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Even better than Darkside

  • Aug 9, 2010
Jonathan Starling has been spending a lot of time in Darkside--perhaps too much. When his werewolf friend Carnegie is asked to investigate a gruesome murder, Jonathan eagerly tags along. It turns out that this new murder may be the first clue in twelve years to the murder of James Arkel, grandson of Jack the Ripper. But as Jonathan and Carnegie start investigating and figuring out how certain Darksiders are connected to the Arkel murder, someone, or something, is trying to stop them. But Jonathan can't, especially when it becomes apparent that his mother, who disappeared twelve years ago, may have been involved. Faced with all kinds of ghastly dangers, who knows if Jonathan will survive this stay in Darkside.

I really enjoyed Darkside, but I think I enjoyed its sequel, Lifeblood even more. Becker handles all the shifting points of view and different yet connected storylines well. It's a pleasure to read along as Jonathan and Carnegie pursue the truth and new and interesting developments arise. I don't know if this is possible, but Lifeblood seemed to have even more action than Darkside did. There's some kind of danger on practically every page--and I loved it! It's very easy to become lost in the alluringly deadly streets of Darkside and enthralled with all the quirky and devious characters readers will meet. I don't think that Becker's skill is fully appreciated by most readers. It's not so easy to make everything connect just so as Becker does while also making things more exciting than in previous adventures. I was thoroughly pleased with Lifeblood, in the writing, plot, and characters, and cannot wait for the next installment in the series, Nighttrap.

Fans of Darkside will not want to miss Lifeblood, nor will those who enjoyed Foundling by D.M. Cornish, The Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover, and Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer.

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About the reviewer
Rachael Stein ()
Ranked #817
THE BOOK MUNCHER is the reviewing alias of a prolific teen reader. She is guilty of several overflowing bookshelves in multiple states. Her literary diet is mostly dedicated to the young adult fiction … more
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Grade 5–8—Jonathan Starling, the smart and self-reliant teen first introduced inDarkside(Scholastic, 2008), must travel between London's familiar, modern Lightside and Darkside, where horse-drawn carriages travel under gas streetlamps and werewolves, vampires, and murderers all reside together under the rule of the descendant of Jack the Ripper. There he tries to solve the serial murders linked to the ensuing battle between Ripper descendants and possibly his mother's disappearance 12 years earlier. The fact that Jonathan was born of two worlds makes his travel between them less physically devastating, and aids the self-discovery aspect of the story. His mother was a reporter for a Darkside newspaper, and his father is a Lightsider who cannot risk the trauma of traveling to Darkside since he is weakened from his battle there with a vampire. The book has many fantastical characters, such as Jonathan's sidekick and protector Carnegie, a charming albeit deadly werewolf; outrageous settings like the nightclub where undead characters go to party and do battle; and plotlines that involve killers who are also painters desperate for sales. This book is totally cool, and readers who love Harry Potter, as well as fans of all things dead and undead, will flock to this fantasy/horror/thriller.—Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text ...
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ISBN-10: 0545037468
ISBN-13: 978-0545037464
Author: Tom Becker
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Orchard Books
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"Even better than Darkside"
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