Thursday, 21 February 2019

Claire Fayers - Storm Hound Blog Tour - Guest Post - Finding the Right Place


Hello everybody. Welcome to Day 4 of Claire Fayer's Storm Hound blog tour. HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY. To celebrate the book release today, we are flying across the Welsh sky in search of "Finding the right place" which is the brilliant topic of today's guest post. So sit down, relax and hopefully, this post will inspire you to pick up and read this loveable rogue of a book. 

If you fancy reading my book review click Here. Make sure you check out all of the stops on this fun blog tour - please see the banner below for all the tour stops.


Storm could see mountains from here: a low peak rising up in the distance, and three hills in front of it, which, if he squinted, looked a bit like the paw of a giant dog. He knew the mortal world was indifferent to the world of magic, but the sight cheered him a little, as if the landscape had made an effort to welcome him. 

I’ve been asked many times already why I chose to set a fantasy adventure in Abergavenny. It doesn’t seem a likely place for adventure – a little Welsh town, tucked away between mountains. What could possibly happen in Abergavenny?
A few years back I’d have agreed. I’ve always loved fantasy set in invented worlds, and when I started to write, that’s where my imagination went. Fantastical stories needed fantastical settings. But, after two adventures with the Accidental Pirates, and a mystery set in an alternative Britain, I began to wonder. What if we didn’t have to go to other worlds to find magic? What if magic could find us (as we say in Wales) over by here?

That’s why, when Storm fell from the sky, he didn’t crash into a fantasy landscape or even somewhere big and important, like New York or London, or even Cardiff.

At first, I did it purely for comedy. I thought it would be hilarious to dump my arrogant young stormhound in a place that had no pretensions of grandeur. Within a couple of chapters, though, I knew this little town was absolutely right. I love the way the town is surrounded by mountains as if they’re standing guard. Walk along the narrow High Street and you’ll find all the essentials – a book shop, some lovely cafes, and a cheese shop.
Also, of course, there is a castle. 

(Abergavenny Castle – photo by Claire Fayers)

Storm enjoys going for walks here. The site dates back to 1087 and there’s a real sense of history. Most of the castle was destroyed during the civil war in 1645-46, but there’s a small museum sitting right on top of the original motte.
I had to invent a few things for the story. Abergavenny High School doesn’t exist. Neither does the Abergavenny Dog Rescue Centre. But I know exactly where Jessie’s house is. If you stand in the back garden you’ll be facing the Sugarloaf Mountain and, if you squint a bit you may think the three foothills look like the paw of a giant dog.

I didn’t actually find out about the Sugarloaf hills until I was well into editing the book, but that little detail had to go straight in. It was proof if anyone needs it, that Storm’s story could not happen anywhere else. 
Author Bio: Claire Fayers grew up in South Wales, studied English and Comparative Literature at the University of Kent in Canterbury, and is now back in Wales where she spends a lot of her free time tramping around castles in the rain, looking for dragons.
She has worked as a church caretaker, a shoe shop assistant, in accountancy, in health and safety, in IT, and in a library. Only one of these prepared her in any way for life as a full-time author.
Her first book came about after she won a writing competition. She was more surprised than anyone.
She works from her home in Cardiff, sharing her workspace with a pair of demanding cats and an ever-expanding set of model dinosaurs who sometimes like to pretend they are pirates.

More about Storm Hound…
Storm of Odin is the youngest stormhound of the Wild Hunt that haunts lightning-filled skies. He has longed for the time when he will be able to join his brothers and sisters but on his very first hunt, he finds he can’t keep up and falls to earth, landing on the A40 just outside Abergavenny.
Enter 12-year-old Jessica Price, who finds and adopts a cute puppy from an animal rescue centre. And suddenly, a number of strange people seem very interested in her and her new pet, Storm. People who seem to know a lot about magic . . .

In Claire Fayers’ electrifying adventure Storm Hound, Jessica starts to see that there’s something different about her beloved dog and will need to work out which of her new friends she can trust.

For more information please visit Claire Fayers’ website, and do follow her on Twitter.



Thursday, 14 February 2019

Amber Lee Dodd - Lightning Chase Me Home - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


At the beginning of the year, Amber Lee Dodd's second book 'Lightning Chase Me Home' was published by Scholastic Books UK. The amazing book cover has been illustrated by Kate Forrester but, unfortunately, it appears to not get a mention anywhere in the book. It's a shame really, as I believe that illustrators should be given the credit where it is due. A good book cover has the power to persuade people to pick it up and read it. It can also enhance a story and set the expectations early-doors for the reader. 

In this case, the story equally matches up to the brilliant book cover. It is a charming and evocative story. The narrative sticks with the reader like fantasy glue from start to finish. Amelia, heroically brave and strong, lives on a windblown island called Dark Muir. The setting is fantastic; it's a rugged landscape of wilderness and a place full of nature. It will certainly capture your imagination. The sky is grey and a storm is brewing, but the characters chop through the waves on a bed of vibrant colour. 

The narrative is a heroic-packed adventure blowing in on a westerly wind of mystery. The characters are brimming with charm and heartfelt personalities that will instantly capture the reader's heart. They will wash over you like a warm summer's day sprinkled with earthy magic as the turbulent story unfolds. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. It's a tender story of how fragile life can be and family breakups. However, the narrative is bright with hope and the future that lies ahead. 

On her 11th birthday, Amelia makes a heartfelt wish on Serpent's Tooth Rock and unleashes a powerful magic that might destroy the island. This element cleverly weaves Scottish mythology/folklore into the concept of the story filling it with suspense and intrigue. It's a powerful story that will tinker with your heart and soul, particularly the ending which is very uplifting. This is a book that champions the adventures and the achievements of female explorers. Dreams and achievements are just one step further than the front door. It's a fantastically well-written story full of empathy and passion. What a shimmering joy to read... 

Synopsis: 
Amelia Hester McLeod is named after two of her mum's favourite explorers. Two amazing, fearless, awesome women: Amelia Earhart and Lady Hester Stanhope. But Amelia herself doesn't always feel very brave or very bright. She lives on the tiny Scottish island of Dark Muir, her mum has walked out on her and she's about to start at a whole new, scary school. Her dyslexia means she's a target for the school bullies, too. When she makes a wish on her birthday to be reunited with her mum, she finds herself quite literally disappearing at times of stress and reappearing elsewhere on the island, where she finds clues and snapshots of her parents' past. Can she harness this strange magic to find her mum, wherever she is? Will her Dad, sad and silent since her mum's departure, start to pay her more attention? Will she find the courage to forge her own path, like the lady explorers she was named for?

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's /Young Adult Book Picks - February 2019 - US Published Post Two


J. M. Bergen - Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows - Published by Elandrian Press (February 2, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1732457805 Paperback 

 'Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.' 


Seven years have passed, and Thomas hasn't forgotten. He hasn't forgotten the blue of his dad's eyes either, or the tickle of beard on his cheek as they hugged goodbye. Last moments with a parent are memorable, even if you don't know that's what you're having. 

Now, with his 13th birthday rapidly approaching, Thomas's search for magic is about to take a radical and unexpected turn. At an out-of-the-way shop filled with dusty leather books, a strange little man with gold-flecked eyes offers him an ancient text called The Book of Sorrows. The price is high and the rules are strict, but there's no way Thomas can resist the chance to look inside. 

With the mysterious book guiding the way, a strange new world is revealed - a world in which Thomas has a name and destiny far more extraordinary than he ever imagined. But time is short. Even as Thomas uncovers his secret family history, a powerful new enemy emerges, threatening to end his rise to power and destroy everything he holds dear. 



Jarrett Lerner - Revenge of the EngiNerds (MAX) - Published by Aladdin (February 19, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1481468749 - Hardback 


When last we met, the EngiNerds were battling a horde of ravenous robots, but in this latest caper, they’re on the hunt for just one rogue robot. But who knows what kind of mayhem one mechanical creature can cause? And why is Ken the only EngiNerd who’s worried about the runaway robot?

The rest of the crew seems be missing in action and Ken fears it's because of Mikaela Harrington. She's the new girl in town who’s UFO and alien-obsessed and wants to join the EngiNerds. But as far as Ken is concerned, the EngiNerds are Y-chromosome only, no X’s allowed!

Will Ken allow a rogue robot and a know-it-all, genius girl to wreak havoc on the entire universe? He just might not have a choice!




Angie Sage - Rise of the Dragons - Published by Scholastic Press (February 26, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0545864961 - Hardback 


Mega-bestselling author Angie Sage takes flight with an epic adventure that imagines dragons in the modern world. Includes 9 collectible game cards that unlock an online game! The first in a thrilling multi-author series.

Comes with 9 collectible game cards that allow YOU to join the dragon battle!

Once our world was full of dragons who lived in harmony with humans. But after a group of rogue dragons, the Raptors tried to take over Earth, all dragons were banished to another realm.

Most humans forgot about the dragons, claiming they never existed. Eleven-year-old Sirin knows the truth -- she grew up with stories passed down through the generations. However, when her mother falls ill, even Sirin has trouble believing in magic . . . until she sees a mysterious streak of silver in the night sky.


Sirin becomes the first child to "lock" with a dragon in centuries -- forming a deep friendship, unlike anything she's ever imagined. But Sirin learns that not all dragons returned with good intentions, and soon she finds herself at the center of a battle between the dragons who want to protect the humans . . . and those who want to destroy them.


Eugene Yelchin - Spy Runner - Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (February 12, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1250120816 - Hardback 

In this noir mystery middle grade from Newbery Honor author Eugene Yelchin, a boy stumbles upon a secret that jeopardizes American national security.
It's 1953, and the Cold War is on. Communism threatens all that the United States stands for, and America needs every patriot to do their part. So when a Russian boarder moves into the home of 12-year-old Jake McCauley, he's on high alert. What does the mysterious Mr. Shubin do with all that photography equipment? And why did he choose to live so close to the Air Force base?
Jake's mother says that Mr. Shubin knew Jake's dad, who went missing in action during World War II. But Jake is skeptical; the facts just don't add up. And he's determined to discover the truth - no matter what the risks.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Guest Post by Kate Mallinder Author of Summer of No Regrets - Why you should read Up Lit YA fiction?


Here At Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books, we are forever looking forward to seeing what new books are on the publishing horizon. Today, author Kate Mallinder is talking about her debut YA book Summer of No Regrets. The book will be published in May 2019 by FireFly Press. This post is a little teaser of what you can expect as well as explaining the genre of UP LIT. Why not have a read and if this book sounds like your cup of fantasy tea then pop it on your list of books to buy or pre-order. Thanks for reading and enjoy your day. 

Summer of No Regrets was first called Up Lit by my publishers. I’d heard the term before but it still came as a surprise to me. I’d been calling it feel-good fiction, which it is. So what’s the difference?

What is Up Lit anyway?
Up Lit has been in the headlines for titles such as Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine; stories with kindness at their centre. Up Lit doesn’t pull any punches however, it isn’t sickly sweet. It still deals with big issues: mental illness, loss, grief, things which have a life-altering impact on the characters. But Up Lit differs from other stories with these same themes by building in a strong sense of community. The main character (or in my case, characters) still has to be the master of their own destiny but that journey is made easier by the people around them. Up Lit doesn’t short change the issues but they are resolved in an optimistic way.

Why read Up Lit now?
There is some research that shows that when times are bad, readers look to literature for an escape. The consensus surely must be that the world isn’t in a great place; the polarised nature of national and international politics, almost institutional unkindness in the way we treat others, people being quick to get angry online, a perceived lack of community and a lack of common ground is the backdrop for these contemporary stories. Readers aren’t just looking for an escape but to be reminded that humans are capable of kindness, of including the outsider and haven’t forgotten how to empathise with others.

Why is Up Lit for teens a thing?
Despite the term not being widely used in children’s literature, there are signs that this type of fiction is rising in popularity. The reasons behind why it has taken off in adult fiction are similar for teenagers – the world is uncertain and this is compounded for teens as they are trying to find their place in it. Teens are increasingly having mental health issues, can find themselves excluded from social groups, struggle to know how to help in a world seemingly full of problems and so it wouldn’t be unexpected for teens to search out this type of fiction.

Arguably YA fiction has been tackling issues for years and often with hopeful endings, so in this respect is ahead of the term, but the difference with Up Lit is there’s a focus on the community, with friendship groups helping the character with their issue rather than the character sorting it out alone. This is where the kindness, empathy and the strength of human bonds comes in. Examples of this would be in John Green’s books, in Wonder by R J Palacio and more recently in books like Holly Bourne’s Are we all Lemmings and Snowflakes?

Up Lit: kindness at its core
When I wrote Summer of No Regrets, I didn’t set out to write ‘Up Lit’. I wanted to write characters who were strong alone but stronger together. Even though my characters deal with some pretty big life events, they get through them with the support and kindness of their
friends. I wrote it because this would be the sort of book I would want to read if I was a teenager in today’s world – not only as an escape, but as a reminder that kindness isn’t a weakness and having empathy for others isn’t something to be mocked or ridiculed.

So, Summer of No Regrets then…
Summer of No Regrets is about four 16-year-old girls – Hetal, Cam, Sasha and Nell. They are best mates and in the summer after their GCSE’s they decide to have a regret-free summer, taking risks however much it scares them. Sasha agrees to spend the holiday in Geneva, with the father she hasn’t seen for six years, but is not expecting his new girlfriend, or the boy in the cafe. Shy homebody Hetal decides to go to science camp, and discovers a new competitive spirit. After Nell lost her arm in an accident, her mother is scared to let her out of the house - so to do what she wants she will have to lie to her parents. Fostered Cam goes to look for her birth father. What will she find? As all these choices become difficult, even dangerous, they look to each other for the strength to face the future.

Why you should read my book
Most importantly, because it’s a good read! Hopefully. But also it’ll perhaps inspire you to keep using kindness to alter the world around you.



Author Bio
Kate lives with her husband, four children and two crazy kittens near Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. She grew up in Solihull and went to college in Leeds. She wrote this book as part of her own ‘no regrets’ pledge along with trying to surf, which didn't go so well. If left to her own devices, she'd live on a window seat with a good book and a never-ending cup of tea.


Contact details:
Find Kate on twitter: @KateMallinder
On Instagram: kate.mallinder
Website: KateMallinder.co.uk

Thursday, 7 February 2019

The future of children’s stories” revealed in Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Shortlists 2019


Congratulations EVERYBODY here is the full lists of shortlisted titles (in alphabetical order by author) for the Waterstones 2019 Prize are:

Illustrated Books:
The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie (Little Tiger Press)
Mini Rabbit Not Lost by John Bond (HarperCollins)
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison (Penguin)
The King Who Banned the Dark by Emily Haworth-Booth (Pavilion)
Julian Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love (Walker Books)
100 Dogs by Michael Whaite (Penguin)


Younger Fiction:
The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson (Usborne)
The Train To Impossible Places by P.G. Bell (Usborne)
Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy (Scholastic)
The Mystery Of The Colour Thief by Ewa Jozefkowicz (Head of Zeus)
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf (Hachette Children’s)
The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd (Templar)


Older Fiction:
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Egmont)
Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Pan MacMillan)
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos (Europa Editions)
The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton (Little Tiger Press)
Me Mam. Me Dad. Me. by Malcolm Duffy (Head of Zeus)
Boy 87 by Ele Fountain (Pushkin)

Thursday 7th February: Inspiring stories of trailblazing black women, a child’s warm-hearted perspective on the refugee crisis and an energetic verse novel about a girl finding her voice are amongst the eighteen shortlisted titles competing to win the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019.

First awarded in 2005, the Prize has evolved into one of the most prestigious accolades for children’s books in the UK. It has launched the careers of many children’s book authors and illustrators by bringing the best new books to readers’ attention. Alumni include much-beloved household names such as Sally Nicholls, Jonny Duddle, Katherine Rundell and Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

Every year Waterstones’ expert booksellers are called upon to vote for the books they believe are the very best in new children’s writing and illustration. Now in its fifteenth year and with its shortlists exploring some highly topical subjects, the Prize shows its enduring relevance as a formidable platform for emerging talent. 

Last year’s winner, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, shot to the top of the bestseller charts after the announcement and saw an increase in sales of over 900% across the Waterstones estate.

Florentyna Martin, Waterstones Children’s Buyer says: “Children’s books are firmly at the heart of our shops. Knowledge of their local communities, and the pleasure in recommending the best books to their customers gives our booksellers a unique and pivotal role in championing new talent.  Now, more than ever before, there is real playfulness and creativity noticeable in children’s books. This year’s list showcases an exploration of wide topics including world-folklore, black history, mental health, refugees and the world around us, through dynamic forms of poetry, fables, and sweeping fantasies. It is a truly enthralling time for children’s writing, and our booksellers have keenly chosen shortlists that they are inspired to share with readers and, in doing so, recognise the creators who will shape the future of children’s stories.”

The shortlists consist of eighteen books across three categories. Six books will compete within each category to be crowned Category Winner, with the three category winners then vying for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2019.

James Daunt, Waterstones Managing Director says: “We are immensely proud of our Children’s Book Prize. It has chosen unfailingly wonderful books and in so doing propelled the careers of a succession of exceptional authors. Who knows how many might otherwise not have achieved such success? The Prize is the work of our booksellers and represents Waterstones at its very best.”

The Illustrated Books shortlist explores the importance of inclusivity and individuality. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison features forty inspirational black women from world history, whilst Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie tell the story of a lifelong friendship in The Girls, showcasing the strength that lies in difference, and Jessica Love’s Julian Is A Mermaid is a joyful celebration of being uniquely yourself. John Bond’s deliciously funny debut Mini Rabbit Not Lost and Michael Whaite’s joyful rhyming story 100 Dogs will make young readers laugh with delight. The shortlist concludes with the illuminating story of The King Who Banned The Dark, a modern fable about power and rebellion, by Emily Haworth–Booth.

Adventures in fantasy settings dominate the Younger Fiction shortlist. The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson is a magical tale with influences of traditional folk and fairy stories, whilst dragons are brought to life in Andy Shepherd’s The Boy Who Grew Dragons. Action, sky ships and exploration are the fuel for Vashti Hardy’s fast-paced steam punk adventure Brightstorm, whereas in The Train To Impossible Places by P.G. Bell the young heroine might travel more conventionally by train, yet her journey is anything but. Two real-life stories round up the category: Onjali Q. Raúf’s The Boy at the Back of the Class presents, with heart and humour, a child's view on the refugee crisis, meanwhile a compassionate story about coping with life and grief is told by Ewa Jozefkowicz in her debut The Mystery Of The Colour Thief.

On the Older, Fiction shortlist headstrong young protagonists, from a wide variety of backgrounds, fight for their right to determine their own life. In Christelle Dabos’ fantasy runaway hit A Winter’s Promise, a young woman becomes an unwilling pawn in a political game, whilst Tomi Adeyemi’s heroine in Children Of Blood And Bone, a fantasy saga that draws on African mythology, has to return magic to a country oppressed by a ruthless king. Shif, the eponymous Boy 87 of Ele Fountain’s beautifully written novel, is a young refugee who encounters both cruelty and kindness on his long, hard journey to Europe, whereas in Me Mam. Me Dad. Me., Malcolm Duffy’s debut novel, a fourteen-year-old Geordie lad navigates the trials and tribulations of family life. The shortlist is completed by Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X, a verse novel narrated with an unforgettable, authentic voice, and The Truth About Lies, a suspenseful, psychological thriller by Tracy Darnton, telling the story of a girl who remembers everything.

The winners will be announced at an evening reception at Waterstones Piccadilly (London), Europe’s largest bookshop, on Thursday 21st March, 2019. The winner of each category will receive £2000, with the overall winner receiving an extra £3000. In the event that the prize is awarded to a partnership, then the prize money will be split equally between the joint winners.

The winning authors and illustrators will also see a significant boost in sales, and the promise of an ongoing commitment to their writing career from all Waterstones shops nationwide.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Bex Hogan - Viper (Isles of Storm and Sorrow Bk 1) - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life - to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles - but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.
He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.
Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.
But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.
He's the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne's father.
She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves - and perhaps even her life?
A storm is brewing this April with the debut book by Bex Hogan. Viper is the first book in the Isles of Storm and Sorrow trilogy published by Orion in paperback on the 18th April 2019. The book cover illustration shimmers in the dark and lights up this fantasy. The artwork has been cleverly developed by Samuel Perrett alongside source images from Shutterstock. I have to say it is really eye-catching and instantly makes you want to pick up the book and read it.

Turning the first few pages, the story soon captures your attention. The first incision of blood seeps off the pages and floats to your brain. The fluttery wings of a dead bird whisk you on a fantasy ride of a lifetime. The author is holding nothing back in this thrilling Young Adult book that I absolutely loved. In my opinion, the YA genre at the moment is at its best with lots of original and captivating stories appearing on the horizon.  This is an adventure set on the high seas with a gutsy/brave and endearing character, seventeen-year-old Marianne. Her destiny is to become a Viper, a feared defender of the Twelve Isles, but what will she encounter on the way?

Whatever the answer, it will have you flying by the seat of your fantasy pants. This is an epic story set on the high seas. It's a voyage of discovery for Marianne as she follows her destiny and hopefully uncovers the mysteries of the ships crew the Maiden. The plot will leave the reader treading a tidal wave of death and destruction. The plot is not for the faint-hearted but it has just the right amount of detail to give you an enjoyable and exhilarating ride for the harder fantasy armchair adventurer.

This is a very well-written story that has everything for you to enjoy and really love. There is an abundant amount of action and drama that will keep you engrossed. The author has placed a little sprinkling of earthly magic into the story that lifts the narrative up a notch. I loved the plot idea which makes it crazy, wild and slightly surreal in places.  The alluring cruelty of the characters whilst also instilling a small amount of warmth and feelings makes for great reading in the plot. 

All in all, this is another outstanding read that comes will all the trappings of another two books to follow. After surviving the cracking climatic ending, it makes you want to start all over again. Providing your heart hasn't already been torn to shreds. Buzzing and brilliant, get this book pre-ordered now or I'll make you walk the plank - you salty sea dogs....

Monday, 4 February 2019

Children's and Young Adult Book Picks - February 2019 US Published Post - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


Raymond Arroyo - Will Wilder #3: The Amulet of Power - Published by Crown Books for Young Readers (February 19, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0553539714 - Hardback 

In book three of the series, twelve-year-old Will Wilder is back to protect the town of Perilous Falls after he's given a talisman with a lock of Samson's hair. But a new dark demon will force family secrets to be revealed, friendships to be tested, and Will's strength to be pushed to the limit.

Will Wilder yearns to join the Perilous Falls Middle School football team. But he was never big enough or strong enough to make the cut until he comes in contact with a talisman containing the fabled locks of Samson. But using the Amulet of Power attracts dark forces to Perilous Falls like moths to a flame.

Suddenly, hunched creatures are shadowing people around town, graves are being disturbed, the music of a mysterious DJ lulls half of Perilous Falls into a stupor, and to top it all off, Will is convinced that a teammate may be a demon himself! 

As he tries to identify the demon before it causes untold havoc, Wilder family secrets will be unlocked, the limits of physical strength and the power of friendship are tested--and Will might even score a touchdown or two.



John August - Arlo Finch in the Lake of the Moon - Published by Roaring Brook Press (February 5, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1626728165 - Hardback

“A thrilling adventure full of magic and wonder. John August is a master storyteller.” ―Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
From acclaimed screenwriter John August, Arlo Finch in the Lake of the Moon continues the spellbinding fantasy adventure series about the magic that lies just beyond our world.

Some legends are real. 
For Arlo Finch and the Rangers of Pine Mountain Company, summer camp is more than canoeing and hiking. It’s also a chance to search for ancient forest spirits and discover mysterious messages encoded in tree bark. But when Arlo and his best friends Indra and Wu stumble upon clues about the long-lost Yellow Patrol, Arlo uncovers a stunning history that leads right back to his very own family.

Padma Venkatraman - The Bridge Home - Published by Nancy Paulsen Books (February 5, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1524738112 - Hardback 

"Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive. Padma shares with us an unflinching peek into the reality millions of homeless children live every day but also infuses her story with hope and bravery that will inspire readers and stay with them long after turning the final page."--Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times Bestselling Amal Unbound

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman's stirring middle-grade debut.

Life is harsh in Chennai's teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter--and friendship--on an abandoned bridge. With two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, the group forms a family of sorts. And while making a living scavenging the city's trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to laugh about and take pride in too. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. But when illness strikes, Viji must decide whether to risk seeking help from strangers or to keep holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom.


Joanna Hathaway - Dark of the West (Glass Alliance) - Published by Tor Teen (February 5, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0765396419 - Hardback

"A novel of court intrigue and action-packed military adventure,"* Joanna Hathaway's Dark of the West, is a breathtaking YA fantasy debut--first in the Glass Alliance series.
A pilot raised in the revolution. A princess raised in a palace. A world on the brink of war.
Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania―Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.
Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it―a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

Monday, 28 January 2019

New Children's & Young Adult Book Picks February 2019 - Post Two - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


Michelle Harrison - A Pinch of Magic - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's UK (7 Feb. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1471124297 - Paperback

On the isle of Crowstone, set upon eerie marshes with a prison as its closest neighbour, the Widdershins sisters: Betty, Fliss, and Charlie, set out to break a deadly curse which has haunted their family for generations.
But the curse isn’t the only unusual thing about the Widdershins. Each of them possesses a magical object that’s been passed down the family. A scruffy carpet bag, a set of wooden nesting dolls and a gilt-framed mirror . . . none of them is what they seem.
Will they be enough to break the curse? Or will the sisters have better luck with the mysterious prisoner who claims he can help them – for a price?


Jasbinder Bilan - Asha & the Spirit Bird - Chicken House Books (7 Feb. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1911490197- Paperback

Asha lives in the foothills of the Himalayas. Money is tight and she misses her papa who works in the city. When he suddenly stops sending his wages, a ruthless moneylender ransacks their home and her mother talks of leaving.

From her den in the mango tree, Asha makes a pact with her best friend, Jeevan, to find her father and make things right. But the journey is dangerous: they must cross the world's highest mountains and face hunger, tiredness - even snow leopards.

And yet, Asha has the unshakeable sense that the spirit bird of her grandmother - her nanijee - will be watching over her.


Sinéad O’Hart - The Star-spun Web - Published by Stripes Publishing (7 Feb. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1788950220 - Paperback - Book Review Here

With her passion for scientific experimentation and her pet tarantula Violet, Tess de Sousa is no ordinary orphan. When a stranger shows up at Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings, claiming to be a distant relative come to adopt her, Tess hopes to find some answers to her mysterious origins. But as she adjusts to her new life at Roedeer Lodge, it becomes clear that Norton F. Cleat knows more about Tess – and the strange device left with her when she was abandoned as a baby – than he’s letting on. And when Tess discovers that the Starspinner is the gateway between her world and a parallel world in which war rages, she realizes she may be the key to a terrible plan. A plan she must stop at all costs...


Benjamin Read Laura Trinder - The Midnight Hour - Published by Chicken House Books (7 Feb. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1911490906 - Paperback - Book Review Here

Emily's parents have vanished into the secret world of the Midnight Hour - a Victorian London frozen in time - home to magic and monsters. Emily must find them in the city of the Night Folk, armed only with a packed lunch, a stowaway hedgehog and her infamously big mouth.

With bloodthirsty creatures on her tail, Emily has to discover the truth to rescue her parents. What family secret connects her to the Midnight Hour? And can she save both worlds before she runs out of sandwiches?



Chris Bradford (Author), Nelson Evergreen (Illustrator) - S.P.E.A.R. - Published by Barrington Stoke (7 Feb. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1781128497 - Paperback

When Troy is caught up in a terrorist attack that takes the lives of his parents, he discovers an amazing power - bullets can't harm him. With this secret uncovered he's soon recruited into a underground organisation where he meets Scarlet, a girl with her own remarkable talent, and the two put their powers to use... Exhilarating action meets heart-pounding suspense in this three-part novel.

Kesia Lupo - We Are Blood And Thunder - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books



A stunning and original YA fantasy from a fantastic new talent. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Laini Taylor
In a sealed-off city, a young woman, Lena, is running for her life. She has been sentenced to death and her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear - those with magic. 
On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. Years ago she escaped before her own powers were discovered. But now she won't hide who she is any longer. 
A powerful and terrifying storm cloud engulfs the city. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine ... But what neither Lena and Constance realise is that the stormcloud binds them - without it, without each other, neither can get what they desire.

What a fantastic start to the year already. As I skip and dance through the large pile of books in the hallway, I am delighted to have uncovered another absolute literary diamond. We Are Blood And Thunder has been written by a fantastic new voice, Kesia Lupo, who is a children's editor at Chicken House Books. This is an outstanding debut YA book that will be published by Bloomsbury in April 2019. I hear you cry but that's such a long time away. However, when a book is as good as this, I need to let you know early on so that you can get it pre-ordered and look forward to reading this in Spring. 

So, what is it that has made me so excited? Well, it all starts many years ago in the Year of Kings 554 to be exact. A city is in quarantine and has been sealed off from the outside world. A young woman on the run, convicted for being a mage, crosses paths with a mysteriously masked lady on the other side of a locked gate. They each have a path to walk and an adventure to explore as they take the reader on a journey into a fantastic plot full of dark and deadly magic. The mysterious vapor will definitely crawl all over your skin and flood your senses as you explode onto the scene of this story. It will both hypnotise and enrapture you with delight. 

When you first start this book, you will have no idea as to where you will end up as you follow a wide cast of brilliantly written characters. However, the book is particularly centered around two lead female characters - Lena and Constance. Their narrative weaves a spider's web of mystery. In fact, you'll get tangled up in the gossamer threads of dark fantasy as you become trapped in a storm of darkness, desire, and danger. The turbulent battle of magical disorder will captivate any readers' attention due to the intense and mind-boggling story. Lingering on key and pivotal moments enables a powerful chemistry to be developed between all of the characters.

The imagination is fully unleashed in this story. A ball of white light hits the reader with twists and twirls of darkness to create an atmospheric backdrop. Everything has been very well crafted and created. I particularly loved stepping into Lord Chatham's Emporium of Magical and Mechanical Delights. This is just one of many special moments that you will dip your fantasy toes into and come out wanting more. It was captivating just stepping through that fantasy door and watching the scene develop - absolutely amazing.

This is undisputedly one of the best YA fantasy books that I've read for some time. The world building and the setting of the story are faultless; cleverly written but not too complicated. The detail and the backstory are just exquisite - I loved the idea of radical mages and the concept of chaos. It all just added to the depth and fascination of the story. It is just a shame that a plot that is so fully delivered and immersive has to end. 

This is a very special book. Within the YA age-range, this has to be one of the most memorable and exciting reads for me in such a long time. Wow, I can't wait for the next book!