4 out of 4 stars
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The Darziods’ Stone by Richard Smith is a riveting tale that takes readers on a fast-paced, thrilling adventure that leads to unexpected discoveries. The book is a science-fiction novel that effectively blends themes of historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, and adventure.
Over two centuries ago on the sleepy shores of Tredock Cove, Cornwall: Captain Wragg and his boatswain’s decision to take possession of all treasures belonging to the ‘prisoners of war’ aboard their ship, quickly incites a disturbing turn of events. Double murder, missing crew members, and mayhem: the quiet Cornish Cove was never the same again!
Fast forward to a little more than two hundred years later: Summer of 2016. What was supposed to be the highlight of the school holiday—a summer camp in Blackpool, gets canceled. Harry’s parents swoop in and save the day by including Harry’s friends (Amelia, Asad, Mitch, and Ryan) on their trip to the Cornish countryside. On arrival, the teenagers soon realize that there is no phone signal or web connection; they naturally think that their holiday will be jam-packed with boredom. It isn’t long before a tussle ensues that results in the teens stumbling on a secret code. This event leads to a treasure hunt with deadly consequences: the awakening of evil forces and a two hundred-year old curse. Turns out, hidden with the treasure lay a special stone sort by two rivaling factions. Who will find the treasure first? Will Harry, his family, and friends make it out of Cornwall alive?
Wow! From the first page to the last, this book had me on the edge of my seat a great deal of the time. This novel was very impressive and completely blew my mind! It more than met my expectations, if anything it exceeded them. I would be up at odd hours of the night reading the book, and when I finally went to bed: my mind stayed awake, riddled with thoughts over something that had happened as a result of plot twists that I had not anticipated. While reading the book, I could tell there was a lot of work and research that went into the scientific, geographical, historical, and mythological aspects that the author brilliantly intertwined to create a great story. The author also did a remarkable job of melding fact and fiction: which not only made for a believable narrative but one that was very insightful and interesting as well.
I appreciated the well-written exposition and smooth transition from current events to past events. The authors writing style and formatting of the book ensured that there would be no confusion: when readers encountered flashbacks and dialogue between different characters. There was a large cast of main and secondary characters with most of them being multidimensional and very convincing. The interactions, decisions, and slight tension between the young lads made them seem true to life. As the plot intensified, the author skillfully introduced new characters that aided the story forward, leading readers through each layer of mystery and adventure. I loved the element of surprise ushered by the plot twists in the book, I also totally did not expect the ending. There were moments when I was puzzled, intrigued, excited and at times saddened by what had transpired. I especially enjoyed the sense of humor brought to life by the cheeky dialogue that inspired quite a few laugh out loud moments. The only thing I would say holds the book from perfection is that there were a few typos, but these were far in between and did not get in the way of me following the story.
After reading The Darziods’ Stone, I was in complete awe of the writer's ability to articulate and express his ideas in a fashion that transported the reader into the character’s world. The vivid and clear description of events and locations in the book worked well. On top of that, the drawings and illustrations featured: complemented the description of certain scenes and experiences—which is something I think younger readers will appreciate. The setting, plot, and characters came together beautifully to tell a captivating story. Therefore, I am pleased to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I loved this book so much that I decided to purchase a copy for my younger brother. And also as a way to appreciate the author for writing such an awesome book. I recommend this book to young adults and anyone who loves a good mystery and adventure with a touch of history and sci-fi.
The Darziods' Stone
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