Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Mr Ripley's - Top 10 Book Covers of 2009



Book 10 - Mike Wilks -  Mirrorstorm -  Book Published By Egmont Books U.K





Book 9 - David Whitley - The Midnight Charter -   Book Published By Roaring Brook Press - U.S





Book 8 - Steve Augarde -  X Isle - Book Published By David Fickling Books - U.K





Book 7 - DI Toft - Wolven - Book Published By Chicken House  - U.K







Book 6 - Ian Beck - Pastworld - Book Published By Bloomsbury -  U.K








Book 5 -  Brandon Mull - Fableheim -  Book Published By Penhaligon Verlag - German







Book 4 - Arthur Slade - The Hunchback Assignments - Book Published By HarperCollins - Canada







Book 3 - Cherie Priest - Boneshaker - Book Published By Tor - U.S





Book 2 - Darren Shan - The Demonata - Dark Calling - Book Published By Little,Brown Books - U.S





Book 1 - Daniel Kirk - The Elf Realm: The High Road - Book Published By Amulet Books - U.S (Mr Ripley's Book Cover of the year 2009)


A great year for the book cover. Let us know your favorite book covers of 2009. 


Any you like here?





Monday, 28 December 2009

Sam Enthoven - Crawlers Book Review





Mr Ripley's Book Review
They will do anything for their queen and soon, so will you..... 
The book cover is a one off intrigue; keeping you guessing as to what's inside the pages of this crazy book. So take some time; have a peruse at the book cover and you will be drawn into the story. 
This is a new take on Sam's writing - he has stepped up the horror factor to great affect after living off instant noodles and freshly cooked spider's legs! The plot is based around a living horror, which begins on a school trip to the Barbican, as the fire alarm starts the story unfolds. It draws you into a weird and scary place - a place that you would never expect to find yourself in. The pages start to turn faster then a demon infested runaway train at this point.
The depiction of the Crawlers is a nastiness to behold and is delivered well on its way to hell. The strange spider-like creatures swarm through the building attacking people and turning them into vicious killers; something is crawling down my spine but the book review must be continued. 
Lots of questions are asked of all the children, which makes for a real sense of drama and tension, as trust and their possibilities for escape are (at the best of times) quite bleak! In essence this story is a fast paced 'seat-of-your-pants-ride' of terrifying Zombies and a sinister alien queen, who wants to take over the world, I believe she might have a lot in common with the author!  
This book gets four out of five, as I found the start a little bit too slow - perhaps a little too much dialogue between the children at the start. This slowed the pace down, especially in comparison with the much faster paced action that followed.
It's always a pleasure to read and love a book by a great author. Sam is a great ambassador within the world of children's books. I'm looking forward to the next new book in April - bring it on Sam.
Book Published by Corgi Books 1 April 2010
Book Synopsis......
Ben is on a school trip. So is Jasmine. What they don't know is that not everybody in the theatre is there to watch the play and, in fact, they'll never get to see it ...There is panic at the Barbican when the fire alarms start wailing, but the strangely silent theatre staff, trap them inside the building rather than letting them out to safety. Ben, Jasmine and their classmates soon discover that there's no fire - what's happening is much weirder, and much scarier. Strange spider-like creatures swarm through the building attacking people and turning them into vicious killers, and the kids have to run for their lives. But barricaded in an office, with these creatures waiting outside for them, the children realise they're stuck. Will they ever get out? And, more importantly can they trust each other?


About the author
For the last ten years Sam Enthoven has been working as a part-time bookseller, living largely on a diet of instant noodles and parsnips while honing his skills as a writer of thrillers for young people. He is passionately - possibly 'certifiably' - committed to the ideal of books that make kids want to read; if you like The Black Tattoo, you should see what he writes now he can afford something decent to eat once in a while.

Other books by Sam
The Black Tattoo (2006)
Tim:Defender of the Earth (2008)
Crawlers (2010)
Seed (2010)

Thursday, 24 December 2009

William Hussey - Witchfinder:Dawn of the Demontide - Book Review



Book Review


The smell of the Demontide is upon us (the reader), the anticipation is strong as the writer drags us down to a living hell. The swirl of poisonous frogs and green mist encompass the reader and then toss them back down with a horrifying thud. Witches, Demons and blood sacrifices are themes that are accounted for in this book, which is disturbing and certainly keeps everyone on edge. 



We may have a new master of 'Dark Fiction' for 2010 - the book spooks all our living senses and sets us on a tale of terror but with a fantastic plot intertwined throughout. The book has a slow start but gains momentum as the mysteries of Hobarron and its character's are delved into. I love the feel of this book including the ending.

This series of books will go down well with the evil and darker happenings of other great children's book writers, this will be the genre for 2010 as lots of interesting books are to be published next year. So much more to come, I think.


Book Published by Oxford University Press - March 2010


Book Synopsis
The first in a terrifying trilogy, read on if you dare: Jake could now see the demon fully. Its body was a mass of steely sinew, its arms roped with muscle. Six fingers sprouted from its hands, each ending in lethal talons. The thing did not possess a nose; instead a large hole, bubbling with green mucus, occupied the middle of its face. Mr Pinch's tongue flickered between his teeth and slurped across his fat lips. He was hungry. When a violent storm rages around the little village of Hobarron's Hollow, a young boy is sacrificed 'for the greater good'. His blood is used to seal a mystical doorway and prevent an apocalyptic disaster known only as the Demontide. Twenty-five years later, another boy, Jake Harker, is about to be drawn into the nightmare of the Demontide. Witches and their demon familiars stalk his every move, and his dreams are plagued by visions of a 17th Century figure known only as the Witchfinder. When his father is abducted, Jake must face the terrible secrets kept by those closest to him and a shocking truth that will change his life forever . . .







Sunday, 20 December 2009

Ben Horton - Monster Republic - Book Review







Mr Ripley's Book Review

I am the monster and the monster shall be a hero. This tale may be the book you are looking for or it might not.
This is a new voice for 2010, from the author who's goal is to steal young peoples imaginations from the gaming world. The book is based on a manic Cyber romp of Sci-Fi mayhem in the world of a madman. Dr Fry is the evil character of the book, which sets out to make Frankenstein monsters out of children, in order to make an indestructible army of Superhuman soldiers . It's a fast paced action-packed book; the short chapters and great dialogue keep the book bouncing along. The book features some feisty encounters through various detailed battles, as Cameron comes to grip with many of his artificial enhancements.
Moral issues are tackled in the face of the truth and the belief in doing what's right. The book will appeal to many a reader and is a very exciting start to a new series. The next book has so much scope, it will be one of the many great books which I will be looking forward to.
The only negativity I have is with the ending, as I did find one aspect a little bit feeble. I will give this four out of five - a captivating read with many possibilities for the next one.

Book Published by Corgi in January 2010

Book synopsis
An explosion in a nuclear power plant. Kids patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants. A growing army of superhuman soldiers programmed for destruction. 'No', whispered Cameron to the monster in the glass. And he watched it shaking its hideous head. 'That's not me. You're not me'. As commercial and compelling as a computer game, this is the first book in a major new series. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

David Miller - Sea Wolf - Book Review





Mr Ripley's Book Review
This is the second book by David Miller - featuring the same three children, it follows them on a journey filled with danger and an incredible adventure that springs out of nowhere.


The book is told as a traditionally spun tale of action adventure, for the younger person. The writer uses his experiences of a foreign land and seduces the reader into a paradise world, that suddenly goes wrong in a bad way. The children have a nose for finding trouble, and trouble finds them in many ways!
The book encompasses some quite graphic descriptions of how to be killed, which is not for the squeamish. One such tale is based on the death of a thousand cuts to the body, so you have been warned! But the story is actually a great read (in my opinion) and builds well on the previous book in the series.

I love the plot with its twists and turns, as well as the development of the varied and unique characters. It's a great page turner with superb action scenes including battles, sinking ships, shark-infested waters and a really nasty 'baddie' that you want to see pay the price at the end!
The book has a surreal like quality to its reading, it's like drifting out to sea with a golden sunset as a backdrop and believing in everything that life has to offer.This book gets a good four out of five;  the next  book in this series is entitled "Leopard's Claw," which you only have to wait until July to read - can't wait.




Book Published by Oxford University Press -  7 January 2010


About the Book

HUNTED. TRAPPED. DESPERATE. Shipwrecked after a ferocious storm, Hanna, Ned and Jik come face to face with a murderous foe. They must escape or die. But how do you outrun a bullet ...Or out swim a shark?
Hanna and Ned are excited to be back on Shark Island with their friend Jik but when their boat is destroyed by a typhoon, their lives as they know it are swept away. They face a desperate battle - not just with the sea, but with an enemy obsessed with revenge.


About the Author
David Miller was born into a farming family in a small Norfolk village. After Cambridge he spent most of his career in advertising, as a copywriter, and later a creative director at the major international agency Ogilvy and Mather (where, incidentally, he shared an office with Salman Rushdie for more than a year).

Saturday, 12 December 2009

New Books Out February 2010 - The Picks Of The Month





Andy McNab - DropZone:BK.1 - Published By Doubleday Books - 4 Feb 2010 - ( See Book Review)

Book Synopsis
Ethan Blake is seventeen and desperate to escape from his dead-end life. When he sees someone B.A.S.E. jump from the top of his block of flats, it changes the way he sees the world for ever. Soon, Ethan is caught up in the adrenaline-fuelled world of skydiving. He's a natural, so it's no surprise when he's invited to join an elite skydive team, but is he signing up for more than just jumping out of planes? The team's involved in covert military operations - missions that require a special kind of guts, missions so secret even MI5 denies all knowledge.








Steve Feasey - Changeling:Blood Wolf - Published by Macmillan Children's - 5 Feb 2010 - (Need to read this one.)


Book Synopsis:


Trey thought he was the only one.
It was a lie.
The last hereditary werewolf has found his pack – and they’re vicious, bloodthirsty,aBndtruly wild.
Trey has had enough of vampires, demons and sorcerors. He needs to get in touch with his real family – the ones with fur, fangs and killer instincts.
But the wolf pack howling at the moon in Canada is not what he expected. And without the protection of de-fanged vampire and demon-hunter Lucien Charron, the family secret is more dangerous than he ever knew. Trey’s out of control. Can the werewolf be tamed?



M.G Harris - Zero Moment(The Joshua Files) - Published By Scholastic - 1 Feb 2010 

Book Synopsis:
Josh thinks he has discovered the key to time travel. Should he use it to go back in time and save his father? Ixchel knows what he intends to do. Should she stop him? Before they can decide, Ixchel is kidnapped by the people who want to see an ancient prophecy predicting the end of the world in 2012 come true. It's up to Josh to save Ixchel and possibly save the world. Time is running out in the exhilarating third part of the best-selling Joshua Files. the legendary Ix Codex - a lost book of the ancient Maya containing a prophecy about the end of the world...




Tom Becker - Blackjack (Darkside) - Published By Scholastic - 1 Feb 2010

Book Synopsis:
Jonathan is shocked when he finds out his mother has been locked away in Darkside's most infamous madhouse, The Bedlam, for years - and he's determined to rescue her. But with the rotten borough's brutal new leader causing mass chaos, a mysterious stone wreaking havoc on all who possess it, and the wereman Carnegie nowhere to be found, will he be able to save his mum without losing everything else?





Alex Bell - Lex Trent Versus the Gods - Published by Hedline - 4 Feb 2010

Book Synopsis:
A quirky and original comic fantasy from talented Gollancz author Alex Bell
Law student Lex Trent’s world is inhabited by fearsome magicians, ageing crones and a menagerie of Gods and Goddesses. And while Lex is seemingly dedicated to his legal studies he’s always enjoyed a challenge – which is why he leads a double life as the notorious cat burglar ‘The Shadowman’ who has been (luckily) evading capture for years.

But Lex’s luck is about to run out because the Goddess of Fortune has selected him to be her player in the highly dangerous Games. Losing is not an option for Lex (particularly as it so often involves dying) but can he really win each of the perilous rounds? Given that the reward for doing so is money, fame and glory – all things that Lex is quite keen on – he’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure he will... and he’s certainly got good experience of cheating.



Neal Shusterman - Everwild - Published By Simon & Schuster - 4 Feb 2010
Book Synopsis:
Nick the "chocolate ogre" wants to help the children of Everlost to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, and is slowly handing each child a coin which will release them from Everlost. But Mary Hightower wants to trap the children forever, and joins forces with Pugsy Capone, a death boss, who gains allies in a terrible way...Meanwhile, Allie has gone in search for her parents and joins up with a group of "skinjackers". But, as her search takes her further away from Nick and the children of Everlost, Allie uncovers a shocking secret...it seems that "skinjackers" are not actually dead...In this riveting sequel to the imaginative, supernatural thriller, Everlost, there is new dark force to be reckoned with.

Gabrielle Lord - Conspiracy 365 February - Published By Hodder Children's - 4 Feb 2010
Book Synopsis
On New Year's Eve, Callum Ormond is chased down the street by a crazed man with a deadly warning:
They killed your father.
They'll kill you.
You must survive the next 365 days!
Now he's on the run. The people who killed his father want him dead, and the police are chasing him for a crime he didn't commit. A month has gone by and he's still no nearer to solving the Ormond Riddle, the family secret that has turned his life into a nightmare. Can he trust the mysterious Winter Frey, or will she lead him further into danger?
He has 334 days. The clock is ticking...

Monday, 7 December 2009

Rachel Hawkins - Hex Hall - Book Review





Mr Ripley's Book Review
Are you a practicing Witch, Faerie or Vampire? Do you love a book that casts a spell on the reader? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then this may well be the book for you. As a shapeshifter myself I like to morph into a good book and, I have to say I definitely found one here. The quicker I read a book, the greater the sign that I am enjoying it; this took less then five hours in one sitting! 

The magical experience of all the characters was a joy to read. I loved the story and was extremely surprised about it, to tell the truth. You' ve no idea where the book is going to take you but it definitely has a blockbuster feel, as well as a feeling of being fresh and not like a book you may have read before.
The plot was particularly good and the relationships between the characters worked well. The angst and romantic nature was not too over the top; making it more appealing to both boys and girls.
The story is set around the shabby outward looking school of Hecate Hall. The reform school is for wayward 'Prodigium,' who have been attracting too much human attention.
This is going to be a real hit next year with readers; it's fun, witty and very uber-cool. It has great twists and turns with a climatic ending which will enhance the enthusiasm for the next book in the series. This is currently known as 'Hexy Times' but could be subject to change prior to publication.
I am going to give four out of five, as I need to know more about the history and the events which connect the story. A fine debut book and a great new series - one which I believe will catch the eye of film makers. The only downside to the book is its front cover, which I feel is not appealing enough for boys. I'd be interested to know whether other people feel the same.

Book published by Hyperion Books in the U.S  March 2010 

Book Synopsis Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.


Friday, 4 December 2009

Mark Walden - Dreadnought - High Institute Of Villainous Education









Book Review:
I loved this series of books, starting with the very first book I was given at the FCBG conference by a nice person from Bloomsbury. I have to say they are among some of my personal all time favourite reads. The story-lines within each book are packed full of action and take the reader on a whirlwind ride. These are the type of books reluctant boy readers will love and could encourage them to read more. I have not heard many people, who have read these, say a bad thing about any of them.


The books are centred around some great characters, who are part of a villainous group know as G.L.O.V.E (Global League Of Villainous Enterprises). The battle and scrapes they all get themselves into make for top quality reading, that keep the reader transfixed to the pages. The story and dialogue in all of the books are tight and engaging. The plots are clever and well constructed. 

Mark Walden (before writing books) spent ten years producing video games and so has a good idea in knowing what entertains children - lots of action and great imagination, some cool and likable characters; with lots of bad guys. Another five out of five - I appear to be saving the best books to last this year.





Book Synopsis: 
A renegade faction of the world's most powerful villains is intent on destroying G.L.O.V.E. (Global League Of Villainous Enterprises) and showing the world the true face of evil. The Disciples begin by hijacking Diabolus Darkdoom's Airborne command post, then they kidnap his son and his son's best friend. Unfortunately for them, Nigel Darkdoom (and Franz) also happen to be Otto's friends. Heading out to America, Otto, Wing et al embark on a perilous and highly unauthorised rescue operation. Cut off from the support of H.I.V.E. and on the run from American security forces the hunt for their friends leads to one of the US military's most secret facilities. It becomes clear that the Disciples are not all they appear and in a desperate race against time Otto must work out who his real friends are to prevent the Disciples from completing their true objective. Only Otto can save the world from domination by a sinister new world order but it might be that the price he has to pay is just too high. When it comes to the crunch will he be prepared to sacrifice himself?







H.I.V.E Books:

Book One - H.I.V.E - Higher Institute of Villainous Education - 2006
Book Two - The Overlord Protocol - 2007
Book Three - Escape Velocity - 2008
Book Four - Dreadnought - 2009 ( also a world book day book - Interception point)
Book Five - Rouge - 2009 - All books are published by Bloomsbury010)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Andy McNab - DropZone - Book Review







Mr Ripley's Book Review




I have to say when I got this book I was hooked from the start. The book cover on the proof copy is one of the best I have seen for a long time but I'm not sure if it will look like this when it is published, as I have seen another cover (which is shown below.) The story Andy has written is one of the best action boy style books I have read for a long time. One of the characters in the book is so well written it could be even Andy himself.
As you may not know, Andy McNab's career before writing great books for children and adults, was in the British Army. He was most the highly decorated serving soldier when he left the S.A.S in 1993. So he knows a bit about danger and encompasses that to great affect in this book. The book is an action packed killer bomb waiting to go off in the reader's hands.
The story follows 17 year old Ethan Blake in an adrenalin-fuelled world of skydiving. After taken a badly paid summer job Ethan's life takes on a turn of events that is gripping to the core. The realistic feel and the emotions between the characters keep the book on the ground - pardon the pun. The book draws upon action and experiences to keep you gripped and the underlying feel to this book is a very cool read. The skydiving element in the book is one of originality and told with the knowledge of someone who obviously knows it inside out.
This was totally addictive to read and unexpected in many ways. Another great part was the friendly banter and humour between all the characters that made for good reading. The secrets told towards the end give it an explosive ending and a great finish to a book that you'll want to read more. This book for me gets a five out of five and I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.


Book synopsis:Ethan Blake is seventeen and desperate to escape from his dead-end life. When he sees someone B.A.S.E. jump from the top of his block of flats, it changes the way he sees the world for ever. Soon, Ethan is caught up in the adrenaline-fuelled world of skydiving. He's a natural, so it's no surprise when he's invited to join an elite skydive team, but is he signing up for more than just jumping out of planes? The team's involved in covert military operations - missions that require a special kind of guts, missions so secret even MI5 denies all knowledge.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andy McNab was a member of 22 SAS Regiment and was involved in both covert and overt special operations worldwide. During the Gulf War he commanded Bravo Two Zero, a patrol that, in the words of his commanding officer, 'will remain in regimental history for ever'. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army's most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS. He wrote about his experiences in two phenomenal bestsellers, Bravo Two Zero, which was filmed starring Sean Bean, and Immediate Action. Besides his writing work, he lectures to security and intelligence agencies in both the USA and UK.

Other Great Books To Read.


Boy Soldier books by Andy and Robert Rigby

Book one - Boy Soldier - 2005
Book Two - Payback - 2005
Book Three - Avenger - 2006
Book Four - Meltdown - 2007

Boy SoldierPaybackAvengerMeltdown




Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A.G Taylor - Meteorite Strike - Book Review







Mr Ripley's Book Review
This is not the kind of book that you want to read whilst flying (as a passenger) in an aeroplane!


A brother and sister become newly reunited with their father, after their mother tragically became ill and finally died. They soon find themselves on the way to Australia, with their father, and at this point the story starts to unfold. The opening starts with a cliff-hanger of suspense - a plane (destination - Australia) hits the aftermath of a meteorite, at which point the action soon develops into gripping proportions.
I was pleasantly surprised by the plot structure; lots of action to keep the reader engaged and epic proportions of turbulence to keep the reader gripped. Whilst this story does have similar attributes to other books published at the moment, it is nevertheless a fantastic ride of enjoyment. The action parts of the book are particularly well written and actually leave many similar-style books standing. I felt there were many memorable scenarios within the book such as when the children had to fend for themselves against the evil-power hungry military task force HIDRA. When they discovered how to control and use the powers to gain freedom and found a vaccine to fight the virus - leaving its victims in a comatosed state.
This is a very accomplished book by a debut author, who was inspired to write from a flight across Australia, and I am glad he did. This book is a great read, it has a Sci-Fi edge with lots of cool superhero powers (demonstrated by the children). It finally ends with a dynamic crescendo .... a big battle which makes for an epic flourish.
The next book to look out for is 'Alien Storm' which will be published in November 2010.
This book gets four out of five I expect five of five in the next book!

Published by Usborne fiction  29 January 2010

Book Synopsis: Sarah and Robert are sure their number is up when their aeroplane crashes over the Australian desert. But this is no ordinary air disaster. A meteorite strike has impacted Earth, bringing with it a deadly alien disease. Thousands fall victim to the virus, falling into a deep coma. Luckily, Robert and Sarah appear to be unaffected - until they begin to exhibit some extraordinary psychic side-effects. This quickly makes them a target for HIDRA, a rogue international agency determined to experiment on them like lab rats in an attempt to control their superpowers. Before long, the children are captured in HIDRA's secret desert HQ, a prison for superhuman kids who can control fire, create storms and tear steel with their minds. This new generation of superheroes must join forces if they are to escape HIDRA. But what kind of world awaits them outside?

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Arthur Slade - The Hunchback Assignments - Steampunk Adventure


MR Ripley Say's
A gripping new series combines Steampunk, spying, and a fantastic Victorian London. WOULD LIKE A REVIEW FOR THIS. My copy has been lost in a victorian post office in London on a clockwork gizmo,waited to be delivered by an automated robot. Hopefully I will get my copy for that festive time called "PUNKMAS".



"You will always be ugly," Mr. Socrates had regularly reminded him over the years. "Always. But you are better able to adapt than any chameleon. Be thankful for it."





More about this author at www.arthurslade.com




Synopsis The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself. When he encounters Octavia Milkweed, another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockword Guild behind the murders of important men. Furthermore, a mad scientist is turning orphan children into automatons to further the goals of the Guild. Modo and Octavia journey deep into the tunnels under London and discover a terrifying plot against the British government. It’s up to them to save their country.







Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Martin Howard & Colin Simpson - The Wickedest Witch - Book Review





Mr Ripley Say's.........
I've just left the witches coven on my magic broomstick clutching a copy of The Wickedest Witch. I've just finished a loop-the-loop and finally dismounted; now I'm ready to write my book review. 
The story follows Esmelia and the newly apprenticed witch Sam, who become embroiled in a wicked adventure, to be the Most Superior High and Wicked Witch. There are many witch-battling encounters throughout the story which add to the magical experience.
The narrative blends humour into the story line creating many memorable funny moments which develop the personalities of the characters.
This is a great read for both young and old that could be a fabulous Christmas reading treat. The book casts a spell over the reader as turning each page you find that you have been turned into a frog!  
I became really engrossed in this book; loving every page. I would love the opportunity to read more books like this; light-hearted, funny and magical but still very entertaining. This book is beautifully illustrated by the amazingly talented Colin Stimpson, which I feel really enhances the book's character and allure. 
I give this book four out of five - how long until the next installment?





Book Synopsis The headline in The Cackler is grim. Old Biddy Vicious, the Most Superior High and Wicked Witch and owner of the Black Wand of Ohh Please Don't Turn Me Into Aaaaarghhh - Ribbett is dead. But witches like their news on the dark side and there is great anticipation in the witching world. After all, there will need to be a new leader and a diabolical competition to find out who is to become the new Most Superior High and Wicked Witch. Esmeila Sniff fancies her chances, after all she is exceedingly wicked and has warts in all of the right places. As she and her surprisingly cheerful apprentice, Sam, set off to find three other witches to nominate her for the job, the meanest and the baddest witches in the world are hatching their own devious plan to become "The Wickedest Witch".
Also check out the authors web page for more details,and how to buy a copy.www.witchesatwar.co.uk







Sunday, 22 November 2009

Bruno Vincent - Grisly Tales From Tumblewater - Book Review






Mr Ripley's Book Review - Warning Not for the faint-hearted

Once upon a time there was a boy called Daniel, who was sent out on a journey to be educated in the fine arts of being a surgeon. His trip took him to place called "Tumblewater" - a very dark and strange place full of mysterious folk, who like the tales of the strange and dark ....

The book covers eight creepy stories that are all rolled into an adventure. Connected to the same story, each tale is told in a macabre and Gothic new voice, that has the reader on edge and leaves a some-what evident feeling of terror.

Daniel soon finds himself being lead by unpredictable circumstances. Whilst the clouded boys past becomes evident through the murky and dangerous underground world he now finds himself in.

I really loved this book; I felt it to be written in a similar style to Chris Priestley's - Tales of Terror books whilst displaying the great storytelling characteristics/traits of Neil Gaiman.

The world of Tumblewater is particularly well written through its imaginative use of description. The ending of each individual story leaves a mild mannered feeling of shock. It's a great piece of Gothic horror; all told in a clever slice of the unnatural, which is gripping to the end.
This is a great debut childrens book and one to look out for next year when more grisly tales will follow. Four out of five and looking forward to more.


Book synopsis: Welcome to the very damp and woeful world of Tumblewater, home to a creepy collection of depraved characters. Meet a young boy punished most appallingly for picking his nose; a pair of devilish bakers with murderous intentions in their buns; and a dentist whose strange, colour-changing eyes belie his perfectly gleaming smile. This title contains horrifying tales for good children and fair warning for bad!

Presents the very damp and woeful world of Tumblewater, home to a creepy collection of depraved characters. This title features a young boy who is punished most appallingly for picking his nose; a pair of devilish bakers with murderous intentions in their buns; and a dentist whose strange, colour-changing eyes belie his perfectly gleaming smile.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

David Jowsey - Shattered Truths: An'Tsari Trilogy No. 2: The Past Holds a Secret - Book Review




Mr Ripley's Book Review

I have wanted to read this book for sometime now. I have kept my eye out for this title, as the author is quite local and the book is published by an independent publishing company. So when I found a copy in a rather good bookshop in Whitby I was particularly happy to come across it. 
This is the second book to be written by David in the An'Tsari Trilogy, with the last book to come out sometime next year entitled Summer 2012. The first thing that struck me about the book was the cover, as I am a sucker for a good book cover! 
I enjoyed the first book in the series Dragons In The Sky and I thought I had a good idea as to the style that the second book would be written in but I was surprised to find it totally different.
I found the descriptive work the author used in this book to be well researched leaving the reader engaging with the story. The books overall concept was very intriguing and thought provoking at the possibilities of space travel and life on other planets. The story had an original feel and kept me guessing as to how the story was going to pan out and the ending which followed. Tom Richard's is the central character, we follow his past life and the new experiences he encounters on a NASA space mission to Mars. The truth eventually uncovers itself and questions are answered from book one whilst new questions are asked in preparation for the last installment. This is a spine-tingling encounter of self-discovery and a really good read that gets four out of five.

Published by Sigel Press 15 June 2009



Book Synopsis: Mars 2039 - Tom Richards knows he has been destined to visit the red planet since his childhood encounter with the An'Tsari thirty years before. Can he protect humanity from a dark and treacherous past, or will the existence of an overwhelming power mean the extinction of the human race? "Shattered Truths" is the eagerly awaited sequel to "Dragons in the Sky", and draws the second chapter of the An'Tsari trilogy to a nail-biting conclusion. Thirty-one years have passed since Tom Richards' terrifying childhood encounter with the An'Tsari, but the fears he has struggled so hard to bury will be challenged once again as the truth behind his own destiny is revealed. Mars: 2039 - Tom Richards knows he has been destined to visit the red planet since his childhood encounter with the An'Tsari but as part of a NASA team, exploring the surface of Mars, he finds himself subjected to startling visions of Mars' past. Amongst the visions stands a sinister figure, but who is he, and why is he so desperate to withhold a secret of epic proportions? With the odds stacked against him by a devastating planet-wide storm, and all contact with Earth lost, Tom must fight to protect the existence of the human race. But how can he confront a dark and treacherous power that threatens to destroy everything the human race has achieved, when the individual behind it turns out to be the person he least expects? "Shattered Truths" is the eagerly awaited sequel to "Dragons in the Sky", and the second installment in the exciting "An'Tsar Trilogy.
Some book signings coming up by the author:
                           The signings are:

Borders, Teesside Park - Thursday 3rd December from 5.30pm

Guisborough Bookshop - Saturday 12th December from 12.30pm

Waterstones, Middlesbrough - Thursday 17th December from 4.30pm

Whitby Bookshop - Saturday 19th December from 12.00pm

                                                  

Friday, 13 November 2009

Random News Of The House - Jonathan Stroud And Andy Mulligan



 The Big Bartimaeus Announcement



Jonathan Stroud is writing a prequel to the existing there books in Jonathan's bestselling Bartimaeus series which has sold 3 million copies in the UK alone. You might remember that when the first book, The Amulet of Samarkand published in 2003, it took the publishing world by storming, racing in to the bestseller charts and Hollywood came a-callin' buying rights to the series for around $3 million. 6 years on and the books are sold in 37 countries and have won countless awards. We are planning a huge splash to celebrate publication of the new novel, currently scheduled for Autumn next year. Also for release next year is a graphic novel which is being adapted by Andrew Donkin ,should also please Bartimaeus fans. It's going to be the year of the djinni.



And more.


David Fickling Books has just acquired an extraordinary novel by Andy Mulligan called TRASH . Which will be publishing it next autumn, simultaneously in the UK and US. Andy, whose first book RIBBLESTROPis shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, says that he wrote TRASH 'hard and fast - it was one of those books where I knew the ending before the beginning, and I found the characters easily: children who survive, against the odds, with a set of instincts and skills that just keep them breathing.' David Fickling says that 'Oxygen levels on the planet will rise when this book gets published. So many people will be holding their breath to see what happens! It is a fantastic nail-biter. The clincher for me is that it is also touching, in places deeply touching, and beautifully written. It says things that need to be said in a way that will be heard. This is just one of those stories that the whole world will want to read.' I am not going to give the plot away - suffice to say we'll be whetting your appetite with more news of TRASH as time goes by.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars Final Winner Is Jon Mayhew's - Mortlock





The book covers battle has been a great adventure over the last few weeks. After four marvellous heats which were finally narrowed down to four wonderful covers, the exciting final developed this week. There soon appeared to be a front runner as Tracey & Kevin Morley's Unravellers amassed a great number of votes within hours. But then towards the end of the week, Jon Mayhew's Mortlock started to make a comeback and began to gain some support, which then developed into a spectacular ending. As a result of this spectacular ending Jon Mayhew managed to storm away with the prestigious accolade of 'Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover of the Year. My hearty congratulations go to him - well done.
I'd like to thank all of the authors and people who have taken the time to vote or leave comments, you certainly made the battle incredibly tense and exciting at times. The voting has now closed, the winner of the signed and dated book will be contacted tomorrow, thanks for all of your comments.

Monday, 9 November 2009

New books out January - March 2010 - U.S

Just a quick post which is looking into some of the more exciting books to be released 'over the water' in the U.S, early 2010. I have not done this feature for a while and thought I should update you on future releases. Today is the last day to vote on the "Book Cover Wars." Don't forget to vote and leave a comment as you will then be put forward to possibly win a signed, lined book.




Riley Carney - The Fire Stone (Reign of the Elements,Book 1) -  Published by BookLight Press -  1 Jan 2010


Synopsis 
Sixteen-year-old novelist Riley Carney works magic in this high fantasy adventure story brought to life by memorable, vibrant characters. The Fire Stone, the first book in the captivating Reign of the Elements series, is rooted in genuine adolescent thought and emotion throughout a journey of danger, friendship, and courage, as a group of teenagers, led by fifteen-year-old Matt, attempt to save their world. Matt knows how to shovel hay, dig trenches, and dodge his father’s whip, but when three terrifying creatures attack Matt, and he is rescued by a wizard, he kidnaps a baby alorath, and is befriended by elves, Matt’s life transforms overnight from dreary to astonishing. When he unwittingly joins a quest to find the Fire Stone, one of the elusive Stones of the Elements which have the power to destroy the world, Matt is thrust into a string of perilous adventures. He soon discovers that magic does exist and that he has extraordinary powers that can change his destiny and determine the fate of Mundaria.






N.D Wilson - The Chestnut King: Book 3 of the 100 Cupboards - Published by Random House - 26  Jan 2010


Synopsis
 When Herny York found 99 cupboards hidden behind his bedroom wall, he never dreamed they were doors to entirely new worlds! Unfortunately, Henry’s discovery freed an ancient, undying witch, whose hunger for power would destroy every world connected to the cupboards—and every person whom Henry loves. Henry must seek out the legendary Chestnut King for help. Everything has a price, however, and the Chestnut King’s desire may be as dangerous as the witch herself.


N. D. Wilson concludes a remarkable, worlds-spanning journey that began with one boy and one hundred avenues to adventure.





James Patterson - Fang: A Maximum Ride Novel - Published by  Little,Brown Books - 15 March  2010


Synopsis
 Being a kid with wings--constantly on the run--has never been easy, and Max and her flock are getting tenser than ever. First, on a trip to Africa, they meet a mysterious billionaire whose intense scrutiny of the Flock makes her fear the worst. Then, a cryptic message from a young girl arrives, warning them "The sky will fall." And as if an impending apocalypse weren't bad enough, canny birdkid Angel makes a dire prophecy about Max's soul mate: Fang will be the first to die. Max's desperate desire to protect Fang brings the two closer than ever. But can the team weather the storm, or will the turmoil rip them apart for the last time?





 Gary Paulsen - Woods Runner - Published by Wendy Lamb Books 12 Jan 2010

Synopsis
 Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston.

But the war comes to them. British soldiers and Iroquois attack. Samuel’s parents are taken away, prisoners. Samuel follows, hiding, moving silently, determined to find a way to rescue them. Each day he confronts the enemy, and the tragedy and horror of this war. But he also discovers allies, men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory to find his parents: all the way to the British headquarters, New York City.

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