First Light, Rebecca Stead’s first novel, is a pure delight. I’m surprised I haven’t heard anything about it before. It was published in 2007. Generations ago Thea’s ancestors were being hunted. They fled England and “the wider world” to an ‘under the ice’ home in Greenland, where they have lived quite comfortably. However, things are starting to get crowded and Thea has suggested that they explore the wider world.
Peter’s father is a scientist and has a grant to study Greenland’s diminishing ice caps for six weeks and is bringing Peter and his mother along on the journey.
Obviously, given this synopsis, you know Thea and Peter will meet at some point. Stead has crafted a wonderful, middle-grade story with marvelous characters, suspense, a unique setting. The surprise ending fits the story line and is quite satisfying.
Rebecca Stead has a unique talent for telling interesting stories. This is far different than Liar & Spy, her latest novel in that it is more fairy tale-ish. While having some of the ‘other worldly-ness’ of When You Reach Me, the story is markedly different. It is nice to see an author who does not stick to the same format book after book. After every book, I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Rebecca Stead.