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The Deptford Mice #2

The Crystal Prison

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An innocent young mouse lies murdered in a moonlit field as the screech of an owl echoes across the ripening corn. The Deptford Mice have escaped the horrors of Jupiter’s lair and sought refuge in the countryside. But once again they must face terrifying evil as they are embroiled in a series of horrible murders. At first the simple country mice suspect Deptford newcomer Audrey – but the truth turns out to be far more sinister.

190 pages, ebook

Published March 19, 2012

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About the author

Robin Jarvis

48 books222 followers
Robin Jarvis (born May 8, 1963) is a British children's novelist, who writes fantasy novels, often about anthropomorphic rodents and small mammals—especially mice—and Tudor times. A lot of his works are based in London, in and around Deptford and Greenwich where he used to live, or in Whitby.

His first novel—The Dark Portal, featuring the popular Deptford Mice—was the runner up for the Smarties book prize in 1989.

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5 stars
412 (32%)
4 stars
528 (42%)
3 stars
253 (20%)
2 stars
47 (3%)
1 star
14 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews
Profile Image for Jess Pagan.
43 reviews2 followers
June 9, 2020
Great Sequel

Another great story following the loveable characters from Deptford. This time we go to Twit's home in the golden field and meet the field mice. This story felt a bit slow paced compared to the action packed first book in the series, but things start to ramp up as an evil returns to bring terror back to our characters. A great series I'm really enjoying, now onto the finale!
171 reviews9 followers
February 6, 2011
In this second installment in the Deptford Mice Trilogy, Audrey makes a deal with the mysterious Starwife that she will journey to the countryside, taking the mad rat Madam Akkikuyu with her, in exchange for the Starwife saving her friend Oswald’s life. The two of them set off with her brother Arthur and friend Twit to visit Twit’s family and stay with the fieldmice of Fennywolde. Once there, however, the countryside proves to be far less idyllic than Audrey had anticipated. Many of the country mice do not take kindly to the newcomers, and soon their peaceful lives are threatened by an even greater evil which has come with the mice from Deptford.

Having read all of the Deptford Mice books now, I think that this one is my favourite. Robin Jarvis does a wonderful job of creating the society of the fieldmice and of making it different from that of the town mice in Deptford that we saw in the first book. The pace of life is slower but there are also far more dangers to be thought of: the fieldmice post guards constantly around there homes, whereas danger for the city mice is an external thing which thus far has remained outside their domain and is only encountered by those who go looking for it. I particularly liked the traditions and folk ways which played such an important role in the fieldmouse culture and in the plot of this novel, including the much greater emphasis on the Green Mouse and the mouse religion. This managed to be both charming and rustic as well as having a latent threatening quality, and I enjoyed watching Jarvis show how this tension slowly and believably built up as the fieldmice transformed from welcoming but wary characters into a raging mob.

Madam Akkikuyu is a wonderful character. She has a distinct way of speaking that is instantly recognisable, and I’m pleased that this book spends more time with her than the first installment, The Dark Portal, did. The Crystal Prison also sees the other characters develop well: Audrey becomes more sensible as she is forced to make difficult decisions; Arthur plays a much bigger role, allowing the reader to get to know him a bit better; and Twit shows that he is not as empty-headed as all the mice suspect (although I’m sure the reader won’t have been lured into the same trap) simply because he is cheerful and has a rural accent. In this, and in its cliffhanger ending, it paves the way well for book three.
Profile Image for Qt.
501 reviews
June 7, 2008
I think I liked this book even more than the first--but be warned that it is fairly dark, and sometimes violent. It starts right after the end of Book One, and reading "Dark Portal" first is probably a good idea.

******Small Spoiler********
I found it exciting and creepy--a lot of the scary stuff comes not only from magic and "horror" elements, but also from the mouse community's "mob mentality."

It's also kind of sad towards the end--I'm a little concerned about how the trilogy will end, too! However, I'm looking forward to reading Book 3 anyway, as it is an engrossing and unpredictable trilogy so far.
Profile Image for Logan Mcguire.
8 reviews1 follower
April 28, 2014
Man, I love this series. So much intensity and weird cults. So spooky. I adore this book and it's series and I did not expect that ending. Audrey was definitely having a hard time and that mouse brass maker gets on my nerves. Love it and highly suggest it. Madame Akkikuyu is a wonderful character and what happens to her is unexpected, but it fits the theme.
Profile Image for Edward Davies.
Author 3 books35 followers
June 29, 2015
This was the first of Robin Jarvis's books I read, and I still remember how genuinely dark and creepy it was. A great addition to the series with a very different setting that shows how adaptable Jarvis can be.
Profile Image for Vivian.
299 reviews1 follower
May 11, 2018
I am enjoying the Deptford mice series overall and this second installment was a good read. I gave this 3 stars because i have a certain angst when it comes to religious fanaticism. I generally don't like to read where an innocuous set of beliefs suddenly becomes violently intolerant and all sorts of craziness ensues. So let me talk about what worked in this story - the way we treat our friends in that we can become careless and selfish with those that we love. I was heartened to see how Twit became such a redeeming character and I hope the next story in the series has him present (and he better not get killed...) I won't spoil this good story but I will say that it was not as good as the first. On to number 3...
154 reviews21 followers
November 26, 2017
I like that Jarvis writes darker material for children and doesn't shy away from themes like death, the occult and sacrifice, but his writing is lacking. Everything is laid out plainly for the reader and redundant descriptions abound. It's not enough that we get a reaction, we also get an analysis of that reaction, explaining that character x doesn't like character y because z just happened (after we watched character y doing z). There are additional pacing problems, particularly in the middle of the book. Finally, I'm almost certain everyone figured out the plot twist halfway through, so the book doesn't have many surprises after a certain point.
Profile Image for Ty.
103 reviews4 followers
July 28, 2022
A solid step down from book 1, but there were some genuinely spooky moments. I had fun with it.
91 reviews
July 28, 2012
I liked this trilogy in middle school, and this book is still really engrossing years later.

I liked:
-everything about the relationship between the Starwife and her squirrelly minions
-that Jarvis lets his characters get themselves deeper into trouble through their own actions
-the general storyline

I did not like:
-some of the characterization just doesn't quite work for me. Alison Sedge, in particular, seems like someone that Jarvis just wants us to hate, and who is never really given room to be a full person
-while the characters were allowed to get themselves INTO trouble, Audrey, who is supposed to be the main character, never really fixed her own problems. She was saved by Twit, Madame Akikkuyu and others, but even at the climax, she didn't really save herself so much as all the people who caused her problems ceased to be an issue. I would have liked to have seen Audrey save herself once or twice.

Overall enjoyable, fairly creepy, glad I went back to it.
Profile Image for Dayna Smith.
2,853 reviews9 followers
August 30, 2016
The second book in the Deptford Mice trilogy is darker and even more exciting than the first. A wonderful tale of the power of evil and redemption. Audrey, Arthur, and Twit are commanded by the Starwife to take Madame Akkikuyu to Twit's home of Fennywolde. But evil comes with them and affects everyone in the field. Mice are murdered, evil magic abounds, and the mice struggle to find the source of all their troubles. But have they found the real culprit? A great sequel, can't wait to read the third and final book.
39 reviews
May 26, 2008
This book was a good book but it didn't quite satisfy me, but I still recommend this book to be read. his book is about a gang of mice in a country place where they will have to learn to live, uncover a murder, and stop an evil rising.This book showed me the impoance of friedship because in the end, the mice were saved by a friend with an unfailing loyalty.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
52 reviews1 follower
May 20, 2009
this book was very boring i have to say the story line didnt really catch my attention even though i read i couldnt really tell you detail by detail fo what was going on in the book of what was going on with these mouses so i wouldnt reconmend this book to anyone who is really interested in reading a good book.
Profile Image for Alison.
171 reviews2 followers
April 22, 2015
This is a dark book series in feeling and imagination. It does, though, have a wonderful story and adventure waiting to be discovered inside. I loved this book for the characters are animals and they live in societies like humans. This book gives personification to these animals and that is what I would like my students to learn more about.
Profile Image for Peter.
Author 10 books79 followers
August 23, 2010
I liked Book 2 better than Book 1, but still am bothered by Jarvis' deus ex machina style of story telling and the personality inconsistencies of his primary character Audrey (the mouse). Nevertheless, I'm going to pick up Volume 3.
Profile Image for Gemma Esprey.
10 reviews
November 25, 2010
I loved this book as an early teenager and read everything of Robin Jarvis I could get my hands on. It was magical and mysterious. It will stay with me forever. I still have the old copies in my loft somewhere to give to my daughter.
174 reviews17 followers
November 28, 2014
The excellent second book in the trilogy carries on the adventures of the Deptford mice and their battle against the evil Jupiter. Some more fantastic characters are introduced, as is a whole new village. First rate storytelling.
175 reviews1 follower
June 6, 2016
It was AMAZING! But the storyline was kind of dull. Nothing happened for a while. It wasn't like the first one where various things were happeneing at once. No, it was just Audrey, Twit, Aruther. The book is REALLY slow at first, but it picks up at the end.
Profile Image for Beka.
2,552 reviews
November 10, 2016
While it was an enjoyable story, something left me unsettled about this story. Obviously, the ending was left open for another book to come, but I really didn't like the "resolution" of so many of the plot points. Maybe I just want the ending to have been closer to happy?
Profile Image for Virginia.
48 reviews
June 9, 2008
Great continuation of the saga - did not go where I expected it to at first - which is probably why I enjoy Jarvis' novels so much.
Profile Image for Jailynn.
148 reviews8 followers
January 22, 2009
While I did like this one a little bit more than the first it was also kind of dark for kids.
Profile Image for harrie kd.
89 reviews1 follower
April 8, 2011
ust got reminded of these by the fact they're doing a live version at wimbledon theatre. it was one of my favourites as a kid, i read all these deptford mice books multiple times. great stuff!
Profile Image for Donna Hunt.
189 reviews1 follower
September 20, 2012
Very interesting, a bit darker than Redwall or other rodent novels I like, but still follows the tradition of mice and rat stories, with heroes, villians, and hearts that change.
2 reviews
Currently reading
April 13, 2016
its so hard to understand this audio book at start I think I`m first time listening audio book
and if you guys repeat this audio book, you guys will be better to understand this book.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews

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