Thursday, 18 October 2018

Steven Butler (Author), Steven Lenton (Illustrator) - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yeti! (Nothing to see Here Hotel) - Book Review

Having just saved the hotel from a goblin prince, Frankie Banisterand the guests are looking forward to enjoying themselves and celebrating the summer holiday of Trogmanay! But when a snow storm blows in (complete with Yeti family), and a number of mysterious guests arrive, something sinister seems to be taking over the hotel and celebrating is the last thing on anyone's mind...

The magical madness has come YETI again in a snowfall avalanche of monsters and madness. Here we have the second book in the Nothing to see Hotel series. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yeti! is the wonderful hilarious book from the mighty duo of Steven Butler and Steven Lenton. One of them provides the words and the laughter whilst the other provides an amazing amount of illustrations and pencil sharpening. The book will theatrically plop and splat into the shops on the 18 October 2018 published by Simon & Schuster. 

It's time to celebrate Trogmanay! with the Banister family. What possibly could go wrong? You only need to turn the pages and open the door to the strangest hotel in (YOU GUESSED IT), Brighton. It's an extravaganza of the most bizarre guests that you might find under one roof. It all starts with the entrance of Maudlin Maloney shivering in his unhappiness. There’s a blizzard on its way even though it's summer! Maudlin curses everyone and everything in the HOTEL; all he wanted was some warmth. 

You will find yourself feasting on a ghastly gastronomical amount of food. However, the menu will literally set your taste buds on fire and make you squirm with grossness - it's pretty hilarious. This story brings the craziness of the first book (PLEASE DON'T EAT ME) whilst exploring a more outlandish excursion into the authors' imagination. For me, this was fantastic as it leads nicely into some fantastically creative and amusing illustrations which tie in with the crazy plot. 

This is a fantastic imaginary world of monsters, magic and total mayhem from the very first page to the last. The story is unpredictable just like the guests and will have the reader engrossed in a laugh-a-minute ride that will lighten every reader's mood. It is definitely a journey worth taking, it's a story that will delight many readers in a world of doom and gloom. So pick up a copy, which can easily be read as a standalone novel. However, for full enjoyment then why not read both. This is both funny and disgustingly recommended - just add taste and maybe some slugs, but don't get them in your undergarments!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's/Young Adult Book Picks October 2018 - US Post

Kate Milford - Bluecrowne: A Greenglass House Story - Published by Clarion Books (October 2, 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1328466884 - Hardback 

Return to the world of the bestselling Greenglass House, where smugglers, magic, and pyrotechnics mix, in a new adventure from a New York Times best-selling, National Book Award–nominated, and Edgar Award–winning author.

Lucy Bluecrowne is beginning a new life ashore with her stepmother and half brother, though she’s certain the only place she’ll ever belong is with her father on a ship of war as part of the crew. She doesn’t care that living in a house is safer and the proper place for a twelve-year-old girl; it’s boring. But then two nefarious strangers identify her little brother as the pyrotechnical prodigy they need to enact an evil plan, and it will take all Lucy’s fighting instincts to keep her family together.

Set in the magical Greenglass House world, this action-packed tale of the house's first inhabitants reveals the origins of some of its many secrets.

Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller - OtherEarth (Last Reality) - Published by 
  •  Delacorte Press (October 30, 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1101939369 - Hardback 
Simon would have done anything to save his best friend after a mysterious accident almost killed her--including follow her into a virtual world. And what he and Kat discovered there was more terrifying than they could have ever imagined. Unwitting hospital patients are being forced to test a device that lets VR be experienced with all five senses. The technology is so advanced that it's deadly.

Now the world's biggest tech corporation is hunting Simon and Kat while war rages in Otherworld, the virtual world it created. Determined to destroy the Company, Simon and Kat must join forces with a hacker, a gangster, and a digital entity. But as they battle to save two worlds, they uncover an all-new threat to our world: the Company's latest creation, an augmented-reality game called OtherEarth. Not only does OtherEarth kill, it has the power to erase the line between what's real and what's fantasy.

Jacqueline West - The Collectors - Published by Greenwillow Books (October 9, 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-0062691699 - Hardback 

The Collectors sweeps readers into a hidden world where wishes are stolen and dreams have a price. Fast-paced, witty, and riveting, this contemporary fantasy adventure has magic woven through every page.
It's the first book in a two-book series from Jacqueline West, the New York Times–bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere series. For fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak, The Isle of the Lost, and The Secret Keepers.
Van has always been an outsider. Most people don’t notice him. But he notices them. And he notices the small trinkets they drop, or lose, or throw away—that’s why his collection is full of treasures. Then one day, Van notices a girl stealing pennies from a fountain, and everything changes. He follows the girl, Pebble, and uncovers an underground world full of wishes and the people who collect them. Apparently not all wishes are good and even good wishes often have unintended consequences—and the Collectors have made it their duty to protect us. But they aren't the only ones who have their eyes on the world’s wishes—and they may not be the good guys, after all.  
Jacqueline West, author of the New York Times–bestselling Books of Elsewhere series, draws readers into a story about friendship, magic, and the gray area between good and evil. The Collectors is for fans of Cassie Beasley’s Circus Mirandus and Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener.

Jaclyn Moriarty - The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone - Published by Arthur A. Levine Books (October 9, 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1338255843

Bronte Mettlestone is ten years old when her parents are killed by pirates.
This does not bother her particularly: her parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby. She has been raised by her Aunt Isabelle, with assistance from the Butler, and has spent a pleasant childhood of afternoon teas and riding lessons. Now, however, her parents have left detailed instructions for Bronte in their will. (Instructions that, annoyingly, have been reinforced with faery cross-stitch, which means that if she doesn't complete them, terrible things could happen!) She travels the kingdoms, perfectly alone, delivering gifts to ten other aunts: a farmer aunt who owns an orange orchard, a veterinarian aunt who specializes in dragon care, a pair of aunts who captain a cruise ship, and a former rock star aunt who is now the reigning monarch of a small kingdom.

But as she travels from aunt to aunt, Bronte suspects there might be more to this journey than the simple delivery of treasure.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Mr Ripley's New Book Cover Wars Heat Two 2018/19 + Waterstones Gift Voucher Competition

We have now come to the end of week one and what an exciting start to the book cover wars it has been! Congratulations to our first heat winner, P. G. Bell 'The Train to Impossible Places'. Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (4 Oct. 2018) with the Cover Illustration By Flavia Sorrentino. 

Heat One: The winner of the Waterstone's £10 Gift Voucher is Tracey Beck - Congratulations!

This week is the second heat (four altogether) of the Book Cover Wars. For any follower of this site, I am going to select another five book covers for you to vote from. The winner of this heat will then go forward to the final round and get a chance to be crowned as 'Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Winner 2018/19'.

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules are as follows: 
  • There will be four weekly heats with five book covers to vote for.
  • One heat winner each week will make the grand final. 
  • The book cover with the most votes from the other four heats as the highest runner-up will also be entered into the 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 different special book/gift voucher each week. This week is the chance to win a £10 Waterstone's gift voucher. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE
  • Mention it on Twitter/Facebook any place you like!  #BOOKCOVERWARS 
  • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that the book/gift voucher competition is open to the UK only.
  • This poll will end 21st October 2018 at midnight UK time. 
    So here are the five book covers to vote for this week:

    BOOK ONE: Liz Flanagan - Dragon Daughter - Illustrated by Angelo Rinaldi - Published by David Fickling Books (4 Oct. 2018)

    BOOK TWO: David Almond - The Dam - Illustrated by Levi Pinfold - Published by Walker Studio (6 Sept. 2018)

    BOOK THREE: A. F. Harold - The Afterwards - Illustrated by Emily Gravett - Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books (1 Nov. 2018)

    BOOK FOUR: Sophie Green - Potkin and Stubbs - Illustrated by Karl Mountford - Published by Piccadilly Press (7 Mar. 2019)

    BOOK FIVE: Marcus Sedgwick - Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter - Illustrated by Thomas Taylor - Published by First Second (3 April 2018)

    Please make sure that you vote and enjoy the experience. Don't forget to share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers - everyone is welcome. #Bookcoverwars (Artwork is a Dream.)

    Tuesday, 9 October 2018

    Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Book Picks October 2018 - UK Post Two

    Catherine Fisher - THE CLOCKWORK CROW - Published by FIREFLY PRESS (4 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1910080849 - Paperback 

    A magical story of snow and stars by Catherine Fisher. The Clockwork Crow is a mysterious gothic Christmas tale set in a frost-bound Victorian country mansion. When orphaned Seren Rees is given a mysterious package by a strange and frightened man on her way to her new home, she reluctantly takes it with her. But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, before the owner of the parcel finds her? The Clockwork Crow is a gripping Christmas tale of families and belonging set in snowy Wales from a master storyteller.

    Jan Eldredge (Author), Risa Rodil (Illustrator) - Witch Girl - Published by Scholastic (4 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1407181028 Paperback 

    Goth Girl meets Ghostbusters in this read-in-one-sitting mystery adventure with the perfect spine-tingling balance of fun and scares!
    Evangeline Clement spends her days learning the ways of magic from her witch grandmother. 
    When they are called to a creepy old mansion to solve an unusual case, Evangeline encounters an enemy unlike any of the terrifying monsters she has faced before. and a secret about her own family that will shake her to the tips of her silver-toed boots. Beware! This is a story to read with the lights on.

    Chris Priestley - Treasure of the Golden Skull (Maudlin Towers) - Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books (4 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1408873106 - Paperback

    Return to the weird and wonderful world of Maudlin Towers for a second adventure - brilliantly written and illustrated throughout by Chris Priestley in this striking and funny package.

    Mildew and Sponge don't think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom-laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when they are told the school might close, our heroes realise that being apart and somewhere else could be even worse!
    But what starts out as a secret hunt for buried treasure quickly becomes weirder than Mildew and Sponge could ever have imagined. Who is that new boy who can get people to do whatever he wants just by looking them intently in the eye? (A hypnotist!) Why does that strange teacher have tattoos and a beard? (He's really a pirate also looking for the treasure!) Could their heartbroken English teacher hold the key to this riddle of riddles? (Just maybe .)
    Most importantly, can Mildew and Sponge save the day - and the school - once more?

    Fleur Hitchcock - Murder At Twilight - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (4 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1788000628 - Paperback

    When Viv has a fight with Noah, she doesn't think it'll be the last time she sees him. But when she gets back from school, he's nowhere to be found and there are police cars everywhere, lights flashing and sirens blaring.
    Viv is sure Noah's run away to get attention. But it's really cold, and getting dark, and the rain just won't stop falling. So she sets off to look for him, furious at his selfishness, as the floodwaters rise. And then she finds him, and realises that a much more dangerous story is unfolding around them...

    Robin Stevens - Death in the Spotlight: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery - Published by Puffin (4 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-0141373829 - Paperback

    Someone will take their final bow . . .
    Fresh from their adventure in Hong Kong, Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are off to the Rue Theatre in London to face an entirely new challenge: acting. 
    But the Detective Society is never far away from danger, and it's clear there's trouble afoot at the Rue. 

    Jealousy, threats and horrible pranks quickly spiral out of control - and then a body is found. 
    Now Hazel and Daisy must take centre stage and solve the crime . . . before the murderer strikes again.

    Monday, 8 October 2018

    Kiran Millwood Hargrave - The Way Past Winter - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

    If you are going to walk into a bookshop today then this perfectly formed little book will certainly capture your attention. It's a sparkling golden and green hardback published on the 4th October 2018 by Chicken House Books. The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a standalone novel that will delight readers whilst distilling a chill to the VERY hearts and minds. However, in places, the poetic writing will also sprinkle a charm that will envelope you with a big warm hug. 

    It was a winter they would tell tales about. A story they would shout about. A winter that arrived so suddenly, that the magical adventure leaves you unsettled and slightly disturbed. This is a festive literary cracker that will set the imagination going; a fairytale full of wonder that captures the harsh reality of winter. 

    Mila and her sisters live with their brother Oskar in a small forest cabin in the snow. One night, a fur-clad stranger arrives seeking shelter for himself and his men. But by the next morning, they’ve gone – taking Oskar with them. Fearful for his safety, Mila and her sisters set out to bring Oskar back – even it means going north, crossing frozen wild-lands to find a way past an eternal winter.

    The narrative will drag you on a sleigh ride of an adventure following three sisters in search of the truth and their missing brother Oskar. You will dance with wolves and escape the clutches of a spellcasting wizard into a landscape that will crush you with a snow avalanche. It's a poignant and searching story that almost distills a biblical-like feeling about it. 

    This poetic festive treat will be loved by everyone regardless of age and gender. Every word is carefully placed and every sentence delicately balanced. It's a book that sparkles with brilliance making it the author's best book to date. Engaged by the compelling narrative you'll soon want to explore deeper within the book. So settle down and serve with a large cup of Yorkshire tea ..... perhaps even a biscuit or two. 

    If you intrigued and you would like to read a small extract of the book the link is HERE

    Friday, 5 October 2018

    Mr Ripley's New Book Cover Wars Heat One 2018/19 - (The Power of Illustration) #Bookcoverwars

    It is a delight to have your company in the book cover war for 2018/2019. For any follower of this site, this is the chance for you to become part of the weekly book cover wars. Each week, starting from today and for the next 4 weeks, I am going to select five book covers for you to vote from. The winner of each heat will then go forward to the final round and get a chance to be crowned as 'Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Winner 2018/19'.

    Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules are as follows: 

    • There will be four weekly heats with five book covers to vote for.
    • One heat winner each week will make the grand final. 
    • The book cover with the most votes from the other four heats as the highest runner-up will also be entered into the 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 different special book/gift voucher each week. Therefore, in order to kick off the competition this week, we have a £10 Waterstone's gift voucher. 

    If you are interested then all you need to do is:
    • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll 
    • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE
    • Mention it on Twitter/Facebook any place you like!  #BOOKCOVERWARS 
    • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that the book/gift voucher competition is open to the UK only.
    • This poll will end 11th October 2018 at midnight UK time. 
    So here are the five book covers to vote for this week:

    BOOK ONE: Andy Briggs - Drone Racer - Published by Scholastic (6 Sept. 2018) - Cover Illustration by Matteo Cuccato 

    Book Two: Steven Butler - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yeti! (Nothing to see Here Hotel) - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's UK (18 Oct. 2018) - Cover Illustration by Steven Lenton 

    BOOK THREE: Peter Bunzl - Skycircus (The Cogheart Adventures #3)
    - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (4 Oct. 2018) - Cover Illustration by Becca Stadtlander & Kath Millichope (Cover Design) 

    BOOK FOUR: P. G. Bell - The Train to Impossible Places - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (4 Oct. 2018) - Cover Illustration By Flavia Sorrentino 

    Book Five: Neil Patrick Harris - The Magic Misfits (The Second Story) - Published by Egmont (4 Oct. 2018) - Cover Illustration by David Litchfield 

    Please make sure that you vote and enjoy the experience. Don't forget to share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers - everyone is welcome. #Bookcoverwars (The power of illustration.)

    Wednesday, 3 October 2018

    Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Book Picks October 2018 - UK Post

    Jessica Townsend - Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow Book 2 (Nevermoor) - Published by Orion Children's Books (30 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1510104440 - Hardback 

    Morrigan Crow's adventures in the magical world of Nevermoor continue . . . The most anticipated sequel of the year - a treat for all fans of magic and 'wunder'. 
    Imagination, discovery and friendship await Morrigan Crow when she escapes her deadly curse and joins the Wundrous Society. It promises her protection and belonging for life - but then Morrigan doesn't receive the welcome she hoped for...
    Morrigan is a much-feared Wundersmith. So, instead of the Society helping Morrigan to embrace her power, she is only taught that all Wundersmiths are evil and she must suppress her mysterious ability at all costs.
    To make things worse, Nevermoor is quickly turning from a place of safety into one of danger. Society members are going missing, someone is blackmailing Morrigan's new friends, turning them against her. And Ezra Squall, the evillest man who ever lived, is determined to lure Morrigan from the Society by promising to reveal the true nature of the Wunder that calls to her, which is becoming ever harder to resist...
    Has Morrigan's dream of escaping her cursed life ended before it truly began?

    Amy Wilson - Snowglobe - Published by Macmillan Children's Books (18 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1509885800 - Paperback 

    When daydreamer Clementine discovers a mysterious house standing in the middle of town that was never there before, she is pulled towards it by the powerful sense of a mother she never knew. The place is full of snowglobes, swirling with stars and snow and each containing a trapped magician, watched over by Gan, the bitter keeper of the house. One of these is Dylan, a boy who teases her in the real world but who is now desperate for her help. 
    So Clem ventures into the snowglobes, rescuing Dylan and discovering her own powerful connection to the magic of these thousand worlds. Vowing to release the magicians from the control of their enchantments, Clem unknowingly unleashes a struggle for power that will not only put her family, but the future of magic itself in danger.

    Peter Bunzl - Skycircus (The Cogheart Adventures #3) - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (4 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1474940658 - Paperback 

    When a travelling skycircus arrives in Brackenbridge, Lily and Robert can't wait to step aboard... But there's something sinister about the hybrid children who appear as part of the act. And before Lily and Robert can do anything, they're captured by shadowy figures and whisked off in the mysterious flying circus to somewhere far, far away... Treachery, tight-ropes and trickery combine in this incredible third Cogheart adventure...

    Alexandra Bracken - The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: Book 1 - Published by Quercus Children's Books (4 Oct. 2018) - ISBN-13: 978-1786540683 - Paperback 

    Every family has secrets - but not every family has a secret pact with a demon.

    A darkly comic tale with thrilling twists and turns that will keep every reader guessing. Perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket, Jonathan Stroud and Skulduggery Pleasant.

    Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his remarkable family. So, when he discovers that an 800-year-old demon called Alastor is responsible for their luck - and that this demon is currently living inside him - he's more than a little surprised.
    Alastor isn't keen to be banished back to the demon realm and will do anything to try and trick his unwilling host into a contract - from nasty insults to wild promises. And even more unnerving, his power over Prosper seems to be growing with each passing night. 
    Prosper has only days to break the curse - a feat that seems impossible. But with the help of a feisty witch-in-training, maybe he can do it?

    Monday, 1 October 2018

    Linda Newbery - The Key to Flambards - Book Review (Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books)

    Grace Russell, at fourteen, has already had to adjust to a devastating accident from which she'll never recover. Now she and her newly-single mother are leaving their suburban home for Flambards house, out in the Essex countryside. The house has a long history, and Grace's mother is to work there for the summer - an exciting new opportunity. But, for Grace, everything feels wrong. She's doesn't want yet another change. However, in spite of herself, she find herself becoming involved with two boys: Jamie, who leads her down a path of thrilling freedom, and the deeply troubled Marcus, who is dealing with his difficult, potentially violent father. Over time, Grace discovers her own links to the house and landscape she has just arrived in, and in turn, her own place in the world.

    The Key to Flambards by Linda Newbery will be published by David Fickling Books on the 4th October in hardback.  The book is a fantastic extension to the setting and characters that were introduced to us back in the late 1960's. Kathleen Wendy Herald Peyton (known widely as K. M. Peyton) embarked on a trilogy that would delight and capture the heart and imagination of the readers across the world. So much so, that it was turned into a television series in the UK and the US. 

    Linda Newbery's friendship with the author and love of her writing has inspired her to breathe new life into the wonderful series. The old characters stand guard in the deathly shadows of the past, whilst we follow the new characters into present-day life. The author has captured the essence of the old books, but also cleverly placed the future in the reader's hands through her sparkling prose and human understanding. 

    In all honesty, this is not a book I would normally like. There are no dragons, magical wizards or an exaggerated world. It's a book that explores human emotions and reflects on the past, whilst still retaining an eye on the future. The world of family and friendships are explored all within the beautiful and captivating setting of Flambards (Essex Countryside). The story delights and captures the heart of the reader like a babbling brook washing over your senses. It's a country ramble into another person's life showing the fractured reality of life when the events of war and personal accidents change the course of the future forever. 

    All the characters are very well written well. We follow the main character Grace Russell, a 14 year-old girl, who had a devasting accident which resulted in her losing part of her leg.  The story is centered around Grace and her mum as they move from the hustle and bustle of London to the peaceful country estate of Flambards. It's a fantastic and evocative story that will be loved by many readers. It will take you on a breathtaking adventure full of wildlife, horses, and friendship. However, Flambards is at risk and needs to be saved before it is too late. 

    This is one of the most thoughtful and poignant books that I have read for some time. I really escaped to and was immersed fully in the narrative; time stopped and only started moving again once I'd turned the very last page. It is a fantastically timeless and moving story that highlights many social issues which we are faced with today. It's a book that instills peace, calm and a warm glow around the heart. It's a book that I hope you will all read and reflect on. 

    Wednesday, 26 September 2018

    Andy Briggs - Drone Racer - Interview (Q&A) - Published by Scholastic UK

    It's brilliant to have Andy Briggs on Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books today to answer some questions on his latest book - Drone Racer. The book was recently published on the 6th September 2018 by Scholastic books in the UK. It's probably the first book to feature the sport of Drone Racing. Technology and gadgets are blended together in an action-packed story that will thrill all. I'm a very big fan of Andy's books as he always delivers super narratives and engaging fast-paced stories that everybody will love regardless of age and gender. 

    Can you tell us about Drone Racer from a film directors point of view?
    Drone Racer is an idea that I always felt fitted into those feel-good movies from the 1980s… but set now. I was brought up on sci-fi-adventure stories, such as ET, The Last Starfighter, My Science Project, Batteries Not Included, Flight of the Navigator, to name just a few. I wanted this to be that kind of story, one you would expect Spielberg to make during the height of those classic Amblin Films.
                With young protagonists, shadowy villains, and an artificially intelligent racing drone, my aim was to create an adventure my readers would love to experience themselves.

    Describe this book in ten keywords
    An action packed childhood adventure for geeks of all ages.

    What makes Drone Racer an exciting read for children and why? Do you think adults will also love it?
    Ultimately, as a creator I enjoy writing about worlds I know (at least in my head!) and adventures I personally would love to have. Drone Racer is very much that labour of love. Set against the canvas of the emerging new esport of drone racing (yes, it’s a real sport around the world, with very real prizes!), readers of all ages will experience a new, yet familiar world. 
                We enter the story through our three drone racing team members, Carson, Trix and Eddie, who are ordinary kids. Carson lives with his estranged father, Eddie is a bit of a geek who never seems to fit in, and Trix is an engineering genius –a girl who is shattering a boy oriented world. When they discover an artificially intelligent drone called Vanta, they embark on a spectacular adventure that takes them around the globe… as a mysterious force pursues them…

    Has technology inspired you to write this book? If so, how?
    Most of my books revolve around technology. My pervious series, THE INVENTORY, was about the world’s greatest gadgets hidden from the rest of the world and it allowed me to combine my two joys – cool tech and travelling the world!
                With Drone Racer, I had the opportunity to focus the entire book on the wonderful world of quad-copters – drones to you and me. It's a technology everybody seems to know about. They have been one of the most popular Christmas presents over the last few years and when I am on a school tour and ask the kids who owns a drone, I am amazed by the number of hands that go up. It’s pretty incredible.
                When I discovered drone racing as an emerging esport, I instantly saw a brilliant arena in which to set a story… I just needed a story.
                We’re all used to talking to our phones and home hubs, so why not drones. And what if they not only answer back, but have personalities of their own? That’s when I realized I could push the technology further by making Vanta artificially intelligent; turning her into a real character. It was a joy to blend tech with a fun main character!

    What is your favourite gadget?
    I suppose it would have to be the thing I use every day, my mobile phone. But I am tending to use the phone less as a phone, and more for assisting in using even better technology. I use it to fly a drone (of course!), via a headset so the screen becomes the view point of the drone’s camera. I’m now also using it with more and more augmented reality apps because that’s going to be the next big thing…

    If this was ever made into a film which actors would you choose to play the lead characters in the book and why? 
    Carson, Trix and Eddie are all young, so there are not that many actors who would fit the bill (although I have seen some amazing youngsters in the theatre lately). I think finding new talent, as they did with Harry Potter, would be the way to go. But for our bad guy, I always had one person in mind… the awesome Rachel McAdams. I’m not going to tell you too much about the villain… but she’s it!

    We know you have a passion for 80's and 90's films. Which film do you think would work the best if it featured a Drone in a revamped version and why?
    Ha! Brilliant question… the obvious one is Batteries Not Included as the little space aliens in there are, kinda, drones. If Goonies had a modern makeover then they would definitely have some kind of tricked out drone to help them on their adevnture!

    I really love the book cover as it is very appealing, what are your thoughts on it? Do you think good book covers play a big part in the way we choose books to read?
    The old saying, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”, is true. But that doesn’t mean people don’t do just that. These days it’s less the kids who are judging the covers but the retailers, such as Waterstones, who now – quite wrongly – have a say on cover design.
                I have to say, when I first saw the cover I was instantly taken back to the covers of my old Commodore 64 games (for young readers, that was a computer that had a whole 64k of memory. K, not Gb, and for that you got dozens of levels of coolness, music and animation. Now a similar game will take up a hundred Mbs on my phone!). It was as if I was looking at a cover from my past that was strangely also futuristic!

    What tips would you give children who are interested in writing a sci-fi fantasy adventure? 

    There is no such thing as a bizarre idea! Just go away and write it, and don’t worry if it seems too futuristic. The chances are, when your twice as old, your sci-fi idea will start becoming a reality. We need pioneers to think ahead, to try and second guess how the world will change – and we could all do with more adventures in our lives. If we can’t have them now, then let’s read about them.

    Twitter: @abriggswriter