Kenneth Oppel (blog)
Harper Collins - Browse Inside
This book can either be seen as a first book in a new series or as the 4th in an old series, written as a prequel. If it is a prequel it might be a record-breaker for time span. For Darkwing is a book set 65 million years ago. It is the story of a bat named Dusk, who does not know that he is a bat. He was born of a species named chriopter, and son of the Colony's leader Icaron. However Dusk is different - his sails(wings) are furless, his coloring is darker, and he is stronger in the shoulders and chest than other chriopters.
The story is set in the animal world in a time when the dinosaurs were in the process of dying off, and most other species were becoming overpopulated. Thus, nature, in an attempt to balance the ecosystem, was allowing to emerge, new breads of predators.
Oppel writes amazing books, as is evident by his numerous awards and nominations. His accolades include over a million copies of the Silverwing trilogy, The Governor General's Award, a Michael L. Printz Honor book, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award and many others. He has accumulated book awards both at home in Canada and across the pond in the UK.
In Oppel's writings, he crafts his words and draws you into the world in ways you have never seen or imagined. Silverwing, written from a bat's perspective, is written without using any color - all the descriptions are in black, white, silvers and grays, as seen from the bat's perspective. In the same way, this book told from multiple first person perspectives, helps you see a prehistoric world from the animal's eye, whether it is the bat or Miacas.
In this book we follow Dusk and his colony as they try to find a new home in the world, after being driven from their family tree by Carnassial, who was driven from his pride for becoming a carnivore and is the leader of a smaller pride. Both Dusk and Carnassial must come to realize that the world is not as it was, and is changing fast. They must each come to grips with their differences, and help their families find their new place in the world.
The story is very well written, and will compel you to keep reading. As you turn the pages quicker and quicker, you will realize that as things in the world that long ago were racing towards change, you also will find yourself racing for the end of the book.
This book can either be seen as a prequel to the Silverwing trilogy, or as this reviewer hopes, the first in a new series about the bats from long ago. Either way Darkwing is a book to be enjoyed again and again.
(First Published in Imprint as 'Imprint's Reading' 2007-09-14)
The Silverwing Saga
Books by Kenneth Oppel:
Half Brother (2010)
The Devil's Cure (2000)
Dead Water Zone (1992)
The Live-Forever Machine (1990)
Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
This Dark Endeavour (2011)
Such Wicked Intent (2012)
The King's Taster (2009)
Peg and the Yeti (2004)
Peg and the Whale (2000)
Emma's Emu (1995)
Galactic Snapshots (1993)
Cosmic Snapshots (1993)
Follow That Star (1992)
Cosimo Cat (1990)
Colin's Fantastic Video Adventure (1985)
Barnes and the Brains
A Bad Case of Ghosts (1993)
A Strange Case of Magic (1994)
A Crazy Case of Robots (1994)
An Incredible Case of Dinosaurs (1994)
A Weird Case of Super-Goo (1997)
A Creepy Case of Vampires (2002)