Monday, 29 April 2019

Abi Elphinstone - Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles) - Boo Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Step through the door of adventure this May with the latest book from Abi Elphinstone. This is the start of a breathtaking new series "The Unmapped Chronicles" published by Simon & Schuster. Rumblestar is an epic read that pulsates with the author's zest for real-life adventures and daydreaming in her writer's shed. Each book in this series will be a standalone read that features a child from our world trying to save the unmapped magic from being stolen by an evil harpy called Morg. 

As soon as you turn the first page, you open the doors to the soul of imagination where you meet eleven-year-old Casper Tock. He hates risks, is allergic to adventures and shudders at the thought of unpredictable events. So, it comes as a nasty shock to him when he accidentally stumbles into Rumblestar, an Unmapped Kingdom full of magical beasts. This leads to a world of magic and a fantasy web of wonder where every page will thrill and entertain. All Casper wants to do is find his way home. However, Rumblestar is in trouble and is in need of a saviour. Who could that be?

Morg is sending her followers, the Midnights, into the kingdom to wreak havoc and pave the way for her to steal the Unmapped magic for herself. However, Casper cannot turn a blind eye because the future of his own world, as he discovers, is bound up with that of the Unmapped Kingdoms. The reader is whisked into an unimaginable quest full of action and suspense where you'll sky hop with cloud giants and fly in a magical hot air balloon that can pilot itself. 

This is a story that sparkles with a kiddish excitement whilst exploring magical kingdoms and bright colored rainbows. All of which are filled with fantastical creatures floating on a dream. This, for me, is the best book that Abi has written to date; it is a sparkling jewel of a read. The book is delivered with pace and passion. It starts in reality and takes you into an illusion that will have you gripped all the way. The heart of adventure is here. This is a book and a series that is definitely not to be missed so order it NOW!

Live a life filled with adventure with Abi Elphinstone where a whole new world is waiting to be discovered... 

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Kids/Young Adult Book Picks - April 2019 Post Two - US Published Post

Margaret Peterson Haddix (Author),  Anne Lambelet (Illustrator) Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers - Published by Katherine Tegen Books (April 2, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0062838377 - Hardback - Age: 7+

What makes you you?
The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best—acting silly and being adored. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.
But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children reach the Greystone kids, and they’re shocked by the startling similarities between themselves and these complete strangers. The other kids share their same first and middle names. They’re the same ages. They even have identical birthdays. Who, exactly, are these strangers?
Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a sudden work trip and leaves them in the care of Ms. Morales and her daughter, Natalie. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.

Kate Allen - The Line Tender - Published  Dutton Books for Young Readers (April 16, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0735231603 - Hardback - Age: 10+
Funny, poignant, and deeply moving, The Line Tender is a story of nature's enduring mystery and a girl determined to find meaning and connection within it.

Wherever the sharks led, Lucy Everhart's marine-biologist mother was sure to follow. In fact, she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachusetts, collecting shark data when she died suddenly. Lucy was seven. Since then Lucy and her father have kept their heads above water--thanks in large part to a few close friends and neighbors. But June of her twelfth summer brings more than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport. On one steamy day, the tide brings a great white--and then another tragedy, cutting short a friendship everyone insists was "meaningful" but no one can tell Lucy what it all meant. To survive the fresh wave of grief, Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father, a stubborn fisherman, and a curious old widower to her mother's unfinished research on the Great White's return to Cape Cod. If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely quartet follow the sharks her mother loved, she'll finally be able to look beyond what she's lost and toward what's left to be discovered.

Pete Hautman - Slider - Published by Candlewick  (April 23, 2019) - 

  • ISBN-13: 978-1536204322 - Paperback - Age:10+

Competitive eating vies with family expectations in a funny, heartfelt novel for middle-grade readers by National Book Award winner Pete Hautman.

David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world’s greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom’s credit card and accidentally spent $2,000 on it. So he really needs that prize money. Like, yesterday. As if training to be a competitive eater weren’t enough, he’s also got to keep an eye on his little brother, Mal (who, if the family believed in labels, would be labeled autistic, but they don’t, so they just label him Mal). And don’t even get started on the new weirdness going on between his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan. Master talent Pete Hautman has cooked up a rich narrative shot through with equal parts humor and tenderness, and the result is a middle-grade novel too delicious to put down.

Culliver Crantz - The Cursed Coin (FrightVision) - Published by Independently published (April 11, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1092538497 - Paperback - Age:9+

Are you afraid of everything? Well RJ is. Good thing his little sister, Shelly, isn't scared of anything because the creepy mansion at the end of the cul-de-sac has a few frightening surprises waiting for them, including a cursed coin that puts both of their lives in danger. When the two try to get rid of the coin, RJ realizes its power. The more he holds it, the more he wants to be evil. Will RJ be able to get rid of the coin or will he embrace its power and never be afraid again? The Cursed Coin is just the beginning of the nightmares that await from the haunted mind of Culliver Crantz and his multiple personalities. Welcome to FrightVision. Your nightmare is ready. Let's begin. Books can be orderd here:

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Charlotte Lo - We Won an Island - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

When Luna's family win an island, Luna thinks it will solve everything AND she can finally get a donkey! But things don't go entirely to plan - no one expects Luna's younger brother to win a Sheep Pageant, for example - and the secret festival they hold soon spirals out of control. But the island is beautiful, and the family are happy, and maybe Luna will get her donkey after all...

This is another delightful book published by Nosy Crow. We Won An Island is the debut book from Charlotte Lo. The book will hit the shops on the 2nd May 2019 just in time for summer. When you turn the first page, the characters' narratives start to work the magic inside your head. It starts off with sadness and pulls on the emotional heartstrings of the reader. Luna's family are suffering from bereavement and things start to go bad as they're just about to lose their home. However, with just one wish, the plot turns into an adventure that will uplift the soul and pump fresh joy into the heart of the reader ... very slowly. 

A slice of magic and luck hit the family when a bonkers businessman gives away his Scottish Island. As part of the competition's terms and conditions, the island can never be sold by the winner. Therefore, anyone who enters should be prepared to live on the island for the rest of their natural life. It's a brilliant and simple concept which gripped me from the opening pages. The three children are fantastically portrayed in the book. Each one is full of character and written well; they all have a unique and somewhat quirky outlook.  

A breath of fresh air takes the family on an adventure that leads to a catastrophic chain of events. One minute it will make you laugh out loud and the next minute it will bring on the tears.  As the three siblings and family adapt to the rural life of the island, they all have dreams which float through the air like confetti leaves hugging the forest floor. It's a great holiday read that inspires the great outdoors and depicts the beauty in nature and our natural landscapes. The book delivers hope and understanding whilst pulling together a community, even when the characters are new to the area. 

This is a flying-high, middle-grade story that will make your day and make you smile. It's crazy, very surreal and asks a lot of questions that will pull on the reality strings of the reader and also the characters. It's a pleasure to turn the pages. This is a family read full of determination and donkeys, goats, knitting, and a run-down house. A storm is brewing where comical laughter and calamity will hit you in the face. As you turn the last page and the secret festival has come to an end, w
hat could possibly go wrong? Come and find out...

What would you do if you won an island? 

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Kids/Young Adult Book Picks - April 2019 - US Published Post

A. M. Morgen- The Inventors and the Lost Island - Published by Little, Brown Young Readers US (2 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0316471534 - Hardback - Age: 7+
Get ready for heart-pounding action, nefarious mysteries, and hijinx galore in the thrilling, clever sequel to The Inventors at No. 8!
As the one-time unluckiest boy in London, George, the 3rd Lord of Devonshire, knows better than to overlook something as suspicious as a secretive new neighbor. And George was right to be wary--this new neighbor turns out to be Don Nadie, the head of the nefarious Society of Nobodies, and a man just as villainous as he is mysterious.
Almost overnight, George finds himself framed for attempting to assassinate the king (a crime he most assuredly did not commit) and once again on the run with his best friend Ada Byron, the future Countess of Lovelace. Together, they must navigate the high seas in Ada's latest invention, a submersible mechanical whale, all while trying to stay one step ahead of Don Nadie and the Society. Because even though George may be a gentleman, there's no way he's going to sit idly by while Don Nadie ruins his family name and takes over the world. 
In this charming and brilliant sequel, author A.M. Morgen raises the stakes and expands a humor and heart-filled world sure to appeal to fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Inquisitor's Tale.

M. M. Vaughan - Slick - Published by Alma Books Ltd (25 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1846884597 - Paperback - Age:9+

Eric Young is the first child android to be trialled in society, but he doesn't know that. He does know that he's just moved to Ashland from New York City, so it's important that he makes new friends. Not just any friends, but the right kind, the kind that would be interested in skateboarding and the new Slick trainers his Uncle Martin sends him. He's already growing his social media presence, but he knows it's important to make friends in the real world too. Danny Lazio doesn't have any friends, but he doesn't care about that. He would rather not be friends with someone like Eric, who's had seemingly everything handed to him. But when Eric takes an interest in Land X, Danny's favourite online game, Danny thinks he might have found a real friend... if he can figure out the mystery behind Eric's sudden disappearances and strange lifestyle. As their friendship grows it becomes harder to ignore the weird events that happen around Eric, from weekly 'dentist appointments' to inexplicable medical mishaps. But uncovering the truth is an act that might cost them both as powerful forces soon move in around them.

Quinn Sosna-Spear - The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Mortinson

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 2, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1534420809 - Hardback - Age:7+

In this sweeping and inventive debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, and Tim Burton, a prodigal inventor flees his home to find his destiny.

In the humdrum town of Moormouth, Walter Mortinson’s unusualinventions cause nothing but trouble. After one of his contraptions throws the town into chaos, Walter’s mother demands he cut the nonsense and join the family mortuary business.

Far off on Flaster Isle, famed inventor Horace Flasterborn plans to take Walter under his wing, just as he did Walter’s genius father decades ago. When a letter arrives by unusual means offering Walter an apprenticeship, it isn’t long before Walter decides to flee Moormouth to meet his destiny.

Walter runs away in the family hearse along with Cordelia, the moody girl next door with one eye and plenty of secrets. Together they journey through a strange landscape of fish-people, giantess miners, and hypnotized honeybees in an adventure that will not only reveal the truth about Walter’s past but direct his future.

Caroline Carlson - The Door at the End of the World - Published by HarperCollins (April 9, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0062368300 - Hardback - Age:7+
What begins as a rather unremarkable Tuesday quickly turns to disaster when Lucy, the Gatekeeper's deputy, discovers that her boss has vanished and the door connecting Lucy's world to the next world over is broken—and it all might be Lucy's fault.
To save the Gatekeeper and set things right, Lucy must break the rules for the first time ever and journey with an otherworldly boy, a suspiciously sneaky girl, and a crew of magical bees into the seven worlds beyond her own.
But Lucy isn't the only one breaking the rules. As dangers gather around her, she learns she's up against a sinister force that's playing with the delicate fabric of time and space, no matter what the deadly costs or consequences.
Lucy's never had to save the world before—and now, somehow, she's got to find a way to save eight of them.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Bex Hogan - Viper: Book 1 (Isles of Storm and Sorrow) - Blog Tour Interview - Orion Books

Welcome to Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books. Today, I have a Q&A interview with Bex Hogan. This book has been an epic ten years in the making. In fact, there have been seven manuscripts and many rejections along the way. However, here we are celebrating the release of the fantastic debut book today. This week we are kicking off a blog tour with posts that will, hopefully, pique your interest. It's a brilliant high seas fantasy adventure that will take you to some amazing places. The book will be published on the 18th April 2019 by Orion Children's Books. It's going to be an epic trilogy that you will not want to miss. #StormAndSorrow

If you would like to know more about this book then please check out my book review HERE. So let us start this interview by welcoming Bex Hogan.

Your debut book, Viper, is the first book in the Isles of Storm and Sorrow. What can we expect and why should we read it? 
Viper is a YA fantasy adventure set on the high seas. The first in a trilogy, it follows Marianne, the Viper’s daughter, who has to choose whether she’s prepared to sacrifice everything to fight against her cruel father. You can expect corruption, betrayal, magic and romance, all set against a backdrop of beautiful islands and dangerous oceans. At times it’s brutal and bloody – so if any of that appeals and you fancy a read, you’d make a writer very happy.

How and where did you get the idea for this book? 
As so many of my ideas do, it came in a dream. It was a very vivid scene and when I woke up, I just had to know more about these characters. And what was going to happen next? What had led them to this point? 
Though the story has evolved through many drafts, this scene is still in the book, exactly as I dreamt it. 

Did you let the story and the characters take you on a journey or did you map out the whole plot and know exactly what you wanted to write? 
To start with, it was definitely a case of going on an adventure with my characters, just to get to know them, and glimpse the world they inhabited. But then there comes a point where you need to take the map back from them and plot your own course, otherwise, you could be wandering a bit aimlessly. And with plotting out a whole trilogy, it’s definitely important that you know where you’re going and why. 

What real-life inspirations did you draw from the worldbuilding within your book? 
Growing up in Cornwall near the coast, seeing the sea stretching beyond rugged cliffs every day, was a huge inspiration for the Twelve Isles. We used to go to the Isles of Scilly too, for holidays, island-hopping in boats, and they were very much my template for a world of islands connected by an ocean. 

Where is your preferred place to write? 
My favourite place to write is at my desk in my writing room. I was very fortunate that we were able to convert our garage a couple of years ago, so I have space to be creative. I would like to pretend that it’s a tidy desk, but the truth is I’m usually buried beneath a pile of paperwork, and notebooks full of jotted down ideas. And more paperwork. 

How important are stories to you? 
Stories are everything – I think they are to most people in one form or another. They can be friends when you are lonely, teachers when you need guidance, an escape when life becomes too much. They can carry the weight of history. Shape societies. Or simply entertain. 

Some of my favourite memories from childhood are the quiet ones where my mum would read to me, or my brother would make up stories for me on a moorland walk. I think the tales they told knitted their way into the fabric of my being, and will always stay with me. 

What genre of books do you like to read? Do you limit yourself to reading only the genre that you write yourself? 
The only requirement I have is that a book tells a good story, simple as that. It can be in any genre, although I do have a soft spot for historical novels, and of course, fantasy. But ultimately, all I want is to be swept away, to fall in love with characters and their lives, and to miss them when they’re gone. So not too much to ask!

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Louie Stowell (Author), Davide Ortu (Illustrator) - The Dragon In The Library - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Coming out in June 2019 is the first book in a brand new series by Louie Stowell. The Dragon in The Library, which will be published by Nosy Crow, will soon hit the bookshops and libraries near you. The book will have amazing Neon artwork which you will be able to see from Mars. Whilst the book cover image has been fabulously illustrated by the very talented and rising star Davide Ortu. His collaboration makes this book a little extra special. Below is one of the inside illustrations to show you just how wonderful and engaging his artwork and the story together really are. 

The book is aimed at the younger reader (approx. age 6 and upwards) so it makes it a perfect family or classroom read. The fantastic theme running throughout the story is about the power of reading. It looks at saving our public libraries regardless of the individual and worldwide situations we face. The best gift that we can give our children is to freely access books. In doing so, we can feed their imagination and help them to understand the world around them. This book does that in a number of exciting ways.  

It's the first day of the summer holiday and the start of the hunt for Danny Fandango. Kit can't STAND reading, but when she's dragged along to the library by her two best friends, Josh and Alita, she makes an incredible discovery. Books are MAGIC and dragons are REAL. Stories can make dreams even bigger. She comes to realise that you won't and can't die of boredom in a Library. Unfortunately, it needs to be saved first.

This is a fantastic story about friendship and saving the local library from being torn down. The book features a lovely cast of characters who represent a diverse range of cultures. Their opposing personalities make the storyline very playful and engaging. It's definitely a story full of imagination. Such as jumping in and out of stories, literally, just like Marry Poppins. 

This story is a thrilling slice of fantasy, action, and fun. It has a fast-moving plot full of spells, wizards, dragons, monsters, and a very bad villain. All of this created a magically immersive outing but with a great message to be told. This is a great start to a series which should not be missed. 

Without libraries, the WORLD will END. 

Monday, 8 April 2019

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - Top Four Teens/Young Adult Book Picks April 2019

This April Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books has read some of the best Young-Adult Fiction books this year. All my personal favourites are published this month, which is amazing. You'll find some links to the book reviews below if you would like to find out more. YA books do not get much better than this - check them all out. Have a good week. 

Scarlett Thomas - Galloglass: Worldquake Sequence Book 3 - Published Canongate Books (4 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1782119333 - Hardback 

Effie Truelove and her school-friends Lexy, Wolf, Maximilian and Raven must use their magical skills to defeat the Diberi, a corrupt organisation intent on destroying the worlds at Midwinter.
But during a visit to the Otherworld, Effie is mistaken and imprisoned for being a galloglass - a dangerous, selfish islander. Meanwhile, Lexy is threatened by the vile professor Jupiter Peacock and Wolf embarks on a perilous journey to find his missing sister.
And back at school, Neptune the cat is bored. He's used to lording it over the other stray cats, but they've all mysteriously vanished. Where could they be - and how will he find them?
Can Effie and her friends reunite before total destruction is wreaked upon the universe?

Bex Hogan - Viper: Book 1 (Isles of Storm and Sorrow) - Published by Orion Children's Books (18 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1510105836 - Paperback - See Book Review HERE

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life - to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles - but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.
Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.
But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.
He's the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne's father.
She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves - and perhaps even her life?
A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

Charlie Pike - Jacob's Ladder - Prepare to be Born Anew - Published by The O'Brien Press (1 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1788490405 - Paperback - See Book Review HERE

We have heard your call You no longer need to fear. You will receive five messages, of which this is the first. The last message will inform you of the time and place of your salvation. Two hundred years from now, the earth is dying, scorched by powerful flares from the sun. A series of messages from an alien civilization sent to humanity over two centuries promise rescue to those strong enough to survive on their planet. Initiate Leon is a member of the True Path warrior culture and preparing for his Rising. But when his test comes - to kill in cold blood - he cannot do it. To redeem himself, he must journey to find the earth's fifth and final message from the Saviours, with the help of his resourceful servant, Martha. Out in the wild, Leon discovers alarming changes in his body - he can drink water through his skin, and has poison barbs buried deep in his flesh. Martha reveals to him the secret that the True Path have kept from him all this time: Jacob's Ladder, an adaptation for life on the alien planet, has lain dormant in his genes and is now being activated. He is part alien and part human, and he is in grave danger from those who wish to take what is in his body. An ambitious YA novel for fans of Patrick Ness, Rick Yancey and James Dashner.

Kesia Lupo - We Are Blood And Thunder - Published by Bloomsbury YA (4 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1408898055 - Paperback - See Book Review HERE

A stunning and original YA fantasy from a fantastic new talent. 
In a city where magic is feared and the dead are worshipped, life is overshadowed by a powerful and devastating storm cloud. 
One young woman is running for her life. Another is trying to return home. Both are looking for a place where they belong. 
But what Lena and Constance don't realise is that the storm cloud binds them. Without it, neither can get what she desires.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

New Children's & Young Adult Book Picks April 2019 - Post One - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Here at Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books, we have another cracking and exciting month full of fantastic children's book releases. Every book is a fantasy adventure story that you can get lost in. So, we would like to recommend the following books to you. This is the first of four book recommendations; there's something here for every reader. Check them out and see what you think.

Danny Wallace (Author), Jamie Littler (Illustrator) - Hamish and the Monster Patrol - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's UK (18 April 2019) - Paperback - Age: 8+
Get ready for another hilarious adventure from bestselling author Danny Wallace brought to life with illustrations from Jamie Littler, perfect for fans of David Walliams, Roald Dahl, David Baddiel and David Solomons!

Things are afoot in Starkley... again! Out in the ocean something's on the move ... something BIG ... something that might change everything ...

While most of Starkley's inhabitants have fled or gone into lockdown, Hamish and his pals in the PDF are coming up with a plan, because if they don't save the world then who will?!

But this time they’re not alone. Luckily, the top-secret Monster Patrol is on hand to help … even if that ‘help’ is in the form of a strange new kid, a bizarre-looking fish monster and a bonkers old lady…

Pádraig Kenny - Pog - Published by Chicken House (4 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1911490395 - Paperback - Age: 9+

David and Penny's strange new home is surrounded by forest. It's the childhood home of their mother, who's recently died. But other creatures live here ... magical creatures, like tiny, hairy Pog. He's one of the First Folk, protecting the boundary between the worlds. As the children explore, they discover monsters slipping through from the place on the other side of the cellar door. Meanwhile, David is drawn into the woods by something darker, which insists there's a way he can bring his mother back ...

Anthea Simmons - Lightning Mary - Published by Andersen Press (4 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1783448296 - Paperback - Age: 9+
Ordinary is what most people are and I am not. I am not ordinary at all. I am a scientist. One stormy night, a group of villagers are struck by lightning. The only survivor is a baby - Mary Anning. From that moment on, a spark is lit within her.
Growing up poor but proud on the windswept Dorset coast, Mary follows after her father, hunting for fossils uncovered by waves and landslips: ancient creatures, turned to stone. Ignoring other people's taunts, Mary faces danger to bring back valuable treasures to help feed her family. But tragedy and despair is never far away. Mary must depend upon her unique courage and knowledge to fulfil her dream of becoming a scientist in a time when girls have no opportunities for such ambitions. What will happen when she makes her greatest discovery of all...?

Andri Snaer Magnason (Author), Bjorg Arnadottir (Author) - The Casket of Time - Published by - Yonder (11 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1632062055 - Hardback - Age: 9

Sigrun is sick of all the bad news on TV and, even worse, that her parents are consumed by it. The economic situation' is so bad they can only hope that someone else will fix the mess. When a new contraption called TimeBox (which will allow people to hibernate through the bad times) comes onto the market, Sigrun's family - along with everyone else - decides to sleep through the troubles. But something goes wrong, and Sigrun wakes up too soon. The city is in ruins, unruly forests and wild animals have taken over the streets, and all the grown-ups refuse to wake up. The only signs of civilization are a band of kids like Sigrun, led by Grace - a grandmotherly and mystical researcher. The world, according to Grace, is under an ancient curse. She tells them the myth of Obsidiana, a princess trapped by a greedy king who had conquered the world and now wanted to conquer time. Believing he was protecting Obsidiana from dark and gloomy days, he put her in a crystal box made of spider silk woven so tight that time itself couldn't penetrate. Part Sleeping Beauty and part Snow White, the old fairy tale starts to sound like a prophecy Sigrun and her new friends are living through. Now it's up to them to break the curse, save their families, and mend the world before it's too late.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Thomas Taylor - Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea) - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

This is the perfect book to read this summer. It's a story of dreams told straight from the author's head on a perfect day walking along the local beach. The lure of treasure washed up by the tide has formed this brilliant story into a magical marvel. It's an atmospheric holiday adventure that you will not be able to put down. The book will be published on the 2nd of May by Walker Books with a brilliant and striking book cover image by George Ermos. I'd buy it just for the enticing cover alone.

The book is set in Eerie on Sea and follows a wonderful pair of characters called Herbie and Violet. Both of whom find themselves washed up together in the basement of the Grand Nautilus Hotel with the cries of "Help Me". High on an adventure and, with a mystery to solve, the detecting duo set out in a swirl of mist and crashing waves to uncover the disappearance of Violet's parents. You will hurtle into a fantastically written heroic story full of quirky and creative imagination that is the trademark of Thomas Taylor. I particularly loved the names of the characters and places; the great whimsical play on words really made me chuckle. 

A trip to the Eerie Book Dispensary uncovers the legend of the Malamander but could it really be true?  What does this have to do with Violet's missing parents? This for me is when the magic comes together. With the mix of the mythical beast (the Malamander) and a meremonkey, it sets the riddles going and the fantasy hunger racing. The story is fraught with perilous danger and a howling wind as the characters discover that Violet's missing parents might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster (the Malamander) and a local writer called Sebastian Eels. This is the evil villain and he plays his part really well. Also, look out for Boathook man, lurking in the misty shadows. These provide the perfect backdrop for the story as it is laced with a Whitby gothic eerieness that will plunge the reader into the darkness of folklore and mayhem.  

You will absolutely crash through this brilliant book as you ride the waves on a vortex of magical fantasy. All of which come crashing down, at various points, with the spray of intrigue and danger. You will dig up beach treasures including glass that sparkles light on the search of clues to uncover the truth. It's a feast of a plot that will certainly make you want to eat fish and chips at SEEGOL'S DINER. Especially to console yourself when the story reaches the climatic and brilliant ending.  

This story is full of hope and eccentric characters; it sucks you into the immersive world and catapults the reader into fantasy oblivion. It's a story that will be read and loved. Hopefully, more are to be written in the future. In the meantime, book your trip to the seaside town of Eerie on Sea. Pre-order here NOW BEFORE the Malamander strikes.