By David R. Smith
286 pages – ages 10+
Published by Fundautum Publishing 2011
What would you do if your country was invaded and taken over by a powerful and evil country called Gar? On the planet Fundautum that actually happened! The cruel and evil Gars were trying to take over the whole planet. The Gars attacked and took over Holpe’s Island. They made the citizens of Holpe’s Island pay them 20% of everything they earn and they take anyone who resists them as prisoners – or worse! The Gars force people to work for them and they are always patrolling the streets. They will severely punish anyone they think is not doing what they should be. The people of Holpe’s Island are not free to do what they want or even communicate with each other. After Kief’s father, who tried to speak out against the Gars, was taken by the Gars, Kief thought he was killed. Kief and his friends form a secret resistance group called The Dark Eagle. The group was formed to try to stop the Gars. Their plan was to send a train car full of explosives to an event where all the Gars were assembled for a big speech. They are able to drive the Gars from the island, but for how long? Kief also learns information about his father’s death that sends Kief and his friends traveling towards Gar!
First of all the book looked like an actual journal – very cool!
“The Dark Eagles First Flight” is the first book in a new series by David Smith. I thoroughly enjoyed “The Dark Eagle’s First Flight” because it was totally exciting and there was a lot of action. The beginning of the book started out a little slow but I guess it had to because Mr. Smith had to explain about the world of Fundautum and the characters. Kief was a good main character but I liked Luften (a member if The Dark Eagles) the most. Mr. Smith really explained the world well, I could easily see Fundautum in my head. He even has extra pages in the book with notes about Fundautum (things like gravity, moons, time). One bad thing is that there was quite a bit of violence, nothing graphic, but I think there didn’t have to be so much. I hope there isn’t as much violence in the next book of the series. I like the setting of the book because of the time period. It is like the time on Earth before cars, computers and TVs. It was kind of a “steampunky” setting. I would recommend the book to kids ages 10+ with a caution about the violence.
When I visited the website for the book (click HERE to go to it), I realized that Mr. Smith has it set up as a geocache! HOW COOL!! If you don’t know what geocaching is, it’s an actual treasure hunt that you use GPSs to find coordinates to find a hidden treasure. You can find more about geocaching HERE. If you have never been geocaching you should try it, it’s a lot of fun and there are treasures hidden all around the world! My parents took us a couple of times and it is a lot of fun! Mr. Smith has the book as a treasure (you can find it in California – BOO! – too far from me)! I saw pictures of people on his face book page finding the book geocache (and it is hidden in the cool box wrapped in paper like the pictures on the left). Although I think the geocache thing is really cool, I thought the website was a little hard to navigate for me and I thought it could be a little better. It even took me a while to figure out that the book was a geocache. I think things could be labeled better. You can see sample pages from the book on the website and also purchase the book there.