Kidz Book Buzz Blog Tour: The Diamond of Darkhold, Day 1

Instead of writing a typical review, my 15-year-old brother Robbie, 17-year-old cousin Marie and I decided to chat about the good--and bad--in Jeanne Du Prau's new Ember book, The Diamond of Darkhold.

Noel: Thanks for joining me, kids. It is okay to call you kids, right? I mean, you're still in high school. And I graduated like, three years ago.

Marie: laughs

Robbie: Yeah, that’s fine.

Noel: No comment, Marie?

Marie: laughs No comment.

Noel: Okay. Um, welcome. Have you read … uh, let’s just not start there, let’s start with, um, did you like this book? Did you like “The Diamond of Darkhold?”

Marie: Yeah, I liked it.

Robbie: Yeah, I did.

Noel: Can you be a little more specific for our friendly readers?

Robbie: It was an intriguing book?

Marie: It was really interesting.

[Note: these people need to look up the word "specific."]

Noel: In what way?

Robbie: The plot.

Marie: Yeah I wasn’t expecting lots of stuff that happened.

Noel: Okay had you read any of the previous Ember books?

Marie: I actually read all three because I knew I wanted to do this tour, and I didn’t want to be lost so I read all the previous books

Robbie: I only read the first two.

Noel: So you didn’t read—

Robbie: The third one, whatever it was—

Noel: “The Prophet—

Robbie: Wasn’t it about aliens?

Noel: of Yonwood.” What was that about?

Marie: That was set before the “Diamond of Darkhold,” before all the other books.

Noel: So it was like a prequel.

Marie: Yeah.

Robbie: Only it was the third one.

Marie: Yeah. That was kind of confusing, how they weren’t written in chronological order.

Robbie: So it was before the ancient world became the ancient world?

Marie: It was before the disaster.

Robbie: Yeah

Noel: Okay, well, I’d only read “The City of Ember,” but “Diamond” seemed to pretty much pick up where that left off.

Marie: Yeah.

Noel: Um, who was your favorite character in this book? The Diamond of Darkhold. By Jeanne Du Prau. On sale now.

Marie: Um.

Robbie: I forget a lot of the names now.

Noel: Well that’s a good … "buy this book, you’ll forget the people’s names before a month’s gone."

Robbie: Here, hand me the book.

[thud, as the book is thrown across the table]

Noel: Okay, um, I guess liked, like um, the trader, she was interesting.

[Note: Noel, also, needs to look up the definition of "specific"]

Robbie: (suggestively) You liked Doon best, probably.

Noel: No. I liked Maggs, the roamer with the horse, because it was like a remnant of their past. What about you, Marie?

Marie: I liked Lina.

Robbie: Well duh, come on.

Noel: Any special reason?

Marie: Um, I don’t know. I like how she faced her fears when she had to, because she knew that was the only way and she had to.

Noel: Another thing I liked was the names of the Troggs, the family living down in Ember when they went back. That was pretty funny. And actually I’m going to give away a free copy of the book later this week, and it involves those names, so you’ll be hearing more about that. But anyway, as I read, I noticed that Jeanne did a great job keeping the action going, there wasn’t really a time when something wasn’t either happening, or about to happen, or had just happened. Was there any event that really stood out to you?

Marie: Um, I liked when they went back to Ember.

Noel: What about you Robbie?

Robbie: Um, the event that stood out to me was when Doon’s father fell and—

Noel: Just stop, right there. You know how I feel about blood and needles and things so, yeah. You did that on purpose.

Robbie: Because I feel that—

Noel: Just—

Robbie: –it was the turning point that made Doon want to go back so he could find that anti-b stuff.

Noel: Yes. Okay. A couple of times it seemed like Jeanne put parentheses around some of the important information, and I kind of wished she would have developed the last chapter or two a little more…

[here the recording screeches to a chipmunky halt]

Noel: Okay, I’m back. It was the batteries. As I was saying, I’m sure she was at her limit as far as middle grade word count goes. What did you guys think of the ending, did she tie up the series well?

Marie: I think she did. She covered everything that I could think of, but it did seem like it all happened really fast. Like in the last chapter, everything was being wound up at the exact same time.

Robbie: You know, I don’t see how you guys catch this stuff, because I just read the book and it’s like hey, that was kind of a good book and you know? That was about it. I don’t see where it went fast.

Noel: Well, you’re a boy.

Robbie: Well, I—what I caught was, how I put it was, I didn’t think it was AS well written as they rest of the books.

Noel: What about you, Marie? Do agree with that statement?

Marie: Um, I think that it is a good book and the others might have been a little more developed, like there was more of a spark for them—

Noel: Haha, no pun intended

Marie: Hahaha.

Noel: I don’t know, I guess every time I thought well, this is kind of getting slow, something happened. So that’s what I was talking about when I said you know, she kept the action going. There was never really a lull in the action, and so that’s definitely in the book’s favor. Cause lots of times you start reading a book and about the middle there’s nothing happening and you can go chapters and it’s just people walking and talking--like The Hobbit, you know?

Marie: laughs

Noel: Yeah. So she definitely kept the plot moving.

Robbie: I liked that book.

Noel: The Hobbit?

Robbie: Yeah, can we do a discussion on that?

Noel: Anyway, um okay, so the film version of the City of Ember comes out October 10th. Are either of you planning to see the film?

Robbie: Yes, yes!

Marie: Yes, I would like to see it.

Noel: Like one to five, how excited are you? Um, you’d like to see it, or—

Robbie: Four!

Noel: One to five, Marie.

Marie: What’s five?

Noel: Five is you’re peeing you pants like Kathleen [another of our cousins] waiting to see Narnia.

Robbie: That’s nasty

Marie: I’ll go with a four then.

Noel: Okay, that’s good. Kathleen owns the five. Um, oh! Do you have any parting thoughts, anything I haven’t touched on that you’d like to share?

Robbie: Yeah, I want to figure out how they, did you get the impression that they screwed the light bulb inside the diamond? Cause that’s what it looks like on the cover of the book.

Marie: Well … yeah, that’s what it looks like.

Robbie: And it also—doesn’t it also mention about a blue light? And so it’d be coming through the diamond? part? glass? thing?

Noel: Well, I think that actually what you’re seeing on the cover is one of the diamonds without the light bulb attached—

Marie: But it’s shining—

Noel: It’s shining, I don’t know—

Robbie: The sun is behind it!

Noel: Yeah, see because I think the little round ring thing at the bottom is where you screw in the light bulb and the blue light he’s talking about is from the reflection off the glass.

Robbie: It looks like hyperspace.

Marie: If you put the light bulb in at the gold rim—

Robbie: So they stick out at opposite ends, the light bulb and the diamond.

Marie: Then how do you set it down anywhere?

Robbie: You tip it upside down.

Noel: Yeah, you set in on the diamond, cause it’s got like a flat top. Okay, well, Marie, did you have a parting thought?

Robbie: Hey, that wasn’t my parting thought.

Noel: Marie? Are you there?

Robbie: She’s departed.

Marie: Oh, um … no?

Noel: Okay, well, thank you so much for chatting, Marie and Robbie, and everyone, be sure to come back tomorrow to continue the book tour.


sally apokedak said...

Ha! You three are hysterical.

I hope you've burned that manuscript I sent you years ago--you and Robbie are never, ever to discuss in public anything I write. OK?

April said...

That was awesome!! What a fun idea and great way to review!!

~Kathleen said...

oh my gosh,you guys are cruel. But then again...I was extremely excited for both those movies. But City of Ember wasn't anything like the book...but still a good movie over all. =D

Noel De Vries said...

We love you Kathleen. :)