The Darkling Beasts by Reg Downs
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 sway with the wind and rise above the forest. 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 a cautionary tale; it addresses some of the great issues the upcoming generation will have to face.
The Darkling Beasts is suitable for grade 7 into adulthood.