Showing posts with label June 2022. Show all posts
Showing posts with label June 2022. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Hana Tooke (Author), Ayesha L. Rubio (Illustrator) - THE MIDNIGHTERS - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

 


The best stories feel like dreams... This is the second middle-grade book by Hana Tooke. THE MIDNIGHTERS has the power to transport you in your dreams to one of the best places in the world; the world of fantasy and make-believe. This book really is magnificent - you only need to hold and see the proof copy to know that it is going to be a great read. The book will be published on 23rd June 2022 by Puffin Books; the cover has been illustrated by Ayesha L. Rubio. I'm really looking forward to seeing the final hardback copy once it's been published. 

Streetlamps looked like fallen stars is one of the first lines in the book. As soon as you read these words, the magic and the power instantly transport you into a world of awe and wonder. This is a gothic story full of magic, invention, and intrigue. The dark and unsettling nature is so delicious to read and savour, it really is spellbinding stuff. The reader follows in the footsteps of the leading character happily wandering the streets and alleyways.

Ema Va┼íkov is the twelfth child to be born into an extraordinary family in extraordinary circumstances. She has the gift to predict events before they happen. However, will the bad omens come TRUE? Set in Prague in December 1877, the story uncovers secret midnight adventures with a mystery girl called Silvie. Unfortunately, she suddenly goes missing providing the opportunity to uncover the secrets of her disappearance and her identity. This story will really take your breath away; it'll steal your heartbeat as you cycle on one of Josef's handmade boneshaker bikes. It's full of places that will make your imagination explode and dazzle whilst the plot is so thick with possibilities you will not what to miss this adventure. 

This book is a true delight and one of the best reads of the year. It's a story full of adventure, friendship, facing fears, and finding out who you really are. It's time for you to find the secret society and go behind the four different doors: The Dreamer, The Illusionist, The Bone Sculptor, and The Astronomer. Each place contains a pinch of magic, a splash of the macabre, a dollop of invention, and a world full of wonder. You will not be disappointed - this is a truly enchanting read that is up there with the very best. 



Monday, 25 April 2022

Alake Pilgrim - Zo and the Forest of Secrets - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books



Are you looking for a fantastic read this summer? Then look no further as we definitely have the book for you. This is a fantastic middle-grade adventure - a Caribbean masterclass of storytelling - by debut children's author Alake Pilgrim. Zo and the Forest of Secrets will be the first book as part of a new series which will be published on 2nd June 2022 by inclusive publisher Knights Of. The story is based on the island of Trinidad & Tobago which gives this plot a wonderful backdrop to base the story. It really gives it a multicultural infusion as it breathes life into the story with descriptive panache.   

The story has been inspired by the idea that "every child deserves to be the hero of their own stories". Lenny Henry raised a similar point recently stating that he wanted to create characters that young children could identify with as this was something he found difficult as a child. As an avid young reader, he often wanted to go on a fantasy journey with a character that looked and felt like him. Therefore, it's important that books provide children with a sense of enjoyment but also enable them to identify with the story whether this is through the characters, settings, story themes/topics etc. In this book, the author reflects the connections with different countries to her own island of Trinidad & Tobago. 

There are a number of topical and important themes that are covered in this book such as family, friendship and eco-consciousness. However, what I really loved about this book is its brilliance and uniqueness - it's 100% bonkers. The story starts with a shroud of mystery and strange unexplained visions. When Zo finds a lost boy called Adri drowning in the river, she must uncover the mysteries of the forest to find their way home. The journey brings more surprises including a spider with a mechanical twitching arm called Cap'n Peg! This character actually brought tears to my eyes as I was laughing so much. I'm really looking forward to more antics in the next book through the eyes of the main character and their unusual cluster of spiders

The synopsis does not really do this book justice in my opinion. What the story has to tell is a different narrative. It's a read for a seasoned armchair explorer willing to undertake a fantasy exploration through an exotic forest. Expect to encounter an abandoned facility that may hold a few answers whilst encountering a cavern full of disturbing nightmarish creatures called X. You'll dance, skip and hop from one dangerous situation to another whilst smelling the flora and fauna along the way. You'll fully immerse yourself in colour and song as you join one of the best imaginative fantasy journeys this year. Take my advice and give this book a read. You can pre-order from all good bookshops.