43. Darkwing

Darkwing by Kenneth Oppel
Illustrated by Keith Thompson
Prequel to the Silverwing Trilogy

Pages: 330
Finished: Feb. 26, 2008
Reason for Reading: Last book in the series. series challenge. YA challenge
First Published: 2007
Genre: YA, animal fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5

First Sentence:

The tree had never seemed so high.

Comments: The setting is the Paleocene epoch, the end of the dinosaur era and the beginning of many new forms of life. Dusk is a chiropter but he is different from others of his species. He does not have fur on his sails and he can 'see' in the dark. He soon learns that, unlike other chiropters who can only glide, he can actually fly. Dusk must face the others who in turn are amazed and disgusted. Dusk is shunned and ridiculed. But Dusk is not the only animal who is different, many other animals who were once herbivores have started to crave meat. The beasts can no longer live all together in harmony.

Having read the Silverwing trilogy I was expecting this book to be good and I wasn't disappointed. I must note though, that this book is only ever so slightly a prequel to the Silverwing books. Yes, it is about bats but it is not set in the same world or mythos as the other books. That said, this is a brilliant, fast-paced read. As with the others I found it quite dark but not necessarily in the events but more in the themes that were presented. The book asks many questions but does not attempt to answer them. Can the world ever live together in peace? Should it? When is aggression ok? Is it right to go against your personal beliefs because it is for the greater good? Should you be ashamed if you do?

Darkwing and his father were compelling characters and while they were similar to Silverwing and his father there were enough differences to make them feel fresh to this reader. Kenneth Oppel has not disappointed me yet. Another wonderful book that not only gives an exciting, unique story but also presents a thought-provoking plot. Highly Recommended!


  1. I've only read one book by Oppel, Airborn. I will definitely keep his books in mind for the next Canadian challenge.

  2. I'm really looking forward to reading Airborn and its sequel. Oppel has become one of my favourite YA authors.


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