Tom, Fraser, Ethan, Jess T and Jess P from Warblington School tell us what they think of The Pictures of Emptiness, volume eight of The Darksmith Legacy - a linked series of novels with additional online elements. CONTAINS SPOILERS!
What was the story about?
Tom: The story sees the Doctor on trial before the Shadow Proclamation. He is then betrayed and has to follow the crystal to Earth to discover who ordered it.
Fraser: I didn't much like this one!
What are the characters like?
Tom: I wasn't overly impressed with the description of the characters in this book.
Ethan: A lot of the characters were ones we've met before, but with a few fairly unmemorable ones added as part of the plot.
Was it exciting?
Tom: The book has two intertwined plots which make the story more interesting and exciting.
Fraser: The adventure on Earth seems completely pointless to the story and slows the pace of the story in the first chapter about the Karagulans.
Ethan: The story itself was fairly good with suspense building throughout the book although the plot seems very similar to some used in the TV series.
Jess T: This book wasn't very exciting. It was quite slow paced and there was very little to do with the Darksmiths or the Eternity Crystal.
Were there any particular highlights?
Fraser: I did like how the mystery was revealed though, with the Doctor stating all the facts as if they were really obvious.
Jess T: I liked the idea of the "suckery person" as she looks at the idea of supreme beauty. And of taking parts you like from someone else's body and putting them on your own.
Jess P: When the woman ran out in front of the car as you didn't know anything about her motives.
What were your least favourite bits?
Fraser: The story about "the vacant" seemed too fast-paced and jumpy and I had to re-read parts to make sure I understood it. At least in the other books the Agent or the Dreadbringers would bring the story back to the Darksmiths.
Jess P: There wasn't enough about the Darksmiths or the Eternity Crystal.
What do you think of the story so far?
Jess T: It is engaging and on the whole the stories flow well into each other.
Fraser: At least in the other books the Agent or the Dreadbringers would bring the story back to the Darksmiths.
Ethan: This has been a good addition to the series as it adds to the overall story whilst offering a different side story as a change of pace to the main story.
Does this book make you want to read on?
Jess T: Yes - I want to know more about the Darksmiths.
Jess P: I can't stop now, having read 8 out of the 10 books!
Ethan: Yes - this book made me want to read on, as it offered a cliff-hanger at the end as to the identity of the Darksmith's clients.
Would you recommend it?
Tom: Yes - to someone aged between 10 and 13.
Jess T: To someone under 14 - I don't think it would be pacey enough for older readers.
Ethan: As before to children of 8 upwards.
What do you think of the website
All: It is too repetitive!
What score would you give the book?
Tom: I'd give it 7/10 as it is varied and exciting in some places, but repetitive in others.
Jess P: I'll give it 9/10 because it is set on Earth in the present which I really liked.
Jess T: 5/10 - I like the stories to have more pace!
With thanks to Bruce Ashcroft for arranging this review.