SFX - - Reviews - Jayne Nelson

re­leased 7 April 268 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook

Au­thor Dave Rud­den

Pub­lisher Puf­fin

When you’ve got a name like Denizen Hard­wick, your par­ents died un­der mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances and home is an or­phan­age on a stormy out­crop on the Ir­ish coast, chances are you’re the lead char­ac­ter in a chil­dren’s book. Lo and be­hold, this par­tic­u­lar Denizen is – and when an aunt he had no idea ex­isted sud­denly sends some­one to pick him up, he’s about to find out that he’s got spe­cial pow­ers to help him fight evil shad­ows.

Okay, we’ll stop minc­ing words: this is a story you’ve read be­fore. It’s an archetype. That doesn’t make it bad, how­ever, and au­thor Dave Rud­den has a bit of fun mock­ing the con­cept of a “cho­sen one” along the way, too, let­ting us know that he’s in on the joke. Knights Of The Bor­rowed Dark also fea­tures some rather mar­vel­lous di­a­logue and prose, in much the same style as Derek Landy or Dar­ren Shan, which will ap­peal to kids of all ages. The only prob­lem is that it isn’t con­sis­tently mar­vel­lous: too much of the book is made up of ex­po­si­tion, and it only re­ally comes alive when nasty clock­work mon­sters leap off the page at you. But the fact they do that so very, very well helps a lot.

Rud­den found out he’d sold the book to pub­lish­ers when “in a Pound­world... count­ing the change in my pocket.”

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