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Darkwing Hardcover – Aug 16 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Trophy Canada; 1st Edition edition (Aug. 16 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002007444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002007443
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.8 x 23.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #473,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—The story of Darkwing is set 65 million years ago, during the early Paleocene era just years after the enormous C-T dieback event. Dusk and his family are chiropters, small arboreal mammals that glide and feed on insects. Changes are coming to their world, and not the least of them are Dusk's abilities of flight and echolocation. Although his family stands by him, most of the colony is very uncomfortable with his flying, fearing reprisal from the birds that live above them in the trees. All concerns about Dusk's oddities or their avian neighbors are swept aside when an outcast prowl of felids, led by the bloodthirsty Carnassial, attack the colony and Dusk's special abilities help to guide his fellows and keep them safe. During their search for a new home, his quick wits are all that stand between the colony and disaster. In their quest, the chiropters encounter deadly predators, from saurian holdouts to shrewlike soricids with poisonous saliva. Betrayals from both within the colony and without add to the excitement in this adventure. Readers will feel for Dusk as he decides repeatedly not to abandon his colony, despite their treatment of him. In Darkwing, Oppel offers a celebration of difference in addition to a wonderful imagining of a pivotal moment in evolution. An author's note highlights some of the actual fossil species that appear. One cautionary note—the descriptions of animals eating each other may be disturbing to sensitive readers.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In his Silverwing series Oppel spun a contemporary fantasy about the world of bats. In this ambitious new stand-alone fantasy, he turns the clock back 65 million years to imagine the world of the bats' earliest ancestors, which he calls "chiropters." These tree-dwelling creatures are flightless, using their wings (which they call "sails") to glide through the air, from tree to tree. Only Dusk, youngest son of the colony's leader, has made an evolutionary leap; not only can he fly, he can also see at night, using echo vision. Predictably, the others regard him as a mutant to be shunned—all but his father, who wisely considers his son's differences as gifts. Dusk's real nemesis, however, is a beast (a "felid") called Carnassial, who is the first of his kind to be carnivorous and, like Dusk, is shunned by his own. Clearly the world is poised on the brink of remarkable change, and the future belongs to these two. Oppel writes with keen insight and empathy about the condition of being "other" in the context of a richly plotted, fast-paced story that—though sometimes too heavily anthropomorphized—is captivating reading from beginning to end. Cart, Michael

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Burns on Nov. 6 2007
Format: Hardcover
Fans of Toronto superstar Kenneth Oppel's Silverwing trilogy won't be disappointed by this prequel to his bats-versus-birds saga, set in the early Paleocene epoch. The story centres on Dusk - a proto-bat with the unheard-of ability to not just glide, but fly - and Carnassial, an early mammal developing a taste for flesh. Neither can deny his unique inclinations; giving in will lead to exile, battle, and, for one of them, death. Satisfyingly, much of Silverwing's deep back story is also revealed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crazy about books! on Aug. 31 2007
Format: Hardcover
Both my sixteen-year-old daughter and I read Darkwing and we loved it! It is a wonderful expansion of the Silverwing saga. Kenneth Oppel has created another world through the eyes of bats and this fantasy has a marvellous twist on the history of the creatures. We really were rooting for the misfit Dusk and his spunky sister Sylph as they journeyed through many treacherous places during their search for a new home. It kept us captivated as they fought off one danger after another. I had to wrestle the book away from my son in order to read it and I am very glad I did. We would recommend it to people of all ages!
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Format: Hardcover
Ahem - *looking down at what I've written* - be pre-warned, I am ranting.

I enjoy children's literature as much as adult's, and picked up Darkwing by Kenneth Oppel, 2nd hand. I wouldn't have bought it new, since the last one in the set (Firewing) was absolutely appalling. He's not a particularly good writer, but they all feature bats and I'm a sucker for animal stories. I enjoyed the first two enough that I wanted to read the fourth.
I did feel vaguely annoyed at some of the natural detail in the first two, but they were rather more fantasy-based than Darkwing, which is set in the Paleocene (? Can't be bothered to double check) era, at the time when bats were first emerging as a species. I WAS able to enjoy the book... just.
I spent most of my time reading it with a distracted cloud pressing around my head because of the way the author portrayed evolution. I am left with the distinct impression that he doesn't really understand it, and if he does, deliberately ignored it so he could write the book the way he wanted.
To me, this is like having a detective story, in which, for the story to work, you must accept that bullets from a gun travel at walking speed. If you are going to twist reality so far out of proportion, you might as well make up a new sort of weapon, and not a gun, which your readers know going in, works by flinging a metal bullet very, very fast.
Similarly, if you are going to write a book about the first flying bats, be moderately realistic about it. Don't have a full fledged bat born from nothing more than, essentially, a flying squirrel - and then say that not only one miraculous animal has bypassed a few thousand decades of evolution, but that a whole flock of them have appeared at once.
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By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Sept. 14 2007
Format: Paperback
This book can either be seen as a first book in a new series or as the 4th in an old series, written as a prequel. If it is a prequel it might be a record-breaker for time span. For Darkwing is a book set 65 million years ago. It is the story of a bat named Dusk, who does not know that he is a bat. He was born of a species named chriopter, and son of the Colony's leader Icaron. However Dusk is different - his sails(wings) are furless, his coloring is darker, and he is stronger in the shoulders and chest than other chriopters.

The story is set in the animal world in a time when the dinosaurs were in the process of dying off, and most other species were becoming overpopulated. Thus, nature, in an attempt to balance the ecosystem, was allowing to emerge, new breads of predators.

Oppel writes amazing books, as is evident by his numerous awards and nominations. His accolades include over a million copies of the Silverwing trilogy, The Governor General's Award, a Michael L. Printz Honor book, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award and many others. He has accumulated book awards both at home in Canada and across the pond in the UK.

In Oppel's writings, he crafts his words and draws you into the world in ways you have never seen or imagined. Silverwing, written from a bat's perspective, is written without using any color - all the descriptions are in black, white, silvers and grays, as seen from the bat's perspective. In the same way, this book told from multiple first person perspectives, helps you see a prehistoric world from the animal's eye, whether it is the bat or Miacas.
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