First edition cover
|Cover artist||Studio Spooky|
|6 June 2007|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
Darkside is a children's novel by Tom Becker, about a boy called Jonathan who discovers a world hidden in London; a world run by Jack the Ripper's family. Only the worst of the worst live here, and all too quickly Jonathan gets mixed up in a world full of murders, thieves and, of course, a werewolf and a Vampire. It was Published in 2007 by Scholastic. It won the 2007 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize and was longlisted for the 2008 Manchester Book Award. Darkside also won the Calderdale Children's Book of the year Award.
Jonathan Starling – A quiet, adventurous 14-year-old boy. He is the main character in the novel.
Alain Starling – Jonathan's ill and hospitalized Dad.
Carnegie – A mysterious werewolf and a detective.
Marianne – A strange, fluorescent haired bounty hunter.
Grimshaw – The ruthless ringmaster of the Beastilia Exotica.
Vendetta – An evil vampire from Darkside.
Ricky Thomas – A normal bullied student that was hunted and kidnapped.
Mrs Elwood – Jonathan's helpful and slightly overprotective neighbour.
Humble and Skeet – The two freaky, weird sidekicks to Marianne.
PC Shaw and Carter Roberts – Two hopeless “policemen”.
Raquella – The cunning servant of Vendetta.
Jonathan Starling is a very unlucky and shy teen. He doesn’t really have a social life and lives by himself due to his dad’s strange illness. Or, at least that was his happy life in “Lightside”. He had nearly been kidnapped by a bounty hunter and taken to the very mysterious place known as Darkside. Since he has been attacked by a werewolf, been close to being stabbed with a knife and swam in the “pool of pain”. Meanwhile back in Lightside. Detectives are trying to put the puzzle pieces together and find the kidnapper of Jonathan. Also, Ricky Thomas has been taken there and has been demanded to fight Jackyl's. Just what is the real reason that they are in Darkside? Grimshaw and Vendetta may have something to say about that. But is it that obvious?
S. F. Said, writing for the Guardian, said "It's a marvellously convincing dystopia; the only downside is that Darkside, when we get there, seems friendlier than modern London. Perhaps that's Becker's point: that the Victorians' grotesque nightmares are less terrifying than the everyday reality we've since created. We never see enough of Darkside to be certain of this; but tantalising hints suggest that the shadow-city will be more deeply and fully developed in sequels."
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