Books by David Whitley

Released: Jan. 18, 2011

Appearances can deceive, and light hides in darkness just as darkness hides in light. When Mark and Lily discover the seemingly perfect bucolic world outside the great city of Agora, they bring disharmony—and in Giseth, disharmony leads to destruction. (As evidence of this, The Speaker, who dictates village decisions, is physically torn to pieces in a violent emotional eruption.) From there they learn to ride the Nightmare, the monstrous emotions harmony holds at bay, and walk in memory, which leads them to the Cathedral of the Lost and readers' realization that their strange world is the future of a world not unlike ours. Poetic writing, a genuine friendship, taut plotting (although slightly episodic): This is a worthy follow-up to the first volume, but it's much darker and more complex. Indeed, this moves from sophisticated middle-grade fare to science fantasy that wouldn't be out of place in the adult genre section, aside from the 14-year-old protagonists, whose innocence and ignorance may be what will bring down their corrupt and broken world in the third volume. (Dystopic fantasy. 13 & up)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Newcomer Whitley crafts a dystopic novel that reads like fantasy rather than science fiction, refreshing in its classic approach. The completely self-contained city of Agora (the inhabitants believe nothing exists beyond the walls) runs on commerce. For every item or service there is an exchange; even death becomes a "life-theft" in this world. Founded on the zodiac and about to hit its 144th year, Agora stands poised for success or doom according to the secret Midnight Charter. In the midst of plots and counterplots stand two teens, who may have been foretold by the Charter and whose opposing experiences take center stage chapter by chapter: fierce, wonderful Lily, who believes in good for its own sake and founds a charity, and fame-obsessed Mark, whose meteoric rise makes him the darling of a city where reputation holds so much weight. Deft world-building and crafty plotting combine for a zinger of an ending that will leave readers poised for book two. Surprisingly sophisticated upper-middle-grade fare, with enough meat to satisfy older readers as well. (Fantasy. 11 & up)Read full book review >