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Darkside: Book 1 Hardcover – February 1, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Darkside Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–9—In this suspenseful, supernatural tale, Jonathan Starling, 14, has a talent for escaping notice. This ability, combined with his father's inattentive parenting and frequent periods of illness ("darkenings"), makes playing hooky to explore London easy. Then, a frightening home invasion takes him to an unfamiliar part of the city. Pursued by a fluorescent-haired, oddly persuasive bounty hunter and her two henchmen, Jonathan escapes through a gateway into "Darkside." Old and new dangers await him in the sinister, grimy, and hidden place founded by Jack the Ripper. It's populated by supernatural beings and fiendishly evil humans. There, Jonathan befriends the growling (though ultimately good) wereman Carnegie, a vampire's gutsy servant, and a kidnapped teen who shares Jonathan's unique "part-Darksider" heritage. With help from "Lightside" allies, they find their way to safety, but unvanquished dangers suggest that it's temporary. The plot is engaging, but the descriptive prose is Becker's real strength. "Darkside" is imaginative and "Lightside" is a fine description of London. Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (HarperCollins, 1997) boasts a dark and dangerous sub-London, but Darkside is for a younger audience and Becker's shadowed, deviant district stands on its own. Typical of a series, it leaves threads untied, laying the groundwork for future installments.—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Since Tom Becker learned to hold a pen, he wanted to become a writer. Tom studied history at Oxford University and was inspired by the otherworldly atmosphere of this academic institution. He used to spend long days studying and reading in the University library, but now he spends long days writing. He is the author of the first two books in the Darkside series. His first book in the series, DARKSIDE, was awarded the 2007 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, which celebrates new talent. He lives in the UK.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Series: Darkside (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books; First edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545037395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545037396
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,803,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on December 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
In the book Darkside, Jonathan Starling(a boy who is 14 years old) lives in London, England. He also has never seen his mother. Though he has his dad, Alian Starling and a lady called Mrs. Elwood, his dad never spends time with him. He is always locked up in his study room which Jonathan has never been in before. Since his dad never really comes out of the study room,(except to go to the bathroom and maybe grab some food) Mrs. Elwood drives him to the places he needs to go. Sometimes, Jonathan doesn't even know that his dad is there.
One day, Alian got ill(which is quite normal for him) and got taken to the hospital,so Jonathan wanted to go look in his father's study room. He knew that if anyone had gone in and his dad found out, he would get mad because all of his personal items are inside here. So Jonathan knew Alian would be at the hospital for a while, so he took a look inside.
There were so many things in there. Although everything was scattered, all the important things really stood out to him. He look through one of his books which had details on a book in the London Public Library. It gave a good amount of information about Darkside.(a place where everything is very dangerous) There are ordinary place in London(which are located in the book) where one from "Lightside"(the normal world) can cross to Darkside. But at the library where Jonathon Starling was reading the book, an undercover bounty hunter named Marianne sent from Darkside by Grimshaw(a vampire) is supposed to capture Jonathan Starling and Ricky Thomas.(who has also crossed from "Lightside") Now they try to make their way to escape Darkside alive.
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Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Starling cannot remember his mother, and his father barely speaks to him when they pass each other in the hall. Most of his father's time is spent in the study, behind the only locked door in the house. Jonathan would give anything to get into that room and find out what keeps his father in such a secretive state of mind. That is, until the day his father is placed in an asylum and Jonathan finds himself trapped in the very room he wanted to enter. Barricading himself behind the door to escape the claws of his attacker, Jonathan calls his only friend, Mrs. Elwood, for help.

Finding an old photograph of his mother in the study prompts Jonathan to follow mysterious clues his father has scribbled on little scraps of paper, tucked away in ragged books. A rare text located in the British Library gives Jonathan the nudge he needs to confront his dad about his mother's disappearance and a hidden part of London called Darkside.

As Jonathan visits his father in the hospital where he is recovering from "the darkening," he begins to uncover secrets that will lead him into unraveling the mysteries of his past and ultimately force him to try and save his father's life, and his own.

British author Tom Becker wanted to become an author as soon as he learned to write. At 25 years of age, he has created a wonderful teen novel in his first book, Darkside. From Carnegie, the werewolf detective, to Mrs. Elwood, the neighbor who is more of a mother to Jonathan than a friend, Becker's characters are imaginative and well thought out.

Darkside is an easy to read, attention-grabbing work that will keep teen readers interested and looking forward to the next book in the series.
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By Kevin on July 27, 2016
Format: Paperback
I love it! This book effectively blends modern Londen with the Darkside. The main character is Ricky Thomas who just hears about his father that is in a coma. He then goes home and an intruder comes into his house. Later he goes into the Darkside.....
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Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Starling often feels his father, Alain Starling, is keeping secrets from him especially concerning his mother's disappearance. What he doesn't yet know is that his suspicions are right. Alain in the past was involved with a place under the wrong side of the streets of London. A place rightfully named Darkside. Mostly given the reason that its inhabitants are all of London's worst type of people who include murderers, thiefs, and various other types of monsters actually sometimes literally.

By chance of fate, Jonathan is stalked by a strange multi-color- haired girl by the name of Marianne with her helpers Hodge and Skeet. It becomes very apparent these two are from Darkside and obviously not the good guys. As Jonathan runs from this group he happens to find that Darkside has decent individuals in Raquella, a servant girl, and Carnegie , a rather agressive wolfman. There is hope that Jonathan might yet escape capture yet what Jonathan hardly knows is that another individual is hunting for him just as much as.

Have got to give it to, Tom Becker, his series Darkside which so far have read not only Darkside but also Lifeblood (Darkside: Book 2) is so awe-inducing. He writes with a calling that is so enigmatic of a dangerous but tempting London. In Darkside (Darkside: Book 1) we meet Jonathan our main protagonist and other main characters that are apparent will feature in later novels. They do since as mentioned before have reached Lifeblood (Darkside: Book 2) and some of the same characters are present along with some new faces. There is a lot of mystery with Darkside and the action just as eclipsing.

Can't believe that don't hear more mention of these books in the Darkside series since its Dark Fantasy but high caliber Dark Fantasy written beautifully.
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