Friday, November 11, 2011

Review - Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact by A.J. Hartley

AUTHOR:    A.J. Hartley
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 431 pages
PUBLISHED:   Penguin Razorbill, 2011
SOURCE:   Received from Publisher for Review

 Eleven-year-old Darwen Arkwright has spent his whole life in a tiny town in England. So when he is forced to move to Atlanta, Georgia, to live with his aunt, he knows things will be different - but what he finds there is beyond even his wildest imaginings!

Darwen discovers an enchanting world through the old mirror hanging in his closet - a world that holds as many dangers as it does wonders. Scrobblers on motorbikes with nets big enough to fit a human boy. Gnashers with no eyes, but monstrous mouths full of teeth. Flittercrakes with bat-like bodies and the faces of men. Along with his new friends Rich and Alexandra, Darwen becomes entangled in an adventure and a mystery that involves the safety of his entire school. They soon realize that the creatures are after something in our world - something that only human children possess.

MY TAKE:   I love being taken on new adventures.  Darwen Arkwright takes us on a grand one with his new American friends.  In Darwen, A.J. Wright has created a very likable and relatable hero.  Darwen is truly a fish out of the water when he's dropped into a new life in America.  The proper young English boy is having a hard time fitting in when he accidentally sees a strange creature in the mall and follows it into a dusty old mirror shop.  Little does he know that the odd owner of the shop will soon set him on a dangerous and mysterious path to a world on the other side of a magical mirror.  

This is a fast-paced and fun story that will appeal to adventurous explorers of all ages.  I especially think that boys of about 9 or older will get a kick out of the various creatures and gadgets that Darwen comes across. Wannabe archaeologist Rich is a stalwart friend to Darwen as well as an interesting character on his own.  Girls will enjoy the eccentric Alexandra as she becomes a surprisingly stout supporter of the awkward Darwen.  I was quite engrossed in the tale and enjoyed imagining the creatures that the author described. 

This story is destined to be a classic and definitely has a place on the keeper shelf.  I highly recommend this story, especially if you or the kids like jumping into another world for a while.  Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact would also make a great gift this holiday season. I have a couple of young readers in mind to receive a copy.

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

Get your copy:

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


  1. I got this one a month or so ago because I've been trying to get into more middle grade novels. I'm so glad to hear that you liked this one.

    Thanks for the great review.

  2. It sounds like this would be a good movie - I hope it gets optioned.

  3. Sounds like a great book and I've got a boy in mind to give it to. Thanks!


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