THE POWER OF DARK
Harbouring a grudge
released 30 June 255 pages | Paperback/ebook Author robin Jarvis Publisher egmont
Home to a dramatic ruined abbey, weathered clifftop gravestones and a full-time Dracula industry, Whitby has long been a magnet for goths and weekend Wiccans looking to replenish their stocks of amethyst and charm bracelets.
It’s an association seasoned fantasy writer Robin Jarvis puts to good use in this first of a new YA series, in which the Yorkshire harbour town becomes the backdrop to the final battle in a 400-year-old feud between a wronged witch and her warlock lover.
Teenage misfits Verne and Lily (the latter the mortified daughter of a pair of cosplaying occultists – think Ab Fab’s Saffy in black velvet) are the combatants’ unwitting vessels, while the titular Mister Dark, a hanged man taken from the gallows and revived as the “knot-necked servant” to a Jacobean diabolist, makes for a suitably nightmarish villain.
The early chapters read like a classic children’s TV drama – the sort of spooky fare HTV made back in the day – while the climactic battle between the walking dead and a junkshop steampunk army is more akin to the final reel of a modern Hollywood blockbuster. It’s a formula that’s sure to work its magic on readers.
Jarvis wrote a trilogy set in Whitby. He first visited when studying graphic design at Newcastle Polytechnic.