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The Invisible Order, Book One: Rise of the Darklings Hardcover – September 28, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–This fantasy has all the right elements, weaving lore of the faeries, a classic quest, epic battles, a riddle, and a clever heroine into a fast-moving, suspenseful plot. Emily, 12, sells bunches of watercress to earn a penny or two to feed herself and her brother, orphaned when their parents disappeared a few years earlier. One morning, she is surprised to learn of a hidden war in the dreary streets of Victorian London. Emily is a True Seer, able to see the faeries. Corrigan, a pesky piskie left behind after the battle, involves her in the fight between the Seelie and the Unseelie, faeries in a war that began in 1666 with the Great Fire. Emily faces betrayal upon betrayal as she tries to save her kidnapped brother and figure out whom to trust and to help. Which group wants to subjugate humans, which one wants to coexist? And what are the real intentions of the members in the Invisible Order, a secret society that protects humans from the faeries? Emily must solve a riddle to find a magic stone that leads to a key to an underground London. Along the way she meets Merlin, learns she has been around for centuries, and discovers that her parents may be alive. Corrigan supplies some humor, while Emily's friend Spring-Heeled Jack provides intimations of a budding romance. Intricate and layered, with a rapidly moving plot and an appealing and resourceful heroine, this book will have kids eagerly awaiting the next installment.Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

For the last two years, since their parents' disappearances, 12-year-old Emily has supported her younger brother, William, by selling watercress on the streets of Victorian London. Now she takes on a weightier responsibility: protecting him, and all humankind, from the magical creatures who live invisibly in their midst and those who dwell in the faerie kingdom below London but plan to emerge and conquer the city. A straightforward, kindly girl, Emily is ill-prepared for the duplicity and cruelty of her opponents, but with the help of friends, she sets out with determination to deal with matters she does not fully understand. Readers will empathize, partly because Emily is such a well-drawn, likable character and partly because they too may feel confused at times by the rival groups of power seekers, the large cast of characters, and the plot's many twists. Combining adventure, historical fiction, and fantasy, this fast-paced novel is the first in the Invisible Order series. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Series: Invisible Order (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606840312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840313
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,555,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Crilley is a Scotsman adrift in South Africa and has been writing professionally for the past 17 years. In that time he has worked on over thirteen television shows, one of which was nominated for an international Emmy award.

He has worked with Fox Television, written ten novels, worked on five computer games, and is currently making his way in the comic book field. (He conceptualized the entire story and wrote three issues of the six issue comic book mini-series, X-Files: Conspiracy, where he had to come up with a story that brought The Transformers, Ghostbusters, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Crow into one coherent story.

He recently completed an X-Files novella and a Hardy Boys novel and has just finished the first in an urban fantasy series set in Durban, South Africa called Delphic Division: Poison City. His novels can be found here:

Highlights of his career so far are working with Lucasarts and Bioware as a freelance writer on the bestselling, award-winning computer game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, winning the SCRIBE award for Best Gaming Related Novel for his first book, Night of the Long Shadows, and having his most recent novel, The Osiris Curse, voted amongst the top twenty five books of the year by the Voice of Young Adult Magazine.

He also writes the horror/comedy book series My Zombie Hamster under the pseudonym, Havelock McCreely.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Garrison VINE VOICE on August 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The basic premise of this book sounded appealing -- an orphan child in Victorian England gets caught up in an ages-old battle between different groups of fey and humans -- but I admit that I was a bit tentative when I first started the book, afraid that it would just be a rehash of so many other good but forgettable children's fantasy novels.

Luckily for us all, this book is far more amazing than that. The book is delicious in its complexity -- unlike so many juvenile fantasies, there's no oversimplistic good vs. evil. Instead, Emily quickly becomes all too aware that everyone around her has their own hidden motives, and that they are only telling her what they think she wants to hear. So instead of just choosing a side, she has to really dig through puzzle after puzzle, trying to figure out what the best decisions are. And just like in real life, sometimes she figures these things out just a little bit too late, and the consequences affect not only her but also her little brother and friend.

On top of all of that, you eventually realize that Emily's role in all of this is far more than that of a random little orphan girl who happens to be caught up in faerie battles because she's just that special. The way all of this pulls together, slowly at first, and then all these threads pulling tighter towards the end, leaves me very anxious to get the next book in the series in my hands as soon as possible.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Three Woods VINE VOICE on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thoroughly enjoyed reading every last page of this amazing book. The story spans over three days and follows the life of Emily Snow - a 12 year old girl who had to grow up very quickly when both her parents mysteriously disappeared leaving her and her 9 year old brother all alone. She starts her day as any other - trying to earn enough to keep her brother and her alive on the streets of 1866 London. As she goes about her early morning ritual of purchasing watercress to sale, she comes across a battle of fairies opening her eyes to their existence for the first time. She meets two characters on her first day - Mr. Ravenhill (a member of the Invisible Order) and Corrigan (a seelie faerie). Both weave a story of the battle between the seelie/unseelie/humans but which story is true? And how does Emily Snow come to play in the whole battle between faeries and humans? Page by page an edge-of-your-seat story will unfold before your eyes as you picture Emily being herded through each step of her life for an ultimate direction you will have wait until the very end to figure out. Dark characters throughout the story will have the hair raising on the back of your neck as you read through some of the not-so-nice faerie and human characters woven into the tale.

Consider this book a mixture of mystery, fantasy, thrills and chills (without being overly scary) and a wee bit of romance. The start of each chapter gives you a hint of what will take place, but in no way really tells the story. You will find yourself in the middle of a fantastic tale - trying to discover who is bad, who is good and who in the world will really help Emily Snow as she tries to unravel the mystery of the key to faerie and how to stop a war from killing off the human race.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Invisible Order is a fantastic read that weaves faerie lore with historical Victorian London, and engages you in a fast passed, twisty plot, that is witty and suspenseful. Our heroine, Emily Snow may be young, but at 12 years old she's raised her 9 year old brother and herself for the last two years, since her parents death. Her key to survival has been her strength and wit, something she'll rely heavily on as she finds herself in the middle of a war. Both the Unseelie and the Seelie courts are about to unleash destruction on the city of London.

Emily, a true seer, gets more than she bargains for when she saves a pesky little piskie named Corrigan. I really like Emily's character. She's tough, educated and the only one who can stop the war that will be the destruction of London. Emily will be tried and tested, as she experiences betrayal more than once, tries to save her kidnapped brother, and she has to learn who she can really trust. In a world of myth and faerie lore, people and things aren't always what they seem. Emily has to decide what the true intentions are of The Invisible Order, the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court. The fate of London is in her hands as she is the only one who can uncover the riddles and clues that lead to the key that unlocks the gate to the other world.

I really liked the characters who assist Emily on her quest. Jack, known as Spring-Heeled Jack, is dashing, and brave. I liked their innocent relationship that can easily become something more later in the series. Corrigan, the piskie who's sarcasm and one liners provided the humor, along with Emily's responses back to him. My favorite is Merlin. Yes, I'm talking about the one and only Merlin, who's been around for centuries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rise of the Darklings is the first novel in Paul Crilley's new series The Invisible Order. The book follows Emily, an orphan struggling to take care of her younger brother on the unforgiving streets of Victorian London. When Emily stumbles across a battle between denizens of the faerie realm, she is propelled into a secret world of faerie queens, legendary monsters and secret quests that span both worlds and ages.

Crilley seems to have borrowed a page from Neil Gaiman, as there are shades of Neverwhere throughout this book. His attention to folklore also brings to mind some of Mike Mignola's better Hellboy stories. He has established a world of faeries and their ilk that's every bit as believable and compelling as the "real world," and there are plenty of hints that lay the groundwork for the volumes to come. Crilley has a flair for setting moods, and his dialogue is spot-on. As an adult reader, I found the characters to be a bit one-dimensional and some of the sequences were just a bit far-fetched, even for a fantasy series. Still, it has plenty of charm, which definitely goes a long way.

As far as age appropriateness, I'd put this book at about the same reading level as the Harry Potter series. Death and violence play a large role, as do some of the more mundane horrors of everyday life as penniless orphans.

It's not going to satisfy adult readers they way Rowling, Pullman or Gaiman's novels do, but it is a great way to escape for a couple of hours. Younger readers should absolutely love The Invisible Order, and it makes a great "next series" for Harry Potter fans looking for their next dose of magic and mystery.
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