Fraser, Tom, Beth, Ethan, Jess T and Jess P from Warblington School tell us what they think of the second volume of the The Darksmith Legacy - a linked series of novels with additional online elements. CONTAINS SPOILERS!
What is the story about?
Tom: The Doctor travels to Mordane to investigate the Eternity Crystal he discovered in Book 1 (The Dust Of Ages). On Mordane, the Doctor realises that when the crystal was tested, something went wrong.
Ethan: The Doctor encounters a group of people on a mysterious quest and helps them.
What are the characters like?
Jess T: It was good that Catz was a girl of a similar age to us so that we could empathise with her.
Ethan: I thought the characters were interesting, harbouring secrets and personal agendas.
Beth: The characters had more description than in the first book.
Jess P: Having fewer characters than in the first book worked better.
Tom: I thought they were well portrayed.
Fraser: Some of the characters seemed to behave in a similar way to those in Book 1.
Was it exciting?
Ethan: The story travelled along at a fast pace.
Jess T: It was exciting and less repetitive than Book 1.
Fraser: I thought it was exciting as the author took an old idea (the undead), and gave it a futuristic twist, which I liked.
Beth: More exciting than the first one.
Tom: The whole book had a flow and it was entertaining, but some bits were better than others.
Jess P: It was more suspenseful than the previous one.
Were there any particular highlights?
Tom: My favourite part of the book was the line: "They play with space and matter like a child plays with wet sand." I liked that as it's a good example of a simile. I also liked the ending because the Doctor walks into the lion's den.
Jess T: How do you kill something that's already dead?
Beth: The Zombies were the best.
Fraser: The chase at the end, and how you have to help on the activity page.
Jess P: I loved the cliff-hanger!
Jess T: When Catz confessed, the book became really tense. Her announcement was really unexpected.
Ethan: I particularly liked the underground section in the catacombs when the Doctor and Catz meet the Agent.
Mr Ashcroft: I liked that some of the chapters are named after stories from the classic Doctor Who series!
What were your least favourite bits?
Jess T: I felt the recap at the start of the book was too long.
Tom: The middle bits of the book in the catacombs seemed a bit repetitive: run, fight or hide.
Beth: None - it's all great.
Jess P: The activity pages split sentences on two occasions, which was annoying.
What do you think of then story so far?
Tom: I liked that it continues straight on from the first, like another chapter. The second book is cranking up the tension that was created in the first.
Beth: Interesting and lots of suspense.
Ethan: The story so far has been interesting, but quite similar to a television episode. I hope the books show variety as a whole in order to maintain the interest of the reader.
Does this book make you want to read on?
Jess T: I want to read on to find out more about the Darksmiths. With the Doctor on his way, I hope there is lots of information on them, but yet they still remain mysterious.
Ethan: The book definitely makes me want to read on as the overall story in an interesting one. However, the sub-plots could be more imaginative.
Would you recommend it?
Ethan: I would recommend this book to Doctor Who fans and people of ages 8-13.
Tom: I agree!
Beth: Year 7's and younger.
Jess T: I would recommend it to people who want to read scary stories that are eerie and suspenseful, rather than full on horror. People around the ages of 10-15 as well as confident 7 or 8 year olds would like this book.
What do you think of the website?
Jess P: The website fits with the book well.
Jess T: The website is really good, but I hope you will have to do different things to do the quest as the story progresses. When you answer the questions you have to get the spelling perfect, as well as things like capital letters. This meant that I got questions wrong and had to start again.
Beth: I like how it relates to the books. The quests with puzzles are great.
Ethan: The website and the challenges are good and an original idea. Having to read each book makes readers of the first book eager to read the rest of the series.
Tom: The website was good as it relates strongly to the books, but I fear it may become repetitive. It's good that it shows you all of the future books.
What score would you give the book?
Jess T: 9/10. I really enjoyed it.
Jess P: 10/10 because of its suspense.
Tom: I would give it 7/10 as it is varied and interesting.
Ethan: 7/10 as it is good for its target audience.
Beth: 8/10. Really good!
Fraser: I gave it 8/10. It would have scored higher if it had maintained the pace right throughout.
Thanks to Bruce Ashcroft for arranging the review and photo.