Tuesday, 26 November 2019

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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




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

Monday, 25 November 2019

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


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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 21 November 2019

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



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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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




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



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






Thursday, 14 November 2019

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

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

We are back again at Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books. This time it is Heat Three of the Book Cover Wars to find our favourite front cover. We do this is to support the unsung heroes of the children's book world - the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. So, please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media #bookcoverwars. Everyone is welcome.

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


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

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

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


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

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll - HERE 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE
  • RT /Twitter my pinned tweet at the top of @Enchantedbooks. Have fun, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open to the UK only.
  • This poll will end on 18.11. 2019 at Midnight UK time. 
So here are the FIVE brilliant book covers to vote for this week:


BOOK ONE: Chris Vick - Girl. Boy. Sea. - Published by Zephyr (8 Aug. 2019) - Book Cover Illustration by Jessie Price - VOTE HERE


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



BOOK THREE: Danny Weston - Inchtinn: Island of Shadows - Published by UCLan Publishing (17 Oct. 2019) - Book Cover Illustration by Helen Crawford-White - VOTE HERE



BOOK FOUR: Thomas Taylor - Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea) - Published by Walker Books (2 May 2019) - Book Cover Illustration by George Ermos - VOTE HERE


BOOK FIVE: Juliette Forrest - The True Colours of Coral Glen - Published by Scholastic (4 July 2019) - Book Cover Illustration by Jamie Gregory - VOTE HERE




Sunday, 10 November 2019

Robert J. Harris - Artie Conan Doyle and the Scarlet Phantom - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books


Here we are, the sleuths are back again with the third brilliant book in The Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries. The Scarlet Phantom is the work of Scottish writer, Robert J. Harris, and features the young amateur detectives of Artie Conan Doyle (Boy Detective) and Edward Hamilton (Stalwart Companion). The book has already been published (October) by Floris Books (a small independent children's publisher in Edinburgh).  

It's time to investigate the criminal mind with another unusual and thrilling mystery to ponder over. I really love this series; it's one of my personal favorites as it reminds me of the books I used to read when I was a young person. It has the same DNA profile as the books I read and loved at that time such as The Hardy Boy Stories which were full of vivid action and great moments. It also has great settings and characters similar to The Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators books. Around every corner, there's suspense and deadly peril. These books made me an avid reader as they expanded my imagination and created a great appetite for new and exciting books. 

Wandering around the back streets of Edinburgh, August 1873, and something is afoot once again. A mystery is sweeping across the murky Scottish streets leaving the public fearing for their lives. Priceless jewels are being stolen by an invisible thief who walks through walls and disappears at will. All of which is bafflingly the local police force. However, the Scarlett Phantom is just about to pull off the biggest robbery in history. Can the greatest detective (not Sherlock Holmes) solve the puzzle before he or she gets away? Or will a strange paranormal investigator, who claims he can capture this phantom burglar, get there before them? You'll have to read the book to find out. 

In this story, we are introduced to a new female character, Peril Abernetly (Girl Scientist), to aid the detective team in finding out the answers to this fiendish plot. This character adds another interesting dimension to the story. She introduces a scientific approach to the inner-thought processes and dynamics of the sleuthing trio. In contrast, there is also Edward who is always hungry and has food about his person but is not always hungry for adventure. He especially fears danger and has to be persuaded by his best friend (Artie Doyle) to follow him in his thirst for solving inexplicable crimes.  

Like all the other books in this series, there is a fantastic plot full of imagination, which has been executed particularly well. It has twists and turns which leave many possibles alternatives to develop and explore. There are many quirky details included which provide a great reading experience. The time and gothic setting have a wide and fantastic appeal. Historically, it makes the story very interesting and atmospheric.

This is another fantastic book aimed at the younger reader. It will feed their imagination and set them off on an amazing fantasy adventure. As the story comes to a climatic and turbulent end, it will leave them feeling content. It's a book that is definitely worth tracking down. You never know, it may even inspire new avid readers to be born. So are you ready to solve the clues and follow in the footsteps of the characters? If so, then you definitely need to read this book.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

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


Brandon Sanderson - Starsight - Published by Gollancz (26 Nov. 2019) -ISBN-13: 978-1473217898 - Hardback - Pre-Order Signed Edition

All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she's a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing. The rumors of his cowardice are true - he deserted his flight during a battle against the Krell. Worse, though, he turned against his team and attacked them. 
Spensa is sure there's more to the story. And she's sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars - and it was terrifying. What she learned turned her world upside down. Everything Spensa's been taught is a lie. 
But Spensa also learned a few things about herself - and she'll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to. 


Eoin Colfer - The Fowl Twins (Fowl Twins 1) - Published HarperCollins Children's Books (5 Nov. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0008324810 - Hardback

 

Myles and Beckett Fowl are twins but the two boys are wildly different. Beckett is blonde, messy and sulks whenever he has to wear clothes. Myles is impeccably neat, has an IQ of 170, and 3D prints a fresh suit every day – just like his older brother, Artemis Fowl.
A week after their eleventh birthday the twins are left in the care of house security system, NANNI, for a single night. In that time, they befriend a troll on the run from a nefarious nobleman and an interrogating nun both of whom need the magical creature for their own gain . . .
Prepare for an epic adventure in which The Fowl Twins and their new troll friend escape, get shot at, kidnapped, buried, arrested, threatened, killed (temporarily) . . . and discover that the strongest bond in the world is not the one forged by covalent electrons in adjacent atoms, but the one that exists between a pair of twins.
The first book in the blockbusting new series from global bestseller Eoin Colfer.

Meet Eoin Colfer - Book Signings 

Waterstones - Leeds - West Yorkshire
Saturday 23rd November 11:00 - 12:00
Come along on Saturday 23rd November 11.00am-12.00 to meet internationally bestselling author Eoin Colfer! He'll be here to sign copies of his new book The Fowl Twins, the first book in an exciting new series from the Fowl family.
Waterstones - Harrogate - North Yorkshire 
Saturday 23rd November 13:30 - 14:30
Meet award-winning author, Eoin Colfer. Eoin is visiting us to sign his latest book, The Fowl Twins - an Artemis Fowl story.


Katharine Orton - Nevertell - Published by Walker Books (7 Nov. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1406385182 - Paperback 
A gorgeous, snowy adventure, set in the wilds of Siberia, full of magic and wonder, for junior readers.
A world of magic is only a whisper away…
Born in a Soviet prison camp, Lina has never seen the world outside until the night she escapes with her best friend, Bogdan. As the pair journey across a snowy wilderness, they are pursued by a vengeful sorceress and her pack of shadow wolves. The children will need every ounce of courage - and a whisper of magic - if they are to survive…
How it all started:
Nevertell is a story of friendship, survival, sorcery, and courage. It’s been brewing inside me for years, feeding on everything from family stories and interests to all the books I’ve read and loved, to the very first time I heard the unsettling phrase, ‘history is written by the winners,’ in school.
Nevertell comes out on the 7th of November 2019. It’s aimed at ages 9-12, but really it’s for anyone to read and enjoy. You can pre-order it now. https://www.katharineorton.com/books

A. J . Hartley - The Mirroculist Mission (Beyond the Mirror) - Published by UCLan Publishing (4 Nov. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1912979028 - Paperback 

Eleven-year-old Darwen Arkwright's ordinary life changed forever when he was given a magical mirror, a portal to the wonderful world of Silbrica. Darwen defeated the terrible monsters released from the mirror once. Now, an even more terrifying beast has escaped through the mirror. Darwen and his friends, Rik and Alexandra, must journey to Costa Rica to save the world from a giant tentacled creature that leaves destruction in its wake. This time, old allies can't be trusted, and the danger runs deeper than Darwen could have ever imagined. The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out ...

UCLan Publishing is a not-for-profit, independent, trade children’s publisher based at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. We are unique in our innovative approach to publishing, combining the best in publishing education with exciting live projects. Website:https://uclanpublishing.com