Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Lyn Gardner - Rose Campion and the Christmas Mystery - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books


Here we have a brilliant conclusion to the Campion series by Lyn Gardner. This fantastically thrilling finale was published in October 2019 by Nosy Crow Books. I have to say that this is my personal favourite of all three books. These could really be read in any order as you can jump in and out of any of the books and everything will still run like clockwork.  

So let's raise the curtains on another season at Campions' Palace of Varieties and Wonders. Set in Victorian London, a fantasy treat awaits any reader. You will instantly be re-acquainted with brilliant characters and their vibrant and lively surroundings. Full of heart, courage, and friendship which all help the characters through this dangerous adventure.

Rose Campion and her friends have more to worry about in this adventure than who'll be filling the role of Cinderella. The narrative of this book is deathly and dark. It's full of mischief due to the arrival of the Duchess, a deadly ruler of the London criminal underworld, who has just been released from prison. She has her sights set, not only on Rose but also on a priceless emerald necklace that has just arrived in the city. Meanwhile, Campions' is playing host to the mysterious hypnotist Madame de Valentina and murder is afoot as the narrative takes a disturbing turn of events. However, which characters will be affected in this story? 


This is a Christmas mystery for young and old, as the story whips up a theatrical storm. I loved every single minute of this book as it is full of song, dance, and much laughter. It's a big show stopper with a fantastic plot. This sleuthing novel will keep you guessing until the very end of the book. The timely twists and turns deserve an encore as there are many secrets to uncover. The narrative wraps up nicely pulling together all the threads from this book and the previous book nicely, which leaves you, the reader, feeling very satisfied. This is a truly lovely series that will not be easily forgotten.  


Monday, 9 December 2019

Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars Final 2019/2020 + £10 Book Voucher + Mystery Book Prize

Hello Everybody. Are you ready for the final of Mr. Ripley's Book Cover Wars?
Over the last five weeks, different authors, illustrators, and publishers have battled for their book covers to be in the big final. As a result, we now have five worthy winners who have the chance to be crowned with the title 'Mr. Ripley's Enchanted book cover of the year 2019/20'. 

So without any further waiting, let the final battle of Book Cover Wars commence . . . . 

As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the opportunity to win a £10 national book voucher and a mystery book. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll below 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - VOTE HERE
  • Share on Twitter @Enchantedbooks. Have fun, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed) the book token/book prize. Please note that this competition is open to the UK only
  • This poll will end on 15.12.2019 at midnight UK time 
So here are the FIVE winning brilliant book covers for you to vote for.


BOOK ONE: Joan Haig - Tiger Skin Rug - Published by Cranachan Publishing (6 Feb. 2020). Book Cover Designed by Annie Glennie - VOTE HERE



BOOK TWO: Nick Tomlinson - The Ghouls of Howlfair - Published by Walker Books (3 Oct. 2019). Book Cover Illustration by Kim Geyer  - VOTE HERE



BOOK THREE: Nizrana Farook - The Girl Who Stole An Elephant - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (9 Jan. 2020). Book Cover Illustration by David Dean  - VOTE HERE



BOOK FOUR: Sita Brahmachari - Where the River Runs Gold Published by Orion Children's Book (1 July 2019). Book Cover Illustration by Evan Hollingdale/Designed by Samuel Perrett - VOTE HERE



BOOK FIVE: P.G Bell - The Brain Robbery - (A Train to Impossible Places Adventure) - Published by Usborne Publishing (3 Oct 2019. Book Cover Illustration by Flavia Sorrentino/Katharine Millichope and Team - VOTE HERE


Monday, 2 December 2019

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Book Picks US - December 2019

Ben Guterson (Author), Chloe Bristol (Illustrator) - The Winterhouse Mysteries - Published by Henry Holt and Co (December 31, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1250123923 - Hardback 

Danger, intrigue, and the power of family combine in The Winterhouse Mysteries, the fast-paced conclusion to Ben Guterson and Chloe Bristol's illustrated, enchanting Winterhouse middle-grade trilogy.
Its springtime at Winterhouse and Elizabeth is settling into the joyful chaos of her new home. But it isn’t long before she and Freddy are drawn into an ominous new mystery. Guests at the hotel start behaving oddly, and Elizabeth’s powers manifest in thrilling―sometimes frightening―new ways. As unnatural tremors shake the foundations of Winterhouse, Elizabeth hears cries for help from Gracella Winters, a villain she’d thought dead and gone for good. 
Elizabeth’s discovery of a rare book containing secrets of an ancient ritual leads to a tragic realization: someone at the hotel is trying to help Gracella rise again. Can Elizabeth and Freddy banish these threats and protect the future of Winterhouse once and for all?

Terry Lynn Johnson - Dog Driven - Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (December 3, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1328551597 - Hardback 
From the author of Ice Dogs comes a riveting adventure about a musher who sets out to prove her impaired vision won't hold her back from competing in a rigorous sled race through the Canadian wilderness. Perfect for fans of Gary Paulsen.

McKenna Barney is trying to hide her worsening eyesight and has been isolating herself for the last year. But at the request of her little sister, she signs up for a commemorative mail run race in the Canadian wilderness—a race she doesn’t know if she can even see to run. 
 
Winning would mean getting her disease—and her sister’s—national media coverage, but it would also pit McKenna and her team of eight sled dogs against racers from across the globe for three days of shifting lake ice, sudden owl attacks, snow squalls, and bitterly cold nights.

 A page-turning adventure about living with disability and surviving the wilderness, Dog Driven is the story of one girl’s self-determination and the courage it takes to trust in others.

Kate Davies - The Crims at Sea - Published by HarperCollins Children's  (December 10, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0062494160 - Hardback 
The hapless Crim family sets sail on their final adventure in the zaniest installment of the Crims series, perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket and Caroline Carlson!
Imogen Crim has been terribly bored since she returned to Blandington. So when her nemesis-turned-best friend Ava Kruk offers to swing by the Crims’ dreadful beach vacation in Dullport and rescue her in her stolen submarine, Imogen quickly agrees. A real heist with a real villain—this is the excitement Imogen has been looking for.
But before Imogen and Ava can accomplish their mission, the entire Crim family catches up to them, dressed in their pirate-y finest. And what starts as an innocent (well, for a boat full of criminals) quest for buried treasure is about to become a stand-off with an up-and-coming super-villain called The Gull.
If Imogen has any hope of saving her family from his claws—and returning to her vacation—she’ll have to trust a Kruk with her life.


Romily Bernard - The Monster Hypothesis - Published by Disney-Hyperion (December 10, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1368028554 - Hardback 

Welcome to Bohring-home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one monster curse. Correction: home to 454 people, now that Kick Winter is living in the swamp Hollows with her Grandma Missouri, the town (fake) psychic. Bohring is anything but boring for Kick who has already blown a hole through the kitchen floor, befriended a chicken-eating gator, and discovered that the town's hundred-year curse is upon them.

It's the Bohring curse and all the kids are about to become monsters-or so the legend goes. People are worried-except for Kick. She knows there's a scientific explanation for everything, especially curses and monsters. But Kick is the new kid in school and she's determined to make a name for herself . . . by pretending to be psychic.

According to her calculations: one teeny-tiny life + (fake) psychic skills = popularity. But when kids start disappearing and glowing creatures start showing up, Kick's theory quickly evaporates in a puff of foul-smelling swamp gas. Can Kick use her (real) science smarts to prove the curse is a hoax? Or is it just-maybe-sort of-somehow possible the curse is here?

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

BOOK COVER WARS HEAT FIVE 2019/20 - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books

Welcome to the last Heat of the Book Cover Wars. We are looking to find our favourite book cover of 2019/2020. We do this is to support the unsung heroes of the children's book world - the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. So, please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media #bookcoverwars. Everyone is welcome AND ENJOY. 

For any follower of this site, this is the chance for you to become part of the weekly book cover wars. I have selected another five book covers for you to vote from. The winner from last week has now made it through to the grand final. However, you still need to decide, over the next following weeks, which other book covers will join it and get a chance to be crowned as 'Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Winner 2019/20'.


Week One Winner: P.G Bell - The Brain Robbery - (A Train to Impossible Places Adventure) - Book Cover Illustration by Flavia Sorrentino/Katharine Millichope/Usborne - 79 Votes

Week Two Winner: Sita Brahmachari - Where the River Runs Gold - Book Cover Illustration by Evan Hollingdale/Samuel Perrett/Orion - 111 Votes

Week Three Winner: Nizrana Farook - The Girl Who Stole An Elephant - Book Cover Illustration by David Dean/Nosy Crow - 295 Votes


Week Four Winner: Nick Tomlinson - The Ghouls of Howlfair - Book Cover Illustration by Kim Geyer/Walker Books - 240 Votes

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules:
There will be five weekly heats (one more than normal) with five book covers to vote for. All heat winners will make the grand final. 


As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a prize each week. 

This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token. Please leave a comment to show your interest. Good luck all and have fun. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll - HERE 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE
  • Share on Twitter @Enchantedbooks. Have fun, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open to the UK only.
  • This poll will end on 2.12.2019 at Midnight UK time. 
So here are the FIVE brilliant book covers to vote for this week:

BOOK ONE: Andy Briggs - CRTL+ S - Published by Orion (11 July 2019) - Book Cover Illustration by Tomas Almedia - VOTE HERE


BOOK TWO: Joan Haig - Tiger Skin Rug - Published by Cranachan Publishing (6 Feb. 2020) Book Cover Designed by Annie Glennie - VOTE HERE


BOOK THREE: Emma Read - Milton the Mighty - Published by Chicken House (6 Jun. 2019) Book Cover Illustrated by Alex G Griffiths - VOTE HERE 


BOOK FOUR: A M Howell - The House of One Hundred Clocks - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (6 Feb. 2020) - Book Cover Illustrated by Saara Soderlund - VOTE HERE




BOOK FIVE: K. A. Reynolds - The Spinner of Dreams - Published by HarperCollins (27 Aug. 2019) - Book Cover Illustrated by Julia Iredale - VOTE HERE 

Monday, 25 November 2019

Danny Weston - Inchtinn: Island of Shadows - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books


This is the latest book by the cheeky chap, otherwise known as, Danny Weston. Inchtinn: Island of Shadows was published back in early October 2019 by an independent publisher based at the University at Central Lancashire in Preston. This is the second book that I've read by Uclan Publishing and I have been really impressed with both books. The book cover, which is illustrated by Helen Crawford-White, has been recently paraded in Mr. Ripley's book cover wars. It is also important for me to mention that there are a couple of black and white (pastel) illustrations inside the book by Miranda Harris. These really do give a lovely bleakness quality to the story which you gaze and reflect upon.

This a brilliantly written story that captures the attention of the reader as you skip and dance across the sea to the Scottish Island of Inchtinn. On arrival, a fantastic spine-tingling plot awaits the reader on the shore of this remote Island. A mystery unfolds as Noah is forced to travel with his mum, Millicent, who is a bestselling children's author. However, she's struggling for inspiration to write a new novel but then sinister things start to stir. There's no one better than Danny Weston to whip up a creepy storm that will have you hooked and running for cover. He does this slowly and pulls the threads of the characters like puppets doing a macabre dance on the cliff's edge. Some parts of the story are slightly predictable, however, he still has that talented ability to slap you around with a surprise or two.  

The book has a natural beauty and charm about it. The harsh landscape and remoteness are magnetically woven into the story - they actually feel like characters themselves. Wild birds soar and sweep above your heads as a great sense of loss, fear and tragedy sweep through your pores. Certainly, the loss of Noah's father resonated with me and pulled on the emotional element of the story. 

A true smorgasbord of events unfold and wrap you in a shawl of darkness and brooding tension. Sinister beings and the stirrings of dark shadows all start to appear on the peripheral vision. Noah has to face unimaginable horrors and conquer his fears within this story. We are treated to a climactic and adventurous ending - it's a firecracker that will soon have you plunging into the freezing deep cold waters. 

This is an edgy and spooky story that all started out with a mere spark of an idea. However, it has now fully grown into a seismic plot. It's a truly great read to lose yourself in so, don't hesitate, buy yourself a copy today. 

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Nizrana Farook - The Girl Who Stole an Elephant - Book Review (Nosy Crow) - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books



Nizrana Farook is the author of The Girl Who Stole an Elephant which is due to be published on the 9th January 2020 by Nosy Crow Books. The book cover illustration is by David Dean who had the voters support in our recent book cover wars heat. The book cover is very appealing with its great use of vivid colour - it will certainly draw readers to it from any shelf. 

This is a brilliant and thrilling middle-grade debut book that draws upon the location of the author's native home of Sri Lanka. The wild beauty of the landscape sets the story off really well. It's a dazzling and delicious tale of the exotic which captures the attention of the reader with its beauty. 

The book features a host of well-written feisty characters that inject a spark of magic. We are first introduced to Chaya, the main character, as she is running away from the Royal Palace. We soon learn that she has been involved in stealing the Queen's Jewels. Chaya is known as a loveable and spirited character with a sparkling gem for a heart, however, this venture backfires royally. This is a lovely heartfelt story built on friendship to correct wrongdoing as she finds herself on a breathtaking and uplifting adventure in the jungle with her friends and an elephant.

This story will lead you on a fast-paced journey that is fraught with danger. Chaya finds herself fleeing from the palace guards and the village that both she and her friends once lived in. Danger strikes at will and their only protection is a huge elephant and their whits. The characters will light up your heart and your soul with warmth and great dialogue. Whilst the wildness of the jungle will sweep you off your feet. It is vividly written and has a creative flair full of sights and smells that make you feel like part of the story. 
This is a glorious story about a jewel thief escaping into the jungle: a rebel, a royal revolution, a bandit and maybe even a hero. What more can you want from a narrative? This fuels an adventure of a lifetime that will be loved by everyone.  It's a book that I would wholeheartedly recommend, so pick it up and give it a read. What a cracking start to the New Year, 2020. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

BOOK COVER WARS HEAT FOUR 2019/20 - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books

Welcome to Heat four of the Book Cover Wars. We are looking to find our favourite book cover of 2019/2020. We do this is to support the unsung heroes of the children's book world - the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. So, please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media #bookcoverwars. Everyone is welcome.

For any follower of this site, this is the chance for you to become part of the weekly book cover wars. I have selected another five book covers for you to vote from. The winner from last week has now made it through to the grand final. However, you still need to decide, over the next following weeks, which other book covers will join it and get a chance to be crowned as 'Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Winner 2019/20'.


Week One Winner: P.G Bell - The Brain Robbery - (A Train to Impossible Places Adventure) - Book Cover Illustration by Flavia Sorrentino/Katharine Millichope/Usborne - 79 Votes

Week Two Winner: Sita Brahmachari - Where the River Runs Gold - Book Cover Illustration by Evan Hollingdale/Samuel Perrett/Orion - 111 Votes

Week Three Winner: Nizrana Farook - The Girl Who Stole An Elephant - Book Cover Illustration by David Dean/Nosy Crow - 295 Votes

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules:
There will be five weekly heats (one more than normal) with five book covers to vote for. All heat winners will make the grand final. 


As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a prize each week. This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token. Please leave a comment to show your interest and RT (re-tweet) my pinned Tweet. Good luck all and have fun. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll - HERE 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE
  • RT /Twitter my pinned tweet at the top of @Enchantedbooks. Have fun, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open to the UK only.
  • This poll will end on 25.11.2019 at Midnight UK time. 
So here are the FIVE brilliant book covers to vote for this week:

BOOK ONE: Struan Murray - Orphans of the Tide - Published by Puffin (20 Feb. 2020) - Book Cover Illustration by Manuel Šumberac - VOTE HERE


BOOK TWO: Anna Hoghton - The Mask of Aribella - Published by Chicken House (2 Jan. 2020) - Book Cover Illustration by Paola Escobar/Designer is Helen Crawford-White - VOTE HERE


BOOK THREE: Louie Stowell -  The Monster in the Lake - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (9 Jan. 2020) - Book Cover Illustration by Davide Ortu - VOTE HERE 




BOOK FOUR: Nick Tomlinson - The Ghouls of Howlfair - Published by Walker Books (3 Oct. 2019) - Book Cover Illustration by Kim Geyer - VOTE HERE 



BOOK FIVE: Nicola Penfold - Where The World Turns Wild - Published by Stripes Publishing (6 Feb. 2020) - Book Cover Illustration by Kate Forrester/Designer is Sara Mognol  - VOTE HERE






Thursday, 14 November 2019

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books: US Kids/Young Adult Book Picks - November 2019

Alex Bell (Author), Tomislav Tomic - The Forbidden Expedition (2) (The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club) - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (November 12, 2019) -  ISBN-13: 978-1534406490 - Hardback

Stella and the gang travel to Witch Mountain to save Felix and what they find along the way could change the course of their adventures forever in this second novel in the whimsical Polar Bear Explorers’ Club series.

Stella Starflake Pearl has been eagerly awaiting her next adventure, ever since she and Felix returned from the Snowy Icelands. She fears, however, that she might never be sent on another expedition, especially since the president of the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club himself is afraid of her ice princess powers. But when disaster strikes and Felix is snatched by a fearsome witch, Stella and the rest of the junior explorers—including a reluctant new ally from the Jungle Cat Explorers’ Club—must set off into the unknown on a forbidden journey to the top of Witch Mountain.



What awaits them there is a mystery. The only thing they know is this: No one ever returns from Witch Mountain.

In the second installment of Alex Bell’s magical The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club series, Stella and the gang face villainous vultures, terrifying witch wolves, flying sharks, and eerie picnicking teddy bears on their daring quest to save one of their own.


Jeremiah Franklin - Dark Tomorrow II: Cult of the Crow - Published by Month9Books (November 12, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1948671958 - Paperback 
Kill or be killed is the new normal for Sawyer, Sara, and the survivors of the deadly virus that has all but annihilated the human race. With the death of Sara’s father and the disappearance of the strange boy known as Mason, the teens are left reeling, but alongside the enigmatic ex-Marine, Edward, they soon forge an alliance with a collection of young survivors led by the sage and charismatic Kai. Nevertheless, when their new companions begin to mysteriously disappear, the group is once again thrown into a desperate struggle for survival, where only the most cunning and relentless will prevail. Ultimately, among whispers of top-secret military bunkers, lost gold, and a shadowy group known as the Cult of the Crow, Sawyer, and Sara must face the grim realization that death and betrayal lurks in every corner, and when it comes to the end of the world--nothing is what it seems.

 Amélie Wen Zhao - Blood Heir - Published by Delacorte Press (November 19, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0525707790 - Hardback 

This hot debut, perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes, is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father's murder. 
 
In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls. 

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

Matthew Swanson (Author), Illustrator (Robbi Behr) - The Real McCoys: Wonder Undercover - Published by Imprint (November 5, 2019) - 

  • ISBN-13: 978-1250307828 - Hardback 
  • In the third book in the critically acclaimed middle-grade series about mystery-solving siblings, Moxie McCoy, fourth-grade detective, goes undercover. 
    Moxie joins the Wonder Scouts to investigate a suspected saboteur in the badge competition. She’s never liked the Wonder Scouts, but once she joins the group, Moxie becomes enchanted with earning badges herself! 
    Meanwhile, someone has broken into Tiddlywhump’s Local House of History, and it’s up to Moxie’s little brother, Milton, to begin his own investigation. 
    Can this irrepressible detective duo crack two different cases? 
    Richly illustrated and laugh-out-loud funny Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr’s Wonder Undercover is a must-have for young readers. 
    There are more mysteries in The Real McCoys series:
    The Real McCoys 
    The Real McCoys: Two’s a Crowd 
    The Real McCoys: Wonder Undercover