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Dark Whispers (Unicorn Chronicles) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Feb 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059045952X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590459525
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 581,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The third book in the Unicorn Cronicles and much thicker than the previous two. My daughter (8) has been totally inspired by these books often reading out paragraphs to me that she felt had to be shared! Would highly recommend for 8-12 year olds.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 43 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last,it's Here! 14 July 2008
By Gwen O' Connell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Well,after years and years of waiting,book three in the Unicorn Chronicles is HERE!!!!Praise the Lord!And I am delighted to say that it is worth the wait.I literally could not put this book down until I was done reading it.A danger to the unicorns has been discovered. All mention of it has been blotted out of the unicorn chronicles except for its name-the Whisperer.The new Queen of the Unicorns sends Cara,Lightfoot,Belle,and Finder to the Valley of the Centaurs to see if they can find out what the Whisperer is.But they are split up when delvers attack them,and Cara is captured.With the help of some old friends,however(and a new ally)she is able to escape.Can they find out the identity of the Whisperer before the Blood Moon,when Beloved will begin the last hunt? Meanwhile,Ian Hunter,Cara's father,is searching for a way into the Rainbow Prison so that he can free his wife.He finds two new friends-Rajiv,a cocky young street urchin,and Fallon,a mysterious man who also has someone he cares about in the Rainbow Prison.With their help, Ian makes it into the Prison before Beloved's hunters catch him.But when they get there,Rajiv discovers that there is no food or water in the Rainbow Prison.In a race against the clock,can Ian find his wife in time? Dark Whispers is a wonderful book,and the fact that it is told from other POVs beside Cara's gives the story more depth.This is a suspenseful story.There is a tragic death.There is a deadly enemy who is the cause of all the unicorn's woes.There is a betrayal by one of Cara's dear friends.And the exciting cliffhanger ending will leave readers desperate for book four.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth 9 years 9 Aug. 2008
By Sarah Ashleigh Walter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, so I haven't actually been waiting nine years for this book. But I think it was well worth the time I did spend waiting for it. In this story, Cara Diana Hunter, daughter of a trained unicorn slayer and granddaughter of the unicorn queen Amalia Flickerfoot (which is one heck of a family tree), must travel with her cousin, the unicorn Lightfoot, and friends from past journeys (Grimwold, M'Gama, Finder, and Belle) to unearth the story that has the potential to uncover the secret between the eminity between the unicorns and the vicious monsters called the delvers. Meanwhile, in India, Cara's father, Ian Hunter, starts off on a dangerous quest to free his wife from the red shaft of the Rainbow Prison with the help of a mysterious man called Fallon, who is seeking a friend, and a street urchin called Rajiv, an eager tagalong who keeps things interesting and proves himself to be very important on their mission. The ending was a cliffhanger, it's true, but if you read the tags, it says it's about Cara's journey to find the story about the delvers (which is only part of the story, actually) and I thought that the ending was nicely constructed to leave you wanting more. Honestly, the other books aren't that long. An 800-page book would really blow it out of proportion, and we just get the next part of the story that much quicker. But you can make your own decision about that. In short, I found that the long-awaited third book of the Unicorn Chronicles was worth the time that it took to come out, and I will be among the first to grab my copy of Book Four when it's available.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was hoping for... 21 Jan. 2010
By M. Corsetti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
(Please note that there will be spoilers for those who haven't read the book yet.)

I want to say first that I've been a long-time fan of Bruce Coville and his works, especially the Unicorn Chronicles. I love the first two; they're some of my favorite books, with tightly-plotted stories and memorable characters. Though the books are YA novels and I'm a teenager, the language in the descriptions and the cadence of the poetry and songs always caught my heart. So, like many others, I was waiting eagerly for the day when the third book of the beautiful Unicorn Chronicles came out. As soon as I could find it (I live in Asia) I checked it out and devoured it over a weekend...

And, unfortunately, I was rather disappointed. "Dark Whispers" is nearly four times the size of "Into the Land of the Unicorns", and has about a fourth of the excitement. To list the major problems I had with the book:

1. The plot(s) built up into nothing. As noted below, there were many subplots in the book, and the buildup came out into nothing. Just the premise that the final hunt of the unicorns has begun - like we knew that wasn't going to happen. I think it would have meant more if Mr. Coville had stuck with one or two plots and really fleshed them out.

2. Unlike the first two books, "Dark Whispers" splits itself into more than seven different viewpoints, all of which are constantly switching in such a way that it's both annoying and a little hard to track. As soon as one character learns something or begins to find something interesting, Coville moves onto another character.

3. Too many plot coupons - by which I mean there are too many quests going on, too many things to find and finish. The protagonist, Cara, has to find out about a mysterious "Whisperer", a being that has never been mentioned before; her father has to travel across the world to find his wife. Even smaller characters such as M'Gama were sent out on myriad quests for objects that had no real significance in this book.

4. Too much telling, not enough showing. I understand that the demographic for this book is between elementary school and middle school, but even they can understand the difference between showing a character's emotions instead of telling them, e.g. "Anna felt angry" versus "Anna gritted her teeth and glared at Bobby." There was such an abundance of telling in this book that it detracted from the story in some parts. It may be simply because I love writing, but Coville's style felt almost contrived with such a lack of emotion.

5. Description. They weren't bad, per se, but they were recycled: one character was described with "thin limbs with corded muscles" (or something to that extent) in one viewpoint and then described almost the same way in another viewpoint two chapters later. Variety is the spice of life, even in writing, and sometimes it felt like this prose needed some. (Sorry for the bad metaphor; it's cliche, but it works.)

6. Language. And by language, I mean swearing. This might sound ironic coming from a teenager, but I was really shocked by the fact that Coville thought it would be a good idea to include swearing in a CHILDREN'S BOOK. To be fair, the character that cursed was an adult man (Ian Hunter) and it could be argued that he simply did this to be realistic, but seeing the words "What the hell?" in an otherwise tame fantasy put a bad feeling in my stomach. Mr. Coville, if you're reading this (and judging by the one other negative review, you will) why did you think that was a good idea? Surely a seasoned author like yourself could find some way of expressing Ian's anger in a better (and more appropriate) way. Take it from a teen reader - adult language does not make your book more adult.

In short, this book suffers heavily from the "midquel" syndrome - like the second book of a trilogy, it mostly focuses on wrapping up plotlines and setting everything up for the final book. And unlike the other books, it doesn't do it that well. Overall, it doesn't seem like a full book - the cliffhanger is so obvious I almost wish that the last two books had been combined into one. Like another reviewer said, this book has a lot of subplots running around that build into nothing, with a simple epilogue that tells us to wait until the next book of the Unicorn Chronicles.

I can emphasize with Mr. Coville on a point; it took him eight years to write this, and the more time that passed, the more pressure he probably felt to make it a good story. But adding in last-minute plot ideas and swearwords is not the way to do it.

Part of me really hates having to write a negative review for one of my favorite childhood authors, but I hope that perhaps Mr. Coville's final book might be a little bit better for it. I'll read the "The Last Hunt", but I'm going to be warier with it than I was with this one. I'm truly sorry, Mr. Coville. You're still and always will be one of my favorite authors and some of my biggest writing inspiration, but I feel that you really dropped the ball with this book.

-Ari
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fantasy for Any Age 31 July 2008
By AlyC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I first started reading The Unicorn Chronicles about 12 years ago (when I was 10). I enjoy reading them as much now as I did back then. This series is dark at times, and full of imagination and a terrific history that keeps readers enthralled. This latest book is terrific, and I couldn't put it down.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unconscionable cliffhanger. 12 Nov. 2008
By Reader5005 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is not even a cliffhanger. It is not a book. It is 462 excellent pages of an 800 page book. Let this serve as the warning that should have been on the cover of "Dark Whispers": Wait for pages 463 to 800 to be written before starting this book at all.

Book three explains a lot, but introduces new characters, new twists, new angles, which all build up to ... nothing. The building-up was done very well, but give me a break! The story races along until you hit the brick wall (the "epilogue" which in its essence is this, "everything you thought that this book was supposed to resolve, as well as the new tensions just introduced, is another story altogether. See ya.")

I guess Bruce ran out of space. Whether this disappiontment was the author's decision or the publisher's, my hope is that Book 4 comes out after 9 weeks, and not the 9 years it took for book 3. It's a near-fabulous series, but it needs more frequent installments.

BTW, the "cliffhanger" was so egregious that I was tempted to give only one star. The build-up however, and the entire series, was 4 or 5.
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