Showing posts with label Knights Of. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knights Of. Show all posts

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. 

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Elle McNicoll - Show Us Who You Are - (Knights Of) Book Review (Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books)


Some books are really special as they just hit you right between the eyes. This is the second book by Elle McNicoll entitled Show Us Who You Are and it will certainly knock your socks off. Published by Knights Of on 4th March 2021 with a stunning book cover illustration by Kay Wilson. After reading the blurb, the concept of this story was very intriguing. However, I did not expect the totality of the story inside. What do you think if you were made perfect after you die?

In all honesty, this is not a book I would normally seek out and buy. With everything we are all going through, I'm mainly reading magical fantasy. I'm really looking for worlds that are uplifting and make you feel good - that type of plot. In contrast, this is not that type of book and maybe a tricky read if you are not in the right frame of mind. However, sometimes you have to bite the fantasy bullet and give it a go. This book certainly provokes a lot of thought - it is inspirational and challenging.  

If you do feel able to read this and to have your emotions scattered on the wind then you will not be disappointed. This book asks so many questions of the reader and is one of the saddest books I've read for a long time.  You really immerse yourself in the world of the two main characters. Cora and Adrien are two peas in a lonely pod (Cora is Autistic and Adrien has ADHD). The author has portrayed them both so well and with such understanding, it is magnificent and so heartbreaking to read. In some places in the story, there was even a tear running down my cheek. 

The plot is so clever - it is a great story in which to write both characters into. I don't really want to mention the plot details of the story as I want you to read this book open-minded. However, themes are around being different and accepting that being normal might not always be the way forward.  

This is a black and white story told in a technicolor rainbow that showers empathy and emotion. It's a holographic 3-D experience that will cut through daily life by showing diversity through the working minds that we should all read and hopefully begin to understand. Everything is told with immense compassion and bags of heart. Every page is packed full of adventure, technology, holograms, sorrow, and some timely mischief that slices some of the emotional tension away. It's a five-star read - it's something different and unique that should be read and loved.