Thursday, 28 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Robin Jarvis - The Power of Dark Bk One - Book Review

Something is brewing in the town of Whitby. To best friends Lil and Verne, it just seems like a particularly bad storm. But Cherry Cerise, the last of the Whitby witches, fears that ancient forces are at work, reviving the curse of a long lost magical artefact.
The legend goes that the Nimius was created by magician Melchior Pyke, with the assistance of a young witch known as Scaur Annie. But they were both betrayed by Pyke’s villainous manservant, Mister Dark, causing a feud that has survived even beyond death.
As Mister Dark, with his horrific winged familiar, arises to mastermind Whitby’s very own apocalypse and take the Nimius for his own evil purposes, can Lil and Verne join with Cherry to quell his plans and save their home?

Robin Jarvis is back with a mighty bang and a fantastic new series. The first book "The Power of Dark" will be published at the end of June 2016 by Egmont. There are also a further three more books to come in the series which will be published in six-montly intervals, which I'm really looking forward to reading. The first book is set in the town of Whitby, North Yorkshire. This is a place that Robin knows very well from his previous visits as part of "The Whitby Witches" series. It is a perfect setting and backdrop full of myths and legends and is one of the finest gothic settings in England. 

The book follows two friends, Lil and Verne, who are inexplicably caught up in a supernatural adventure from the past. It will have you running up the 199 steps so fast that your feet won't touch the ground. You will be wrapped in a fantasy cocoon of magic, mayhem and horror. It's a genre busting novel that throws everything at you throughout the 255 pages. It will sweep you off your literary feet.  

From the very first page you are quickly introduced to one of the main characters, Verne Thistlewood, as he is chased by a group of bullies. This sets up the story and sucks you into a narrative that soon leads you astray.  A storm is brewing on the cliff tops, there is a change of wind and a storm of skeletons appear that will give you the heebie jeebies. This scene is so vivid and crazy that it really made me smile at the creative inventiveness and the idea. It's fantasy writing at its best. It really did set the atmospheric tale on fantasy fire and made the plot come alive with a big bang. 

You'll find yourself hurtling through this book in a fantasy frenzy. It is a yarn bombing experience of topics, magic and colour. The brooding darkness/evil slowly seeps through the story the more that you read. There is a fight against good and evil, but will the last surviving Witch of Whitby come out fighting with her Mary Quant bag in her hand? She will have you in stitches with her bizarre personality. She's not afraid to speak her mind and she certainly has a lot to say. She is a fantastically well written character with bags of personality;I hope that we will see more of her in the next books. 

The town slowly gets sucked into a big crazy battle which is action packed and totally bonkers. It brings a climatic ending to an ancient feud that has survived even beyond death. This is a story of betrayal, love and revenge like no other....

I loved every minute of this book which makes it one of my favourite reads this year. Check out the fantastic cover which has been illustrated by Nicholas Delort. He definitely draws on the power of Robin's story and makes you want to find out what is inside...  

Grab a copy as you will not be disappointed! 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Teens/Children's Book Picks US - April 2016 - Post Two

Jacob Grey - Ferals #2: The Swarm Descends - Published by HarperCollins (April 26, 2016)

Ferals #2: The Swarm Descends is the second book in a dark middle grade fantasy series that’s part Batman, part The Graveyard Book, and all page-turning adventure.
The sinister Spinning Man has been defeated—but a powerful new villain has risen from the shadows. The Mother of Flies has eyes everywhere, and she is searching for Caw. As the last survivor of a long line of crow ferals, Caw holds a crucial piece of Blackstone’s legacy—one the Mother of Flies will stop at nothing to find.
With his friend Lydia and his loyal crows by his side, Caw believes he can protect his city. But it will take more than crows to defeat this darkness....

Tracey Hecht (Author) Kate Liebman (Illustrator) - The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions - Published by Fabled Films Press (April 19, 2016)

A flabbergastifying adventure under the stars!

"The characters are delightful and the nighttime landscape is captivating. It was just as I expected—because the best stories always take place in the dark!—R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps

The Nocturnals features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure.

In The Mysterious Abductions, the animals form a brigade of the night after a random encounter with a blood-thirsty snake, and just in time because something is threatening their night realm. Animals are disappearing without a trace. Together with the help of a wombat, a band of coyotes and many others, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark journey to the depths of the earth in a wacky, high stakes game that will determine all of their survival.

Brian Farrey - The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse - Published by Algonquin Young Readers (April 19, 2016)

A princess and a peasant girl embark on a dangerous quest to outwit a warning foretelling the fall of the Monarchy.

In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a desolate bog the people of the land do their best to ignore. Little is known about it except an ominous warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could conceal that might topple her family’s thousand-year reign.

After a chance meeting, Princess Jeniah strikes a secret deal with Aon, a girl from a nearby village: Aon will explore the Carse on the princess’s behalf, and Jeniah will locate Aon’s missing father. But when Aon doesn’t return from the Carse, a guilt-stricken Jeniah must try and rescue her friend—even if it means risking the entire Monarchy.

In this thrilling modern fairytale, Brian Farrey has created an exciting new world where friendship is more powerful than fate and the most important thing is to question everything.

Sarah Rees Brennan - Tell the Wind and Fire - Published by Clarion Books (April 5, 2016)

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Monday, 25 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Thomas Olde Heuvelt Interview - The HEX Blog Tour - Day One - Hodder & Stoughton

It has been said that HEX is a book that answers the question "Where does evil come from?" If you love a good horror novel and a clever narrative then this is surely the book for you. Please find below the questions that Thomas has answered about the release of his novel as part of his first UK blog stop. Hex is published by Hodder & Stoughton on the 28th April 2016.

How would you describe your book HEX, to potential future readers?
HEX is a creepy book about a modern day town, haunted day and night by a 17th century witch whose eyes are sewn shut. The town is quarantined by its elders to prevent her curse from exploding. Frustrated with being kept in lock down, the town's teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in doing so, send the town spiraling into... well, into very dark times, to frame it nicely. Also, I'd say that with HEX, I set off to write the scariest book I could imagine. I took elements from classical horror and tried to turn them around in a modern, twisted way. The witch's haunting is very rock 'n roll. She's always there. She walks the streets day and night. She enters your home. She stands next to your bed for nights in a row. The town is bugged with cameras and there's this control centre that tries to hide her from sight all the time. But besides the supernatural power, it's a book mostly about human evil.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
First and foremost, I'd like to make them shudder. Or shiver. Or make them sleep with the lights on because they were too scared Katherine would pop up next to there beds. When the book came out in Holland and Belgium, I literally got hundreds of messages from readers who had to leave the lights on, or still had nightmares. Imagine the silly grin on my face as I was reading them. I am so looking forward to seeing if it has the same effect abroad... So yeah, my first goal with this book is to entertain you. Of course there's probably a lot in the book that will make you think, or reconsider your view on what's good and evil and where you stand yourself on that spectrum, and it's okay if you pick up on that. But after the nightmares. 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 
I guess that my short fiction always turns out weird and humorous, and my novels are always very dark. I don't know why that is. I've tried to write short horror fiction, but it usually turns into a novel. Whereas I love the magical-realism that I use in my short fiction. Stories like The Boy Who Cast No Shadow and The Ink Readers of Doi Saket are very close to my heart. You can find them all online for free. And somehow, it got me a Hugo Award, for a story called The Day the World Turned Upside Down. That was kind of ironic, as I hardly ever read science fiction.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your book? 
Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book, and I really don't care all that much who they will cast (of course, that will probably change once they made it public; I'd be like 'hey, he or she doesn't look like that character!') I never have famous actors in mind as I write about my characters, and I'd surely never say they look like a particular actor, as some writers do. Don't you just hate 
that? From then on, you'll always see that actor instead of what you imagined yourself, including all your opinions about that actor. It's even worse when the writer start screwing around with it: "She looked like a fat version of Victoria Beckam." Or: "She was an African-American Julia Roberts." I mean... really? Get back to writing school! 

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? 
I used to be like Stephen King and let the story take me wherever it would go. But after about three novels I found that it was not me. I like to take more control. I discovered that you can put a lot more meaning to a story or a book if you sit down to think about it. Or in my case, not sit down, as that's the worst stimulation for my creativity (especially when there's a cumputer and Wifi at hand). So I go out and take a hike in the woods, or go for a swim, or joke about my story ideas with a few creative friends - joking usually gives the best ideas. 

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? 
When I'm extremely thrilled about the idea. In other words, when we've joked enough about it that I went through the stages of not taking it serious anymore, and then taking it even more serious because it got so good. You kind of feel at that stage that you're ready to start the actual writing. 

Can you pass on any tips regarding the writing process to other budding writers? 
Go online. You'll find zillions of tips by zillions of writers and they'll all tell you something else. So what do you do? Just go out and write the best book you can that you would want to read. 

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? 
Obviously. There are many books displayed at the bookstore that make you go, yuck, and then you don't pick it up and it's such a shame, because maybe there was some real beauty inside. But good publishers know how to make good covers. I am totally, head-over-heels in love with the HEX cover Hodder & Stoughton put on the book, made by Leo Nickolls. I think it's spectacular. Also, I love green.

 As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 
At age three, I wanted to become Mommy. At ages four to six, I wanted to become a pirate. At seven, an interior designer. At eight, an airline pilot. I had a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings about plane crashes. At nine, Jeremy Jackson. At ten, an airline pilot again. At sixteen, a rock guitarist. At seventeen, pirate again. At eighteen, I more or less accidentally became a writer when my debut novel came out.

Is there anything else that you would like to tell us?
Definitely, now you provide me with the opportunity. Did you ever try a Banana Fower Salad? If not, go and try it. It's the best possible food on this planet. It's magical. It's from Thailand. Here's a video of me making one: It's in Dutch, though, so probably not a good idea to follow the recipe if you want to get it right. At least it will give you a chance to hear me speak in my silly language.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Raymond Arroyo - Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous Falls - Book Review

Will Wilder is a mischievous, headstrong twelve-year-old with an otherworldly gift—he alone can see the nefarious creatures encroaching on Perilous Falls. For nearly a century, a sacred relic has protected his hometown from the raging waters surrounding it. But when Will “borrows” the relic for his own purposes, he accidentally unleashes an ancient evil.
As boats sink and hideous creatures crawl from the rising waters, Will must set things right before it is too late. With the help of his sweet (if lethal) Great Aunt Lucille, the curator of a museum of powerful artifacts, Will proves that the actions of one twelve-year-old boy can change the world. 

Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous falls is the first book in a new series by Raymond Arroyo, who is the producer, lead anchor and managing editor of EWTN News. This intrepid hero was born into this world through nightly instalments magically created for his children at bath times.  These slapstick adventures have now been put to the test and tried on you, the dear reader.

This book has been compared to Percy Jackson and I can see why. It's pretty fast paced and easy going. Will Wilder is the main character, he is a very likeable twelve year old with a vivid personality.  At first glance he might not act or be your typical hero, but a secret family prophecy might turn him into one. Therefore, I would recommend you turn the pages to find out what happens. 

From the first few chapters of the book you will hurtle into a great captivating high-octane action fantasy adventure. This is a gripping read that is slightly reminiscent of a younger version of Indiana Jones. The plot delivers a strange mix of subjects and themes such as myths, religion and historical antiques found in museums and churches around the world. The book is a little quirky and all the elements just about work to keep the readers on their toes. 

The characters are written well. They all have distinctive personalities and traits that make them both interesting and somewhat mysterious. My personal favourite is Aunt Lucille, who is a little eccentric and a deadly sixty year old that you would not want to get on the wrong side of her. Another great aspect included the monsters who fill you with fear and dread. They are not stereotypical which was very refreshing. I really enjoyed reading this inventive story full of humour and suspense. This is a great book for the young at heart, as it is entertaining, full of action and very fun to read. It is a great battle between good and evil that will see another instalment, and one I will be looking forward to read. 

Check out the great black and white illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo. This book has been published in the US by Crown Books for Young Readers in March 2016.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Book Picks US - April 2016

N. D. Wilson - Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle - Published by Katherine Tegen Books (April 19, 2016)

This new fantasy-adventure series from N. D. Wilson, bestselling author of 100 Cupboards, pits a misfit twelve-year-old against a maniacal villain with a deadly vendetta. This one-of-a kind story is must read for fans of Brandon Mull and Soman Chainani, and the start of a thrilling tale from a masterful storyteller.      
Sam Miracle’s life is made up of dreams, dreams where he’s a courageous, legendary hero instead of a foster kid with two bad arms that can barely move. Sometimes these dreams feel so real, they seem like forgotten memories. And sometimes they make him believe that his arms might come alive again.
But Sam is about to discover that the world he knows and the world he imagines are separated by only one thing: time. And that separation is only an illusion. The laws of time can be bent and shifted by people with special magic that allows them to travel through the past, present, and future. But not all of these “time walkers” can be trusted. One is out to protect Sam so that he can accept his greatest destiny, and another is out to kill him so that a prophecy will never be fulfilled. However, it’s an adventurous girl named Glory and two peculiar snakes who show Sam the way through the dark paths of yesterday to help him make sure there will be a tomorrow for every last person on earth.

Peter Brown - The Wild Robot - Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 5, 2016)

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is--but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home--until, one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.

Jennifer Brody - The 13th Continuum: The Continuum Trilogy, Book 1 - Published by Turner (April 19, 2016)

One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the descendants of the chosen survivors take refuge in thirteen contingency shelters buried deep underground, at the bottom of the ocean, and in the far reaches of outer space. In the underwater 13th Continuum, sixteen-year-old Myra Jackson has heard rumors and whisperings all her life of a magical place called "The Surface” where people could breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of something called sunlight on their skin, and see things known as stars and trees and mountains. Myra has never dared to ask whether the stories are true, since the act of speaking such words aloud is an offense punishable by death. But after she discovers that the air supply aboard her underwater colony is running out, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to find this mysterious place. To get there, she must first recover the only guide to the Surface―the Beacon, an ancient device that also connects her to Captain Aero Wright, a dashing young soldier from one of the only remaining space colonies. With the fate of all humankind depending on them, Myra and Aero must escape the tyrannical forces that rule their colonies, journey through the black depths of the ocean and across the cold void of space, to find each other on the Surface that their ancestors once called home.

Frank Beddor & Adrienne Kress - Hatter Madigan: Ghost in the Hatbox - Published by Automatic Publishing (April 19, 2016)

An exciting new adventure featuring a teenaged Hatter Madigan, one of the most popular character from the New York Times best-selling The Looking Glass Wars trilogy by Frank Beddor!
Combat training! Secret society initiations! Self-serving rivals! Welcome to Wonderland’s prestigious Millinery Academy: where those born to protect the queendom train to become spies, assassins, and bodyguards. With all that to contend with, not to mention following in his popular older brother’s footsteps, just getting through Imagination Class seems impossible already.

And that’s before he starts seeing ghosts lurking in the corridors…

When students begin behaving strangely throughout the academy, Hatter and his fellow cadets must unlock the mysteries behind the ghosts, and the headmaster’s suspicious behavior, before the entire student body finds itself possessed!

Join Hatter and his fellow cadets on their first adventures in Wonderland. Let’s just hope it isn’t their last!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Kiran Millwood Hargrave - The Girl of Ink & Stars - Book Review

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland - and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

Search the stars to find your dreams...  
Map the skies to find your way...
Three years ago this story was a seed which has now been recently born into this world. With an initial working title of "The Cartographer's Daughter",  the book has since evolved into " The Girl of Ink & Stars" and will hit the shops at the start of May 2016.

The book has come a long way as it has blossomed into twenty nine exciting chapters. All of which have been sumptuously decorated with detailed images and map graphical references. In fact the whole book has been very well designed by the team at Chicken House. They have produced a reading experience that you will really enjoy and savour. 

The book is told in a simple, but engaging way. The first two chapters, for me, dictated the pace of how I wanted to read the story. It magically draws you into the characters and the setting which, even though it is an island, is actually a character in it's own right. I wanted to take the details in slowly in order to breath and see through the eyes of the characters. I did just that as I escaped to the Isle of Joya with Isabella in a heady mix of adventure, magic and friendship. 

When Isabella's closest friend disappears into the Forgotten Territories, I found myself heading into a world of danger and intrigue.  It is a place full of mythical adventure and vivid monsters with sharp teeth. They will soon have you running for cover, as quick as ink running from a pen. The journey soon becomes mapped out, both literally and figuratively, from the smoking mountains to the bleak wastelands with a legendary fire demon slowly stirring from slumber to terrorise once again. Will you have the courage to carry on?

This is a great classic adventure inspired by the author's trips to the Spanish Island of La Gomera. Kiran has infused the plot with the golden age of map making which is particularly interesting and really enhances the plot. However, I wanted the story to be longer and have more twists and turns. I found myself galloping through this book in no time and really wanted to savour more of it. You will probably be able to read this book in one sitting, which could be a good or a bad sign. I'll let you decide.  

This is a really enjoyable debut book that has been artistically told. It has been well written with a gutsy heroine whom you will soon come to love. The story is a voyage of discovery and is full of wild adventure. It has a dramatic ending in order to try and save the island and it's people.  This is a very immersive story which is well supported by a fantastic backdrop and some mild violence suitable for 10+. Written full of energy and non stop action, this is a book for anyone who loves a good story at heart.  Read Chapter One Here 

Monday, 18 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Favourite Movie Releases June-December 2016 Post One

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange kind of looks like it could be the best Marvel movie for some time. The first look teaser for Doctor Strange was released this week, starting to introduce audiences to the newest character in its film universe. If you weren't sure how you felt about Benedict Cumberbatch playing a doctor / sorcerer, just give this trailer a minute. Out in theaters later this year, on November 4th.


 Scott Derrickson


 C. Robert Cargill (screenplay), Steve Ditko (comic book) 


 Rachel McAdamsBenedict CumberbatchTilda Swinton

The first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has arrived, and by the look of things this is a very different take at the rejuvenated sci-fi saga. Directed by Gareth Edwards (GodzillaMonsters), Rogue One is the first of several planned spin-off movies, and is said to take place just before the events of the original film. In it, a group led by Felicity Jones sets out to steal plans for the Death Star — the same plans, it seems, that Princess Leia stored in the memory banks of R2-D2 back in 1977.  Out in theaters later this year, on December 16th.


 Gareth Edwards


 Chris Weitz (screenplay), John Knoll (story)


 Felicity JonesMads MikkelsenAlan Tudyk 

Suicide Squad is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team of the same name. It is intended to be the third installment in the DC Extended Universe.  By February 2009, a Suicide Squad film was in development at Warner Bros. Pictures. Ayer signed on to write and direct in September 2014 and by October the casting process had begun. Principal photography began on April 13, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with additional filming in Chicago, Illinois, and ended in August that year. The film is scheduled to be released on August 5, 2016


 David Ayer


 David AyerJohn Ostrander (comic book)


 Ben AffleckMargot RobbieCara Delevingne 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Favourite Book Picks: Children's/Teens - April 2016 - UK Post Three

Frank Cottrell Boyce - Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth - Published by Macmillan Children's Books (7 April 2016)

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce, with illustrations by Steven Lenton, will send your imagination into orbit!
The Blythes are a big, warm, rambunctious family who live on a small farm and sometimes foster children. Now Prez has come to live with them. But, though he seems cheerful and helpful, he never says a word.
Then one day Prez answers the door to someone claiming to be his relative. This small, loud stranger carries a backpack, walks with a swagger and goes by the name of Sputnik.
As Prez dithers on the doorstep, Sputnik strolls right past him and introduces himself to everyone in the household. Prez is amazed at the response. The family pat Sputnik on the head, call him a good boy and drop food into his mouth. It seems they all think Sputnik is a dog. It's only Prez who thinks otherwise.
But Prez soon finds himself having to defend the family from the chaos and danger unleashed by Sputnik, as household items come to life - like a TV remote that fast-forwards people: 'Anyone can do it, it's just that people don't read the instructions properly'; and a toy lightsaber that entertains guests at a children's party, until one of them is nearly decapitated by it - and Prez is going to have to use his voice to explain himself.

It turns out that Sputnik is writing a guidebook to Earth called Ten Things Worth Doing on Earth, and he takes Prez on a journey to discover just those ten things. Each adventure seems to take Prez nearer to the heart of the family he is being fostered by. But they also take him closer to the day that he is due to leave them forever . . . 

Peter Jay Black - Counterstrike (Urban Outlaws BK4) - Published by Bloomsbury Children's (7 April 2016)

The Urban Outlaws face their biggest challenge yet. They have to break into the Facility and find the ultimate weapon - Medusa - before Hector does. But there are five levels of security to crack and a mystery room that has Jack sweating whenever he thinks about it.
But the clock is ticking. Hector is determined to have the weapon and release doomsday, and it is down to the Urban Outlaws to stop him. Can Jack come up with a plan in time?
The tension is high and the shocks are breathtaking in the fourth book of this high-octane adventure series for fans of Robert Muchamore, Anthony Horowitz and Alex Scarrow.

Chris D'Lacey - The Erth Dragons: 1: The Wearle - Published by Orchard Books (7 April 2016)

The Wearle came to Erth to find out what happened to their previous group, who never returned. Gabrial, a young blue dragon, is desperate to prove his worth. But the dragons aren't alone in the mountains.
Down beyond the scorch line, Ren, a young hom boy, is fascinated by the 'skalers'. But when he creeps into their territory, he sneaks out again with a wriggling baby wearling...
Dragon and boy's fates combine in this stunning new fantasy series.

Oskar Jensen - The Wild Hunt (The Stones of Winter) - Published by Hot Key Books (7 April 2016)

A thrilling tale of Norse Gods and a terrifying hunt ...Astrid - a Viking Princess - and Leif (a poet) are on the run, having been banished from Denmark. They are trying to escape to Sweden. But Grimnir, a cold blooded assassin, has been sent to kill them. And that is the least of their worries, for Leif has managed to offend Odin, the king of the Norse Gods, which means the dreaded Wild Hunt - Odin's hunt - is after them, and ready to take their lives in revenge ...An epic tale of battle, bloodshed and the terror of being hunted.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Caleb Krisp - Are you ready for Ivy Pocket? What do you mean, not again?

Are you ready for Ivy Pocket? The wickedly funny, completely unreliable maid of no importance returns—this time as a coffin maker’s daughter—in this action-packed sequel to Anyone but Ivy Pocket. Published by Bloomsbury 05/05/2016(UK) Greenwillow Books 05/31/2016(US)

Caleb Krisp: Miss Pocket, being a twelve-year-old lady's maid of no importance, it must have been a great shock when I chose to write a book about you.

Ivy Pocket: Not really, dear. You're hardly the first.

Caleb Krisp: You . . . you would have me believe that there have been other books written about you?

Ivy Pocket: I'm practically positive.

Caleb Krisp: Name them.

Ivy Pocket: It's shocking that you even have to ask, for they are awfully well known. Ivy Pocket and the Sorcerer's Whatsit was a great hit. Followed up most spectacularly with Ivy Pocket and the Chamber of Thingermajigs. And Ivy of Green Gables is a classic. Diary of a Whimsical Kidwas the best-selling book of 1889, based entirely on my journals. Second only to The Lion, The Witch and the Windmill, which chronicles my perilous journey across the badlands of Holland armed with just two hairpins and a honeypot.

Caleb Krisp: Forget I asked. Somebody call my agent!

Ivy Pocket: Mr. Krisp, you're scowling in a most unattractive fashion and your double chin is all atremble. What's the matter?

Caleb Krisp: What's the matter? I am a serious author, Miss Pocket, and yet when I sat down to write my great masterpiece, the very stuff of my soul, who was it that appeared? You, that's who!

Ivy Pocket: No need to thank me, dear. It warms my soul that of all the writers in the world who might stumble upon my wondrous adventure, it was a bald, friendless fatso in desperate need of a hit. Well done!

Caleb Krisp: Tell me, Miss Pocket, why are you such an infuriating, disobedient, troublesome girl?

Ivy Pocket: Practice, I should think.

Caleb Krisp: Is it any wonder that from the first chapter, people are either trying to get away from you, or kill you?

Ivy Pocket: Well that's hardly my fault, now is it? You decided to leave me alone and penniless in Paris with no way of getting home. I would have been bonkers to reject Countess Carbunkle's generous offer to deliver that cursed diamond to Matilda Butterfield for her twelfth birthday. How was I supposed to know that the necklace she entrusted me with has the power to—

Caleb Krisp: Button your lips, Miss Pocket. We do not want to spoil things for our readers.

Ivy Pocket: Do I look like some sort of dimwitted nincompoop? I was simply going to point out that the great secret shadowing me for the entire book is that—

Caleb Krisp: Another word from you, Miss Pocket, and I will write you into a locked box and bury you beneath the sea. Do you understand?

Ivy Pocket: Hardly ever.

Caleb Krisp: Besides, your story is not yet finished. If you thought you had trouble in this book, just wait for the sequel, Miss Pocket.
Ivy Pocket: No thank you. I'll wait for the movie if you don't mind.

Caleb Krisp: Ugh. Hideous child.

Ivy Pocket: Happy to help, dear.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Favourite Book Picks: Children's/Teens - April 2016 - UK Post Two

Charlie Fletcher (Author) Nick Tankard (Illustrator) The City of Beasts (Dragon Shield 3) - Published by Hodder Children's Books (7 April 2016) New allies and new hope leave siblings Will and Jo ready to face the dark force that lurks in the British Museum. It has frozen London, leaving the life force of the city's inhabitants to drain away. But with nearly all the animal statues of London and a nest of dragons against them, will they be able to save their mum - and the world - before time runs out?
With beautiful illustrations by Nick Tankard.

Amber Lee Dodd - We Are Giants - Published by Quercus Children's Books (7 April 2016) A brilliantly funny and wonderfully warm-hearted story about love, family, and what it means to be different. 
Sydney thinks her mum Amy is the best mum in the world - even if she is a bit different. When everyone else kept growing, Amy got to four feet tall and then stopped right there. The perfect height, in Sydney's opinion: big enough to reach the ice cream at the supermarket, small enough to be special. Sydney's dad died when she was only five, but her memories of him, her mum's love and the company of her brave big sister Jade means she never feels alone . . .
Julian Sedgwick - Shadow of the Yangtze (Ghosts of Shanghai) - Published by Hodder Children's Books (7 April 2016) Ruby - a Western girl who feels more Chinese than English - and her friend Charlie must follow the Yangtze hundreds of miles upriver, travelling by Chinese junk and rogue steamer, through bandit and ghost haunted countryside - doggedly tracking Moonface as he spirits Charlie's sister Fei off to his home village. Everything is in flux around them: civil war pulsing, with Nationalists, Communists and warlord bandits struggling for control. The river rises and falls, villages spring up and are gone again. 
Ruby and Charlie brave a shipwreck and a gunbattle and then take a perilous cliff path to Moonface's lair.

Julia Golding - Mel Foster and the Time Machine - Published by Egmont (7 April 2016) Mel Foster and the rag-tag heroes of the Monster Resistance are back in this exciting fantasy adventure from award-winning author Julia Golding. 

How do you catch an international treasure thief who can TRAVEL IN TIME?
That’s the fiendish challenge that faces Mel Foster, Eve Frankenstein and their friends when priceless items begin vanishing all over the world. The Mona Lisa . . . Queen Victoria’s Crown Jewels . . . nothing is safe!
But the next item on the thief’s list is no diamond. It’s Mel himself. Before Mel knows it he’s been kidnapped and stranded in the past. He’s back in time, and back in trouble!
On Mel’s second monstrously big adventure he encounters famous and unusual heroes, and more than a couple of villains: Quasimodo the Younger, Mowgli and his wolf pack, and a cheery young pickpocket by the name of the Artful Dodger.
The time-twisting follow up to Mel Foster and the Demon Butler, winner of a Primary Teacher Bronze Award 2015.
This warm and witty gothic tale from the author of the Costa award-winning Cat Royal series will be perfect for 9+ fans of Chris Riddell's Goth Girl and Terry Pratchett's Dodger, and lovers of historical adventure.