Darkwhispers is the absolutely gripping sequel to Brightstorm where we once again join the Brightstorm twins and the crew of The Aurora on another action-packed, thrilling adventure, but this time into the heart of the jungle, on a mission to rescue Ermitage Wrigglesworth, a famous explorer who has gone missing.
The rescue mission is led by Eudora Vane who has ulterior motives in leading the expedition to the Eastern Isles which are tantalisingly revealed as the story unfolds. The crew of The Aurora are obviously suspicious of her motives, but are eager to help, especially as they have made some fascinating discoveries of their own that they are keen to investigate.
During their travels through the Eastern Isles, gathering clues as to the whereabouts of Ermitage, Arthur and Maudie find themselves separated from the rest of the crew, and from each other …
The twins are determined to find each other again … and so begins their incredible adventure to be reunited with each other, and to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Ermitage, an adventure filled with unexpected twists, peril, subterfuge, poignancy and jaw-dropping discoveries, but also with new friendships and connections with amazing creatures.
The world-building is sumptuous with richly detailed description that totally immersed me in the places explored: I loved following the maps as the crew explored these new lands. There is a real appreciation of the beauty, power and majesty of nature as well as a message to respect and live in harmony with the environment. There are also some ingenious inventions which utilise the wonders of nature without damaging it.
Maudie and Arthur are wonderful characters, who both have the hearts of adventurers. Arthur is intuitive, sensitive and impulsive whilst Maudie is resilient, ingenious and resourceful. Both children show great strength, courage and determination in dangerous and challenging situations. They challenge stereotypes: Maudie is a brilliant inventor and engineer; and, Arthur is not afraid to show his emotions, his sensitivity and his love of books.
Darkwhispers is perfect for children of 9+ and opens up opportunities for discussions about the environment, colonisation, ecology and exploration, and themes of loyalty, friendship, family and moral dilemma.
Thank you to Scholastic for sending me a copy to review for a Book Review Site in return for my honest opinion.