun, who she had fallen in love with. However, as Mr. Kipling says, that is another story – which you can find here if you are that interested. So, back to the book Clytie is a planet whose time to a single rotation on its axis matches exactly the amount of time it takes to go round its sun. Result: One side of it is in complete darkness and the other constantly faces the sun, hence eternal day. Other than that though it seems pretty habitable for humans although the air s a bit thin and other things but they have all these gadgets that keep their indoors okay, and if they need to they can go outside for a bit but not strain themselves too much lest they get themselves stuck with a respiratory attack.
The story, as many are I have come to notice, is told through the eyes of Caro (without the l I’m so serious) who is a child. Only at the tender age of 13 she has been on Clytie for a couple of months with her family. The story tells us of a journey all the way to the quarter light region and the battle with the deceiving animal Lumini Lupus and, more importantly, a journey of self discovery and reconciliation. Of course you have heard of this self discovery and reconciliation plot before (hence the cliché thing in the beginning) but you know how life is. Everyone wants the exact same thing, only different. I’d be damned if I don’t say that that is the exact thing Fay S Lapka does in her book. She gives us the exact same thing that you would expect from a fiction writer, something completely out of this world (quite literally actually), something witty and confusing. Only this time, it’s different.
Fay’s words, I must add, draw pictures. She describes creatures and things that you have never seen in such a way that your mind’s eye can see them. In fact so much so that you can almost touch them, she describes sounds so vividly that you can almost hear them. My problem with this book is that on two occasions it had me so engrossed that I let the bus drive right past my stage. I mean how can you not be engrossed when you are reading a passage like this:
The eternal night was very still. The others did not move, and there were no night sounds of nocturnal creatures. No scampering of large-eyed mice, and no whispering wings of silent, swooping owls – only the occasional subdued crackle or sighing of fire, and he wind’s strange song. It was hauntingly beautiful: a wild, clear call for someone who would never answer. It played on. I listened to the beckoning tone and sleepily tried to guess at the note it so persistently played. G, I thought, or maybe A. Oh, but possibly it was a flat or a sharp – yep, I snickered to myself in half-asleep humor, it must be one of the black notes.
Then of course there is just the absolute cuteness of young impressionable kids trying to think like adults. They struggle to get their heads round concepts and make huge decisions – most of the time right ones- and then suddenly they are kids again crying laughing and just being children. I must also point out that in this book, the adults are terribly wrong. Fascinating how the children are the ones who correct some of the smartest scientists of that age. All in all a fascinating, gripping and just generally all good book, makes for amazing light reading. Just don’t read it on the bus.
P.S Fay must be American. I write colour, she writes color.
About The Author
From the time she could print, Fay Lapka loved to spin stories of everyday life and fantasy. As a child on her parents’ farm, she raised calves, ponies, chickens ducks and numerous other species. Much like the characters in the book.
Dark is a colour was written during her studies for Masters of Christian Studies at regent college in Vancouver.
One more thing, Fay Lapka is a pseudonym.
Dark Is A Color is available on Amazon