Cover Image: Darkwhispers


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Member Reviews

Maudie and Arthur’s new adventure takes them, along with all the other explorer families, to search for the missing explorer, Ermitage Wrigglesworth. With Eudora Vane leading the search, the twins are sure she’s up to something. Filled with danger and suspense, family, and creativity. This is a touching and fun sequel to Brightstorm. There are wonderful new places and characters, along with those from the first story.
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2nd in the Brightstorm series, Darkwhipsers follows Arthur and Maudie as they adventure out looking for Ermitage Wrigglesworth, who disappeared into the Wide while searching for the mythical fourth continent. Maudie is the inventor and engineer, but Arthur is observant and good at reading people. Arthur thinks that Ermitage left clues behind. He thinks that he saw a bear-like creature with gills, and he suspects that people on an island in Stella Oceana are covering up the truth about Ermitage. He’s right about all of it. Now Arthur is an accidental stowaway on the Culpepper ship, stolen by Eudora Vane, and things are about to get stranger and more dangerous.

I would suggest reading Brightstorm first if possible. This adventure can stand on its own, but there are references to Thought Wolves and South Polaris from the first book without a lot of recap, and that might bother some readers. Plus, the first book is worth the read.
Fans of A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat and Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis will enjoy this imaginative world.
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Hardy has done a masterful job of world building with characters you just want to cry for and cheer on. I had not read the first book in the series, Brightstorm, and when I started this book I kinda felt a little lost so I stopped and borrowed Brightstorm from my local library. I am really glad I did because it added so much more depth and understanding of the characters and I was way more invested in them and the adventures than if I had only read this second book. If you have a sensitive middle grade reader beware as these two stories will really pull at their heart strings and they may need a few hugs, I know I did. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC to read for a an honest review.
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I received an electronic ARC from W. W. Norton & Company through NetGalley.
This sequel could stand on its own but also works well to build on the first adventure. Arthur and Maudie now live with Harriet Culpepper and her crew. They are planning for the next adventure when Eudora Vane crosses their paths again. This time it's a challenge for all of the families to work together to locate a missing explorer. With a Hardy book, there is always more going on than the obvious portions of the plot. Readers come along on this adventure to search for new lads and meet new friends. The characters continue to reveal more about themselves throughout the story. The descriptions of the various locations make readers feel they are walking there also. There is a death toward the end and though handled sensitively, readers will join the grief other characters feel. Touching ending with one more interconnection. 
Looking forward to the next adventure.
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Darkwhispers is just as exciting and wondrous as Brightstorm as twins Maudie and Arthur embark on another adventure. Along with intriguing new characters, are familiar and endearing ones, although one sadly perishes. As I was nearing the end, I grew fearful that this was going to end as a duology, but something occurs in the last couple of pages that to my great relief, has me thinking there will be a third book. While Brightstorm and Darkwhispers are technically written for upper elementary to middle school aged children, I guarantee they’ll appeal to adult fans of fantasy and science fiction, particularly those who enjoy authors such as Philip Pullman.
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Vashti Hardy has done a spectacular job of world building in this series. The technology of the airships and the places to which they travel create the kind of world many young readers will probably want to travel to themselves. I appreciate that Darkwhispers doesn't shy away from handling the difficult task of talking about death and grief. The author allows his characters to feel real emotions and sometimes just not be okay. I also love the family dynamic between everyone aboard the Aurora. I'm really hoping future books take us back to Erythea and the people we got to meet there. Obviously we have not yet seen the last of Eudora and I still look forward to seeing her get her comeuppance, Very much looking forward to the next book in the series!
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This book was received as an ARC from W. W. Norton & Company - Norton Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was intensely focused on the plot of this story and I did however find that many events jumped around a bit making it very difficult to understand the overall direction of this book until I got to the middle of the book and them all of the pieces started to come together. I believe in my opinion the reasoning for that was the determination and the plan of Captain Harriet Culpepper in the search for Eudora but she is also on another mission that has shaken the whole plan up when Eudora Vain goes missing being a wrench in their plans. When it all came together, the story was jam packed with an action-filled adventure that is sure to attract many of the young audience. This could potentially be a nomination for our next Battle of the Books competition.

We will consider adding this title to our JFiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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