Warning: Contains Spoilers!
The Esk Valley was filled with sand.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: I have to say that I felt a little swizzed when I realised that the waves on the cover of this book were sand and not, as I had originally guessed, a river of blood. (You could’ve had a river of blood, Robin!)
I can’t help but admire how stoic Lil and Verne are being throughout all this. Cherry’s still recharging and their parents are on a sliding scale of mildly helpful to, well, Cassandra, but neither of our spooky happenings duo have had a full-on breakdown yet. Here’s hoping they can keep their chins up – or at least, above the sand.
Matt’s Thoughts: Now this chapter I really enjoyed because I couldn’t find a precedent for it in any other sort of story. Bugs, sickness and mist are a nice nod to the Ten Plagues but, Mr Jarvis, where did you get the idea of turning Whitby into a giant sandpit? It’s a great visual idea and I can just picture it all. (Perhaps because I’m a fan of Lawrence of Arabia, so anything with sand.) It’s almost fun, but then when you throw in giant insects as well? Eurgh …
Meanwhile, I should say something about Jack Potts. There is always a difficulty with robots in stories – how many feelings do you actually give them given that they’re not human? So the scene with the teacup and how it teaches Jack about human mortality is a really nice touch. It also sets up another subplot – will he fight against his possession by Mr Dark?
Finally, blood-stained glasses might be just one of the great illustration gems in this book.