Monday, November 4, 2013

The Mystery of the Darkstone by Val Rutt

If you remember, I posted a review of the previous book - The Race for the Lost Keystone a while back. You know, the one where I made a huge fuss, seeing as I've been looking for this book for oh, just a few years. And well, I think I made a (albeit smaller) fuss over this book, since it got its own Teaser Tuesday and all.

Thankfully, this book did not disappoint me.

The Mystery of the Darkstone follows Phil and Kate on more adventures. Well, to be specific, it follows Phil (since after all, a large part of the book focuses on him). This time, Phil is at a boarding school for troubled boys - the problem is that almost all the other boys are too well-behaved. Alone and without his heartstone (his friend Mark took it from him), he has to find a way to fix what's going on.

For a fairly short book it really packed a punch! All the characters from the last book, plus a few more made an appearance. The only difference is that this time, Great-Aunt Elizabeth doesn't play that big a role (her biggest role comes at the end of the book). The book is really more about Phil and how he is learning to cope on his own.

Of course, he doesn't see it that way. The beauty of the book is the Phil doesn't know he's growing - he's just doing what he's supposed to do. In fact, I only realised at the end how much he's changed since the first book. It's really satisfying to watch a character grow along with the books.

Another thing that I liked about the book is that it used time travel. It was introduced in book one, but that wasn't a plot point. Here, it's crucial to the book. If the characters didn't use time travel, the book would have been drastically different. This may sound like a cheap plot trip, but it didn't really feel like one. The only thing I would have liked was if there was more hints of time travel earlier in the book.

I really really wish that the author had continued this series. I think as Phil and Kate grow, the adventures would have gotten better and better. Plus, the ending is totally a cliffhanger! I need to know what happens to the evil ___[redacted to prevent spoilers]___

If you can get a chance, read this book!

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