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The Invisible Order: Rise of the Darklings…
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The Invisible Order: Rise of the Darklings

by Paul Crilley

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Audio version. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Although obviously written for children, it was well-imagined and well-plotted. The world created by the author is consistent - there were no major gaps in logic that kicked me out of the story. The characters were a little obvious, with the bad guys being suitably evil and the good guys being pretty much instantly likeable, but I enjoyed Emily's struggles to understand the events around her and to choose between her heart's desire and the moral high road. The twist at the end was a lot of fun and sets up the next book. I expect I'll read it, too.
( )
  PortM | Nov 30, 2013 |
The idea of a hidden magical society inside London is not very original, nor is the idea of a Victorian secret society that dabbles in magic, and I thought that text could have used a good editor, but there are so many clever and original ideas within the framework that I was encouraged to read all the way through. Not sure I was so excited about it that I want to read the next book, though. ( )
  Inky_Fingers | Nov 12, 2013 |
Pretty good new fantasy book for the 8-12 set. ( )
  jfoster_sf | May 6, 2012 |
Emily Snow is an orphan in Victorian London trying to support her brother and herself by selling watercress. One day, on the way to get her watercress she stumbles upon a fight between some very unusual beings and discovers there is an alternate faerie world that most people can't see. She is drawn into the fight between the Faerie Queen, the Dagda and a group of humans called The Order, never quite sure who she can trust.

Emily is a very likeable heroine, the Victorian background is interesting and the plot will keep you guessing right to the end and eager for the next book in the series.. Would suit readers aged 10 and up. ( )
  RefPenny | Dec 5, 2011 |
Rise of the Darklings is the first book in a series (of at least 2 books). I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and rom a high level, the premise reminded me a bit of the Spiderwick or Fablehaven and other recent books…you have a young girl, Emily, who is able to see the magical world of faerie/fey creatures living among us. And she has a fun adventure because of this gift of sight. There were a few things that differentiated this book from those series…the first being that this book is set in Victorian England rather than the present day. Added to that is the fact that Emily is a poverty stricken orphan working by selling watercress on the streets.

For some reason, the writing style and/or language rubbed me wrong for the first couple of chapters. I'm not exactly sure what bothered me…whether it was the sentence structure, the semi-internal monologues of the characters or something else. It was a minor quibble but enough of one that through the first ~30 pages, I found myself not really getting into the story because I was distracted by the "feel" of the writing. However, after a few chapters, it felt natural and I was able to be absorbed by the story.

As I mentioned, the concept of faerie/magic creatures co-existing secretly is something that's been very popular lately. The plot and general story arc are creative and engaging and I quickly set aside my fears that this would be a "cookie cutter" book. Young Emily inadvertently finds herself sucked into a war between factions of fey creatures as well as being shown a mysterious society of humans who are seeking out the creatures for some reason (destruction, knowledge, power, something else)?

I personally really enjoyed the intrigue and mystery of trying to figure out which group (humans, fey group 1, fey group 2, etc) could be trusted. Or, if none of them can be wholly trusted (as seems to be the case), which one is telling enough of the truth to unravel the problem of the story.

As the book went on, I loved the layer upon layer of various subplots and foreshadowing. As I neared the end of the book, it became obvious that not everything was going to be wrapped up in this book. Just from the title, it was obvious that there was going to be a sequel, but the way the book ended somewhat surprised me. The book tied up enough of the loose ends to give a generally satisfying conclusion, but it also ended with a pretty dramatic cliffhanger that makes me want to go check out the second book.

The book felt pretty appropriate for a target audience of ~10-12 year olds. Making the protagonist a girl will potentially help appeal to girl readers…while the adventure and the secondary male characters will help boys relate as well. The writing was simple enough to be accessible to younger readers while still having plenty of heavier vocabulary and historical/geographical/etc information to help readers stretch. The violence was fairly minimal and the language was pretty age appropriate though I think there were one or two instances of mild curse words. Overall, I would feel comfortable letting my kids read this.

I went into this book a bit wary that it was going to be the "same old thing" and I finished with the feeling that this is a refreshing fun take on a popular genre. The young characters sometimes felt old beyond their years, but as a middle-grader book, that's somewhat to be expected. The descriptive storytelling and the intriguing plot drew me in and left me wanting more. I definitely look forward to seeing what happens next.

****
3.5 out of 5 stars ( )
  theokester | Nov 8, 2011 |
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After saving a piskie's life, twelve-year-old Emily Snow finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old war between rival fairy factions and a secret society named The Invisible Order.

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