Monday, 23 February 2009

Tracey Morley - Unravellers - Illustrations by Kevin Morley

Ripley's Review

Firstly I have to say that this book cover is just great. The bright watercolour picture, featuring the main characters of the book sells itself well. This talented wife and husband team have done a very good job on the overall book. It's a great bedtime story for kids.
I loved reading this book with its great imaginative ideas. Sam and Danny find themselves on a mission to find the key. This unlocks the cabinet which holds an adventure that is written in a non-fussy way; keeping to the story and leaving a warm cosy feeling right through to the last page. A super easy read which is recommended to everyone.
The other great feature of this book is Kevin's amazing pen-ink drawings which sets the book apart from other books. I would buy this book just for these, especially being a big collector of pen and ink drawings myself. Also check out some of the great drawings on the Unravellers website I have listed.
I give this book four out of five. I hope you'll give it some support and buy this book as it is published by a small publishing company.

Published by Book Guild 23 March 2009 - Hardback

Grandad Bob died before he could put everything right. We’ve got to act in his place.’ Sam and Danny have gone to stay at their aunt’s inn in the sleepy, run-down fishing village of Travin Cove. But it’s not all sunbathing and paddling and prodding around in rock pools. They’re also on a secret mission – to hunt for a mysterious object discovered by their grandad many years before and in doing so somehow to bring the village back to life … The only clues Sam and Danny have are a rather puzzling letter from their grandad and the key to a dusty old cabinet at the inn. Then, when the key goes missing on a trip to the beach, an encounter with Winkle, the ‘thief’, plunges the children into the weird and wonderful world of the Beachcombers and the mystery begins to unravel at last … Beautifully told and superbly illustrated, The Unravellers will make you see a trip to the seaside in a whole different light!
To see more, please visit

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Michael Buckley - National Espionage,Rescue and Defense Society Books to Watch out for.

More great books making the deals and Highlights for 2009-2010

Michael Buckley's high-concept YA series, N.E.R.D.S. The acronym--it stands for National Espionage, Rescue and Defense Society--refers to five awkward kids who run an underground spy ring out of their middle school. The book deal which will encompass five books are to be published by Amulet some time in Sept 2009. Michael Buckley, who wrote the Sisters Grimm series, has peppered the work with whimsical touches--the kids access their secret lair through a portal in their lockers-- which will translate well to screen;the books also have a "part James Bond, part Goonies element to the story."

James Dashner - The Maze Runner

Another manuscript that's just begun making the rounds in U.S is the first title in James Dashner's YA fantasy series, The Maze Runner. The film rights to the book, about a teenager who wakes up in an alternate universe filled with other boys called The Glade--it's a large open space surrounded by a stone wall that ominously drops each morning and erects each night. With boys arriving every 30 days, the community is jolted when a girl is suddenly thrown into the mix. Reps from the Gotham Group said they's pitching the book as Lost meets Pan's Labyrinth.Three books so far in this great new sereis which should hit the shops sonme time in October this year.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Michelle Harrison - The Thirteen Treasures - Winner of the Waterstones book prize 2009

Debut author Michelle Harrison has been named winner of the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, with her fairy story The 13 Treasures. Also the winner of our blog vote early this year which was a close race with Steve Feasey "Changeling". I am so pleased for Michelle and I know it will encourage her to write more great books in the future. Michelle Harrison is a great new talent and I am looking forward to reading her next book.

Harrison, 29, wrote the first few chapters of her book, about a teenage girl who can see fairies, while at university in Stafford in 2002.
Harrison's book has already been sold in the US, Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia, Serbia and Spain, and has drawn comparisons with The Spiderwick Chronicles and the classic fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm.

Harrison, who works as an editorial assistant in children's publishing and is also a keen illustrator, beat books by seven other authors to the prize.

If you not had the pleasure of reading this book. Why not give it a try...........


While visiting her grandmother's house, an old photograph leads Tanya to an unsolved mystery. Fifty years ago a girl vanished in the woods nearby - a girl Tanya's grandmother will not speak of. Fabian, the caretaker's son, is tormented by the girl's disappearance. His grandfather was the last person to see her alive, and has lived under suspicion ever since. Together, Tanya and Fabian decide to find the truth. But Tanya has her own secret: the ability to see fairies. And, after disturbing an intruder in the night, it emerges that someone else shares her ability ...The manor's sinister history is about to repeat itself ...

Friday, 13 February 2009

P B Kerr - Children of the Lamp - Eye of the Forest

Ripley's Review

The U.S covers for this series are so much better than the UK's version, which might explain why they sell better in the U.S. When marketing childrens' books, one of the key factors is a great eye-catching book cover. It should entice the reader to pick up the book and read the synopsis, sometimes that is half the battle.

This is book five in the great children's series Children of the Lamp entitled "Eye of the Forest". It's another action packed magical adventure for the Gaunt Family.
After an incident in the Peabody Museum, the adventure gathers pace when a trip to the Amazon is called for. Another great read in this series of books. P B Kerr writes with great detail which gives the story something special. Only a handful of authors can do this. Four out of Five.


An ancient Incan prophecy leads the Gaunt twins deep into the heart of the Amazon, in search of a cursed portal that has remained hidden for centuries. Along the way, they come across their old friend Dybbuk, but it's not a happy reunion. Dybbuk has lost all his djinn powers and is desperate to get them back - even if it means destroying the world. Can John and Philippa stop him before it's too late?


Children of the Lamp:

1. The Akhenaten Adventure - Scholastic 15 Aug 2004

2. The Blue Djinn of Babylon - Scholastic 19 Sep 2005

3. The Cobra King of Kathmandu - Scholastic 7 Aug 2006

4. The Day of the Djinn Warrior - Scholastic 6 Aug 2007

5. The Eye of the Forest - Scholastic 6 April 2009


One Small Step - Simon & Schuster Children's 2 Jun 2008

About P B Kerr

Philip Kerr is a British author born in Edinburgh. He studied at the University of Birmingham and worked as an advertising copywriter for Saatchi and Saatchi before becoming a full-time writer. He has written for the Sunday Times, Evening Standard and the New Statesman. Kerr has published eleven novels under his full name and a children's series, Children of the Lamp, under the name P.B. Kerr. He is married to novelist Jane Thynne.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Dean Vincent Carter - Bloodwater - Cover Artwork

Dean Vincent Carter is one of my favorite authors with only two books to his name so far. The third book which will be published in June 2009. I am looking forward to reading this book soon . I am interested to see what you think of the cover artwork which has been chosen for the new book. I am looking forward to any comments you may have about this title and the artwork chosen............


I They're all dead now. I am the last one. Dr Morrow can't identify the 'thing' he found living in the lake but he knows it's dangerous ...then it goes missing ...Caught in the flood that is devastating the town, brothers Sean and James stumble across Morrow and the carnage left at his lab. The missing specimen is some kind of deadly parasite that moves from person to person, destroying its hosts in disgusting, gory ways. The death toll will rise along with the waters unless the brothers can track down the homicidal specimen and find a way to destroy it.


The Hand of the Devil - Bodley Head Children's Books - 2 Feb 2006

The Hunting Season - Bodley Head Children's Books - 29 Mar 2007

Bloodwater - Corgi Childrens - 4 Jun 2009

Monday, 9 February 2009

James Dashner - The 13th Reality - The Hunt For Dark Infinty

Mr Ripley's Review

This is the second book to be released in the 13th Reality Series by James Dashner. The story takes on a new adventure with Tick, Paul and Sofia forced to "wink" from Reality to Reality. Solving riddles and overcoming fear and danger with every test is the main theme. Tick and friends are fighting for survival as they are tested to the limits in this sophisticated world involving 13 realities. Mr.Chu is working on a mysterious new weapon called the Dark Infinity to rule all the realities. But he requires someone to help control the weapon he has invented.
It's another great story told in such detail, which gives the reader a sense of being in the story. As you delve through the pages the dark and sinister tone and feel becomes more evident. There are lots of twists and turns, including some James Bond gadgets. As with all great endings, the climax culminates in lots of action, drawing all the loose ends into a tidy knot. Recommended to anyone who loves a great read with a big Science Fiction feel. Four out of Five.

Published in the U.S by Shadow Mountain


It s been a quiet summer for Tick, Paul, and Sofia, but the latest message from Master George changes everything. The Realities are in danger and from something more terrible than Mistress Jane and the mutated Chi karda of the Thirteenth Reality. People from all Realities are inexplicably going insane. Worse, some Realities are fragmenting, disintegrating into nothingness. Master George has learned that Mr. Chu from the Fourth Reality is working on a mysterious new weapon called Dark Infinity. But no one has any idea how to stop the weapon or even if it can be stopped. To make matters worse, Tick and his friends have been kidnapped, forced to wink from Reality to Reality, solving impossible riddles in order to survive the deadly traps surrounding them. Mistress Jane and Tick find themselves in a race to reach the weapon first but who will destroy it and who will become its master?


A Door in the Woods
A Gift of Ice
The Tower of Air
War of the Black Curtain
The 13Th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters (2008)
The 13Th Reality: The Hunt for Dark Infinity 23 Feb 2009

Trailer for the First book.

Friday, 6 February 2009

M.G Harris Joshua Files - Ice Shock Book Review

Mr Ripley's Review Thanks M.G for sending me the new Photo.

This is the second book written in the Joshua Files series entitled Ice Shock.
The story starts just a few months after Invisible City where we find Josh back home in Oxford. Josh embarks on another fast-paced adventure trying to find the answers to his father's death. Keeping with the Mayan Culture,the story revolves around the hidden city of EK Naab and the IX Codex which keeps the story moving. Josh makes a huge discovery first, then the story starts to take pace with a few twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages quickly.
I love the way M.G Harris has the ability to write a great story, putting all the action you would normally find in an Alex Rider book. I enjoyed reading this book, as you feel a part of the story. Joshua's survival, again keeps you gripped throughout. A great joy to read, I'm already looking forward to the next book.

Five out of Five, great adventure with imaginative characters which fit the story well. Amazing detail, referring to the Mexico and Mayan cultures, making the story stand out. I also like the idea of putting Josh's blog into the book to make the story more stylistic.

Josh is back home, trying to resume his normal life and make sense of his Mayan adventures. But soon it becomes clear that being back in Oxford doesn't mean Josh can escape his destiny. He's evenmore certain now that his father's death was no accident -- and he's starting to wonder if he can really trust his closest allies. But when he finds out a shocking secret, that's when the real adventure begins...

Published by Scholastic Children's Books March 2009 (Also look out for the fluorescent PVC Slipcase.)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Barry Hutchison - Invisible Fiends - Bologna 2009

I am always looking ahead for great new books and I think this new series of books is something to keep your eye out for.

HarperCollins Children’s Books has bought INVISIBLE FIENDS, a debut series by B Hutchison. The six-book deal for world rights, including TV, film and merchandise, was concluded by Nick Lake, Commissioning Editor at HarperCollins, and Kathryn Ross at Fraser Ross Associates. Described as "Harry Potter meets Nightmare on Elm Street, it is "a fantastically original, darkly funny and shiver-inducing new horror series about what happens when 12-year-old Kyle’s imaginary friend from childhood comes back to life". The series is aimed at the 9+ age group, and the first book, Invisible Fiends: Mr Mumbles, is scheduled for publication in early 2010. HarperCollins will be showing early proofs at this year’s Bologna Book Fair.

Lake describes it as "one of those rare projects that combine a fresh premise, wonderfully accessible writing, and the sort of deft humour that makes the terrorsweats just about bearable. Anyone who likes laughing, or screaming, or preferably both at the same time, will love it."

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Philip Caveney - Sebastian Darke - The Prince of Explorers

Mr Ripley's Review

Back in 2006, when the first book was unearthed from the book fair in Bologna, I looked forward to reading this story. Such a great ray of emerging titles were born from Derek Landy's - Skulduggery Plesant and Joanne Harris' - Runemarks, all making their deals at the fair.
So now we are on book three in the adventures of Sebastian Darke.

It starts out with Sebastian, Max and Cornelius venturing off into the deepest depths of the jungle in search of the legendary lost city of Mendip. Philip has written another great adventure, building on the characters' relationships with each other. This is another magical story with great detail; very well written. It has lots of humour and laughter as Sebastian becomes a jester once more. As the book gathers pace, the story takes on a new twist and I found myself feeling sad as the story came to a climax.
Another great read from cover to cover with this on-going adventure which keeps getting better and better. Five out of Five and I'd like to thank Philip for getting a copy of this book sent out to me. Many thanks.


Sebastian, Max and Cornelius are off on their most hazardous adventure yet. Deep in the dense jungles of the south they are searching for the legendary lost city of Mendip when their quest is rudely interrupted by a savage attack by a band of Gograth - armoured apelike beasts. Rescued by jungle girl Keera, they are taken to the village of the Jilith, a primitive tribe of warriors, who are themselves locked in a grim struggle for survival with the Gograth. Sebastian's arrival has been foretold in an ancient prophesy which states that the elf-Lord and his two companions will rid the Jilith of the curse of the Gograth forever.And if Sebastian, Max and Cornelius can achieve this Keera herself will guide them to the Lost City. But first our heroic trio must brave savage battles, hazardous journeys, attacks by fierce beasts and some of the worst jokes in history. And what's more when they finally reach their destination, they have to contend with The Night Runners - the most terrifying foe they have ever encountered; a foe that simply cannot be killed ...because they are already dead.

Sebastian Darke:

1. Prince of Fools - Published by Bodley Head Children's Books 4 Jan 2007
2. Prince of Pirates - Published by Bodley Head Children's Books 5 Feb 2008
3. Prince of Explorers - Published by Bodley Head Children's Books 5 Feb 2009

Alec Devlin:

1. The Eye of the Serpent - Red Fox 7 Aug 2008
2. Empire of the Skull - Red Fox 6 Aug 2009

Post Two - New Children's Hardback Releases - April 2009

This is post two of all the great books to look forward which will be out in April 2009.


James Patterson - Maxiumride:Max - Doubleday - 2 April 2009

P B Kerr - Eye of the Forest - Scholastic - 6 April 2009

Caro King - Seven Sorcerers - Quercus Publishing - 2 April 2009

Michael Grant - Gone - Egmont - 6 April 2009

Derek Landy - Skulduggery Pleasant:The Faceless Ones - HarperCollins - 6 April 2009

Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking - George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt - Doubleday - 2 April 2009

Marion Perkins - Stone Cat - Book Guild Publishing - 23 April 2009

Julie Hearn - Rowan the Strange - Oxford Children's - 2 April 2009