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Lifeblood by Tom Becker

Lifeblood (Darkside)Jonathan Starling has been spending a lot of time in Darkside—perhaps too much. When his werewolf friend Carnegie is asked to investigate a gruesome murder, Jonathan eagerly tags along. It turns out that this new murder may be the first clue in twelve years to the murder of James Arkel, grandson of Jack the Ripper. But as Jonathan and Carnegie start investigating and figuring out how certain Darksiders are connected to the Arkel murder, someone, or something, is trying to stop them. But Jonathan can’t, especially when it becomes apparent that his mother, who disappeared twelve years ago, may have been involved. Faced with all kinds of ghastly dangers, who knows if Jonathan will survive this stay in Darkside.

I really enjoyed Darkside, but I think I enjoyed its sequel, Lifeblood even more. Becker handles all the shifting points of view and different yet connected storylines well. It’s a pleasure to read along as Jonathan and Carnegie pursue the truth and new and interesting developments arise. I don’t know if this is possible, but Lifeblood seemed to have even more action than Darkside did. There’s some kind of danger on practically every page—and I loved it! It’s very easy to become lost in the alluringly deadly streets of Darkside and enthralled with all the quirky and devious characters readers will meet. I don’t think that Becker’s skill is fully appreciated by most readers. It’s not so easy to make everything connect just so as Becker does while also making things more exciting than in previous adventures. I was thoroughly pleased with Lifeblood, in the writing, plot, and characters, and cannot wait for the next installment in the series, Nighttrap.

Fans of Darkside will not want to miss Lifeblood, nor will those who enjoyed Foundling by D.M. Cornish, The Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover, and Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from publisher Scholastic

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