Reviews - The Darziods' Stone

                                            THE DARZIODS' STONE

Hello Richard, my name is Nils and my granddad just got the book The Darziods' Stone for my brother's birthday, but I read it instead. I really liked it and it's one of my favourite books. I really think you should try and make it into a movie.
Best wishes, Nils. Aged 13
( Ps make a sequel)

The Darziods’ Stone is a very intriguing story about a small group of teenagers, following their travels and battles against a dark and mysterious group, the Alchemani, for treasure hidden in a quiet cove in Cornwall. Harry and his friends stop at nothing to get their hands on the treasure – putting themselves in some precarious situations. The Alchemani go against them at every turn as they too race for the treasure – they seek the Darziods’ stone, a magical stone not from this earth, as part of their search for immortality. With help from secret agents, AJ and Willow, Harry and his group embark on a life-changing journey that puts their lives at a great risk.

The Darziods’ Stone is a very enjoyable thriller – effortlessly moving between action, comedy and science-fiction. The book hooked me in from the beginning, and although it began at a gentle pace, I soon found that I could not put it down. The tension built appropriately throughout the story as the action intensified.

All of Smith’s characters were believable and well fleshed out. The relationships between the children contained enough friction to reflect true life. And even when Ryan was acting out and pushing the boundaries of their friendships, in particular with Mitch, he still remained likeable. Harry, though, steals the show.

Upon completing the book, I can find nothing negative to say about the experience; it was an intense, well-built book. If Smith was to release a follow-up to The Darziods’ Stone, I would be at the front of the queue to purchase it.

Self Publisher's Showcase
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When the school summer trip to Blackpool gets cancelled, Harry's parents offer to include Harry's friends in their trip to Tredock Cove in Cornwall. Amelia, Mitch and Asad are grateful - Cornwall will be great and, even if it isn't as great as Blackpool, anything is better than being stuck at home, right? Ryan is less convinced. He's not the most open-minded of boys and he sincerely believes that Cornwall is full of carrot-crunchers. But he goes along anyway, even if it is reluctantly. Even Ryan doesn't want to be left at home by himself.

And it doesn't take long for the quiet break in Cornwall to turn into something much more exciting - and frightening. The kids find a secret code and become convinced that cracking it will lead them to hidden treasure. And it might well do, but the code will also lead them to something much more dangerous...
... because as readers of The Darziods' Stone will already know, thanks to a prologue dating back to 1798, Tredock Cove was once the scene of something very sinister indeed. A ship returning from the Napoleonic wars once stopped off there. Its captain and boatswain were murdered and the rest of the crew disappeared, never to be found. The world never knew this but an experiment conducted by a band of prisoner alchemists, led by the evil de Richlieu, was to blame.

As our heroes search for treasure, they find themselves pitted against these ancient forces. And they will need some extraterrestrial help if they ever hope to defeat them.

My gosh! The Darziods' Stone is a roller coaster of a read! The action comes thick and fast and there are twists and turns aplenty. There's also a large cast of lead and secondary characters to keep up with. If you enjoy a high octane thriller that balances multiple plot threads and character arcs, you will thoroughly enjoy it. It combines a boys own adventure feel with ancient conspiracy and a touch of sci-fi. You have alchemists, the Knights Templar, mind control, reversing magnetic polarities, alien benefactors - you name it, The Darziods' Stone has it.

I enjoyed the bighearted enthusiasm of it all and the touch of humour lent by some of the sassy dialogue. I also enjoyed the relationships between the friends, which included standard peer group rivalries as well as the standard heroic loyalty you'd expect from the main characters in an adventure story of derring-do.

The Darziods' Stone is one for the fan of adventure thrillers, those who like to read fast and hard and don't want the action to drop for a single second. Because, I promise you, it doesn't.

Bookbag.com
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This adventure story offers young readers a satisfyingly thrilling romp through danger, suspense, intrigue and comradeship as it takes the group of young people led by young Harry on a treasure hunt through Cornwall. The friends arrive at a vacation site in the company of Harry and his sister Molly, whose parents have obtained a summer spot for them all to enjoy a holiday. At first the kids are bored and think a camp out will be their only chance for fun in a place where there is no internet connection or cell service. Soon Harry's parents tell them about an old curse on the area and a treasure that is supposedly yet to be found. Before long the teenagers are engaged in a battle with evil forces; aided by secret agents, they all seek the extra-terrestrial magical stone which has been lost for centuries. The characters in the story are believable, likeable and the story, though long, is a thriller many adults will also enjoy. I was offered a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review and am very glad to have had this opportunity. If you are looking for a book for young readers or adults who like fantasy with a touch of sic-fi, I would highly recommend this book.

Sharron, Renaissance Farm   
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It was a fascinating read!

The story starts with creating and hiding of a special stone, in a cove in Cornwall, that becomes the most wanted stone and leads to war between two groups. Of course, one set being good, that wishes to protect the stone and the other, the bad guys, that wants it for their own selfish purposes. Now, come to the present and we find 5 kids, who go for a holiday at the controversial spot and lo! their holiday turns into a treasure hunt. But the bad guys get into the action, and the good guys try to shield the kids and the kids find themselves trapped in a battle of good and bad, all the while fighting for the treasure, as well as their sweet lives. Who wins? That's for the readers to find out in this very captivating crime, mystery, sci-fi, action mix work of fiction. I would love to be a part of such a treasure hunt. ;)

I must say, it was a fun read. I liked all the characters, save Ryan. Well. Though the plot was a bit stretched at times, it was never boring and there were twists and turns upon turning almost every page. The author's writing is very engaging and I am sure, readers from almost every generation will enjoy this book.

100% recommended to the young readers and to those who love a nice, cosy mystery. :)

Shubhra

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This is an exciting story! There were quite a few plot twists that I did not expect. I was on the edge of my seat much of the time. There is also magic, action and bravery exemplified as these teens battle against forces they have little comprehension about.
Richard has done an admirable job of weaving seeming disparate elements into a wild and action filled tale that spans 200 years! I have a firm policy against spoiling a good read, so I cannot say more about the story.
The writing is above average, Richard does a good job of keeping the point of view clear, and there is little or no confusion. I love the balance of action, introspection, and dialog.
I give The Darziods’ Stone 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Mark Schultz

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The Darziod’s Stone is set in a quiet Cornish cove, where a group of visiting teenagers find a secret code that leads them to an ancient treasure.
I was drawn to reading this book as I spent many a happy summer holiday on the Cornish coast as a child.  I was interested to read a story filled with mystery and adventure based in this setting. I wasn’t disappointed.
Right from the start it packs an action-packed punch and I felt Wow – what an explosive story! It’s Famous Five meets The Davinci Code meets Doctor Who!
We’ve got Young Adult fiction meets Sci-Fi, meets historical, meets mystery.  There are so many genres all competing but yet happily overlapping in this fast-paced action story.
The author has clearly done his research into the historical and mythological basis for his creation and cleverly weaves together myth, legend and fiction.  The teenage characters are likeable and believable and the story definitely has it’s share of surprises and twists and turns, during which you feel their excitement, angst and foreboding.
At times the level of historical detail was almost too involved for me personally and detracted a little from the pace of the story. That being said, I enjoyed the inclusion of sketches and illustrations which gave greater elaboration upon the subject matters.  I also enjoyed the author’s use of changing perspectives – where he would switch to simultaneous happenings or flip back to past memories of the characters.  This sometimes meant you were keeping up with a lot of different information vying for your attention and on occasion I put the book down and came back to it refreshed at a later time.  But it was hard to do, because at the same time, I didn’t want to put it down and wanted to fly through and find out what was going to happen next!

Mama B

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A marvellous journey worth taking.

Intriguing enough to engage even reluctant readers ‘The Darziods’ Stone’ is an entertaining caper fiction and coming of age fantasy adventure that showcases believable camaraderie of five teenage friends who embark on an unexpected discovery after their trip to Tredock cove in Cornwall.

The undercurrents of mystery, excitement and fear is relentless and embodied powerfully in the setting of a cove in Cornwall with a secret special stone hidden more than 200 years ago and a lot more lurking beyond imagination of teenage friends. ‘The Darziods’ Stone’ is an impressive story that paints characters world vividly with a new plot twist around every corner and delivers  a complex journey of obsession, greed, survival and good vs evil.

Author Richard Smith’s passion for writing is evident through his compassionate narration that overflows with imaginative conceits. Those who enjoy a mix of fantasy, adventure and stories of great daring with a clever cast of characters are sure to fall for author Richard’s intricate novel with undeniable potential. This book is definitely an absorbing, fast paced read with an affable appeal that is worth reading by young adults.

Enas Reviews

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By Sharon Harvey  on 25th April 2017

Well I've got to say I was very surprised by this book.

I've not read a kids book, well young adults I believe is the correct terminology these days, since my teens a zillion years ago when the famous five was my favourite read.
However I took the chance I started to read the book and was pleasantly surprised and shocked by my enjoyment of it.

It actually reminded me of the famous five with the five kids going on an adventure, and then some with a bit of the A team, Charmed and The Woman in Black mixed in for good measures.

The only setback for me was the beginning with the pirates story telling of the treasure. I wasn't keen on that but had to read it to understand where the rest of the story originated from.

On completion of the book, I had found myself, not wanting to put the book down and having a laugh in some places at the added humour in the book. There were quite a few characters in it, which did confuse me somewhat, to the extent I had to write down who was who so I could revert back to them and did wonder if they were needed as were the length of the book but after much consideration I came to the conclusion it probably was. 

I don't want to spoil the ending for any impending reader but I did wrestle whether I agreed with the ending as it turned out...

As I said I had a few gripes here and there and if you are still not sure, just think this way, as I said above, I have not read a YA book for years, and was very unsure of reading it but I enjoyed it....So what does that tell you?

Even though I had a few gripes it was not enough to alter my rating of it which is ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The Darziods Stone is a fast-paced, thrilling adventure, set in the present, involving an ancient treasure, a cursed village, a malevolent secret organisation and a group of ordinary teenagers who find themselves caught up in it all. The action starts in Cornwall at the cursed village, where the teenagers are on holiday. They learn more about the supposed curse, whilst encountering some mysterious pictures on walls, dark flashes of something at the corner of their eyes and strangely unnerving seagulls.

What starts as a mystery quickly turns into an action story as they discover clues to the whereabouts of treasure and a magical stone, also meeting two different factions who are after the stone. The quality of writing is excellent - there were a few minor typos, but nothing that got in the way of fluent reading. The inventiveness of the story is really enjoyable: as it progresses, it weaves in history, supernatural elements and even some science fiction. Characterisation is good, though I did think there were slightly too many peripheral ones - I lost sight of who one or two were. All in all, a great adventure story: I would think it would be enjoyed by teenagers and anyone else who loves a good mystery

Bookplex.com

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The Darziods’ Stone by Richard Smith is a riveting tale that takes readers on a fast-paced, thrilling adventure that leads to unexpected discoveries. The book is a science-fiction novel that effectively blends themes of historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, and adventure.

Over two centuries ago on the sleepy shores of Tredock Cove, Cornwall: Captain Wragg and his boatswain’s decision to take possession of all treasures belonging to the ‘prisoners of war’ aboard their ship, quickly incites a disturbing turn of events. Double murder, missing crew members, and mayhem: the quiet Cornish Cove was never the same again!

Fast forward to a little more than two hundred years later: Summer of 2016. What was supposed to be the highlight of the school holiday—a summer camp in Blackpool, gets canceled. Harry’s parents swoop in and save the day by including Harry’s friends (Amelia, Asad, Mitch, and Ryan) on their trip to the Cornish countryside. On arrival, the teenagers soon realize that there is no phone signal or web connection; they naturally think that their holiday will be jam-packed with boredom. It isn’t long before a tussle ensues that results in the teens stumbling on a secret code. This event leads to a treasure hunt with deadly consequences: the awakening of evil forces and a two hundred-year old curse. Turns out, hidden with the treasure lay a special stone sort by two rivaling factions. Who will find the treasure first? Will Harry, his family, and friends make it out of Cornwall alive?

Wow! From the first page to the last, this book had me on the edge of my seat a great deal of the time. This novel was very impressive and completely blew my mind! It more than met my expectations, if anything it exceeded them. I would be up at odd hours of the night reading the book, and when I finally went to bed: my mind stayed awake, riddled with thoughts over something that had happened as a result of plot twists that I had not anticipated. While reading the book, I could tell there was a lot of work and research that went into the scientific, geographical, historical, and mythological aspects that the author brilliantly intertwined to create a great story. The author also did a remarkable job of melding fact and fiction: which not only made for a believable narrative but one that was very insightful and interesting as well.

I appreciated the well-written exposition and smooth transition from current events to past events. The authors writing style and formatting of the book ensured that there would be no confusion: when readers encountered flashbacks and dialogue between different characters. There was a large cast of main and secondary characters with most of them being multidimensional and very convincing. The interactions, decisions, and slight tension between the young lads made them seem true to life. As the plot intensified, the author skillfully introduced new characters that aided the story forward, leading readers through each layer of mystery and adventure. I loved the element of surprise ushered by the plot twists in the book, I also totally did not expect the ending. There were moments when I was puzzled, intrigued, excited and at times saddened by what had transpired. I especially enjoyed the sense of humor brought to life by the cheeky dialogue that inspired quite a few laugh out loud moments. The only thing I would say holds the book from perfection is that there were a few typos, but these were far in between and did not get in the way of me following the story.

After reading The Darziods’ Stone, I was in complete awe of the writer's ability to articulate and express his ideas in a fashion that transported the reader into the character’s world. The vivid and clear description of events and locations in the book worked well. On top of that, the drawings and illustrations featured: complemented the description of certain scenes and experiences—which is something I think younger readers will appreciate. The setting, plot, and characters came together beautifully to tell a captivating story. Therefore, I am pleased to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I loved this book so much that I decided to purchase a copy for my younger brother. And also as a way to appreciate the author for writing such an awesome book. I recommend this book to young adults and anyone who loves a good mystery and adventure with a touch of history and sci-fi.

Ritah - onlinebookclub.org

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The Darziods' Stone

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Although it's classed as science fiction, this book is as earthly real as we are, not the normal ,"I know how this ends" type of book, I know when you read this, you won't know the end and not only that you won't want it to end, you'll be enjoying it too much. The authors first book " Time Trap" was fantastic as well, not sure what one I liked the most and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel to time trap that I know is being written now. Order both on amazon, you'll be glad you did.

David Glister

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