Alf’s parents lose their home in the great financial downturn of the early twenty-first century. They take Alf and his friend, Siggy, to a visiting carnival to have a bit of fun. Alf and Siggy get stuck in a dilapidated Hall of Mirrors and end up miles away with the beer belly owner and his amply x-sized mum. That’s when the boys discover a portal in the Hall of Mirrors. It leads to a world turned completely inside out to ours. In Instar, the sun lies at the center of a great sphere, waxing and waning during the day and vanishing at night. They meet the slim and beautiful Mia, who takes them into her tilting—the tall, slender buildings that rise above the forest and sway with the wind. The tiltings, however, are surrounded by a high defense wall with vicious spikes on top. Living in the day is fine, or so it seems to an outsider, but when night comes the gates are shut against the darkling beasts that rage outside.
Filled with drama and humor, The Darkling Beasts is also a cautionary tale. It addresses some of the great issues we face today.
PB, 184 pages. Suitability: not below age 12. Ideal for teens and enjoyable for adults too.