Sunday, 18 January 2009

E.E. Richardson - The Soul Trader

Review by Mr Ripley

This seventh novel from talented young writer Elizabeth Richardson, won't disappoint her fans. It's another spine-tingler that will have you gripped from the start. As with her other novels, Elizabeth skilfully sets the drama against a backdrop of friendship and family tensions, making her stand alone in this genre. The main character Nick Spencer finds himself making a deal which is going to turn his world upside down.
This book is a cross between the authors F.E Higgins and Robert Westall which makes it a great read.This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth and it has made me want to read more.Four out Five, could've done with a little more content, otherwise a super read.


When Nick Spencer stumbles upon Bargains, the odd little back street shop seems like the perfect place to buy the present he's been searching for. And when the shopkeeper wants to take some of Nick's artwork instead of money for payment, he's even happier. But Nick soon realizes that the deal he's made is not quite the bargain he thought it was. His drawing skills have disappeared, and when he returns to the shop he finds himself trapped into a job he didn't sign up for, collecting debts for the mysterious Mr Grey. As his assignments grow steadily more and more traumatic and the shop takes over more and more of his life, the question becomes not when he'll earn his way out ...but if he'll ever get out.

Published by Random House 5 Feb 2009

About the author:

E.E. Richardson is a twenty-four-year-old cybernetics graduate. Her first novel, The Devil's Footsteps, was published to great critical acclaim shortly after she graduated from university.


The Devil's Footsteps (2005)
The Intruders (2006)
Devil for Sale (2007)
The Summoning (2007)
The Soul Trade (2008)
Grave Dirt (2008)
The Soul Trader (2009)

Thanks for reading.....

Friday, 16 January 2009

Victoria Laurie - Oracles of Delphi Keep

Mr Ripley's Review

I have jumped the gun in reviewing this book as it's not out until May 2009 in the U.S. When I read the synopsis for the book I wanted to read it straight away and so I did.This great new title starts off on the southern coast of England in a place call Delphi Keep which is an orphanage for young children.They have a lead role in the adventures they take to deal with an ancient prophecy and the dark side of evil life.Their journey takes them to Morocco via a magic portal to the ancient city of Larache.It's a great story which is full of story and plot and keeps you interested all the way through the book.The journey the children take is amazing and very readable and left a great impression on me.This is one of the best books I have read to be released over the water and a must for every book reader who loves childrens' books..... Five out of Five one to read again........

Next book in the series is:
Curse Of Deadman's Forrest which should be out in May 2010

Along the southern coast of England, atop the White Cliffs of Dover, stands a castle. And at that castle’s old keep is an orphanage. Delphi Keep has seen many youngsters come and go through its gates, and Ian Wigby and his sister, Theodosia, are happy to call it home. Life has always been simple at the Keep, and the orphanage safe, until one day, Ian and Theo find a silver treasure box. And within the box, a prophesy. Three thousand years ago a great Greek oracle wrote of a quest. A quest on which the fate of the world depends. A quest that names two children—Ian and Theodosia. Suddenly Delphi Keep is no longer safe. And Ian and Theo, along with a very special group of friends, realize they must unravel the meaning behind the scroll of Dover cavern before darkness falls on the world. And before an unfathomable evil catches up with them.

Book published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers May 2, 2009

Books arrived this week - P.B Kerr The Children of the Lamp - The Eye of the Forest

The magical wings of an enchanted bird has seen some new books fall out of the sky to land promptly on the kitchen table this week in the Ripley household..........
Some of the books of interest.......

The first book is the new P.B Kerr book which is the next instalment of The Children of the Lamp series entitled "The Eye of the Forest".Which has just been published in the U.S and will not come out in England till April for some reason.Looks a good read.


An ancient Incan prophecy leads the Gaunt twins deep into the heart of the Amazon, in search of a cursed portal that has remained hidden for centuries. Along the way, they come across their old friend Dybbuk, but it's not a happy reunion. Dybbuk has lost all his djinn powers and is desperate to get them back - even if it means destroying the world. Can John and Philippa stop him before it's too late?

Other books received this week:

Daniel Kirk - Elf Realm (The Low Road) Great book cover!!! Out Now Amulet books U.S


When Matt and his family move to their family's new development, they don't realize that they've inadvertently stumbled into the middle of massive upheaval in the Fairy world. With the elves' territory disintegrating, and dark factions looking to seize control, apprentice mage Tuava-Li must defend her territory - even when that means cooperating with Matt, a human and their natural enemy. Matt just may hold the key to keeping the elf realms from certain destruction.

Also we have N.D Wilson Dandelion Fire Book 2 of the 100 Cupboards which i have mentioned before. U.S release

And two new U.K books :

E.E Richardson - The Soul Trader - out Feb 2009 - Random house

Andy Mulligan - RIBBLESTROP - out April 2009 Simon and Schuster looks a good read.


Roofless dormitories, distracted teachers and a lethally dangerous underground labyrinth - Ribblestrop's visionary headmaster is out of his depth even before the pupils arrive! And when they do - what a bunch! There's Sanchez, a Colombian gangster's son hiding from kidnappers; Millie, an excluded arsonist and self-confessed wild child; Caspar, the landlady's spoiled grandson; the helpful but hapless Sam and his best friend Ruskin, plus a handful of orphans from overseas, who are just happy to have beds - even if they are located in a roofless part of the building...Anything could happen - and anything does!

I will try and get reviews up soon. And thank you all for sending any of the above books to me.Also if any one would like to review books for this site please let us know.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Waterstones Children's book prize List 2009

This is the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize shortlist for 2009.
This is a hard one to call and best of luck to you all as you are all winners in my eye's..................

The books on the list are:

How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant by Elen Caldecott (Bloomsbury) 5 Jan 2009

Kirsty Jenkins adores the allotment her grandfather lovingly tends and, just before he dies, he asks Kirsty to look after it for him. But when horrible Mr Thomas from the council insists it must go to the next person on the waiting list, Kirsty is determined to find a way to keep her promise. After pleading with Mr Thomas and demonstrating at the council offices, Kirsty and her half-siblings undertake their most daring plan of all: to 'borrow' the stuffed elephant from the museum that Mr Thomas loves so much, in a last-ditch attempt to gain his attention and understanding. Perhaps this risky ruse might also shake Kirsty's dad from the quiet sadness he has fallen into ever since her grandfather died. A warm, funny and moving novel about family relationships, dealing with bereavement, green beans and marrows.

Zelah Green Queen of Clean by Vanessa Curtis (Egmont) 5 Jan 2009

My name is Zelah Green and I am a Cleanaholic. I spend most of my life on Germ Alert. Or Dirt Alert. It's a miracle I ever get to school.My life was going OK despite that - you know, school, best friend, bad hair days - until four weeks ago. That's when Dad vanished.Now my stepmother has packed me off to a place with some crazy people. So I'm stuck with the Doc and Alice, Lib, Caro and Sol.Sol, who doesn't speak. Sol, who has brown eyes and olive skin. Sol, who I actually want to touch. Now I'm on Flirt Alert!Maybe, just maybe, something good could happen...This is a moving story of one girl's attempt to come to terms with her grief, told with humour and real insight.

Changeling by Steve Feasey (Macmillan) See Review by Mr Ripley Five out of Five

Trey thought he was an ordinary teenager. Then he meets a mysterious stranger, Lucien Charron - luminously pale, oddly powerful, with eyes that seem flecked with fire and skin that blisters in sunlight. Somehow Trey finds himself in a luxury London penthouse, like a Bond villain's lair. It's the heart of a sinister empire, built on the powers of the netherworld - werewolves, vampires, sorcerers, and djinns. And Trey himself has a power that's roaring to break free. Is he a boy or is he a beast?

Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison (Simon and Schuster) See Review by Mr Ripley Five out of Five......................

While visiting her grandmother's house, an old photograph leads Tanya to an unsolved mystery. Fifty years ago a girl vanished in the woods nearby - a girl Tanya's grandmother will not speak of. Fabian, the caretaker's son, is tormented by the girl's disappearance. His grandfather was the last person to see her alive, and has lived under suspicion ever since. Together, Tanya and Fabian decide to find the truth. But Tanya has her own secret: the ability to see fairies. And, after disturbing an intruder in the night, it emerges that someone else shares her ability ...The manor's sinister history is about to repeat itself ...

Gnomes Are Forever by Ceci Jenkinson (Faber) 25 Dec 2008

Burglar trouble! Oli and Skipjack have a plan: to punish mean old Mr Grimble by kidnapping all his garden gnomes. The World's Best Jewel Thief also has a plan: to become very rich by stealing the Black Star diamond from the town museum. When these two plans collide, it's trouble! "Gnomes are Forever" is full of twisty plots, wacky characters and calamitous comedy.

The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen (Oxford University Press) 1 Jan 2009

Spring 1540 I am afraid. You are in grave danger. Mother, will you run away with me if I can free you? The servants call it the Lady Tower: the isolated part of the castle where Eleanor's mother is imprisoned after a terrible accusation. For four years Eleanor's only comfort has been their secret notes to one another. A chance discovery reveals a plot to murder her mother. Now Eleanor must free her before it is too late. But with danger and betrayal at every turn, she can trust no one. Especially not her father. Eleanor must use all her cunning to survive. For she soon realises that it is not just her mother she needs to save . . . but also herself.

The Mapmaker’s Monster by Rob Stevens (Macmillan) I have also read Four out of five

When Christopher Columbus-wannabe Rupert Lilywhite decides to set sail and discover a new land - it's all the rage in the fifteenth century - Walter Bailey and his twelve-year-old nephew Hugo are employed as the ship's mapmakers. And when the sailors do eventually spot a mystery island, it is Walter and Hugo who are dispatched to investigate (nobody else can be bothered). Arriving on a beach of purple sand, the intrepid pair believe that they have found paradise ...until Walter is picked off by a giant flying rat. But with the help of some weird and wonderful talking creatures, including Pigasus the flutterhog, Delphina the water-breathing merphin and Savage, the tiny but fearless mouse, Hugo is given a chance to save his uncle and put his mapmaking training to the test.

Numbers by Rachel Ward (Chicken House) 5 Jan 2009

Since her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else's, a number pops into her head - the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together,

Please let me Know what you think!!!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Jason Bradbury - Dot Robot - Book Review

Mr Ripley's Book Review - (Another great Debut Author for 2009) see other posts.

Jason Bradbury, the UK's best-known face of technology, has been writing for many years.He first became serious about writing, as one half of a comedy double act with David Walliams (Little Britain)and now has progressed into writing his debut children's book entitled Dot Robot.

This fast paced techno-thriller has all the qualities of a great book and is an enjoyable read from cover to cover.It has a quick start and a pacey plot which keeps the reader hooked all the way to the end of the book. A great amount of research has gone into this book which makes it stand out as a vivid cyber world of computers, gadgets and robots. The characters in the book, known as Farley Jackson, Brooke and the Kojimas twins, are of great importance and add adventurous twists to the story. The unexpected end shows a moral dilemma for the characters to respond to.A great read for every one.

Five out of Five and looking forward to the next book in the sequence.........


Congratulations, Jackson. Welcome to MeX.’ billionaire Devlin Lear, founder of the top-secret defence force MeX, has been watching Jackson Farley. He knows he has found a digital genius. Along with three other brilliant gamers from different corners of the world, Lear needs Jackson to join him and stop the criminal heist of the century. And all by the power of the most highly advanced, state-of-the-art robots ever invented. Are Jackson and the MeX recruits as good as Lear thinks? And how does Jackson know quite who to trust when they can never meet face-to-face?

Published by Puffin books 5 February 2009

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Puffin new picks for Feb 2009

Puffin has some great new books to be released in February.

The first book is a debut book by Jason Bradbury Dot Robot..........

Jason Bradbury is the UK's best-known face of technology. Currently hosting The Gadget Show on Five and Royal Television Society award-winning children's science show Gross!, he has spent the last ten years writing and presenting science and technology shows for children and adults. Jason is continually in print in the UK's biggest technology press publications and has weekly slots on Radio Two and Radio Five Live.

Synopsis billionaire Devlin Lear,founder of the top-secret force MeX,has been watching schoolboy Jackson Farley.He knows he has found a digital genius. Along with three other brilliant games from different corners of the world,including two Japanese
siblings and a sassy American schoolgirl, Lear asks Jackson to join him and stop the criminal heist of the century.

And all by the power of the most highly advanced,state-of-the-art robots ever invented.Review to requested

Book two is by Anna Perera Guantanamo Boy.................

Anna Perera was born in London to an Irish mother and Sri Lankan father. She worked as an English teacher in two secondary schools in London, and later became responsible for a unit for excluded boys. She lives in Hampshire, England. Guantanamo Boy is her first teenage novel.


Khalid, a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy from Rochdale, is abducted from Pakistan while on holiday with his family. He is taken to Guantanamo Bay and held without charge, where his hopes and dreams are crushed under the cruelest of circumstances. An innocent denied his freedom at a time when Western boys are finding theirs, Khalid tries and fails to understand what's happening to him and cannot fail to be a changed young man.

Two Different books which will be released 05 February 2009

Friday, 2 January 2009

Frances Hardinge Gullstruck Island

Review by Mr Ripley

Frances Hardinge's imaginative use of words and language makes this book stand out.
The author is famous for the novel "Fly By Night" which in 2006 won the prestigious Branford Boase Award.

Frances has set this story in an imaginative fantasy world which has been cleverly constructed; making it sophisticated. With amazing word building and intelligent wordplay it makes this fantasy story stand out. The words run over you like a gentle sea on a calm sunny day, making it a really good read. It has every ingredient to keep you reading - love; treachery; revenge and jealousy. As well as a strong central character all wrapped up in a light energy known as the world of Gullstruck Island.

This book gets four out five a great book to buy and read and a must for all fantasy book readers.


Arilou is a Lost. She can depart her body and mind-fly with whichever senses she chooses. Hathin is her sister and helper. They live on Gullstruck Island, which depends on its Losts for communication, weather warnings, crime-solving and protection. But the little island has its tensions and is about to face a great threat. It will look to its Losts for safety. Worrying then, that Arilou and her sister share a dangerous secret that must never be discovered. With a blue-skinned assassin chasing them and only a dreadlocked warrior to assist, can the two girls live long enough to assure the future of their island home?

Frances' Biography

Fly by Night - Macmillan Children's Books Oct 2005

Verdigris Deep - Macmillan Children's Books May 2007

Well Witched - Macmillan Children's Books Jan 2008

Gullstuck Island - Macmillan Children's Books Jan 2009

Short stories
Frances has been writing short stories for many years. These have been published in variety of magazines.

"Behind the Mirror" serialised in 'First News', 2007.
"Halfway House" published in 'Alchemy' No. 3, 2006
"Black Grass" published in 'All Hallows', 2005
"Bengal Rose" published in 'Scribble' No. 20, Spring 2003
"Captive Audience" published in 'Piffle' Issue 7, October 2002
"Communion" published in 'Wordplay' Vol. 1, Spring 2002
"Shining Man" published in 'The Dream Zone' 2001

Frances Hardinge is a writer who wears a black hat. Notoriously unphotographable, she is rumoured to be made entirely out of velvet. Sources close to Frances who prefer not to be named suggest that she has an Evil Twin who wears white and is hatless. This cannot be confirmed.

Frances grew up in an old house in rural Kent, England where the wind wuthered. She has always liked dark stories - when she was six, she wrote a short story that included an attempted poisoning, a faked death and a villain being thrown off a cliff - all in just one page! Later she read English at Oxford University amid medieval towers and gargoyle-strung chapels.

Published Macmillan Children's Books 2 Jan 2009

Thursday, 1 January 2009

March 2009 New Books for The U.S.

Some of the best books out in March 2009 in the U.S.

Francisco Stork - Marcelo in the Real World - Arthur A.Levine March 1

Christina Kessler - Trouble in Timbuktu - Philomel March 5

Cassandra Clare - City of Glass (Mortal Instruments) - Margret K.McElderry March 24

Brandon Mull - Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary - Shadow Mountain March 30

James Dashner - The 13 Reality the Hunt for Dark Infinity - Shadow Mountain March 30

I hope to review some of following books in the near future..............Please if you have anything to say please email us as all your emails and comments are welcome and a HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR 2009.......

Sunday, 28 December 2008

New books for March 2009

This is a big old list for March 2009............ some great reads...... I will also be doing a list for new books in the U.S for March 2009 soon.

Also if you want any further information or i have missed any books or you would like us to review a book for you please email us!!!!

Martin Jenkins and Chris Riddell - Don Quixote - Walker Books 2nd March

M.G Harris - The Joshua Files - Ice Shock - Scholastic 2nd March

Paul Dowswell - Auslander - Bloomsbury 2nd March

Lazlo Strangolov - Feather and Bone - Walker Books 2nd March

Andrew Prentice and Jonathan Weil - Intelligencer:The Flint King - David Fickling 3rd

Julia Donaldson - Running on the Cracks - Egmount 3rd March

Sam Mills - Shooting Words - Faber 4th March

Steve Cole and Linda Chapman - Genie and the Phoenix - Red Fox 5th March

Alexander Gordon Smith - Furnace:Lockdown - Faber 5th March

Natasha Narayan - The Mummy Snatcher of Mephis - Quercus 5th March

Mark Haddon - Boom! - David Fickling 5th March

Tracey Morley - The Unravellers - Book Guild Publishing 26th March

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Jonathan Stroud Heros of the Valley

I hope you are all having a Great Christmas if any of you would like to see any thing on Mr Ripley's please feel free to email me. The address is at the top of the page.I am Also putting together a list of some of my favorite reads of 2008.I would be also inteasted in you the reader to find what books you liked in 2008 so get emailing me.

What is Heroes of the Valley about?

It’s the tale of young Halli Sveinsson, who’d very much like to be the hero in question. Certainly he’s got a hero’s heart (brave, reckless, resolute); unfortunately he’s also short and squat, with little stumpy legs and a face like a toad peering out in a rainstorm. Still, this doesn’t stop him trying to emulate the tales of the great heroes of old, much to the annoyance of his parents, his brother and sister, and everyone else in his small Scandinavian village.

Up on the hills are the burial cairns of his ancestors: beyond them legend says sinister creatures named Trows lurk beneath the ground. Halli would like to test this, but society is nice and peaceful; the days of strife are over and swords have been melted down.

Bored and frustrated, Halli rebels against the claustrophobic restrictions of his day-to-day life. When his pranks lead to sudden violence, Halli must set out on a true quest of his own, but he soon finds that life is more complicated than the stories he adores . . .


Stroud’s new book is fresh and imaginative. It’s a tale set in a medieval world that recalls Norse epics and a heroes adventure. This book is truly wonderful and a compelling read for old and new fans alike. Funny and exciting with lots of memorable moments which makes this a timeless journey you will want to read again.

I give this book four out of five as Jonathan always writes like a dream and always a pleasure to meet him on tour.This is some of the events you may be able to go along to.

Publication is Jan 1st. He his launching the book on 8th January in London. Most of the tour will consist of events in schools, which won’t be open to the public. But there are several public events, which are below:

8th Jan – Schools events, store signings and interviews in London
9th Jan – Schools events in Hertfordshire
19th Jan – Schools events in Doncaster and Wakefield
20th Jan – Schools events in York, Leeds, and…

20th Jan Public event in Bolton:
6 – 7pm The Central library, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton BL1 1SE
For more information and to book your seat call 01204 333173
Tickets are free but you must reserve your place.

21st Jan – schools events in Liverpool, Preston and…

21st Jan Public event in Preston
4.30pm Borders, Deepdale Shopping Park, Blackpool Rd, Preston, Lancashire PR1 6AF
For more information and to book your seat call 01772 703856
Tickets are free but you must reserve your place.

9th Feb – Schools events in Coventry, Kidderminster and…

9th Feb Public event in Dudley
7 – 8pm Earls High School, Furnace Lane, Halesowen, B63 3SL
For more information or to book your seat call 01384 816105
Tickets are free but you must reserve your place.

11th Feb – Public event in Wiltshire
7 – 8pm St Mary’s school, Curzon Street, Calne, SN11 0DF.
For more information or to book your seat
Adults £2, children free.

12th Feb – schools events in Oxford

Jonathan is the author of the bestselling Bartimaeus trilogy, as well as stand-alone novels, Buried Fire, The Leap and The Last Siege. Jonathan worked as a children's book editor before becoming a full time writer. He lives in St. Albans with his wife and their two young children.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Morris Gleitzman Then


I was nervous about reviewing this book due to the success and adulation of The Book Thief and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Would it come close to these great modern books emotionally and yet with a different interpretation? I was assured by the publisher that it would and so I undertook the reading task. The style was very different to the above two books even though the story was told through the eyes of a young boy. The short intense sentences held a powerful story which was harrowing and strong. It told the difficulties of the time well whilst explaining the adults and children’s instincts for survival. As well as having inspirational heroic characters with great moral beliefs. The twist at the end came as a surprise and left a choked feeling within. This book is compelling reading and one to have on the list.

Intro to the first Chapter.....

we ran for our lives, me and Zelda, up a hillside as fast as we could.
Which wasn’t very fast.
Not even with me holding Zelda’s hand and helping her up the slope.
You know how when you and two friends jump off a train that’s going to a Nazi death camp and you nearly knock yourself unconscious but you manage not to and your glasses don’t even get broken but your friend Chaya isn’t so lucky and she gets killed so you bury her under some ferns and wild flowers which takes a lot of strength and you haven’t got much energy left for running and climbing.

About the author

Morris Gleitzman was born in 1953 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, and then moved south when he was two.
Then, in 1969, he emigrated to Australia. It was a big change. The heat, the flies and the completely different tinned meats. The shock was so great he stopped reading books for nearly a year. When he started again he found he wanted to write as well. That's when he fell in love with writing books. Since then he's written another 27. And he discovered that telling stories involves filling blank pages in more ways than one.

Book published by Puffin 1ST January 2009

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

More new books Jan/Feb 2009

Morris Gleitzman - Then - Puffin - 1ST Jan 2009 U.K

I had a plan for me and Zelda. Pretend to be someone else. Find new parents. Be safe forever. Then the Nazis came.My name is Felix.This is our story................

James A Owen - The Indigo King - Simon & Schuster Children's - 1ST Jan 2009 U.K

On a September evening in 1931, John and Jack, two of the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica, discover a cryptic warning on a medieval manuscript -- which is not only addressed to them but seems to have been written by their friend, Hugo Dyson! But before they can discover the origin of the strange book, Hugo walks through a door in time -- and vanishes into the past.

And in that moment, the world begins to change.

The Frontier, which separates our world from the Archipelago of Dreams, has fallen. Dark and terrible beasts roam throughout England. No one can be summoned from the Archipelago. And both worlds have fallen into darkness under the reign of a cruel and terrible king.

The only hope to restore the proper order of things lies on a forgotten island at the edge of the Archipelago, where a time travel device left by Jules Verne must be used to race through history itself -- from the Bronze Age to ancient Alexandria and the founding of the Silver Throne -- in one night. And in that single night, John and Jack will find that the only way to save their friend and stop the chaos destroying the world is to solve a 2,000-year-old mystery: Who is the Cartographer?

P.W. Catanese - Happenstance Found - Simon & Schuster Children's 27TH Jan 2009 U.S

A boy named Happenstance wakes up, confused and frightened, with no memory of his past. Soon a mysterious trio arrives to take him away -- including the extraordinary Lord Umber: a merchant, explorer, inventor, and chronicler of all things monstrous and magical. This begins a dazzling adventure in a world filled with frightening and majestic creatures, strange and wonderful places, new friends and terrible foes. As the boy tries to unravel the mystery of his own origin, he also begins to wonder: Who is this Umber? What is the secret he's desperately trying to keep? And what is the destiny he's planned for Happenstance?

N.D Wilson - Dandelion Fire:Book 2 of the Cupboards - Random House - February 24TH 2009 U.S

Henry York never dreamed his time in Kansas would open a door to adventure—much less a hundred doors. But a visit to his aunt and uncle’s farm took an amazing turn when cupboard doors, hidden behind Henry’s bedroom wall, revealed themselves to be portals to other worlds. Now, with his time at the farm drawing to a close, Henry makes a bold decision—he must go through the cupboards to find the truth about where he’s from and who his parents are. Following that trail will take him from one world to another, and ultimately into direct conflict with the evil of Endor.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Henry Chancellor The Remarkable Adventure of Tom Scatterhorn:The museum's Secret

From time to time Mrs Ripley is going to review some of my Favorite books of 2008.
I love the feeling when some one else loves a book as much as you do!!

Mrs Ripley's Review

I began my adventure with Tom Scatterhorn from a free chapter sampler I managed to acquire from a local bookshop I frequent. After several pages I was hooked and by the time I reached the end I knew that my literary appetite was not satisfied. After hunting high and low through Mr Vincent’s prized proof copies; finally I fell upon the missing chapters. Due to a busy workload I was unable to finish this book in one sitting but had time allowed I could have easily managed it. Instead over several nights I wrestled with heavy eyelids to devour just one more page, then one more sentence and finally just one more word. I really enjoyed the composition of the story; time travel and the unusual theme of taxidermy. The twist at the end jolted me back to the beginning prologue involving Tom’s father and his experience with beetles. Which through the main section was not mentioned and totally slipped my mind. I liked the sudden realisation and effect that it left with me. I will be recommending this book and would easily give it a four out of five. Until next time Tom Scattehorn; I look forward to meeting again.


When Tom Scatterhorn's eccentric father disappears to the Far East in search of rare beetles, closely followed by his mother, Tom is left to spend Christmas with his uncle and aunt, keepers of the weird and wonderful Scatterhorn Museum. But don’t get too excited – because it's a dusty, dingy place, full of tatty stuffed animals and rickety cases of junk. Nobody really wants to visit it anymore, and it looks as if its days are numbered.

But when Tom comes to live there, he finds more to the museum than meets the eye. The animals may be ragged and moth-eaten but they have an incredible secret – a secret that originated when the stuffed animals were first made, a hundred years earlier. And then Tom discovers he can go right back to the time of their making. . . .

In an exciting adventure that threads in and out of time, from an Edwardian ice fair to the wastes of Mongolia to the jungles of India, Tom discovers that there is far more at stake than the fate of the museum. . . .

Book was published by Oxford Children's books in September 2008 so you can read a copy now.............

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Steve Feasey Changeling

In this last week I have probably read the best debut books to be released in 2009 so far. That has made it a special week for me. So I'd like say to thank you to Michelle Harrison and Steve Feasey, for writing two such great stories.


Steve has many big acts to follow in this genre of writing. But I think he's produced a great debut book. With a fresh imaginative story encompassing Vampires, Werewolves, Demons, Djins, Sorcerers and a Serial Shopper! It is an action packed mission; lots of fire power with good pace which leaves it set for the next book. This book should appeal to Darren Shan and Dean Vincent Carter fans and indeed give them a run for their money - so watch out. I have to say that I read this book in one sitting; from cover to cover and with great pleasure. This book gets five out of five, well done Steve!!

About the author.

He was born and raised on a council-estate in Hertfordshire, England. At the time he hated living there.He Say's in retrospect, I think that it gave me a good grounding in life that I may not have experienced if I had had a more privileged upbringing. There is something to be said about growing up in a tough environment.


Trey thought he was an ordinary teenager. Then he meets a mysterious stranger, Lucien Charron - luminously pale, oddly powerful, with eyes that seem flecked with fire and skin that blisters in sunlight. Somehow Trey finds himself in a luxury London penthouse, like a Bond villain's lair. It's the heart of a sinister empire, built on the powers of the netherworld - werewolves, vampires, sorcerers, and djinns. And Trey himself has a power that's roaring to break free. Is he a boy or is he a beast?

Changeling is published by Macmillan Children's Books out Jan 2 2009

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Michelle Harrison The Thirteen Treasures

Michelle Harrison's debut book flows with energy from page to page; with a magical enchanting story which kept me gripped. This book holds everything for me. Faeries causing mischief, goblin beatings, witches living in caravans and a big old house with secret passages. It has all the ingredients to do very well; I devoured each page. I enjoyed following Tanya and Fabian through their adventure and all the highs and lows which came with this journey. All in all it's a little treasure and the first of many I hope. I can't wait for the next installment!! So get writing Michelle!!

I give this book five out five; it should do really well next year. One to watch out for.


Even as a small child Tanya had known her grandmother's manor to be
home to many secrets. Like everyone, she had heard of the disused escape tunnels rumoured to run beneath the house. And like most children, she spent many a rainy afternoon hunting for their concealed entrances, only to meet with disappointment. Upon reaching her teens Tanya had long given up hope of stumbling upon one of these secret passages, and had begun to question whether they existed at all.
So when the bookcase had revolved in the wall before her to reveal a narrow stone staircase leading down into musty darkness, it hadn't altogether come as a shock. Nor though, did it bring the delicious thrill she had so long anticipated, for the circumstances leading to its discovery were quite different from what she had imagined.

About the Author
Michelle Harrison is 28 years old, and an editorial assistant in children's publishing. She is a former bookseller at Ottakars/Waterstones in Stafford. Originally from Grays in Essex, she is a keen illustrator as well as writer and now lives in Oxfordshire with her partner. The Thirteen Treasures is her first novel and a sequel is to be published in 2010.

Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Books 5 Jan 2009

Monday, 8 December 2008

Books recommended for 2009 Part one

I am like a kid in a sweet shop when it comes to books; hence I am always looking ahead to see what new books are coming out. Here are some of the books of note which should hit the book stores next year. All of these titles are worth a look. I hope you enjoy reading each synopsis and that they get you excited to the point that you need to read them immediately.

I am always looking forward to some feedback in any of the post.So please do so.

Book One (one to watch)

By Philip Reeve -Fever Crumb

The long-awaited prequel to the critically acclaimed and award winning Mortal Engines quartet. Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

May 2009 Scholastic

Book Two

By Sam Osman - Quicksilver

Three children, born on different continents, mysteriously connected by the power of ancient leylines. What cosmic force brings them to an ordinary London suburb to fulfill a prophesy written in pre-history? Will it explain why their parents have vanished? And the chilling secret of who they really are?
A gripping mystery from a very exciting new writer that links our modern world to the forgotten wisdom of lost civilizations.

I have no more information on this title as i can't find a release date for this book may be published by Scholastic 2009

Book Three

Patricia Wrede - Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic Book)

Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent -- and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild.

Out April 15 2009 Scholastic Press

Book four My tip for for sucsess next year.

Francisco Stork - Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. (cont'd)
He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file -- a picture of a girl with half a face -- that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.

Reminiscent of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" in the intensity and purity of its voice, this extraordinary novel is a love story, a legal drama, and a celebration of the music each of us hears inside.

Out March 2009 Arthur A. Levine Books

Friday, 5 December 2008

J K Rowling the Tales of Beedle the Bard Collector's Edition

Thursday was an amazing day as the snow was falling and everywhere was in lock-down. Roads were blocked, schools were closed and if by magic the postman delivered some great treats. I rushed down the stairs to the postbox like a little child. I was looking forward to receiving my collector's copy of this great book and there it was alongside another parcel; my JK Rowling book and a fantastic new book proof of Paul Stewart's finale the Immortals with amazing embellishments by Chris Riddell. I hope to put a reveiw up soon. So thank you to everyone as I got my Christmas presents early.

JK Rowling's Collectors Edition of The Tales of Beedle The Bard from Amazon. Tucked in its own case disguised as a wizarding textbook found in the Hogwarts library, the Collector's Edition includes an exclusive reproduction of J.K. Rowling's handwritten introduction, as well as 10 additional illustrations not found in the Standard Edition or the original. Opening the case reveals a velvet bag embroidered with J.K. Rowling’s signature, in which sits the piece de resistance: your very own copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, complete with metal skull, corners, and clasp; replica gemstones; and emerald ribbon. As a special gift for fans, the Collector's edition also includes a set of 10 ready-for-framing prints of J.K. Rowling's illustrations, enclosed in a velvet-lined pocket in the lid of the outer case.This is a great edition for ever Potter Fan.


Five Magical short tales are a testament to J. K. Rowling's astounding imagination. After each one, Dumbledore writes his own analysis of the tale, and his personal experience of it ('The Fountain of Fair Fortune' has the funniest commentary). An introduction is penned by Rowling, and the original story is translated by Hermione Granger from the ancient runes they were originally written in (she is given credit, but she does not appear anywhere in the book writing as herself). At the end of the book are a few pages from the charity representative, explaining what the charity does.

Five out Five

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Sean Beech The Ice Crown the Lords of the Moon


This book has to be a great collectible with a small print of 1000 hardbacks on a small book publisher.Book one was Published by Melrose in Sep 2008 with more books to follow in this series. This book is getting a great reputation as more people read it.A strong debut with a well written story also featured in a big news paper recently.

About the author

Sean, 38, wrote his fantasy adventure story The Ice Crown on Army notebooks while an army medic treating the injured and sick in Basra, Iraq.

He joined the Army at the tender age of 16. He recalled: “In between mortar attacks, I had a bit of downtime. It was escapism I needed to take my mind off the harrowing things in Basra.”

Now the married father-of-three has left the Queen Alexander Royal Nursing Corps, in the Light Infantry.

He is now training to become a primary school teacher and is donating half of the book’s profits to the National Literacy Trust.

The book, the first in The Lords of the Moon trilogy is aimed at teenagers.

Whilst serving in the Army Sean said he was saddened by the poor reading standards of many of the young soldiers and added he hoped his book may increase interest in reading for pleasure.


For nearly three hundred years now the Moon lands have known peace. But now suddenly not only has the Ice Crown of man been stolen, but also the Ancient howl of the Fennigan Wolves. But for what purpose? Their theft robs both races of the power to unite their peoples! But who is responsible? The mysterious Fey? The magical mages? Or their lands erstwhile enemy, the dreaded Dark Knights?

Review by: Joanne Lee

A book of darkness and light, of seriousness and laughter. Most authors would not even attempt to combine then two for fear of them becoming tangled up and diluting the power of the other. Sean Beech has achieved this brilliantly as he masterfully weaves the plot through seven characters. The entire 1st book seems to occur in only 3 days yet the action is intense as you switch from one character to the next and relive some of their pasts. The author is obviously setting the scene here for what promises to be an outstanding follow up and I for one cannot wait. I do not but into what people class as genre's of books; are not all books the fantasy of the author. What is the difference in making up a gruesome murder or an adventure at sea. I read books because of the author and if you like author's like Bernard Cornwell, Terry Pratchett, Dan Brown and JK Rowling to name just a few then you will love this. For me a new star has been born and one I will look out for.

I would like to have some feedback on this post.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Maya Snow The Warrior's Path (Sisters of the Sword)

I am having problems finding any details on this author so straight on to the

Kimi dreams of being a great samurai warrior, but she and her sister, Hana, are young ladies of feudal Japan, daughters of the Jito of the province. Her future seems clear: Girls do not become samurai.

Then, betrayal shatters the sisters' world. Their power-hungry uncle murders their father, and their mother and little brother mysteriously disappear. Determined to seek revenge and restore their honor, they disguise themselves as boys to train at a school for samurai. Kimi and Hana are thrown headlong into a life of warrior codes, sharp swords, and shadowy figures—as they work with fierce determination to avenge the brutal wrongs done to their family.

In a flash, life has swept them into a terrible adventure, more heart-pounding than Kimi and Hana ever could have imagined . . . and once it has been set in motion, nothing will ever be the same.


A great read for every girl who has the tomboy within. Well paced and clearly written. You can picture yourself right in the middle of the action.I enjoyed the addition of the Japanese terminology as well. Graphic at points, not for the young reader. Only downside is the open ended ending to the book. Leaving lots of unanswered questions for the next book in the series,which is entitled "THE BLADE'S EDGE ". Which is out in the U.K in June 2009. With the answers to them questions i hope!! All considered, she is definitely an author I would read again Three out Five.

I have used the U.S book cover,as i find it more of eye catching then the U.K cover.This book will be released in the U.K on the 1st Jan 2009 by Oxford Children's books and it's already out in the U.S in a nice hardback edition with Harper Collins.

Also thanks to every one who as sent me books to read and review. With out your help i can't continue to review books on this blog.Also if any one can help me get U.S books to review please contact me at the above email address at the top of the page. Many thanks!!