The Darkling Curse by Chris Mould

6557663The Darkling Curse by Chris Mould
Roaring Book Press
176 pages
Children’s lit, MG, mystery, werewolves
How I obtained the book
Library, hardcover


Stanley’s claim on Candlestick Hall (the old house that his Great Uncle Bart left to Stanley in his will) is being seriously questioned by a creepy family named the Darklings. They are obviously up to no good, and Stanley knows it, but how can he prove that Candlestick Hall is truly his?

Oh my god, THE DARKLING CURSE is made out of adorableness. I don’t usually pick up children’s books but my 7 year old brother was reading it and he absolutely loved it – which is a lot coming from a kid who hates fiction books (he prefers to read history books – no I’m not kidding).

Though, admittedly THE DARKLING CURSE has a lot of flaws, I adored it. It’s like Mould put all the things I love in children’s lit in THE DARKLING CURSE – creepiness, morbid descriptions, and very weird pictures yet lovable.

Though it lacked in solid pacing, it made up with creepy, very child-lit-like descriptions. For some reason, if there is one thing that MG/children’s lit has that YA doesn’t, it’s world building. World building is a very essential part of children’s lit, which such authors seem to adore doing.

Descriptions in children’s lit always make me really giddy for some reason. I just adore reading the adorably slightly dark descriptions of THE DARKLING CURSE. That’s really the best part of the book.

Stanley, the main character, was the standard MG/children’s lit character. I don’t think that’s really a problem since the standard character of MG and children’s lit is very different from the standard character of YA. In YA lit, the standard main character is super pretty, reliant on the other characters (both male and female – contrary to common belief), and very… undefined I suppose.

The standard main character of MG and children’s lit is brave, intelligent (but not too intelligent), nosy, and obviously loves a good mystery. This is very much the kind of character I enjoy, and obviously many other kids adore it since things don’t get called “standards” for no reason.

Stanley and Daisy, his sister(?) were just GAH they’re just adorable. This book is adorable. It’s all adorable! I I bet ya’ll are getting really tired of me saying “adorable” to describe just about everything but that’s how it is. The whole book is pretty much an amalgam of different types of adorableness, which sounds weird but it’s entirely possible.

Plot and Writing
The lowest part of the book had to be the actual story – or maybe it was just the pacing but I’ll discuss why in the next mini segment.

The story was just adorable. Stanley, 11-year-old heir to a mansion Candlestick Hall, receives some unwelcome house guests. The Darkling family says that they own the mansion – that someone stole it from them. Stanley has to try and make sure that they don’t get hold of the Hall since he can tell that something is obviously up with them.

It’s a very very MG plot but when I read it, it was exactly what I needed. A cute little story where good defeats bad and everything ends one a happy note. Sometimes, MG is extremely effective when you don’t want to read something that has a chance to be depressing.

The story, while unique and entertaining, felt very disjointed. It sort of felt like there were odd breaks in between all the plot important aspects, while in actuality the plot had no unimportant, unnecessary moments. I don’t exactly know the reason for this but I have a suspect – pacing.

Let me repeat what I stated above, the writing was mostly perfect except for this one thing – pacing. The pacing was all weird. It didn’t alternate from slow to fast and back again, like most books do with pacing problems.

THE DARKLING CURSE has a big problem with pacing. I can’t really explain it but something is off with how the book is paced. It’s not… right. It isn’t a huge problem and maybe it was just how I was reading it, but I feel that the pacing was off and my word is law *slams book on table*.

Likes and Dislikes
– characters
– plot
– writing

– pacing

I love love love this book. It’s just so adorable. I have really one reaction to this book and it can be summed up with this:  I shall call it Squishy and it shall be mine and it shall be my Squishy.


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