Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Chris Bradford - Young Samurai - The way of the Warrior Book Review

Mrs Ripley's Review



I first stumbled across this book through a free chapter sampler. I was intrigued but not overly fascinated by the subject content, as it primarily seemed aimed at boys. I bought it all the same but it remained unread until last Sunday. The weather was beautiful, my spirits high and my appetite for a different style of writing needed to be fulfilled. I was not disappointed at any point, I thought this book was a ‘cracker.’ From the very beginning I was captured by Jack Fletcher (the main character), the unlikely crew and the evil ninja pirates.
The style of writing captured the reader’s attention through descriptive action-adventure scenes and thoughtful dialogue. This was stilted at the beginning, as Jack could not converse in the warriors language. However we learnt how to communicate alongside Jack, through the many words introduced in Japanese. I found this both interesting and educational, although I am far from being fluent.
I actually read the book, cover to cover, in one sitting over several hours. I found learning about the warrior’s culture and traditions informative and intriguing. Whilst the book contains many scenes of adrenaline pumping, masculine competitiveness. This is mildly diluted by Akiko (female warrior) who introduces aspects of femininity through her sophisticated bow and arrow work.
A great read, thoroughly entertaining with a lot of intense drama but not too much unwarranted violence. I can’t wait for the sequel, which will not be left untouched for a long period of time like the first. Five out of Five.
For readers 11+

Book Published by Puffin 7 Aug 2008Book Synopsis

August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan – his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by the legendary sword master Masamoto Takeshi, Jack's only hope is to become a samurai warrior. And so his training begins. But life at the samurai school is a constant fight for survival. Even with his friend Akiko by his side, Jack is singled out by bullies and treated as an outcast. With courage in his heart and his sword held high, can Jack prove himself and face his deadliest rival yet?

About the Author

Chris Bradford has earned his black belt in taijutsu, the secret fighting art of the ninja. He has also trained in judo, karate, kickboxing and samurai swordmanship. He lives in the South Downs with his wife and two cats called Tigger and Rhubarb.

The next book is called The Way of the Sword which is out in July.

Synopsis for book two.

One year of training in samurai school and Jack is in real trouble . . . He’s busy preparing for the Circle of Three, an ancient ritual that tests courage, skill and spirit to the limit. And, at the same time, Jack is caught in a running battle with fellow student Kazuki and his gang. But these are the least of Jack’s problems. He knows his deadly rival – the ninja Dragon Eye – could strike at any moment. Jack possesses the very thing he will kill for. Can Jack master the Way of the Sword in time to survive a fight to the death?

Sunday, 31 May 2009

David Wyatt Interview - His life and work



David Wyatt is a great illustrator who has worked with many 'big' authors, one of these can be seen in the photograph above. Have you worked out who it is yet? . . . . . . . Philip Reeve. It has been a privilege to have been in contact with David recently and for him to have kindly agreed to be interviewed by us. So many thanks David, for the time you spared us, we're looking forward to seeing your published graphic novel out in due time.

What project are you currently working on and are there any exciting future projects ahead? If you are allowed to divulge such information!

For the time being, I’ve gone back to doing book covers. Last year I spent most of the time working on Peter Pan in Scarlet and then Mothstorm. This year I was supposed to be doing Geraldine McCaughrean’s abridged version of the original Peter Pan, but the time constraints were such that I couldn’t do a good enough job in the time available, so I had to pass on it. At this stage I’m not sure if it will go ahead at all, but it would make a good companion to ‘Scarlet’. I would prefer to be doing these kind of projects that I can really get my teeth into, but for now it’s back to covers. At the moment I’m working on a couple of things for a New York publisher involving lots of ancient British mythology (which is interesting for me) and also a spin-off from Joe Delaney’s Spook series, which will have some interior illustrations. I’m looking forward to working on Philip Reeve’s sequel to Fever Crumb, which he is currently finishing off.

2) Obviously comic art was inspirational to you earlier on in your career, now that graphic novels are becoming popular would you consider illustrating this type of text?

It’s funny you should ask – I have been working on an idea myself. The problem is fitting it in. I’ve managed 8 finished pages since January, which means the first chapter might be completed by next Spring. It’s frustrating, as I’d like to set aside more time to work on it, so I suppose I’ll have to turn more paid work down to really make a go of it.

3) Have you come close to fulfilling your dreams as an illustrator, or are there any particular achievements or ambitions you have your heart set on for the future?

I’ve been quite lucky so far, having illustrated for many excellent authors. As mentioned earlier, I would like to do more picture books, particularly original ones where there is more collaboration between author and illustrator. I would hope to continue working with Philip, possibly on something in a similar format to Larklight, which was very satisfying to work on.

A working day in the life of David Wyatt"

This is tricky, as there is no typical day. At the moment, Spring is making the outdoors particularly attractive and I’m in a constant state of ‘catch-up’ because I’m out and about a lot enjoying the beautiful area in which I live. Some days I’m painting on the computer, some days I’m using pencils and pens, some days I’m reading manuscripts and scribbling down ideas.
I tend to get up when my body feels like it, then after a cup of tea I walk the dog. The computer is then switched on, and I have a quick look at emails before starting work. I tend to have a bike ride around midday, do a bit more work then visit the local bookshop for a coffee and a chat. I have an allotment, so somewhere during the day I’ll potter about up there for half an hour or so. Then it’s another dog walk, and after tea (unless I’m going out) I’ll keep drawing in order to make up for all the time I’ve squandered avoiding work during the day...

Thursday, 28 May 2009

David Jowsey - Shattered Truths: An'Tsari Trilogy No. 2: The Past Holds a Secret


I am always looking to promote small, up and coming books. It's so hard to get noticed when there are so many good books available. I remember reading "Dragons in the Sky" (book one) by David back in 2006 and really enjoyed the story. It was particularly gripping with different layers to develop different levels of thinking. Now his second book is due out in June, so I thought i'd bring this news to your attention.

Words from the author.

My name is David Jowsey and I am a teacher from Middlesbrough, England. I published a successful children's novel in 2006 and this email is to advertise the release of the forthcoming sequel. I am attempting to achieve as much global interest as possible, and would like to ask you to help me in doing this.

Shattered Truths is written for gifted and talented readers within primary schools, and readers aged 14 and upwards within secondary schools, but both books are not limited only to school age children. Adults of all ages read my first book, enjoyed it, and are eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel....


Books Synopsis

Mars 2039 - Tom Richards knows he has been destined to visit the red planet since his childhood encounter with the An'Tsari thirty years before. Can he protect humanity from a dark and treacherous past, or will the existence of an overwhelming power mean the extinction of the human race? "Shattered Truths" is the eagerly awaited sequel to "Dragons in the Sky", and draws the second chapter of the An'Tsari trilogy to a nail-biting conclusion. Thirty-one years have passed since Tom Richards' terrifying childhood encounter with the An'Tsari, but the fears he has struggled so hard to bury will be challenged once again as the truth behind his own destiny is revealed. Mars: 2039 - Tom Richards knows he has been destined to visit the red planet since his childhood encounter with the An'Tsari but as part of a NASA team, exploring the surface of Mars, he finds himself subjected to startling visions of Mars' past. Amongst the visions stands a sinister figure, but who is he, and why is he so desperate to withhold a secret of epic proportions? With the odds stacked against him by a devastating planet-wide storm, and all contact with Earth lost, Tom must fight to protect the existence of the human race. But how can he confront a dark and treacherous power that threatens to destroy everything the human race has achieved, when the individual behind it turns out to be the person he least expects? "Shattered Truths" is the eagerly awaited sequel to "Dragons in the Sky", and the second installment in the exciting "An'Tsari" trilogy.

Published by a small book publisher Sigel Press 15 Jun 2009

If you would like to know more or order the book please check out the author's web page www.davidjowsey.com

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Daniel Finn - Two Good Thieves - Book Review




Mr Ripley's Review

The city is burning in the South American sun. The river is baked to a trickle of brown water. And a gang of child thieves are out lurking in the city looking to relieve unsuspecting passersby of their valuables. When Demi and Baz steal something big the story takes a turn. The story tells the hardship and living the rough life of Barrio where they are always looking over their shoulder.
I loved reading this book as I was drawn into the children's lives and the journey of the characters throughout the book. A great story adventure with great bouts of action moments layered alongside tension. Some great emotional parts which add to the story, such as when the gangster-type bad guys 'come out to play' all fighting for top dog.
A great debut story and a well crafted plot; building a world where people struggle to live a life without crime. Perhaps not the most original plot but still interesting. I give this book four out of five. I will be interested to see what the author produces next.

Published By Macmillan Children's Books 3 Jul 2009


Book Synopsis

In the searing heat of an unnamed South American city, a gang of child-thieves runs wild. Demi has the gift of speed - he can pick a pocket and be gone before his victim has even noticed he was there. Baz is his lookout - no one sees her unless she wants them to. It's like a game: dodging the law, keeping one step ahead, being the fastest, the cleverest, the best. But one day, almost by accident, they steal a dazzling, beautiful, priceless jewel - and make a very dangerous enemy. Suddenly they're sucked into a world where children's lives are worthless, where the rich and powerful are just adults who steal on a much grander scale, and where secrets are traded like gold. Their only hope is to make a brave bid for freedom - to head upcountry, away from the unrelenting heat, the dried-up river, the only home they've ever known. When good and bad are meaningless, two child thieves become the beating moral heart of an unputdownable thriller.

About the Author

Daniel Finn is a well-travelled teacher and writer who has written several books for younger readers, published under another name. When he started to write Two Good Thieves, he knew it was different from anything else he'd done - so he started to lead a double-life, with two names and two very different writing styles. He lives and works in Surrey, with his wife and two grown-up children. He is currently writing a second book, set in the same country as Two Good Thieves, which will be published by Macmillan in 2010.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

More Books For The Busy Month Of July 2009





Mr Ripley has some more great books to bring to your attention for the busy month of July. Also Some recommended U.S titles for May to get your teeth stuck into.

J.C Bemis - The Mystifying Medicine Show - Oxford University Press - 2, July 2009 Paperback

Orphan Ray has been separated from his sister. The only clue to finding her is a lodestone, left to him by his father before he vanished. The lodestone tugs Ray towards a train bursting with astounding characters. Soon Ray is hurtling across the Wild West, joining in as they perform their enthralling medicine show. But something dark is following the train. Something that wants to steal people's souls. How long before Ray realizes it? And can he and his new friends do anything to stop it?

Michelle Lovric - The Undrowned Child - Orion Children's Books - 2, July 2009 Paperback

It's the beginning of the 20th century; the age of scientific progress. But for Venice the future looks bleak. A conference of scientists assembles to address the problems, among whose delegates are the parents of eleven-year-old Teodora. Within days of her arrival, she is subsumed into the secret life of Venice: a world in which salty-tongued mermaids run subversive printing presses, ghosts good and bad patrol the streets and librarians turn fluidly into cats. A battle against forces determined to destroy the city once and for all quickly ensues. Only Teo, the undrowned child who survived a tragic accident as a baby, can go 'between-the-linings' to subvert evil and restore order.

Rob Stevens - The Mapmaker's Monster:Vampanther Attack! No 2 - Macmillan Children's Books - 3, July 2009 Paperback

In their next hilarious adventure, Hugo and Savage travel to the unchartered mountains of deepest Transylvania, where nothing is as it seems. With a fortune telling cat, an anxious wolf-man and some seriously angry rabbits to deal with, can Hugo rescue Uncle Walter from the clutches of the evil vampanther lord before it's too late?


Picture book recommendation from a great team must check this out.

Julia Donaldson Author and David Roberts Illustrator - The Troll - Macmillan Children's Books - 3, July 2009

Trolls are supposed to lurk under bridges, ready to eat billy goats, and pirates should always dig where 'X marks the spot. But what happens when goats are hard to come by, map reading skills aren't up to scratch and everybody has rumbling tummies? This is a rib-tickling tale, brilliantly woven together by a winning picture book team.


The U.S Book Picks for May 2009 is:

Book One:

Patrick Carman's third book in the Atherton series entitled The Dark Planet Published by Little, Brown Young Readers - May 1, 2009


In the dazzling conclusion to the epic story of Atherton, Patrick Carman takes readers on the most rewarding journey of all, to the perilous realm of The Dark Planet: Earth.

When Edgar discovers a way to leave the mysterious satellite world of Atherton, he couldn't have imagined the gloom that awaited him on the dark planet, where the oceans are toxic, the forests are full of mutant monsters, and children toil in darkness, controlled by ruthless maniacs. Max Harding, an orphan of the Silo, the maker of Atherton, and the last hope of a dying world, left this place behind, and now Edgar is determined to complete the mad scientist's spectacular plan, revealing Atherton's true purpose.


Book Two:


Michael Grant second book Hunger:A Gone Novel Published by HarperTeen - 26, May 2009 Hardback


By It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.

Three months since all the adults disappeared.

Gone.

Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers.

Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.

But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.

The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.


Thanks for reading!

And please email us if you have anything you would like to see on this blog or just pass on some information.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

F E Higgins - The Eyeball Collector - Book Review


Mr Ripley's Book Review

This is my favourite book, out of the series of three, so far. I love the deep and dark sophisticated world of Urbs Umida. It takes a trip in time, to another captivating Gothic tale, of one boys revenge against an evil swindler and actor of great cunning. Hector finds himself embroiled in mysterious deeds and an even sinister plot. Will Hector get his revenge or will it take on a life of its own?
Hector is out to find revenge after his father is swindled (losing everything, including his reputation) and then eventually dies. The story takes the reader on a great journey, leaving them breathless through the fast paced and intricately plotted adventure found on every page. The dark twisted characters make the book and atmosphere come alive. F E Higgins has a great way of writing this type of story. I love the butterfly theme which is intertwined in this story and the riddles that are used throughout the book. The story hooks the reader in and then spits them right back out again. Engaging them in trying to shake off the ongoing account of the inhabitants of the forbidding Gothic house of Withypitts, where the story climaxes to a great ending which fulfills the story. This is a great read for anyone who like bumps in the dark and limbs that run away with friendly cats and servants who like to be sucked dry by leeches just after supper! So I give this book five out of five as I was caught and hooked in this world and only let myself out to feed the great Hairy-Back Hog knocking on my door with a hungry look in it's eye. Tartri Flammis!

Book published by Macmillan Children's books 6 June 2009


Book synopsis

When his butterfly-collector father is swindled to within an inch of his life, a vengeful Hector leaves the city of Urbs Umida in pursuit of a fiendish villain with a glass eye. The trail leads to Withypitts Hall, a forbidding Gothic mansion as warped as its inhabitants and their secret schemes. Soon Hector finds himself embroiled in mysterious deeds more poisonous than his worst imaginings, but every twist and turn brings him closer to his revenge ...The third dark and diabolical book from a devilishly talented author.

About the Author

F. E. Higgins has been fascinated by the macabre ever since seeing a ghostly apparition as a child. Nowadays F. E. travels the lands that these books describe, collecting strange artefacts and the even stranger secrets and stories behind them. The Black Book of Secrets and The Bone Magician, the first results of these eerie explorations, have sold all over the world. When not in pursuit of a story, F.E. may be found in a haunted house in Kent. She sits with quill in hand, a false leg beside her and from the mantelpiece an eyeball watches the words she forms on the page.


Other books by this author.

The Black Book of Secrets (2007)

The Bone Magician (2008)

The Eyeball Collector (2009)

Friday, 8 May 2009

Pete Johnson - The TV Time Traveller



Mr Ripley's word of mouth book for June. Covers the subject of world war in a new concept for children and teachers.


This book really started in a primary school classroom, over thirty years ago.

My favourite teacher, Mr Karr, had the excellent habit of ending each day with a story. But one day, instead, he read aloud from diaries and letters of children who'd been evacuated during the
Second World War. At first I was a bit cross at not having a proper story - but soon I was absolutely riveted. I t stirred up an interest in World War II - and especially life on the home front - which has endured to this very day.

Then, a little while ago, I was chatting with a Year Five teacher who had to teach Evacuation as a topic. She was saying to me. 'It's hard to bring such a time alive to modern children because their lives are so very different with their mobile phones and wall to wall reality television.'

Now, when she said that I didn't exactly jump up and cry ' Eureka' but I tell you, I came pretty close.
And right then I began imagining a reality television show which sent modern children away to live life exactly as those evacuees did, with rationing and gas masks and very strict discipline. Yet, it would also be a 'Big Brother' style show with constant surveillance, evacuees being voted out - and a mysterious command to: 'always expect the unexpected.'

We watch the clash of two very different worlds through the eyes of five children including, Zac. Since the death of his mother, Zac has felt as if he is stuck in a horrible dark void. But his passionate interest in the war years though, has given him a secret door into another time. So the chance to live as an evacuee appears like a dream come true ...

But nothing on a reality television show is what it seems ...

Researching this book has been a special pleasure. I've loved, too, constructing a twisty plot, which asks questions about both life then and now - and I hope too, it shows the past isn't quite as faraway from us as we might think.

Book Synopsis

Zac and Izzy win a place on a new reality TV show, but they have no idea where they're going or what to expect ...They must live as if it's 1939, the start of World War Two. One by on they will be voted out by the viewing public. It's a hard life and, desperate to be the final winner, problems occur. When the live final arrives, the contestants and the audience will all be stunned by what occurs.

About the Author

PETE JOHNSON began work as a film critic for Radio One, then became a teacher. His experiences in the classroom led to his beginning to write and he still keeps contact with a panel of young readers to gain the viewpoint of the actual reader as he writes new titles. He is the author of several titles for the Corgi Yearling list.


Corgi Yearling Books (4 Jun 2009)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

New Children's Books For July 2009 (Hardbacks)



This is some of the best Hardbacks to be released in the month of July. Next post will look at U.S book releases from May-July 2009.

Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell Barnaby Grimes:Phatom Of Blood Alley Doubleday 2 July 2009 (Book Four in a great Series of books by the award winning Duo)

Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad, high-stacking his way across the rooftops of his city in search of adventure and mystery. In each tale, he encounters a supernatural force and must battle the horrors that await him. In the fiercely competitive world of early photography, the rewards are immense but so are the risks. After an experiment goes disastrously wrong, Barnaby finds himself on the trail of a mad chemist with a talent for disappearing into thin air...


James Patterson - Daniel X:Watch the Skies (Daniel X Children Edition) Doubleday 2 July 2009

Daniel X has his work cut out for him. A teenage alien hunter, he has a deadly list of evil predators to eliminate and while he's made it all look easy so far, much darker days await him. Next on his list is number five, an unsightly and terrifying alien who is watching Daniel as intently as Daniel has been tracking him. Number Five kills for thrills but not just for his own. He is operating a sinister entertainment network and innocent people are unknowingly the stars of the show. But while Number Five may have managed to brainwash the public, is he cunning enough to outwit the alien hunter? As the two seek to destroy one another, who will be the ultimate winner? And will Daniel X live to see who is next on his list?


Chris D'lacey - Dark Fire (David Rain) - Orchard 2 July 2009( Book Five in the Happy clay Dragon saga.)


With the Earth on the brink of recolonisation by dragons, David Rain is sent on an important mission: to seek out and destroy a trace of dark fire, the deadliest force in the universe. But with success could come a terrible price, the sacrifice of a beloved clay dragon. How much does the life of one small dragon count, when the alternative is the birth of a darkling...?

Daniel Finn - Two Good Thieves - Macmillan Children's Books 3 July 2009
(Ripley's Recommended Read)
In the searing heat of an unnamed South American city, a gang of child-thieves runs wild. Demi has the gift of speed - he can pick a pocket and be gone before his victim has even noticed he was there. Baz is his lookout - no one sees her unless she wants them to. It's like a game: dodging the law, keeping one step ahead, being the fastest, the cleverest, the best. But one day, almost by accident, they steal a dazzling, beautiful, priceless jewel - and make a very dangerous enemy. Suddenly they're sucked into a world where children's lives are worthless, where the rich and powerful are just adults who steal on a much grander scale, and where secrets are traded like gold. Their only hope is to make a brave bid for freedom - to head upcountry, away from the unrelenting heat, the dried-up river, the only home they've ever known. When good and bad are meaningless, two child thieves become the beating moral heart of an unputdownable thriller.

Linda Buckley-Archer - Time Quake (Gideon) Simon & Schuster Children's 6 July 2009
(Book three in the enjoyable time travel books)
The catastrophic consequences of time travel are now impossible to ignore. Lord Luxon has set his sights on the ultimate prize: America, while, abducted to 1763, Peter and Kate begin to understand that history has arrived at a tipping point. Transformed into an oracle, Kate is able to see the future as easily as the past. Gideon does all he can to help, but he is tormented by the knowledge that The Tar Man, his nemesis, is also his brother. As they pursue him through the dark streets of eighteenth-century London, and the time quakes begin, Peter realises that this monster may hold the fate of us all in his hands.


Marcus Sedgwick - Revolver - Orion books 16 July 2009 A gritty real life adventure.

1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson is alone. Alone, except for the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help. Then comes a knock at the door. It's a man, the flash of a revolver's butt at his hip, and a mean glare in his eyes. Sig has never seen him before but Wolff claims to have unfinished business with his father. As Sig gradually learns the awful truth about Wolff's connection to his father, Sig finds his thoughts drawn to a certain box hidden on a shelf in the storeroom, in which lies his father's prized possession - a revolver. When Anna returns alone, and Wolff begins to close in, Sigs choice is pulled into sharp focus. Should he use the gun, or not?

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

New Children's Books For July 2009 (paperbacks)



It's a busy old month for July. I have picked some of the best U.K Paperback books to be published over the summer month of July.
I will also follow up this post with the more interesting hardback releases. I will also cover some of the best ones to be released in the U.S.



Ali Sparkes - Dark Summer - Oxford Children's - 2 July

It's the summer holidays, and Eddie finds himself strangely drawn to the famous caves at Wookey Hole. He makes friends with the ticket seller there, and before long is allowed to roam wherever he wants. He loves it . . . until the day he gets lost. Just as panic sets in, his hand is taken by a strange girl, about his own age, who guides him to the surface. Gwerren is weird. She's extraordinarily pale with huge violet eyes and white hair - what's more, she won't come out of the caves. As she and Eddie become friends he starts to wonder if she's a ghost. Then Eddie nearly dies in a pothole - and discovers not only the truth, but life where nobody thought it could be . . . A thrilling new novel from the author of the popular 'Shapeshifter' series.

Toby Forward - Travelling Backwards - Anderson Press - 2 July

Franny is upset. Her grandfather is very ill and she realises that he will soon die. She begs her friend Mrs May to give her something to make him better. Mrs May gives her a potion with the warning that Grandfather must not drink too much. The effect is startling. Grandfather becomes much younger and more vigorous with each sip. Of course, he pays no heed to Mrs May's warning until the process of getting younger becomes a little too extreme! He and Fanny are faced with the dilemma: is this really how life should end?

Chris Bradford - The Way of the Sword (Young Samurai) - Puffin - 2 July (Recommended read for boys)

One year of training in samurai school and Jack is in real trouble . . . He’s busy preparing for the Circle of Three, an ancient ritual that tests courage, skill and spirit to the limit. And, at the same time, Jack is caught in a running battle with fellow student Kazuki and his gang. But these are the least of Jack’s problems. He knows his deadly rival – the ninja Dragon Eye – could strike at any moment. Jack possesses the very thing he will kill for. Can Jack master the Way of the Sword in time to survive a fight to the death?

Richelle Mead - Vampire Academy ( book one ) - Puffin - 2 July

St Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school - hidden away, it's a place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St Vladimir's where the girls must survive a world of forbidden romances, a ruthless social scene and terrifying night time rituals. But most of all, staying alive.

Paul Adam -Escape From Shadow Island (A Max Cassidy Adventure) Corgi Children's 2 July (See review for this book)

Max is an ordinary north London schoolboy by day, but at night he performs sell-out public shows as an escapologist - nicknamed The Half-Pint Houdini by the tabloid press. His father, Alexander, was also a world-renowned escapologist, who disappeared two years earlier in the Central American state of Santo Domingo. His body was never found, but Max's mother, Helen, was convicted of murdering her husband by a Santo Domingan court. One evening, after his show, Max receives a visit from a mysterious man from Santo Domingo - Lopez-Vega tells Max that his mother's trial was rigged and, if Max comes to his hotel room the following night, he has something to give him.When Max goes to the hotel, he finds Lopez-Vega dead, shot through the head. The room has clearly been searched by the killer, but what was he looking for? By chance, Max finds a piece of paper hidden under Lopez-Vega's wig. Written on the paper is a sequence of eight numbers - 83521113. What do the numbers mean? Are they a code, or maybe the combination for a lock or a safe? Could they be the key to unlocking the mystery of his father's disappearance and getting his mother out of prison?

L J Adlington - The Glittering Eye - Hodder Children's Books 2 July ( Great local author need to get a copy of this book)

Shabti wakes in a barley field with nothing but a hoe in his hand and a head full of fragmented memories. A vicious master torments his days, working in the fields with no way of escape, until a hole suspended in mid-air, leads him to a room. Two shiny gold eyes glitter back at him. Questions. Who is he? And to where does this room lead?

Amy arrives in Egypt to join her archaeologist father on an excavation. All around her tombs are unearthed, opened, entered. Left to her own devices, Amy discovers a rock. But not just any rock. A great tawny cat stares back at her from its smooth surface, its shiny gold eyes glittering. Questions. Where did it come from? And what should she do now?

When past, present and future collide, it's clear that some things are best left buried ...

Emma Kennedy - Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Frozen Hearts - Macmillan Children's Books - 3 Jul 2009

(One to look out for and a great book cover)

Somewhere between France and England there is an island that no one has ever bothered to discover. On it, lives Wilma Tenderfoot, a determined ten-year old girl who dreams of one day becoming a World-Famous Detective. So she can't help thinking it's destiny when, dispatched from the Institute for Woeful Children to her new home as a live-in skivvy, she discovers that the genius gentleman detective Theodore P. Goodman lives next door. A ten-year-old girl of great determination (and her pet beagle, Pickle) and a World-Famous Detective of great repute might not be the most obvious crime-solving duo - but Wilma Tenderfoot is not about to let that put either of them off! And it looks like their first dastardly case is about to begin ...Feisty but funny, cheeky but charming - Wilma Tenderfoot and her unique mystery-solving methodology is hard to resist!


Sophie Mckenzie - The Set Up (Medusa Project) - Simon & Schuster - 6 July (See review for this one)

Fourteen years ago, scientist William Fox implanted four babies with the Medusa gene - a gene for psychic abilities. But Fox died and the babies were hidden away for years. Now the children are teenagers - and unaware that their psychic powers are about to kick in. Cocky, charismatic Nico thinks his emerging telekinetic abilities will bring him money, power and the girl of his dreams. He's about to find out just how wrong he is...


Cassandra Clare - City of Glass (The Mortal Instrument) book three - Walker Books - 6 July ( already published in the U.S getting great reviews)

In search of a potion for her dying mother, Clary sneaks into the City of Glass and is immediately caught up in a life-and-death battle. As the children of the Moon (werewolves), Night (vampires), and Faerie gather for a war that will rend the heavens, Clary calls upon her untrained powers to control an angel who will save or destroy them all. Readers should be familiar with the first two installments in the Mortal Instruments series, but there is nevertheless plenty of romance, loss, honor, and betrayal to make the journey worthwhile. An experienced storyteller, Clare moves the plot quickly to a satisfying end.

Thanks very much for reading!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Matthew Skelton - The Story of Cirrus Flux - Book Review


Mr Ripley's Review

Matthew Skelton's first published novel was "Endymion Spring." This was a fab book and a hard act to follow.
But three years later, Matthew has just published his second book and the question is, has he produced something as great?
The book starts off in the Antarctic Circle, with one the main characters known as Seaman James Flux, on board the Destiny. The story then follows the adventures of a boy, Cirrus Flux, as he lives his life as an orphan in the Foundling Hospital. His life takes on many dangers, as he faces evil scoundrels trying to gain his divine power. The story swings back and forwards in strands of time, highlighting the on-going story; reeling you into the plot.
Matthew is articulate in his telling of an unusual tale. The many themes and time jumps keeps the reader on their toes. It could have been a dangerous ploy by Matthew but in fact he has created eloquently sequenced and joined time chapters.
I enjoyed reading this book, it was enthralling and more difficult to predict the ending. As the true course of the book wasn't properly established or finalised until later. Four out of five, very different to Endymion Spring but refreshingly good.
Suitable for 9+



Synopsis

‘You shall help me find him still . . . there is nowhere for the boy to hide.’ Orphan boy Cirrus Flux is being watched. Merciless rogues are conniving to steal the world’s most divine power, which they believe Cirrus has inherited. Now he faces a perilous journey through the dirty backstreets of London as a sinister mesmerist, a tiny man with an all-seeing eye, and a skull-collecting scoundrel pursue him. Cirrus must escape them. It really is not safe to give such evil people such incredible power . . .

Book published by Puffin Books 4 June 2009 (paperback)

Quick Fact About Matthew Skelton in 2002 he won the Richard and Judy's short story competition.

Please email me if you fancy doing the odd children's book review as we like to put up more!!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Sophie Mckenzie - The Medusa Project - The Set Up - Book Review


Mr Ripley's Review

This is a great book read which is heading for the bookshelves this summer.
I requested a copy of this book from the publisher as I was very eager to read this book. I'd heard secret whispers about The Medusa Project not knowing who wrote it or what it was. So when it landed in my book pile I had to read it straight away and I was not disappointed in any way.
Sophie is writing out of her skin to deliver this page turner. The great thing about the story is the character relationships the jealousy and the growing up and young adult emotions which adds a gripping reality to the plot. The story is about four teenagers who are all connected by being implanted with a Medusa gene which was injected into their pregnant mothers. The story then goes through a journey of adventure where they discover they have life changing abilities, which they try and come to terms with. I don't want to give much more away to this exciting story. But to sum up, this story is a crazy rampaging teen adventure involving doing what's right in the adversity of wrong-doing. It has great action moments, super goodies and evil doing baddies. This is the first part in a four book project with the second book to be released in January 2010 called Hostage. I'm looking forward to the next installment already. Five out of Five, I'm a new fan of Sophie Mckenzie - great stuff.


Synopsis For the book

Fourteen years ago, scientist William Fox implanted four babies with the Medusa gene - a gene for psychic abilities. But Fox died and the babies were hidden away for years. Now the children are teenagers - and unaware that their psychic powers are about to kick in. Cocky, charismatic Nico thinks his emerging telekinetic abilities will bring him money, power and the girl of his dreams. He's about to find out just how wrong he is..

Published by Simon & Schuster Children's 6 Jul 2009 Paperback

About Sophie McKenzie

Sophie McKenzie was born in London, where she still lives with her son. She has worked as a journalist and an editor and goes boxing training in her spare time. Her debut children's novel, Girl, Missing, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2006. Her second novel, Six Steps to a Girl, published in August 2007. Three's a Crowd is its sequel.

Other books to look out for are:

Girl Missing,Blood Times,Six steps to a Girl,There's A Crowd,The One And Only.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Gareth P Jones - The Thonthwaite Inheritance - Book Review


Mr Ripley's Book Review

This is the first book I have read by this author and I have to say I am glad that I did. It was only by chance that I picked it up to read, yet I found it somewhat refreshing. It's a very quirky book, written in the style of Lemony Snicket. It has a twisted dark theme but still with much humour. It is a "keeps-you-guessing" story which really did it for me.
The main characters of the book are the twins, Lorelli and Ovid. Their sibling rivalry and burning passion to kill each other motivate them. The book gives great accounts, of each different attempt to terminate the other. From killer bees to killer bears and various cases of food poisoning, making the plot for a crack-pot adventure.
The backdrop, of the creepy manor house and even stranger servants, are straight out of the Addams Family. The story builds its devilish ways, as the children find about their parent's strange deaths. Then along comes a crooked lawyer and a devious son adding to the ingredients of the story.
There are some great moments, many humorous, in a story that keeps the reader on their toes right to the very end. Four out of a Five, a great read with some interesting mysteries to be solved.


Book Synopsis

Ovid and Lorelli Thornthwaite have been trying to kill each other for so long that neither twin can remember which act of attempted murder came first. But whoever struck first, trying to take each other's lives is simply what they do. Until one day a lawyer arrives at their house to take stock of its contents, and his accompanying son attracts their attention. Soon a new battle evolves - one in which the twins have to work together to solve the mystery of their parents' deaths. Can Lorelli and Ovid overcome their old animosities, and will they ever get to finish that game of chess?

Published By Bloomsbury 6 July 2009

About the Author

Gareth P. Jones is the author of the Dragon Detective Agency series. Gareth's first novel, The Case of the Missing Cats, was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize. He lives in London.

Dragon Detective Agency

1. The Case of the Missing Cats (2007)
2. The Case of the Wayward Professor (2007)
3. Case of the Vanished Sea Dragon (2008)
4. The Case of the Stolen Film (2008)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Paul Adam - Escape From Shadow Island (A Max Cassidy Adventure) Book Review



Book Review by Mrs Ripley

I wasn't actually aware of this book until I received notification from Random House. The synopsis sounded promising and I was instantly intrigued by the escapology talents of the main character "Max Cassidy" - interestingly (as a side note) do most successful characters have to have short names in this modern day?
Anyway back to the book, it was full of description from the escapology acts, to the penetration of the island and then to the final escape. I particularly liked the way Max involved adult characters to help him overcome some of the more difficult tasks. I felt that this credited the story with some realism - at times "the child defeats adult world alone" can become too incredulous.
The story was fast paced, intriguing, highly descriptive and well co-ordinated. I liked his special regurgitating effect and the use that this trick played within the story. I was pleased he found the letter from his dad at the end, it helped to engage me in speculating the next adventure. I'm looking forward to this next chapter in his adventurous journey. Four out of Five - would recommend to 9+ and all adults.








Published by Corgi Children's books - 2 Jul 2009


Synopsis

Max is an ordinary north London schoolboy by day, but at night he performs sell-out public shows as an escapologist - nicknamed The Half-Pint Houdini by the tabloid press. His father, Alexander, was also a world-renowned escapologist, who disappeared two years earlier in the Central American state of Santo Domingo. His body was never found, but Max's mother, Helen, was convicted of murdering her husband by a Santo Domingan court. One evening, after his show, Max receives a visit from a mysterious man from Santo Domingo - Lopez-Vega tells Max that his mother's trial was rigged and, if Max comes to his hotel room the following night, he has something to give him.When Max goes to the hotel, he finds Lopez-Vega dead, shot through the head. The room has clearly been searched by the killer, but what was he looking for? By chance, Max finds a piece of paper hidden under Lopez-Vega's wig. Written on the paper is a sequence of eight numbers - 83521113. What do the numbers mean? Are they a code, or maybe the combination for a lock or a safe? Could they be the key to unlocking the mystery of his father's disappearance and getting his mother out of prison?

About the Author

Paul Adam studied law at Nottingham University and started his writing career as a journalist. He has written ten critically-acclaimed thrillers for a grown-up audience that have sold widely around the world and have been translated into several foreign languages. Reviews have called his adult books "brilliantly imagined, fiercely authentic and wholly gripping" . Escape from Shadow Island is Paul's first book for children. He lives with his wife and children in Sheffield.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Who Is Marcus Alexander? Author Interview from the writer of Who Is Charlie Keeper?


An amazing opportunity arose to ask the increasingly popular author Marcus Alexander a few questions. From the brief contact I have had with him it is clear that he is a man who likes to remain private. Not one for the public domain of "celebriatism" as many authors appear to throw themselves into the limelight.
I'd like to thank Marcus for his time and eloquence in allowing a small piece of insight into his thoughts and life. I hope you enjoy reading and learning about the man behind the great book.

1) Who is Marcus Alexander? Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Erm....actually a little shy when it comes to exposure so I tend to keep details to a vague minimum. A really vague minimum. I can tell you that I have big ears that stick out at right angles and a fondness for vertical snowy slopes.
Oh and I’m a caffeine junkie but don’t tell anyone that okay.

2) Do any of the characters represent parts of personality or personal traits?
Yes, there’s a little something of me in many of the characters, particularly the ones that tend to put their foot in their mouth on a regular basis. Or food for that matter too.



3) There are so many different styles of writing in your book. Are you inspired or influenced by any other author/s?
I’m more influenced by my years of travel, I find that’s my greatest inspiration for writing. Other writers don’t inspire me as such but if they’re good they sure tend to set my thumbs twitching for a good read and a quiet place to get stuck in to the pages.



4) You say there is a sequel, are you writing it at the moment? When do you see it being in the reader's hands?
There is a sequel on its way, ‘Charlie Keeper and the Darkness’ and if I can shunt some of this marketing and distribution onto someone else’s shoulders it should be coming out fairly soonish.

Hopefully after teatime.



5) How would you feel "releasing" your book to a publishing or film production company if they were to approach you?
Hmmm...I think a big smile, the sort that creases your face out of proportion would probably be involved. Maybe some somersaults too. I draw the line at singing and dancing though, a man needs to hold onto some semblance of dignity.



6) Did you have plans and ambitions to become a writer or did inspiration strike you?
I used to write a lot as a teenager, put it on hold for a while then took it back up after London lured me back from my travels. Didn’t take the idea of Who is Charlie Keeper? seriously for the first 18 months of writing, it was only after the semblance of a credible story began to unfold that I started to take confidence in the possibility of a literary product.



7) Do public book events fill you with dread or adrenaline? As most writers appear to either love or hate them!
iCouldn’t tell you as I haven’t done one yet. I think I could be lured into an event with the firm prospect of fresh filtered coffee, a French pastry and the promise of a fast line of retreat should the need arise.

Please also check the Author book site as there is more information on his great book
visit www.whoischarliekeeper.com

Friday, 17 April 2009

Dean Vincent Carter - Blood Water Book Review


Mr Ripley's Review

This is Dean Vincent Carter's third young person's horror book. As usual it has a definitive style of writing which parallels with great horror writers within the adult genre.
This book has a distinctive theme running through the book which could easily be transcended into a movie. In fact at times I wondered whether it was written with this possibility in mind. The short, sharp horror scenes climaxed throughout leaving very little rest time in between the pages. The "flood" created tension which enhanced the infinite danger of the cities inhabitants thus making a gritty and edgy read.
The concept of intelligent "outer" life-form versus human life-form is challenged greatly within this book. It raises some interesting emotions about survival and character morality.
A thought provoking read with many great horror qualities. Suitable for those who can't normally stomach horror. As the description lends itself to its intended younger audience without being too gruesome. Four out of Five as it is a little bit short, I would like to see Dean focus all of his time to writing as he has amazing potential to be an all-time great.

Synopsis


They're all dead now. I am the last one. Dr Morrow can't identify the 'thing' he found living in the lake but he knows it's dangerous ...then it goes missing ...Caught in the flood that is devastating the town, brothers Sean and James stumble across Morrow and the carnage left at his lab. The missing specimen is some kind of deadly parasite that moves from person to person, destroying its hosts in disgusting, gory ways. The death toll will rise along with the waters unless the brothers can track down the homicidal specimen and find a way to destroy it.

Published Corgi Children's books 4 June 2009

Biography

I was born in July, 1976 in the West Midlands and spent the first six years of my life in Bewdley near Kidderminster, before moving to Tenbury Wells, Shropshire where many members of my family still live.

At around thirteen years of age I spent one bored Summer afternoon sitting in the back garden of a restaurant where my mother worked, reading a book my aunt had ordered by mistake from a book club. Stephen King’s Misery, wasn’t exactly her cup of tea, but it was, as I was soon to find out, mine. I devoured the novel and found within its pages the inspiration to write my own stories. The first, Revenge, was very much a tentative footstep in the general direction of storytelling, i.e. it’s not exactly my finest piece of work. The story lasted only six pages, (luckily) was very Misery-derivative, and more than a little contrived and predictable. But we all have to start somewhere, and there was as good a place as any.

During my last few years of high school I tried a few more short stories, then attempted a book, Carnival, which eventually ended up as a large short story, possibly a novella, about a travelling carnival of genetically modified animals and freaks. I still have a copy of it, typed out on an old Olivetti typewriter given to me by an uncle. Even now the smell of typewriters (a heady mix of ink and metal) brings back memories. Personal Computers will always be my weapon of choice when it comes to word-processing, but they have none of the excitement, the romance, the immediacy of typewriters.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Marcus Alexander - Who Is Charlie Keeper? The Book Review


Mr Ripley's review

Who is Marcus Alexander? Having read this book it has resulted in me asking this question and also questions about the self-published route.
I have heard lots of good things about this book but I thought it may be the hype that was turning the wheels but infact this is not so. This fantasy epic has all the makings of a classic book which will go far indeed.
The hero of the book is one Charlie Keeper; boy in name but cool action girl in nature. The book reads like a fantasy dream with all the qualities of a great author. But interestingly it also has a dark side which has hints of Chris Wooding's The Ascendancy Veil trilogy through the visionary description of the dark Bane character. Having all these great ingredients makes this book a special read. A great page turner which should entice and captivate a wide audience. A well deserved five out of five - can't wait for the next installment.

Published by Marcus Alexander Publishing 11 Jul 2008


About the Book

'Who is Charlie Keeper?' is a shockingly fast paced fantasy novel that tells the tale of Charlie, an iron-willed, twelve year old girl suffering an unjust and unhappy fate. Forced to flee her home in the gloomy, rain-drenched landscape of London by a bloodthirsty and terrifying new foe, she escapes to the vibrant, parallel land of Bellania with nothing more than her common sense and razor-sharp wits to keep her safe. Bellania, a land of myth, magic and marauding giants with bad attitude and poor anger management. With the fate of a world resting squarely upon her shoulders Charlie must learn about her destiny in order to defeat Bane, the Stoman Lord.And even with all the unspeakable betrayals, vicious enemies and terrible odds that are stacked against her, Charlie could probably succeed... ...if only she could learn to keep her big mouth shut and her opinions to herself.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Angela McAllister - The Runaway



Mr Ripley's Review

I have to say I really enjoyed reading this book, I only read it by chance. Which is sometimes the best way to begin with a book, as no preconceptions are gathered about what is to be found.
It's a great combination of styles. A hint of David Almond in the dark detail and a touch of Marcus Sedgwick for the story plot. The main character Megan is running away from everything she knows. She finds herself in a derelict house which has more then a story to tell. Lurking in the dark it has many untold secrets and lots of questions that Megan wants to find the answers to. Angela draws upon the human emotions to carry along this great read. When Megan finds an old blind lady living there, the story then really starts to weave its magic through to the heart. The story was so well told that I almost believed it could be true.
I don't want to give too much away as I heartily recommend it to read. My only fault with great reads like this is that the book comes to a close after 192 pages, and I wanted more... so I will only give it Four out Of Five. I know what you're thinking!



Synopsis

After the death of her young brother, Megan runs away. She has always had the power to heal - but not when it came to him. And now she punishes herself - pulling handful after handful of nettles from the hedgerows, so she feels pain, seeing always, at the corner of her vision, a pale winged boy. His wings are broken. Eventually she arrives at what she believes to be a deserted, burned out house in the village of Morne. But part of the mansion is occupied by a blind woman, whose companions are two owls. She tells Megan, who is terrified of birds, they are her eyes. They will see everything she does. Theirs is a strange relationship - the woman is bitter, she has a secret to hide, but then so does Megan. Gradually they come to depend on each other, until the arrival of Tom. Megan is keen for company her own age and his friendship, but she doesn't know that he knows Marguerite's secret and is determined to reveal it and destroy her in the process. Set in C19th, with richly drawn characters and a well plotted story, Angela McAllister's second novel explores the frailties of human emotions, but is ultimately about healing rifts and friendship.

Published by Orion Books 7 June 2009

Biography
Novels

Mungo Moonboots (1991)

Dinny's Diplodocus (1992)

Maggie's Meglasaurus (1996)

Scaredy Ghost (1998)

Jack and Lily (2001)

The Tide Turner Orion (2006)

The Runaway Orion (2009)

Angela is more well Know in her work with picture books having done over forty four picture books since 1988.
Angela McAllister has written over thirty children's books. She lives in Hampshire with her husband and their two children, who are often the inspiration for her stories.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

New Hardbacks For June 2009


Some of the best picks for June 2009.

Joseph Delaney - The Spook's Sacrifice(Wardstone Chronicles) - Bodley Head Children's
4 June 2009

As the Spook's apprentice Tom's first duty is to protect the County from the dark. But now Mam needs his help in her homeland of Greece. One of the most dangerous of the old gods, the Ordeen, is about to return there, bringing slaughter and devastation. Meanwhile, the Devil himself is still loose and if he and the Ordeen join forces, a new age of darkness will descend. Mam has summoned a powerful group to her side but among them are Tom's old enemy, the Pendle witches, including the assassin Grimalkin, and the cunning clan leader Mab Moldheel. Can Tom go against all the Spook has taught him and ally himself to the witches? What is the secret that Mam is keeping from him? And what sacrifices must be made in the battle against the dark?


F E Higgins - The Eyeball Collector - Macmillan Children's Books - 5 June 2009

When his butterfly-collector father is swindled to within an inch of his life, a vengeful Hector leaves the city of Urbs Umida in pursuit of a fiendish villain with a glass eye. The trail leads to Withypitts Hall, a forbidding Gothic mansion as warped as its inhabitants and their secret schemes. Soon Hector finds himself embroiled in mysterious deeds more poisonous than his worst imaginings, but every twist and turn brings him closer to his revenge ...The third dark and diabolical book from a devilishly talented author.



Michael Scott - The Sorceress(Secrets of Nicholas Flamel) - Doubleday - 25 June 2009

Paris: Dr John Dee has torn the city apart in every attempt to intercept the immortal Nicholas Flamel and Sophie and Josh Newman. Paris' streets are in ruins, Notre Dame is destroyed. Dee has the book of "Abraham the Mage", but he's still missing the two pages the Dark Elders need for the Final Summoning. Without them the spell cannot be cast, and Dee is well aware that the Dark Elders will not rest until they are in power and the human race is destroyed - or he is. London: If Nicholas Flamel hopes to defeat Dee, he must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic - Water Magic. The problem? The only Elder who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is completely insane.

Mr Ripley's U.S Hardback pick of the Month is.

R.D Henham - Green Dragon Codex (The Dragon Codices) Mirrorstone - June 2009
When ten-year-old Scamp Weaver finds a locked chest in a forest clearing, he feels like his life is finally about to change for the better. But he doesn't bargain for just how much change the chest will bring. Inside he finds a dragon egg and a mysterious ancient scroll, which set Scamp and his best friend Dannika off on a harrowing adventure, chased by dragon hunters who want the contents of the chest for themselves. Life gets ever more complicated when the baby green dragon hatches. Will this cute, mischievous hatchling really grow up to be an evil green dragon?


Also out early in the U.S is Angie Sages - Septimus Heap: The Magykal Papers which will be released by HarperCollins - 23 June 2009.

Enter the world of Septimus Heap with this collection of previously unpublished papers.

This rich compendium includes:


The private journals of Septimus, Jenna, and Marcia Overstrand.


The best—and worst—places to eat as described in The Egg-on-Toast Restaurant Guide.


Sirius Weazal's Speedy Guides to the Palace, the Wizard Tower, and Wizard Way.


Excerpts from the Pigeon Post Biography series and the Heaps of History series.


Alther Mella's Guide to Being Dead: Ten Handy Rules for New Ghosts.


Beautiful maps, quirky flyers, funny letters, and much more!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

New Books For June 2009 (paperbacks)





Some super new reads to be published in the great summer month of June......

Andy Briggs - Villain.Net 3: Power Surge - Oxford Childrens June 2009
Schoolboy supervillain, Jake Hunter, has taken his seat on the Council of Evil. Now he will live his dream - exact revenge on the cruel world. But the cruel world has other plans, and they come in the shape of the Hero Foundation. Jake's not scared of the Hero Foundation. He even has a plan to turn it to the dark side. Until it gets a new member - Jake's own sister. Is he really so villainous as try to get her out of the way?


Andy Briggs - Hero.Com 3: Crisis Point - Oxford Childrens June 2009
The Hero Foundation is a shadow of its former self and Lord Eon - the most terrible supervillain ever - is still at large. Worse, he has hatched a plan to tear apart time. Toby and his superhero friends should be able to stop him . . . but Pete has woken from his coma a different person and Lorna has disappeared. In the titanic struggle that will follow, friendships will be tested and superhero powers strained to the limit as time runs out for the world . . . literally . . .


Sarah Rees-Brennan - The Demon's Lexicon - Simon&Schuster 1 June 2009
Nick and his brother Alan are on the run with their mother, who was once the lover of a powerful magician. When she left him, she stole an important charm - and he will stop at nothing to reclaim it. Now Alan has been marked with the sign of death by the magician's demon, and only Nick can save him. But to do so he must face those he has fled from all his life - the magicians - and kill them. So the hunted becomes the hunter...but in saving his brother, Nick discovers something that will unravel his whole past...


Nicola Morgan - Deathwatch - Walker Books 1 June 2009
Someone is watching Cat McPherson. Is it a young schizophrenic, a retired scientist, or Cat’s ex-boyfriend? Or it could be someone else entirely. An obsession with insects seems to link them all. And Cat hates insects. She’s easy prey, especially as she has given away so much about herself on an internet site which her parents have forbidden her to use. But does she even realize that she’s being stalked? A talented athlete, she’s too busy with the pressures of training and deciding whether she really wants to run for a living. The trouble is, soon she will have to run for her life…


Dean Vincent Carter - Blood Water - Corgi Childrens Books 4 June 2009
They're all dead now. I am the last one. Dr Morrow can't identify the 'thing' he found living in the lake but he knows it's dangerous ...then it goes missing ...Caught in the flood that is devastating the town, brothers Sean and James stumble across Morrow and the carnage left at his lab. The missing specimen is some kind of deadly parasite that moves from person to person, destroying its hosts in disgusting, gory ways. The death toll will rise along with the waters unless the brothers can track down the homicidal specimen and find a way to destroy it.


David Gilman - Blood Sun: Danger Zone - Puffin Childrens 4 June 2009
Desperate to uncover the secret of his mother's death, Max Gordon is chased into the night by a ruthless mercenary. His search takes him from the desolate hills of Dartmoor to the endangered rainforest of Central America – where the devastation hides a sinister secret. Drug smugglers, deadly crocodiles, man-eating snakes and flesh-stripping piranhas await Max at every turn. Has Max's quest for the truth led to an answer for which he'll pay the ultimate price?


Tim Bowler - Bloodchild - Oxford University Press
Will lies in a deserted lane. All he knows is that he's had an accident and that his life is slipping away. Against all the odds he survives - but with an almost total loss of memory. He does not even know himself. And that is not all. At night he is tormented by visions, in the daytime by hostile strangers. Why does he have so many enemies? And who is the strange child who seems to have a story to tell him? Something has happened in this town, something terrifying. Will can sense it but he can't work out what it was. Perhaps the old Will knew. But that was before the accident. The new Will must search for the answers again - and this is a dangerous task. For the town has a secret and there are those who will do everything in their power to preserve it. Even kill.


Dean Lorey - Monster War (Nightmare Academy)Book Three - HarperCollins 25 June 2009
Monsters. Once upon a time they turned up every now and then, triggered by a gifted child's nightmares. But now they're here. ALL OF THEM. And this time, it's war! The Fifth has made it to earth, but it's not as bad as everyone expected. It's worse. As CNN broadcasts 24-hour carnage and colossal monsters destroy the world's cities, the fate of the world and all its people rests on one person's shoulders. One quite SMALL person's shoulders. But the Fifth is Mother to all monsters -- and now she's got Pinch on her side, one of the strongest double threats who ever lived. Charlie and his friends have the fight of a lifetime on their hands...

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Caro King - Seven Sorcerers



Mr Ripley's Review

This is the first part in a two-part series.The story starts with Toby, a young boy snatched and taken away by Skerridge the Bogeyman. The story follows Nin's thwarted journey to bring back her brother. On the way she battles many dangers trying to find Toby, her brother.
This is an interesting debut story written in the style of Joseph Delaney. I enjoyed reading this book as it had more to offer then most books. In some parts it read like poetry. Caro has used some fantastic ideas which enhance the on-going story. It is a quick read which has a fast flowing plot with plenty of detail.
Skerridge is my favorite character, he has been well written with great moments and some humorous sections which made me chuckle along the way.
The element of surprise within the plot keeps the reader hooked right to the end. Especially as the theme is quite commonly used as a plot,I was very pleased that it had more going for it. This is to the credit of the author who is appearing as a surprising debut. Well worth a read and I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the sequel. I give this book Four out of Five.



Synopsis

Nin had never liked Wednesdays, but this one took the biscuit. On this Wednesday she woke up to find that it was raining buckets and that her brother had ceased to exist. Ninevah realises she is the only person to remember Toby because whoever took him is about to make her disappear too. Enter Skerridge the Bogeyman, who steals kids for Mr. Strood. With his spindle, he draws all memories of Nin out of her mother's head. Nin escapes to the Drift, the world that her new friend Jonas and Mr. Strood inhabit. But the Drift is filled with the fabulous and the dreadful; tombfolk, mudmen, and the spirits of the seven sorcerers who once ruled the land. What is the secret of the Seven Sorcerers, and will Nin and Toby escape their fate at the House of Strood?


About the Author

Caro King was born in London and raised in Surrey where she now lives with her partner, Kevin. She studied art and now works at the Home Office. Seven Sorcerers came from a rainy lunchtime when she began mapping out the world of the Drift. Skerridge and his waistcoat came later.

Published by Quercus 2 April 2009