Friday, 29 June 2012

Patrick Carman - Sequel Book Recommendations - 3 Below/Eve of Destruction

                                                book cover of 

3 Below 

 (Floors, book 2)


Patrick Carman
Here are two brilliant sequels which are as good as the very first books in the series. I would recommend both books to any type of reader as you will absolutely love them!

3 Below (Floors, book 2)  Published by Scholastic Press (Sept 2012)
Charlie had his chocolate factory. Stanley Yelnats had his holes. Leo has the wacky, amazing Whippet Hotel.
Now that Leo has uncovered a few secrets behind the wacky Whippet Hotel, he'll have to save it!
Leo has explored the zany, wonderful Whippet Hotel from basement to top floor, with trains, flying goats, and mazes (among other things) in between. But even Leo doesn't know every secret of the Whippet - and when he discovers that there's more beneath the hotel than he'd thought, it doesn't take long for more adventures to unfold!

Eve of Destruction (Dark Eden Book 2) Published by Katherine Tegen Books (24 April 2012)

Will Besting and the other teens whose phobias were "cured" at Fort Eden have been summoned back by Mrs. Goring. Her dying wish is to see them together one last time. Or is it?
Ensnared in a dangerous, ever-deepening mystery, Will must lead his friends through a perilous underground trap masterminded by two devious souls at war with each other. It's a game of cat and mouse, and not everyone will be alive when it's over. Can Will outwit both Rainsford and Goring, ending their reign of fear forever?
Patrick Carman'sDark Eden: Eve of Destruction offers a harrowing journey into the depths of fear, love, revenge, and—ultimately—redemption.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

JK Rowling: Celebrating 15 Years of Harry Potter Magic

Celebrating 15 years of Harry Potter Magic....
The search for UK and Ireland’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan!

From an idea born on a train journey, to its creation in a small cafe in Edinburgh Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the book that started a global phenomenon.  Rejected by many publishers and with an initial hardback print run of 500 copies, it has now sold over 90 million copies worldwide. It is the book that put Harry’s destiny in motion and created a whole new generation of readers. It is hard to think now that before 1997 none of us knew about Hogwarts, Quidditch or Voldemort (who was voted as the favourite literary villain in a recent Bloomsbury poll).

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury is launching a nationwide competition to find the UK’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan.

Bloomsbury is inviting fans to write a letter of no more than 50 words explaining why they love HARRY POTTER. We are looking for the most creative, clever and entertaining reasons and, while the word limit is set to a strict 50 words, entrants are encouraged to draw, doodle and make their letters as elaborate as possible.

HARRY POTTER fans can only enter by visiting a local bookshop or library and posting their letter in the specially designed postboxes. Over 1800 bookshops and libraries have already signed up to take part. The competition will run from Tuesday 26th June to Tuesday 31st July 2012 after which we will name the UK and Ireland’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan. The winner and runners up will be announced on Saturday 1stSeptember.*

The competition is an ideal opportunity for fans to show how much they love HARRY POTTER as well as supporting their local bookshop or library. Details of how to enter and a list of participating bookshops and libraries can be found on the

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Jeff Norton - MetaWars - Book Review

book cover of 


 (MetaWars, book 1)


Ryan Hunter and 

Jeff Norton

This is Jeff’s first book, Metawars, due to be published in August 2012 by Orchard. I was actually very surprised to receive this book as I don't usually get anything from this particular publishing company. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first started reading the book. However, I was soon bowled over and captivated.

The story came from a culmination of events such as the Icelandic ash cloud and a speech that David Miliband gave in 2006 about climate change. These are voiced and sited through both the characters and plot. However, not everyone is in agreement with the role of the virtual world even though this could be one possible answer to solving climate change. 

I was particularly impressed by the settings; the vibrant virtual Metasphere world and the bleak futuristic world. Both worlds encompass the storyline in different ways, but the way it interchanges between the two is very sophisticated and effective. The description within both settings enables the reader to become immersed within each world and feel apart of them.

This book is an epic fantasy read between two warring factions; both fighting for control. Matthew Granger and his Millennials are the founders and the creators of the Virtual Sphere. They are also the Guardians who want it to be ruled by the 'users' and not just one Government. This is the modern take on the internet supremacy between the big companies such as Google and Apple; both of which have a massive stake in our digital world. A very thought provoking element which becomes embedded within the story to influence the final outcome with a twist at the end.

This is a fast paced story which is full of exciting action sequences that will have any reluctant reader wanting to read more. I really loved the Guardians attack and the use of land yachts as they stormed Ayers Rock to gain control of one of the four corners. This is particularly well written and is very original. Although I did have a slight issue with part of the ending as it felt as if didn't quite fit with the rest of the story. However, I don't want to delve into this any further as it really would spoil it for you. Nevertheless it really doesn't detract from the fact that this book is a superb read. The images that are created within the book reflect that of a cinematic quality. Jeff is definitely both the producer and director of this book.

Whose side are you on?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012



Tales on Moon Lane Children's Bookshop, 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London SE24 9JU TEL: 020 7274 5759 2nd – 7th July 2012

School's almost out - and the crew at Tales on Moon Lane bookshop are expecting some very special guests for their biggest ever children’s book festival, which will run from 2nd – 7th July 2012! The packed schedule of events promises hi-jinks and hullabaloo aplenty with some of the biggest names in books for kids of all ages. There’s something to suit everyone in this exciting line-up so head on down to Moon Lane and hear some spooky stories from Marcus Sedgwick and Will Hill – or take afternoon tea with the Queen of Teen Cathy Cassidy – or help some of the very best children’s illustrators turn the shop into a giant picture book – or parade around in fancy dress – or laugh yourself silly with Philip Ardagh and Guy Bass – or train your dragon with Cressida Cowell! The possibilities are endless, and it's the perfect chance to stock up on some fantastic summer reads too. The experts at Tales on Moon Lane are always ready to help you choose the perfect books to keep you reading all summer long! Festival tickets are available online now at Book early to avoid disappointment.

Tales on Moon Lane is a multi-award winning independent children’s bookshop in South London. Their friendly, knowledgeable and well-read staff – led by owner, author and impresario Tamara Macfarlane – ensure you will always receive the highest level of service. Committed to making books and reading fun, they will make sure the right book goes to the right child.
Tamara Macfarlane, owner of Tales on Moon Lane Children's Bookshop, says:
"Tales on Moon Lane are delighted to be working with the brilliant David Maybury of Inis Magazine and Carrie Anderson to provide an extraordinary line up of events. We look forward to seeing everybody for a week of literary mayhem and madness with some of the country's favourite writers."
Carrie Anderson, Festival Organiser, says:
"I'm really excited to be involved with such a great festival. It's a real pleasure to host such a dream line up of authors and illustrators in Moon Lane - it's going to be chaos - organised chaos if I do my job right!"

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Charlie Higson - Offers fans a one-off opportunity to appear in the trailer for his new book

Calling all Zombies!

A one-off opportunity to appear as an extra in the trailer for
Charlie Higson’s new zombie book – The Sacrifice

Fans of The Enemy series by best-selling author Charlie Higson are being given the chance to be in the trailer for his new book, The Sacrifice.  Filming takes place on Saturday 30 June and a small army of zombie ‘sickos’ is required for filming at a secret location in South London.

This is the fourth in a series of trailers for the cult zombie seriesand is written and directed by Charlie Higson himself. The Sacrifice is the fourth title in the series and will be published later this year on 20 September.

To enter, zombie hopefuls must be over 16 and will need to send a photo of themselves and 50 words (or less) describing why they would make a good zombie by Tuesday 26 June.  Spaces are limited and the lucky ones chosen to take part will be notified the following day. For full details and terms and conditions, go to

Set in and around London, the events in The Enemy series take place in a world where a mystery disease has broken out affecting only grown-ups.  Some survive, but those that do face a more terrifying fate – they turn into hideous zombies with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. Children form gangs and attempt to survive in an unrecognisable world where there are dangers around every corner.

Previous trailers for the books in the series have had combined viewings of more than 100,000 on YouTube and have seen Charlie Higson transforming into a decaying zombie; chilling footage of a terrified boy posting a clip online of himself being attacked by diseased adults; and, last year, a rotting zombie (with an uncanny resemblance to Charlie Higson) attempting to break into a room full of terrified children.

The Enemy series has now sold over 200,000 copies in the UK alone.

Charlie Higson is a successful author, actor, comedian and writer for television and radio. 

He wrote the phenomenally successful Young Bond series which has now sold over a million copies in the UK and has been translated into over 24 different languages.

The first novel in his bestselling zombie-adventure series for teenagers, The Enemy, was published by Puffin in 2009 and was followed by The Dead (2010) and The Fear(2011).   Charlie is a huge fan of horror films and books, and even studied gothic literature at university.  With three sons of his own, Charlie knows exactly how to terrify and captivate teenagers in equal measure.

Charlie was in a band, The Higsons, and was a decorator before turning to the world of television and going into partnership Paul Whitehouse.  His television successes have included Saturday Live, the Harry Enfield Television Programme, The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, Shooting Stars, Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, the film Suite 16, Swiss Toni and of course, the Fast Show.

Charlie and Paul co-produced the controversial and award-winning spoof radio series Down the Line for BBC Radio 4, in which they also both performed and which became the television comedy series Bellamy’s People on BBC 2.

Charlie is also a successful adult novelist and has written four thrillers, King of the Ants (1992), Happy Now (1993), Full Whack (1995) and Getting Rid of Mr Kitchen (1996).
Charlie lives in North London.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Maggie Stiefvater - The Raven Boys - Animated Book Trailer & Preview

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love. Her family traded in predictions. These predictions
tended, however, to run toward the nonspecific. Things like:
Something terrible will happen to you today. It might involve the number six. Or: Money is coming. Open your hand for it. Or: You have a big decision and it will not make itself.

The people who came to the little, bright blue house at 300 Fox Way didn’t mind the imprecise nature of their fortunes. It became a game, a challenge, to realize the exact moment that the predictions came true. When a van carrying six people wheeled into a client’s car two hours after his psychic reading, he could nod with a sense of accomplishment and release. When a neigh- bor offered to buy another client’s old lawn mower if she was looking for a bit of extra cash, she could recall the promise of money coming and sell it with the sense that the transaction had been foretold. Or when a third client heard his wife say, This is a decision that has to be made, he could remember the same words being said by Maura Sargent over a spread of tarot cards and then leap decisively to action.

But the imprecise nature of the fortunes stole some of their power. The predictions could be dismissed as coincidences, hunches. They were a chuckle in the Walmart parking lot when you ran into an old friend as promised. A shiver when the number seventeen appeared on an electric bill. A realization that even if you had discovered the future, it really didn’t change how you lived in the present. They were truth, but they weren’t all of the truth.
“I should tell you,” Maura always advised her new clients, “that this reading will be accurate, but not specific.”
It was easier that way.

But this was not what Blue was told. Again and again, she had her fingers spread wide, her palm examined, her cards plucked from velvet-edged decks and spread across the fuzz of a family friend’s living room carpet. Thumbs were pressed to the mystical, invisible third eye that was said to lie between everyone’s eyebrows. Runes were cast and dreams interpreted, tea leaves scrutinized and séances conducted.
All the women came to the same conclusion, blunt and inex- plicably specific. What they all agreed on, in many different clairvoyant languages, was this:
If Blue was to kiss her true love, he would die.

For a long time, this bothered Blue. The warning was spe- cific, certainly, but in the way of a fairy tale. It didn’t say how her true love would die. It didn’t say how long after the kiss he would survive. Did it have to be a kiss on the lips? Would a chaste peck on the back of his palm prove as deadly?
Until she was eleven, Blue was convinced she would silently contract an infectious disease. One press of her lips to her hypo- thetical soulmate and he, too, would die in a consumptive battle untreatable by modern medicine. 

Monday, 4 June 2012

Roy Gill - The Daemon Parallel - Book Review - Published by Kelpies

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Kelpies (22 Mar 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0863158692
  • AGE: 10+

As I write this review over coffee and biscuits, I have to confess that I judged this book by its striking cover a little while ago. The initial attraction was the fantastic snarling Wolf on the front cover which was illustrated by Paul Mudie (I think!). Actually, there is no accreditation inside the book but I am sure I'm correct in saying that he is the illustrator. 

The title is good and punchy - one that fits particularly well with the story. Roy was involved in writing a guest post for us, back in March, about this book and himself. To be honest, after reading this, it rocketed my expectation levels to greater heights - the question on my lips was could he deliver? Regular readers of this blog know that I'll always speak the truth and, to be honest Roy my boy, it was a poor show! What were you THINKING of with only 310 pages? I wanted so much more; I was stunned when I turned to the final page and yet very pleased to find that this book was definitely up to my expectations. In fact I'm going to go a step further by saying that this book is absolutely brilliant. 

I was actually so immersed in the story that I found myself in both worlds, both the Humanian and the Parallel, with each of the characters. It's like watching the adventure first hand, as if you were a fly on the wall, so to speak. It's one of those books that when it ends you feel a great sense of loss.

There are so many things that I loved about this book such as the setting of Edinburgh. I love this place and was able to relate to the landmarks and the different places in the story. Having visited many of these places before it really gave a realistic edge to the story. I really enjoyed reading about and engaging with the varied characters from the normal to the down right wacky character of Mrs Ferguson (a Daemon with an amazing bad eating habits and the penchant for hugging curtains). We go from the normal everyday life stuff to fighting Daemons of an ingenious nature. There is also a sprinkling of dark magic with undertones of a horror nature. These aren't really too graphic, but are amazingly spine-tingling which makes it absolutely purrfect for me. This book has everything from quick fire humour, which really make you chuckle, to some fantastic action sequences, which are really well written.

There are many twists and turns, thrills and spills which are all delivered with a wee hint of Scottishness for full flavour. You can tell that this is a story that has been nurtured for some time and to me it has totally been worth the effort. However, I did find myself being able to predict some of the story towards the end, but this was the only slight flaw. Nevertheless this is a great debut book and one that will fly high into my top five reads of this year, so far. 

Many congratulations Roy (my boy); what have you got planned next?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Mark Walden - Earthfall - Book Review

It's about six years ago when I initially picked up my very first Mark Walden book. It was at the Federation of Children's Book Groups (FCBG) Annual Conference and was from one of the lovely people at Bloomsbury. It was an especially shiny copy of H.I.V.E (Higher Institute of Villainous Education) which I'm sure many of you will already be familiar with and have some knowledge about. If so, then you'll understand how this book got me hooked on the series and made me a huge fan of Mark Walden's work. 

New to the book market is a totally different series, but it still retains all of the magical ingredients from his other books. It is a kaleidoscope of action adventure, but all wrapped into a technological theme. This is a well executed and fast-paced boy adventure that girls will also love. It has a great mixture of characters which will appeal to everybody and lives that children will be able to really relate to. 

Just imagine being in London and waking up to finding strange vessels flying through the sky. Sam finds himself in just this position, but it gets stranger by the minute when both his family and surrounding people stream past him. Walking silently towards enormous ships that emit a persistent noise. However, Sam appears to be immune to this signal and instead finds himself running for his life against a strange alien life force. All of the Humans eventually become 'walkers' who find themselves void of both emotion and recognition. An interesting concept that I thought worked well in the book. 

I loved this book for the duration of the story - it's just pure magical escapism packed into approximately 290 pages. It's a very clever story full of high drama, battle scrapes, fighting flying Drone's, stinging Hunters and, if that's not grabbing your attention enough, then there's the very imaginatively created Grendel which will definitely have you running for cover. When Big Ben comes crashing down is it all over . . . . ?  Well, you'll have to read the book to find out as my lips are sealed!

It would be fair to indicate that this book may have some tiny flaws within, for example the characters - all rather stereotypical and, at times, less interesting. I found it difficult to click with any of them as they were just too normal for the circumstances and as a result, none of them really stood out. Nevertheless, this book is still up to the very high standards of Mark Walden's usual writing. The explosive action and the imaginative story is what I really love about Mark's books and this will not disappoint.

New and old readers alike will love this book. It's easy to read and understand, highly imaginative and full of explosive action. Another great start to another new series and, with lots of questions still to be answered at the end of the story, it will certainly make you desperate to read the next instalment. I for one can't wait!