The books in this trilogy (in chronological order) are:The Silver Child
The Silver Child is about a group of children in an abandoned ship building site called Coldharbour, given special talents dubbed by the young protagonists as "gifts" to fight a force known to them only as "The Roar". The novel initially follows an infant called Milo from his beginnings as an ordinary boy to his transformation into the Silver Child, an enormous entity of childlike proportions with wings and brightly shining skin - fated to act as the first line of defence against the Roar.
Milo first begins to change at his house. He is struck by a near insatiable hunger, eating all the food at Sunday lunch and losing all his hair. He frightens his mother and sister Jenny by finishing a chicken, a bowl of potatoes, bread and a bowl of corn. Shortly afterwards, he runs away from home drawn towards Coldharbour by inexplicable urges. Milo's skin rots away with no pain, revealing a layer of glowing, gold skin. However, as his transformation proceeds, a layer of even brighter silver is revealed about his wrist - upon the discovery of the inner layer, Milo's transformation soon becomes excruciatingly painful.
The first people to arrive in Coldharbour are the two "insect girls" Freda and Emily. As the book is not written from their point of view, the reader never learns how they got to Coldharbour. Many of the "child gangs" - the others already living at the trash tip - are frightened of their bizarre appearance. Freda and Emily can run very quickly on all fours and have very sharp noses. Although new to Coldharbour, their ability to pick out food and useful knick knaacks (such as clothing) rivals or even surpasses those of the children who have lived off the dump for all their lives.
The next person who comes to Coldharbour is Thomas. His special power is "beauty", an indescribable pool of energy, force or sensations stored somewhere within his mind which when given to others brings them feelings of delight or calm. It is later revealed that the "beauty" has healing properties and is what Milo needed to endure the final stages of his transformation. At first he takes shelter in an abandoned workshop, barely surviving on his own with the threat of starvation looming closer from day to day. Then he meets insect-like twins, Emily and Freda. At first he is cautious, even afraid of them, hurling rocks at them to discourage them from following him - but soon after, he gives in to their amiable, caring nature and allows them to live with him. They quickly improve the conditions in the hut, at the same time providing him with a bountiful supply of food from the rubbish tips. In their newly found home, they hear a distant but terrible roaring - though the thought of other special children coming to their aid brings them hope.
As soon as Thomas begins to feel comfortable, the twins incessantly annoy him - dragging him along on random expeditions in hope of finding these special children. When the girls finally succeed in taking Thomas out one stormy night, they find a giant named Walter. When they find Walter, Thomas treats the giant with the same distrust as he had treated the twins - though after seeing Walter's lopsided grin, most of the sentiments of distrust Thomas had for the giant-boy were dispelled. They take him back to their home. Despite the twins' insistence on bringing him inside the hut, Walter refuses to enter - feeling that it would be easier to protect the twins and Thomas if he rested outside, even if it was raining very hard.
Once, when Thomas and the girls were practicing protection procedures, Walter buried himself underground to play a joke on Thomas. When Thomas comes out in search for the giant-boy, Walter jumps out of the ground to scare him. In turn, Thomas and the twins agreed to play a prank on Walter for vengeance, so he tells Walter, in one of the protection drills, that Emily and Freda have died. Walter rushes into the hut, finding the twins motionless in the hut. Not realizing this was only a joke, he has a nervous breakdown - nearly driven to tears. When Emily and Freda stop playing dead, he is still very weary. It was at that moment when an unbreakable trust formed between the group, as Thomas knew that if anything happened to him or the twins, it would most likely drive Walter mad if not kill him.
As they wait for more gifted children to arrive, another spark of hope erupts amidst the terror that is the voice of the Roar - that is a swishing, beating sound. Walter reenacts the sound by whirling both his hands in the air in demonstration to Thomas. Somehow, they know that whatever made the sound would come to protect them from the Roar.
The next child to come to Coldharbour is Helen. She has the power to read minds. Her ability was first limited to animals, insects in the house and around her garden. She found it difficult to have to bear with the minds of beings struggling for life and dying. However, her gift only grew even more difficult to bear as she soon was able to read her father's mind. Her approach to Coldharbour was initiated by the voice of Milo - whose newly attuned eyes easily picked her out from miles away. Although drawn by Milo's voice, Helen, who was very reliant on her overprotective father had to choose which overbearing desire to follow - to stay with her father or to find Milo. She soon chose the latter, leaving her house to reach Coldharbour where she finds Milo in an inconsolable state with the other special children. Unable to shut out Milo's sensations, Helen felt the same pain the boy did and fled from him, unable to stand the "burning" he felt.
Together, Thomas, Walter and the twins take Milo back to their home, and later Walter reluctantly brings Helen, lost in the rain, home to her father.
While Walter and the twins enthusiastically do what they can to care for Milo, feeding him when his hunger pangs came, Thomas was very wary of Milo. Ever since he met the boy with the glowing skin, his beauty had been draining away from him in torrents. And as Thomas loses his beauty, he grows weaker and weaker whilst Milo grows only stronger. Soon, Thomas becomes hysterical, accusing Milo of being a parasite. When he is given a mirror and finds his flesh rotting and falling off, he attacks Milo, picking him up easily and throwing him in a river where he watches Milo disappear from the surface - hoping that he drowns.
Meanwhile, Helen goes back to Coldharbour with her father. She finds Milo in the river telepathically before she even gets there. All the special children run to the river in hopes of finding and saving the Silver Child, but by then, his transformation had completed. With the outer layer of gold skin gone, Milo grows to his full size. His body stretches for miles and his wings are nearly as wide as Coldharbour itself. Unable to balance on his legs, Milo ascends the skies above the wasteland where he lies in wait for the Roar. His wingbeats reminds Thomas and the special children of the swishing sound that reassured them and gave them hope.
Soon, children start coming to Coldharbour, drawn by the appearance of Milo. All of them can hear the terrifying Roar and all gaze up at Milo - in hope that he can stop the gargantuan monster that is to come.
Silver City, the sequel to The Silver Child, picks up where the previous story left off. All the children of the world are fleeing to Coldharbour. Milo is up in the sky, protecting the world from The Roar. Thomas finds a group of children who call themselves the Unearthers and who have a love of rocks. He gives them his beauty and they slowly transform into machines made entirely of metal, with extraordinary strength and drills for hands. They are digging to find Carnac, The Roar's eldest son. When Thomas realises this, he tries to stop them by limiting the beauty he gives them - though Jenny, Milo's younger sister somehow releases them from the grip of Carnac and his mother, the Roar. In turn, the Unearthers stop digging and lie in wait for Carnac to resurface - prepared to fight against him. Meanwhile, Freda and Emily have urges to dive deep into the sea to try to find a beautiful thing called the Protector, who has fought The Roar before and was gravely injured and later imprisoned by her.
The Roar is now at the forefront of her siege attack on Coldharbour and the Protector has been revived from the ocean floor, although it was fatally wounded by The Roar and Carnac in their last battle. To defeat The Roar and her two newborns, Helen must discover The Roar's weaknesses while Jenny transforms into a weapon to defeat The Roar, with the aid of Thomas' beauty. Deep down, the Unearthers are waiting day and night for Carnac, who awaits his mother's call for him to attack. Upon surfacing, Carnac is distracted by the Unearthers' but was quickly slain by the Protector with a swipe of his enormous arm - the only part of his body that the twins' and their helpers could free. However, Milo and the Protector are severely injured by The Roar but Helen manages to find out The Roar's weaknesses. Jenny then proceeds to defeat the Roar, banishing her to the Moon. Despite Thomas' and the twins' best efforts to save the Protector, the gigantic silver being dies - though his last thought was in awe of Thomas and his beauty, which was perhaps even enough to save him if time had permitted. The children soon realize that, with the Protectors being nearly extinct, they are to serve as the new generation of defenders who will stand against and hunt beings like the Roar, saving other planets from impending doom.
The primary characters in this sequence are:Milo
Emily and Freda (the twins)
Tanni and Parminder (the leaders of the Unearthers)
In the first book, Milo is a child who transforms into a Silver Child. In the second book, he has become an enormous Guardian Angel, watching over the city of Coldharbour and looking after all the children in the world. He has the ability to see children all over the world, not as children, but as silver dots of light. In the third book, Milo is a Protector who defends Coldharbour from The Roar.
Thomas is a boy with a gift that he calls his "beauty". It finds the thing that a child most needs, and gives that thing to the child. This ability keeps Milo from entering the latter part of his transformation. It also transforms the Unearthers from humans into digging machines.
Emily and Freda are twin girls who can move extremely quickly over ground on their hands and feet. They are extremely agile, and Thomas first describes them as "insect girls". In the second book they are given the ability to swim underwater for incredible distances, and Emily almost dies. They are able to keep clean, even in Coldharbour.
Walter is a giant whose task is to protect children. When Milo gives him his task, however, he says, "Protect them all, Walter". Walter takes this to mean that he must protect all the children of the world, which occasionally confuses him! Although he has extraordinary muscles, he has a friendly nature, and hasn't let the children down yet.
Helen is a girl who can read minds. She is so used to this ability that, when she is unable to read the minds of the Unearthers (they are being shielded from her by Carnac), she is confused and upset. She has occasionally delved into the mind of The Roar, and it has taken these opportunities to read her mind and find out the defensive plans for the planet.
Helen is very lucky as she is the only child to have an adult relative in Coldharbour. In the third book, when The Roar moves the barrier while Helen's father is at a drop-off point, her father is trapped outside.
Helen's dad is very protective of his daughter, whose mother died when Helen was very young. He does everything that he can to prevent Helen being mixed up in this, but when he sees that she has to, he lets her, on the condition that he can be there too. We do not know his given name, as he is only called "Dad" in the series.
For a long time he is the only adult in Coldharbour, as there is a barrier that stops adults from getting in, which was placed after Dad arrived there.
The author reports that in the third book, Dad is suddenly left outside of Coldharbour. He was gathering food from one of the drop-off points when suddenly the barrier moved slightly, keeping him just outside the barrier surrounding the city.
Jenny is Milo's sister. She seems to be able to see the future. At the end of Silver City, she uses lots of beauty given to her by Thomas to summon all the living things in the world to Coldharbour. In Silver World, she turns into a weapon against The Roar.
Carnac is The Roar's son, who helped in the first fight between her and the Protector. He was left inside the world to grow, so that when he broke free he could take over the world and eat all its children. However, he was restrained by the will of the Protector, who was left lying at the bottom of the sea by The Roar. When The Roar returned to the world where Carnac was imprisoned, she was surprised to find him still there.In the Silver City Carnac takes over the minds of the Unearthers so they can literally "unearth" him and lose all sense of their previous personality.
The Roar is an enormous creature, an eater of planets. After failing to be able to return to her home planet she is hunting the children of Earth in a last-ditch attempt to resolve her hunger. She has also shut down or eaten some of her body parts. Her newborn have also eaten parts of her, although she later ate them, so only two survive.She often refers to herself as an Assassin. She has found out some of the planet's defensive plans by reading Helen's mind when Helen tried to read hers.
The Protector is the enemy of The Roar. After being shackled to the bottom of the sea for many centuries, a group of children, led by Emily and Freda, manage to free it. When it emerges, it seems helpful and talkative, if somewhat enigmatic, and often visits Helen in her mind, usually to offer advice.
Tanni and Parminder are two Unearthers, and digging partners (their drill parts on their hands slot together to become working drills). They start off as nice people, and turn into evil people who only want to free Carnac (who is controlling all of the Unearthers and Thomas's beauty). At the end of the book, when Carnac is removed from their minds, they return to being the people they were before their transformation. They then offer to wait underground for Carnac, and attack him when he escapes from his imprisonment.