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From The Deep of the Dark
Jackelian Chronicles - Book VI
Stephen Hunt

Harper Voyager /HarperCollins
16 February 2012 / ISBN-13: 9780007289714
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

It looks as though the streets of Middlesteel are the haunt of vampires, as bloodless corpses are being found everywhere and the penny dreadfuls are having a field day. But actually something far stranger and a lot worse is happening, and it looks as though only a girl thief with a magical gem, a State Protection Board operative on the run, a broken streamman, a private investigator, and Jared Black himself are all that stand between a terrifying new enemy and total destruction…

Prepare to be served up another tasty slice of steampunk as it is meant to be and usually isn't. I know I said that I would stop reading these books if any vampires dared show their pasty faces, but you can trust Mr Hunt to have more imagination than that. This time we are back under the waves in the Purity Queen and facing down a new foe, as well as getting more acquainted with some races only touched on before and more facets to this diamond of an imagined world. To its detriment, this tale does take its time getting started, but once it does, it is full steam ahead to make up for lost time. Also, we do get to hear rather too many repetitive conversations from most of the characters bewailing their lot in life, which gets wearing - let's have more of the wonderful descriptions and breathless action that makes these books sing. There is a humdinger of a battle to enjoy, more than one showdown, and various plot twists and turns to keep readers on their toes. So plenty to enjoy in a series that shows no sign of getting stale or slowing down. Mr Hunt isn't afraid to lose characters, but we always get somebody new in their place -- surely one of the rules of good novel writing. There is a topical feel to the various characters' views on the waste of war, which calls to mind our own thoughts while watching the news. This gives the reader something to think about when the last page has been read. More please and soon…

Reviews of others in this series.

The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, Book II
Secrets of the Fire Sea, Book IV
Jack Cloudie, Book V
From The Deep of the Dark, Book VI

Reviewer Jan Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
Reviewed 2012