Darkus’s father has disappeared; life at school is spiralling down. Then he meets Jupiter; Jupiter is a giant beetle – and he seems to be intelligent. Does Jupiter hold the key to the mystery that faces Darkus? A mystery unfolds that involves even more beetles – and the evil Lucretia Cutter.
This lively adventure is a very attractive debut that bodes well for its author. Darkus and his friends, Bertold and Virginia, are a likeable trio who, true to the adventure genre, show initiative and determination when facing the villains of the piece. Here Leonard excels in the creation of Lucretia Cutter, once an outstanding scientist who has gone to the dark side. Her foils are the cousins, Pickering and Humphrey who could rival the Twits in nastiness. However, the real stars of the books are the beetles. Young readers will be won over by the author’s enthusiasm for these creatures, learning a little bit about their variety and beauty. They may even hanker for a beetle of their own – as Virginia does
Well crafted, humorous and exciting, this is a book to recommend to boys and girls who want a good read that will both entertain and grab their attention.