Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Ivan Brett - Casper Candlewacks in Death by Pigeon! - Book Review




                                   
book cover of 

Casper Candlewacks in Death By Pigeon! 

by

Ivan Brett



  • Pages 207
  • Published by HarperCollins
  • Date 28 April 2011
  • Age 9+

Most villages have an idiot but Casper's village is full of them. So being bright makes poor Casper something of an outsider. When famous magician the Great Tiramisu curses the village, Casper's father is blamed and sentenced to death by pigeon. It's up to Casper and his best friend to find the magician, reverse the curse and save the day.


This review is short and sweet, just like one of the characters in the book. It is a lovely debut book from a young new voice in writing. Humorously written, this adventure will leave you chortling to yourself, which is great, as I was really looking for something uplifting in my book pile and this was it. It's a great read that will brighten up even the most dreary day. It's a book that I would definitely recommend to you. I think this would even get the most reluctant readers into reading as the book really skips through this mini adventure. It follows the mad capers of Casper's life, within a village full of idiots.

If I was to sum up this book, I would say that it's a cracking read. The fast-paced story keeps the attention of the reader very easily. It is very witty and at times, is even insane but this keeps it an engaging read.

Therefore, buy it, read it and laugh out loud. Then give it to your kids and watch them do the same. By the way, do not feed the pigeons...........!

New Book Cover - Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams - Tunnels Series Book 5: Spiral

                                   
The Styx have surfaced. If you thought the Limiters were nasty, think again. They’ve brought their females with them this time. And all that stands in their way are Will and his friends, and a rag-bag team of retired commandos.
It’s a smoking spiral of chaos and not everyone will survive.
The best cover so far........ 
Looking forward to reading book five sounds really exciting. We will all have to wait till October to find out more. Can we wait that long?
                       

Friday, 18 February 2011

Arthur Slade - Dust - Recommended Read

                                     

This is a book that I actually read about six years ago but still it is one that I would like to recommend to you all. It's a dark horror story,  that has been written with such vivid imagination, that it will soak you to the core with its atmospheric writing. I hope to be able to  re-read this book at some point as I would like to enjoy it once more.  This book is now available in all formats for the very first time, so for more information, please check out the author's blog  for an extended first chapter.  Arthur Slade

This is part of the first chapter ......
Matthew Steelgate had five cents in his pocket and a yearning for chewing gum and licorice. He wasn't sure which he wanted most, but knew he could buy both and have at least a penny left over. He walked along the edge of the grid road, three miles from his family's farm and about two miles from Horshoe. The sky was cloudless.
The sun had shifted nearer to the earth in the last half hour, so near that the air crackled with heat. Matthew, following his mother's bidding, had worn a straw hat. Like his father, his neck was tanned brown, along with his face, hands, and forearms to the line where he rolled up his sleeves. The prairie had marked Matthew as one of its own. He understood the connection between himself and the land, understood that he belonged there; when the wind blew, when the rain dotted his face, when the snow fell, he belonged. When the sun darkened his skin, he knew the invisible rays were also working on the field of wheat beside him.
He patted his shirt pocket and was rewarded with a muffled clinking. He had spent three weeks saving this cache of coins, payment for helping his older brother Robert with chores. Three weeks dreaming about town. About candy.

Katherine Langrish - West Of The Moon Blog Tour - 2011

book cover of 

West of the Moon 

by

Katherine Langrish
                                                                           
                                        
Katherine finds her greatest work come to life in one new book as the great "Troll Trilogy" is now told in one seamless story. This book will be published through HarperCollins and will be out on sale (officially) on the 3 March 2011. To commemorate this occasion, the author will be visiting some of us through the good old blogger sphere. Therefore, why not take a trip on the Moon blog tour and follow the author as she talks about her book, her writing career and other related topics . There may even be a giveaway or two along the way......

WEST OF THE MOON BLOG TOUR  Feb/March 2011 
Friday 25 Seven Miles of Steel Thistles - steelthistles.blogspot.com 
Mon    28 Reclusive Muse - reclusivemuse.blosgspot.com 
Tues   1   Scribble City Central - scribblecitycentral/blogspot.com
Wed   2    Mostly Books - mostly-books.blogspot.com 
Thu   Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books 
Fri    Scribble City Central - scribblecitycentral/blogspot.com
Sat    As A Mum Booktopia - asamum.blogspot.com  
Mon  7 Wondrous Reads -  wondrousreads.com
Tues   8 Bookwitch - bookwitch.wordpress.com
Wed  9 The Bookmaven - bookmavenmary.blogspot.com
Thu     10 MG Harris - mgharris.net
Fri 11 Scribble City Central - scribblecitycentral/blogspot.com
Sat 12 Heaven Hell & Purgatory -bookreviews.co
Mon  14 The Bookette - thebookette.co.uk





Monday, 14 February 2011

Darren Shan - Ocean of Boold - U.K Book Cover + Synopsis


Back in December, I showed you all the USA book cover for this eagerly awaited book by Darren Shan.
However, this popped up in my inbox some time last week. The UK cover, which again is so much better then the USA book cover, shows David Wyatt coming up with yet another stunning image. It really is a cracker and will certainly help to promote the book, as it leaps out at potential readers. The book will be released at the end of April - I'm going to find it difficult to wait until then. However, in the meantime, this is a brief outline of the book based on information that I found on the HarperCollins website.

Free from their mentor Seba Nile, Larten Crepsley and Wester Flack join the Cubs – wild young vampires with little respect for human life, and a taste for mindless enjoyment.
For the Cubs, everything is easy. But nothing has ever been easy for Larten, and soon fate throws his life into another spin. With dark paths to travel, Larten finds himself far from the Vampire Mountain and its rules. A long way from home, sick and alone, he must decide what kind of vampire he will be. Whether he will stand firm, be true to his master and his princples – or whether he will lose himself in blood…

Sunday, 13 February 2011

++++Moira Young - Blood Red Road - Book Review++++

Blood Red Road
                                       
  • Pages - 531
  • Published - By Marion Lloyd Books - U.K/Margaret K McElderry - U.S
  • Date -  June 2011
  • Age 14+
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

This book is one of the most-anticipated release titles in teen-fiction this year. Therefore, it was fantastic for this to be part of my ever growing reading pile. This proof copy actually came with no book synopsis, so I had no idea where it would take me, which in some ways made it even more intriguing.



Anyway, the story is told through the eyes of Saba, who lives out her normal quiet life with Pa, her twin brother Lugh and her little sister. They all live in the middle of nowhere, until life as they know it eventually changes, as Lugh gets kidnapped and taken away by cloaked men on horse back.


I really loved this book - it's full of everything that I love including suspense, action and friendship as well as a number of violent encounters, which make amazing reading! It also delivers a strong dark edge that will leave your heart beating incredibly quickly. Saba is a fantastically written character, she's a strong feisty heroine, with bags of guts and self determination which sees her through this non-stop rumble of hardship and adventure.


The book is an epic story that is told through a brilliant new voice. It will leave you hanging on every word, you'll skip through the 500+ pages in a heartbeat, it's brilliant and possibly my favorite book to date. The world that the author has built feels incredibly original and the places that the characters find themselves travelling to, are very well constructed. They help create a sense of the fantasy world that engages the reader and brings out the story, which will stay with you long after you have turned the last page.


The ending is a action-packed as the dystopian/post-apocalyptic world is left behind, but hopefully only temporarily, so that a new adventure can start from this point. I really hope that another book will follow these amazing characters on another epic adventure, here's hoping . . . . . . .! 

                                                     

                                                          
This is the U.S book cover jacket for the same book. I have to say that it has a totally different look and feel. I'd love to hear your thoughts on both book covers. 

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

New Children's Book - Picks For The Month Of March 2011

book cover of 

Terminal Velocity 

 (Dropzone, book 2)

by

Andy McNab
                                 
Andy McNab - DropZone:Terminal Velocity - Published by Doubleday - 3 March 2011
The Raiders are a talented young skydiving team - with a secret. They are also a highly trained group of covert operatives, carrying out deniable missions for Britain's intelligence services. Under the demanding guidance of their ice-cold leader, an ex SAS explosives expert with many live covert special ops missions into active war zones behind him, the Raiders are developing into an impressive unit.
This time, the mission lands Ethan and the team in the most perilous adventure of their careers. The bodies of homeless teenagers are turning up dumped on the street, having been beaten to death. At first no one really seems to care, but then one survives long enough to talk of being forced to fight in a cage, and the authorities suspect organised crime. But they have no luck cracking the impenetrable wall of silence surrounding the organisation. They need a teenager, trained in hand-to-hand combat, to go in undercover. Ethan's the obvious choice...

book cover of 

Rot & Ruin 

 (Benny Imura, book 1)

by

Jonathan Maberry
                                 
Jonathan Maberry - Rot & Ruin - Published by Simon & Schuster - 3 March 2011
Nearly fourteen years ago a freak virus swept across the world turning those infected from the living into the undead. Benny Imura has grown-up never knowing anything different; his last memories of his parents tainted by the image of them becoming zombies. Now Benny is fifteen, and his brother Tom wants him to join the "family business" and train as a zombie killer. The last thing Benny wants is to work with Tom --- but at least the job should be an easy ride. Then the brothers head into the Rot and Ruin, an area full of wandering zombies, and Benny realises that being a bounty hunter isn't just about whacking zombies. As he's confronted with the truths about the world around him, Benny finds his beliefs challenged and makes the most terrifying discovery of all, that sometimes the worst monsters you can imagine, are human...

book cover of 

Twilight Robbery 

 (Fly by Night, book 2)

by

Frances Hardinge
                                   
Frances Hardinge - Twilight Robbery - Published by Macmillan Children's - 4 March 2011
Mosca Mye and Eponymous Clent are in trouble again. Escaping disaster by the skin of their teeth, they find refuge in Toll, the strange gateway town where visitors may neither enter nor leave without paying a price. By day, the city is well-mannered and orderly; by night, it’s the haunt of rogues and villains. Wherever there’s a plot, there’s sure to be treachery, and wherever there’s treachery, there’s sure to be trouble – and where there’s trouble, Clent, Mosca and the web-
footed apocalypse Saracen can’t be far behind. But as past deeds catch up with them and old
enemies appear, it looks as if this time there’s no way out . 
                              
book cover of 

Time Out of Time 

 (Chronosphere, book 1)

by

Alex Woolf
                                   
Alex Woolf - Chronosphere Book1:Time out of Time - Published by BookHouse - 1 March 2011
Is your life rushing by too fast? No time to stop and smell the roses? Ever wanted a little time out? What if you could buy a year out of time, free to relax, play and party all you liked, safe in the knowledge that at the end of it all you'd be returned back to the moment you left? Ask Raffi Delgado. He knows all about it. Set in the late 22nd century, Chronosphere is a science fiction series which follows the adventures of teenager Raffi and his friends Dario, Jonah, Lastara and Sal in the Chronosphere, the place you go when you've bought time out of time. At first all is well, but something disturbing bubbles beneath the glossy exterior of the 'paradise' that is the Chronosphere. In Book One, 'Time Out of Time', teenagers go missing and the Secrocon Police start arresting people by dilating them to normal time, causing them to freeze. When Dario and Raffi are arrested and sent to a horrific subterranean gulag, they discover a girl who is living her life backwards, but why? And how? With mystery, fun, danger, twists and turns, Chronosphere is a esmerising glimpse into a dark future where the fun of hoverbiking, air-tennis and trips to the holoplex are all held in check by the firm grip of a police state. For fans of the sci-fi genre and also those who are looking to get started.


book cover of 

The Devil's Triangle 

by

Mark Robson
                                   
Mark Robson - The Devils Triangle - Published by - Simon & Schuster -  31 March 2011
The Bermuda Triangle has cast a shadow over Sam and Niamh Cutlers' lives since their mother vanished nine years ago. Her whereabouts remains a mystery and every year they return to the Florida Keys with their father, Matt, who is obsessed with solving the haunting puzzle. But Sam is bored with lazing around by the pool while his father hunts for the truth. Craving excitement, he and his friend, Callum, "borrow" Matt's boat. At first it's great fun, but when they find themselves marooned in a terrifying land, the boys realise they too have fallen victim to the Triangle's 
mysterious effects. Can they find a way home, or will they be......

Saturday, 5 February 2011

R.L Stine - Nightmare Hour - Time for Terror - Book Review

                                       book cover of 

Time for Terror 

 (Nightmare Hour)

by

R L Stine

  • Pages - 160
  • Publisher -  HarperCollins 
  • Date - 1999
  • Age -  10+

At the age of nine, R.L Stine just wanted to write, and write he did. This author is a writing machine and is known within the literary world as the Steven King of Children's Literature. He is the best selling children's author of all time and has, in the process, sold over 400 million books. In my opinion, he's not as famous as he should be within the UK. Even though most people may have heard of the "Goosebumps" series, which sold in over 40 countries, and contained 25 books in the series. From here, he then went on to write "Give Yourself Goosebumps" and many more chilling stories.

Nightmare Hour consists of ten short stories of the most delicious nature. The author has a natural ability like no other writer. He can weave a tale that will leave you spell bound. These spine-tingling encounters will send a shiver down your spine, no matter what age you are. The author will take you to the dark depths of his genius mind and leave you there. He evokes such a bag of mix feelings that you won't be able to shake them off.

The first story is entitled Pumpkinhead which sets the mood for the following other stories.
The sun went down as I continued my search. The air grew cold. I stopped when I heard a soft thudding sound. I watched as a pumpkin came rolling towards me. It rolled over wilted vines, over the flat, dark field-and stopped at my feet. I stared at it. What had made it roll?
As you start to read, the story gently leads you down the garden path before thumping you on the head; leaving your heartbeat to quicken as the story unfolds.

My favourite story from this collection is entitled "Alien Candy". It is highly original and provokes a feeling of shock, leaving you to run around the room screaming. But as Walter calls his first meeting to order, he begins to wonder if he's made a big mistake. Maybe he should have checked the last minutes of the last Alien Club meeting.


In the next coming months I will be reading many more Stine books on the strength of his short stories.  I will be starting with the "Fear Street Saga" and hopefully, will get into double figures by the end of the year!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

*** Interview with Robin Jarvis (author of Dancing Jax)***



I would like to start by thanking Sam, at HarperCollins, for making this post happen. I'd also like to thank Robin Jarvis, of course, for taking the time to answer these questions for my little blog - I really appreciate your time and responses. 


Today is the publication day for Robin's latest book "Dancing Jax", which in my opinion, is long overdue and one of the best books published this year. If you want to find out more about this amazing book then please check out my book review.

1. How would you describe your new book Dancing Jax to potential readers?
 It's a supernatural thriller, very much set in the here and now - and it's a warning.

2. Where did you get the inspiration for the characters for this book?
 Unlikely as this sounds, back in 2005 I had the most detailed, realistic dream of my life. It gave me the entire final chapter of the book, with the knowledge of what had gone before. It was all there, complete with names and even what everyone was wearing: the minchet, the Ismus, Paul dressed as the Jack of Diamonds shouting "Give me your jools, give me your jools!" Martin dragging him away and encountering the Jockey and the title of the book itself. I woke up with a jolt and ran straight into my study, switched the computer on and wrote down 2 and a half pages worth of synopsis and characters. I wish I could remember what I'd eaten before bed that night.

3. Are there any other books in the series to follow? if so, can you let us into any secrets?
 There are going to be two more. I've almost finished book two. Its set a few months after Dancing Jax is published in this country and just about everyone in the UK is affected by it. This tells the story of what happens to the children over whom neither it nor the minchet have any influence.

4. Do you share any similar traits with any of the characters in the book?
 There's a lot of me in Martin I 'suppose- but then I found myself agreeing with certain things the Ismus was saying, which is a bit scary.

5. The story is developed through so many different characters. Therefore, how do you piece everything together and make it all fit?
 I just knew the story I wanted to tell and so tailored the characters to suit and to get me to that final scene in the subway. One of the best aspects about writing is putting yourself into the heads of so many different characters and working out what drives them. I love doing that.


6. Could you describe any element of the editing process that this book went through in order to reach the final stage?



The editing process is usually pretty painless. I always go through the book so many times before the editor gets to see it, there isn't much needs doing. The only thing I can think of for Dancing Jax was the late addition of the chapter in the hospital ward, which served a number of purposes, one of which was to have a really powerful and violent chapter in the middle of the book, but it also introduces Mauger properly and something else which appears again in the second book...

Originally there wasn't any artwork either and every chapter was headed with an extract from Dancing Jacks but we thought it would be more interesting to include other elements from Austerly Fellows' evil work, such as the tune, dance steps, areas of map etc. Oh and I updated certain pop culture references within the text.  



7. Who inspires you to write?
 Nobody really. I think it has to come from within yourself. Thats how it works for me anyway. I get excited by ideas and want to write stories around them. 

 8. If you found yourself with a spare afternoon what book would you choose to read?
 I've got a stack of books I haven't gotten around to reading yet. Top of the pile is Wolf Hall so it'd be that.


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Book Choice For February 2011 - (Books Published In U.S)

book cover of 

The Horn of Moran 

 (Adventurers Wanted, book 2)

by

M L Forman
                                       
M.L Forman - Adventurers Wanted, Book Two: The Horn of Moran - Published By Shadow Mountain - 2 Feb 2011
The land of Norsland is on the brink of war as two men have each claimed the throne. Only the true king can sound the Horn of Moran and prove his nobility. But the horn has been lost for years. If it is not found and soon it could mean the destruction of an entire nation. Young Alexander Taylor joins a band of seasoned adventurers who have been called up to retrieve the legendary Horn of Moran. Their journey to the mysterious Tower of the Moon will take them through an enchanted forest, into battle against a goblin army, past the watchful eyes of griffin guards, and face-to-face with a sphinx and her deadly riddles. With his sword, Moon Slayer, and the wise counsel from his wizard mentor, Whalen Vankin, Alex must use all his wizard and warrior skills to slay a darkness that may consume them all. Sequel to the bestselling Slathbog's Gold. The perfect series for boys of all ages. Teaches moral lessons. A clean adventure for the whole family.


book cover of 

The Blade of Shattered Hope 

 (13th Reality, book 3)

by

James Dashner
                                          
James Dashner - The Blade of Shattered Hope (The 13th Reality) - Published By Aladdin - 22 Feb 2011
Things have changed for Atticus Higginbottom. After the near catastrophe in the Fourth Reality, Tick’s being homeschooled in the fields of science, trying to master the mysterious Chi’karda. But just as he begins to make progress, Mistress Jane reappears, now hideously scarred and much more powerful. She has tapped into the universe’s darkest secret to create the Blade of Shattered Hope, and in her quest to attain a Utopian Reality for the future of mankind, she’s ready to risk billions of lives—including those of Tick’s parents and sisters—to set her plan in motion. Her vengeance knows no bounds and when rumors begin to circulate about the secret scientific experiments taking place at the Factory, Tick and his friends—Sato, Sofia, and Paul—are faced with their most dangerous task yet. And they must not fail; for if they do, the entire universe could cease to exist.


book cover of 

Secrets and Shadows 

 (13 to Life, book 2)

by

Shannon Delany
                                                                                 
Shannon Delany - Secrets and Shadows: A 13 to Life Novel - Published By St Martin's Griffin - Feb 15 2011
Nothing's simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she's seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she's suspected. With Jess' realization that the Rusakovas' mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group's choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother - and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more...


Book Cover
                                  
Rusalka Reh & David Henry Wilson - Pizzicato: The Abduction of the Magic Violin - Published By AmazonCrossing - 8 Feb 2011
Nonstop fun with a dizzying amount of mystery, Pizzicato: The Abduction of the Magic Violin is a lighthearted whodunit featuring a fair-haired orphan named Darius Dorian, who has a sly wit and a curious way of approaching most any predicament. Darius is none too pleased to be paired with Archibald Archinola, a master violinmaker, for a school project, especially when he thinks about his rival—fellow orphan and constant nemesis Max—being surrounded by Porsches at Auto Frederick for the same assignment. But when Darius discovers an old violin in a glass case and strikes the chords, a cut on his hand magically disappears, and suddenly studying with the violinmaker proves to be anything but dull. As a greedy doctor works to get his hands on the magic fiddle, Darius is forced to pull a few strings to save the magic violin’s power.