Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review: Dark Lord: The Early Years by Dirk Lloyd (Jamie Thomson)

Published by: Bloomsbury Kids
Released on: October 2nd, 2012
Ages: 8 & up
Source: book from publisher to review
4 stars: I Enjoyed It!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

The Dark Lord is confounded when he awakens in the middle of a small town on a planet he's never seen before. What is this strange place, why do they keep calling him Dirk Lloyd, and why is he powerless against these earthlings who insist on finding his parents? Could it be that Dirk Lloyd is really a human incarnation of the Dark Lord who, after a cataclysmic final battle with his arch nemesis, was hurled into the Pit of Uttermost Despair, aka Earth? Or is he just a lost and confused boy? The Dark Lord mustregain his rightful place in the universe before his powers of domination and destruction are lost forever, and help comes from a most unlikely source . . . a human friend. 

Readers will delight in this wickedly humorous tale as the Dark Lord-theIncarnation of Evil, The World Burner-finds that even he might have a good side. -quoted from Goodreads

I feel like my review needs to start off with an evil laugh. After all this is a review for Dark Lloyd, or as he's known in our world Dirk Lloyd. Known as The Dark Lord, Dirk Lloyd is now a human, in our world and has no powers. Once the powerful ruler of a dark world, Dirk some how fell into our world and without his ring, and his power, he's unable to get back into his world. Forced to live life as a human, Dirk goes through various tests, and his given a foster home to stay in, since no one knows where he's from, and no one believes he's the Dark Lord he keeps claiming to be. 

Written in a way that's both comical, and for the most part engaging for kids to read, Dirk is forced to go to school, discovers a few new friends, deals with a few bullies, and finds ways around doing things without his old powers. Dirk's story is told through a fun narrative, his journal entries, and some of his illustrations. Though I found some of his wordage to be repetitive, I think Dirk and his story are one young readers are really going to enjoy. It's funny, it has situations they can relate to, mentions of sports, a good vs evil plot, video game talk, and friendship. Above all it has a character that's both an evil genius, funny, and some one who learns a lot about friendship. Not to mention we get glimpses into the world The Dark Lord once ruled. 

With a cast of unforgettable characters both in our world and from The Dark Lord's world, Dark Lord is a book I think a lot of readers will devour. It has a little bit of a Vordak feel to it (another great MG book), and a little bit of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Though this a book that is entirely it's own. It's a fun, adventurous, engaging read, and one I think even reluctant readers will enjoy. That ending will leave readers wishing the next installment in Dirk's story was already out. I'd definitely add this book to your list for MG readers!
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~