Dark Lord: School’s Out

Dark Lord: School's OutDark Lord: School’s Out by Jamie Thomson. Walker Books, 2014. First published in the UK by Orchard Books, 2012.
In the first book of this snarky series (which I haven’t read), the Dark Lord was exiled from his domain by the White Wizard Hasdruban, send to live as a middle school student called Dirk Lloyd. Now he lives with a nearly angelic boy, Christopher, and his minister parents, trying to navigate the human world with his Dark Lord instincts. Disaster strikes when his other best friend, Sooz, is accidentally sent over to the Darklands. Dirk and Christopher must work to get her back. Meanwhile, Sooz decides that she must reclaim the Darklands in the name of the Dark Lord, uncovering dirty secrets about the so-called good guys in the process. But while she loves her dark fashions as much as the next goth girl, she turns out to have a social justice streak that is, well, a little shocking for those used to the Dark Lord’s rule. And what will his reaction be when he finds out that his former subjects now expect a living wage and break time? Assuming they can get around the enemies tracking them down in both worlds…

This is silly fun, perfectly combining middle school interpersonal actions with cross-world adventures. It’s very fun to see all the characters adjusting to shifting roles and relationships – Dirk/ the Dark Lord wrestling with the unfamiliar empathy and mushy feelings that being human causes, Christopher figuring out how to remain part of the trio despite his own, despised innocence, Sooz finding the line between appreciation of the dark beauty and real evil. The adventure on both sides of the lines are also entertaining – Dirk is pursued by an evil nanny as well as Sooz’s more obvious peril – and there are fun little dark details, like the cell phone with tiny skeleton arms to grab on to the ear that Dirk adapts to call the Darklands. It’s dark humor that manages to stay on the light side of things, and recommended for those aged about 10 and up.

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About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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3 Responses to Dark Lord: School’s Out

  1. Pingback: Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan | alibrarymama

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