Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Book Plug: Catherynne M. Valente - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (7 Jun 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1780338333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780338330
  • Gather up your courage and your wishes; grab a little pinch of luck - and prepare to be swept away, in a ship of your own making, to a land unlike any other.
    September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland - well, of course, she accepts (mightn't you?).

    When she gets there, she finds a land crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess - she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order. Having read enough books to know what a girl with a quest must do, September sets out to Fix Things.

    As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes, losing her shadow, her shoes and her way. But she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides . . .

  • Originally published in serialized form online (where it became the first e-book to win the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy), this glittering confection is Valente's first work for young readers. The book's appeal is crystal clear from the outset: this is a kind of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by way of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, made vivid by Juan's Tenniel-inflected illustrations. An omniscient narrator relates the absurd Fairyland adventures of 12-year-old September from Omaha, Neb. Valente seems more interested in crafting the individual episodes, and her narrator's moral observations thereon, than in September's overall quest to retrieve a witch's spoon from the terrible marquess of Fairyland. Homages abound--an echo of Tolkien here, a cameo by Lord Dunsany there, and a nod for Hayao Miyazaki, too, all without feeling derivative. It's an allusive playground for adults, but even though young readers won't catch every reference, those who thrill to lovingly wrought tales of fantasy and adventure (think McCaughrean or DiCamillo) will be enchanted. And though the pace is lackadaisical, it's just as well--it's the sort of book one doesn't want to end. Ages 10–14. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Susanne Winnacker - The Other Life - Book Review

The Other Life: who we were before the virus. How we'll never be again. It's been 3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since Sherry has seen daylight. When things went wrong up above, she was sealed off from the world in a bunker with her family. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find devastation, desolation...and the Weepers: savage mutant killers. When her dad is snatched, Sherry joins forces with gorgeous but troubled Joshua - an Avenger, determined to destroy the Weepers. But can Sherry keep her family and Joshua safe, when his desire for vengeance threatens them all?

At the start of the book, the author quietly builds up the tension and the curiosity levels by introducing us to Sherry and her family, who are locked in the bunker in the basement of their house. It has been three years since they last saw daylight and lost all contact with the world. At this point, everything has just got too much and the family are at boiling point, especially when they run out of food. This is when the story becomes really interesting and exciting as Sherry and her father leave the bunker to find food. . . . As a result of this action, we suddenly become thrown into a post-apocalyptic world with rabies-infested humans known as Weepers. Whilst they are perhaps described with vague detail, the very vicious nature of them certainly allows the magic to spark in the imagination department. 

I have to say that I did find Sherry (one of the main characters) slightly annoying. I did try really hard to overlook this and felt that I just about managed it. It was not her OCD traits, in fact I found this element fascinating, it was actually the dialogue that she engaged in. At times, I found this confusing - she asked too many questions and, like all of the other characters, she appeared to be rather too stereotypical. Whilst the little snippets of her former life weaved throughout the story were clever, I'm not sure that they really worked.

This book has a real emotional depth to it - the feelings portrayed through the characters make the story more convincing. The supporting characters all portray a different story with different feelings as they learn to cope and survive. This worked amazingly well as it is often difficult to get the balance just right.

I think that this is a great debut book. It is very readable and will certainly have you, in parts, hiding behind the covers and wanting to read faster in order to find out more. The ending was great - it sets up the next book to be even better. Perhaps the characters may have more to fight than just the Weepers . . . .  If you love dystopian and zombies, then this will be a book just for you and if you don't, then give it a try anyway.

The Life Beyond will be the next book and I just can't wait.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Book Plug: Jack Gantos Dead End in Norvelt and Interview

  • Dead End in Norvelt--UK cover


  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (29 Mar 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0440870046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440870043

Jack's summer has hit a dead end . . .

After being 'grounded for life', Jack is facing a summer of doing nothing. But who's got time to die of boredom when there are so many more interesting ways to die in this town?

He might crash in his dad's homemade plane, or catch the disease that makes you dance yourself to death, or fall foul of the motorcycle gang that wants to burn the town to the ground. Old people seem to be dying faster than Miss Volker can write their obituaries, and Jack is starting to worry that it might not just be the rats that are eating the rat poison . . .

Dead End in Norvelt is author Jack Gantos's hilarious blend of the entirely true stories of his childhood, and the wildest ideas from his dark imagination. It won the prestigious Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature in 2012 and was also a Washington Post Best Children's Book of 2011.

He is best known in this country for the bestselling Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, which was a winner of a NASEN Special Educational Needs Award, and its sequels. Dead End in Norvelt is a novel for teen readers, and will appeal to fans of Mark Haddon, Louis Sachar and all lovers of dark humour.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

P . J Hoover - The Forgotten Worlds Trilogy




The Forgotten Worlds Book 1: 

Benjamin and his best friend Andy are different from normal. They love being able to read each other's minds and use telekinesis to play tricks on other kids. In fact, they are getting all set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin's mirror starts talking. Suddenly, Benjamin's looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace which can only be reached by a teleporter inside the ugly picture in his hallway.
And that's the most normal thing he does all summer.

The Forgotten Worlds Book 2:
The Navel of the World

At the end of summer school, Benjamin was given one task—find his missing brothers. Should be easy right? But Benjamin can't locate a trace of them anywhere. Then he finds a mysterious file written in ancient Lemurian with his name on it, which wouldn't be so weird except the file happens to be several thousand years old. Who would have known about Benjamin that long ago? And then Benjamin and his friends begin to wonder, have they been looking not in the wrong place, but in the wrong time?

The Forgotten Worlds Book 3:
The situation in Lemuria is rapidly deteriorating. In fact teleportation between the hidden continent and the outside world has become so dangerous, all agents and their families have been recalled. Although Benjamin is psyched to be living in Lemuria full time, he knows he needs to find his last brother soon. However, between classes, a murderous half-brother, and complications with his friend Heidi, Benjamin can barely focus. Besides, there’s only one place left they haven’t searched—the hidden continent of Atlantis.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Alexander Gordon Smith - The Fury Blog Tour - ( How Writing a Book Changes You)

It’s a real honour to be writing a guest post for Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books, thanks so much for having me!

I think writing has turned me into a nervous wreck. To be more specific, I think writing horror has turned me into a nervous wreck. I vividly remember the moment I had the first real glimpse of the idea for my new book, The Fury. I was walking through Norwich city centre, where I live, on a busy summer day. There were people everywhere, bustling in and out of the shops, clogging up the pavements, barging past each other and doing their best to knock me out with their bags. I was hot, and stressed, and irritable, and the combination of all those things introduced a notion into my head: what would I do if everyone around me suddenly tried to kill me?

The thought was so vivid that I instantly began to feel uneasy. The more I dwelled on this idea, the more nervous I began to feel. Were people starting to look at me strangely? Did I see lips pulled back over teeth, eyes burning with fury? I started searching for escape routes – which alleys would get me out of the city, where could I barricade myself if I was attacked, what could I use as a weapon? I quickstepped home, constantly looking over my shoulder, and can still recall the relief of walking through my front door and locking it behind me.

I went on to write the book based on this initial idea – what would happen if one day, without warning, the entire world tried to murder you (and only you) – and things only got worse after that. Now I’m always on edge, always waiting for the imminent attack, the screams and the howls and the thunder of charging feet, always working out how to survive. Living this story – and when you write a book you do live it, no question – has made me nervous, cautious, ready to fight or flee at the drop of a hat. Living this story has changed me as a person the same way it would have if the events of The Fury had actually been real.

It isn’t just The Fury, either, it’s every book I write. A while back I was sitting having dinner with some friends and one of them asked me if I was worried somebody was going to steal my food. Sure enough I was hunched over my plate, one arm curled protectively around it, my eyes those of a feral dog, my knife held in a white-knuckled fist. More startling still was the realisation that I was on edge, really on edge. I genuinely was worried that somebody was going to steal my dinner. I was ready to spring into action at any moment, either to defend my plate of pasta from attack or bolt from the room if things got too hot. 

I was in the middle of writing the Furnace books, and I was acting like I was one of the prisoners in the story. I walked around the streets permanently aware of what was going on in my peripheral vision, waiting for somebody to ambush me. I eyeballed people, too, letting them know that if they messed with me I wouldn’t go without a fight. I was angry, I was tense, I was afraid for my life, and those emotions had become so natural to me that I didn’t question them any more. It was just who I was, even though I’ve never been to prison in my life. And yet… I had been in prison, I’d been locked up for years. Not in a real place, but inside my head, inside Furnace.

I didn’t just want to write these stories, I wanted to live them. I didn’t plan anything, I just threw myself into those worlds and did my best to keep the characters alive. The writing process was intense, for weeks at a time I spent most of the day immersed in the story, buried beneath the ground in the hellhole of Furnace or in the abandoned theme park that forms the heart of The Fury. I was with the characters every second of their day, the ghost in the corner of the room, witnessing every chase, every confrontation, every fight. I was there.

The strange thing is that when I look back at the time I spent writing those books, I don’t remember a thing from my own life, not a single second. I couldn’t tell you one event or trip or conversation from that time. But I remember everything about the world of the story, every conversation that took place, every decision, every punch and kick and bite, every chase, every ache and pain, every meal, every trip to the toilet, every glance over my shoulder, every sickening moment of terror, everything! These are my memories, as real to me as anything that might have actually happened, certainly no different to any memory I have of real life. I wonder sometimes if I can always tell the difference between them.

Writing is a transformative experience, it changes us in so many different ways. I am not the same person I was before I started writing, because those fictional encounters and activities were so real to me that they now form a part of my psyche, they have helped make me me the same way a genuine experience would. I still find myself on edge in crowds, I still make eye contact with strangers in the street in a confrontational way and plan escape routes wherever I go (it’s the first thing I do when I walk into a room). But it goes deeper than that. I think it has made me braver too, because I’ve seen so much bullying, so much injustice, so much violence and death – all in the books – that I feel more confident about standing up to people. I often find myself thinking that if I could survive inside Furnace and in the world of The Fury, which I did, then nothing can really hurt me.

It sounds like a total fiction, but you hear stories about this sort of thing. There was one recently about an experiment where people made their muscles grow simply by thinking about working out (although this method really hasn’t helped me lose any weight). If what we are is the sum total of all our experiences, then who’s to say fictional experiences count for any less? I spoke to some writer friends about this (mainly to make sure I wasn’t crazy), and a few admitted to feeling the same way. Writing has changed them, because they were so involved in the world of their characters that they feel as though they have lived through those experiences too, not just on the page but in the flesh. It’s a great example of how powerful the mind is, and what an amazing tool for therapy writing can be.

There’s a (as far as I know unattributed) quote that goes, “Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” The same is true of writing, because in creating a character you create a life, one that you cannot help but share. You experience that life alongside your heroes, your villains, you learn with them, fight with them, grow with them, and when all is said and done you carry that life with you as part of your own. For better or worse, at the end of a book you are a different person.

Thanks for reading!!
I've been looking forward to reading this post whilst at work today. Having just got in and read it, I am delighted to have such a personally written blog to share with you all. Thank you to Alexander for giving such a great insight into his life and writing. I'm sure that this post will encourage many more readers to   read 'The Fury'. 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

New Children's Books: Published In May 2012 - Post Two


Lucy Jones - The Nightmare Factory -  Published by Orchard Books -  3 May 2012

There's a secret you need to know.
A secret about how nightmares are made.
Welcome to the Nightmare Factory. 

When Andrew Lake and his twin sister Poppy are stolen from their dreams, they find themselves trapped in a strange realm parallel to our own. There, the evil Vesuvius rules over the Nightmare Factory with his army of Shadowmares, extracting fear from children to create nightmares all over the world. But Vesuvius wants more. He wants power. He wants Andrew...

A thrilling adventure story that will leave you gasping for more: compelling, exciting...and just a little bit scary...
book cover of 


 (0.4, book 2)


Mike Lancaster
Mike Lancaster - 1.4 - Published by Egmont Books - 7 May 2012
It's a brave new world. In the far future, people no longer know what to believe...Did Kyle Straker ever exist? Or were his prophecies of human upgrades nothing more than a hoax? Peter Vincent is nearly 16, and has never thought about the things that Strakerites believe. His father - David Vincent, creator of the artificial bees that saved the world's crops - made sure of that. When the Strakerites pronounce that another upgrade is imminent, Peter starts to uncover a conspiracy amongst the leaders of the establishment, a conspiracy that puts him into direct conflict with his father. But it's not a good idea to pick a fight with someone who controls all the artificial bees in the world.

book cover of 

A Face Like Glass 


Frances Hardinge
Frances Hardinge - A Face Like Glass - Published by Macmillan Children's Books -  10 May 2012

In the underground city of Caverna the world's most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare - wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear - at a price. Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell's emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed . . .
book cover of 

Spy Another Day 

 (Movie Maniacs , book 2)


Philip Caveney
Philip Caveney - Spy Another Dat (Movie Maniacs) - Published by Andersen 3 May 2012
After the thrills and spills of his adventure on Terror Island, Kip is reluctant to allow Mr Lazarus to send him into another movie - but Beth has other ideas, particularly when she discovers The Paramount Picture Palace is planning to show the latest film in the Jason Corder series, Spy Another Day. Its star, Daniel Crag, has always been Beth's favourite screen actor. When Mr Lazarus asks her to obtain Corder's ID card, she agrees to go in and Kip feels duty-bound to accompany her. But what should have proved a simple visit ends in disaster when Kip and Beth are separated and find themselves in different parts of the same film. Can they find their way through all the dangers of a spy movie and defeat the evil genius, Doctor Leo Kasabian, before the final credits roll and they are trapped there . . . forever?

book cover of 



Thomas Taylor
Thomas Taylor - Haunters - Published by Chicken House -  24 May 2012

Eddie, Adam and David have the same gift. Separated by generations, they are linked by their ability to time-travel. Using their dreams, they can appear like ghosts, wherever and whenever they want. The first is the genius who discovers dreamwalking. The second is a Haunter, a dream-terrorist, determined to change history foris own ends. The last is the novice dreamwalker who must battle to save his family, and himself, from oblivion.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

New Children's Books: Published In May 2012 - Post One

Rick Riordan - The Kane Chronicles: The Serpent's Shadow - Published by Puffin - 1 May 2012
CARTER AND SADIE KANE, descendants of the magical House of Life, are in pretty big trouble.
Despite their bravest efforts, Apophis, the giant snake of Chaos, is still threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness. Now the Kanes must do something no magician has ever managed - defeat Apophis himself. No pressure there then.
Battling against the forces of Chaos, their only hope is an ancient spell - but the magic has been lost for a millennia. Will they find the serpent's shadow, or will they be led to their deaths in the depths of the Underworld?

Tiger Wars (The Tiger Wars)
Steve Backshall - Tiger Wars ( The Tiger Wars) - Published By Orion Children's - 1 May 2012
Saker is a member of the Clan, a clandestine group offering child renegades for hire to the highest bidder. The Clan are like brothers, but once you're a member you can never leave - ever. Each member of the Clan has their own animal identity and corresponding tattoo, each is an expert in jungle law, survival and the ways of animals in order to make them better spies, thieves or assassins. Saker's latest assignment takes him to India to bring down the men who protect tigers. He's being employed by a Chinese overlord who specialises in poaching for tiger farms and tiger organs for high priced medicines. But something happens to make Saker change sides and now he's on the run from his predatory brothers. They're hunting him down and they're professionals. He meets fifteen year old Sinter, a spoiled rich girl, who is running away from an arranged marriage, and their uneasy friendship will eventually form an unshakeable bond, as together they face adventure and danger as two young eco-warriors in a truly threatening world. In the spirit of Willard Price for today's readers, Tiger Wars is the first in DEADLY presenter Steve Backshall's high-octane adventure series, The Falcon Chronicles, which introduces Saker and Sinter on a quest to right some of the horrific wrongs perpetrated against wildlife around the planet. As they rescue tigers or mountain gorillas, thwart shark finners and cyanide fishers, rainforest exploiters and canned hunters, they come face to face with the world's most fascinating, majestic and lethal creatures.

book cover of 

The Drowned Cities 

 (Ship Breaker, book 2)


Paolo Bacigalupi
Paolo Bacigalupi - The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker) - Published by Atom - 1 May 2012
In this exhilarating companion to Printz Award winner and National Book Award finalist Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi brilliantly captures a dark future America that has devolved into unending civil wars, driven by demagogues who recruit children to become soulless killing machines. Two refugees of these wars, Mahlia and Mouse, are known as 'war maggots': survivors who have barely managed to escape the unspeakable violence plaguing the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities. But their fragile safety is threatened when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool, who is hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers. When tragedy strikes, Mahlia is faced with an impossible decision: risk everything to save the boy who once saved her, or flee to her own safety. Drawing upon the brutal truths of current events, The Drowned Cities is a powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.
book cover of 

The Power of Three 

 (Secret Breakers, book 1)


H L Dennis
H. L. Dennis - The Power of Three (Secret Breakers) - Published by Hodder Chilldren's - May 2012
Introducing an extraordinary series with real codes, real mysteries and real danger. A Da Vinci Code for kids ...Imagine the chance to solve the Voynich Manuscript - a puzzle that has truly defeated adults for centuries.
It's an ancient manuscript no one has ever been able to decipher. And there are Rules that say it is forbidden to even try to solve it.
A secret hidden for centuries. 
But Brodie Bray likes a challenge, and when she receives a coded message through the post her life changes for ever. She's chosen for a secret team working to crack this most complicated code in the world to uncover the secret it hides.
But it's a code that has driven people mad trying to solve it.
Together with her new friends, Brodie must break the rules to break the code, at every turn facing terrible danger. For someone is watching them - and will even kill to stop them.

In this original new series, three children tackle real unsolved mysteries and struggle with real unbroken codes to get to the hidden truth.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Jennifer Bosworth - Struck - Book Synopsis and Trailer

  • Got this in the post some time ago. Not sure it's my kind of book really. After watching the amazing book trailer for it,I might give it a read. Have a watch and let me know what you think....

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Childrens (26 April 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 085753095X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857530950

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

Jon Mayhew - The Bonehill Curse - Book Review

book cover of 

The Bonehill Curse 

 (Mortlock, book 3)


Jon Mayhew
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (10 May 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1408803976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408803974

I was really looking forward to reading Jon's third published book - I had great expectations for it. The theme really appealed to me; a twisted story of evil Djinns. However, in this case, there was only one - which was a really great shame.

The story is partially set within Victorian London time, with some mad and typically English eccentric characters, but unfortunately they were described rather vaguely which didn't really do them any justice in my opinion. However, the story also takes you on a magic carpet ride to a strange place depicted as a twisted version of the Garden of Eden which I thought was a great idea. In fact, this second setting really gave a little bit of magic to the adventure. 

I really loved the storyline of this book - it was very enjoyable, although it did seem rather short to me. I found myself on page one and then, before I knew it, the book was finished. It's not short on pages, so what happened?
Unfortunately I found the darker side of this book to be disappointing. Compared to Jon's previous books, I felt there wasn't enough detail within the important sections, it just didn't have that punchy edge. Zaakiel, the Djinn in the book, although evil and driven by revenge; he just lacked a certain trait. Perhaps I wanted a nastier streak to be injected into the character in order to drive his soul. Perhaps I needed his personality to be larger and to have a stronger connection and dialogue with the other characters. Perhaps this would have enhanced his character and given a little more life to the plot.

The Pestilents, ragged infected humans controlled by Zaakiel, again I felt didn't reach their full potential. I really wanted to be immersed in a full battle scene, but unfortunately we seemed to skip over much of this and I really would have loved to have read more. However the main character in the book, Necessity BoneHill, did gain more page space and as a result was written particularly well and was totally likeable. 

I did enjoy many aspects of this book - some parts were highly original. Its vibrant and energetic pace tells a fantastic story. I would still recommend everyone to read this book as I know that my thoughts and opinions are very much focused on what I like and, as a result, are very often different to what other people like. Therefore, I'd love to hear what you all think - were my expectations too high? Am I alone in these thoughts?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Scottish Book Trust:David Walliams Online Author Event

You have seen him on your TV, now watch him on your computer! Multi-talented funny man David Walliams will be talking about his hilarious new book Gangsta Granny. Guaranteed to cause an epidemic of smiles to breakout across the UK.

The event will be streamed live to audiences across the UK at 11am on Thursday, 10th May. It will then become available to watch again for free by Thursday, 17th May for everyone worldwide!

Your readers can join tens of thousands of pupils across the UK watching the event live.

Parents, readers and fans of David can watch the event by going directly to the BBC website at 11am on Thursday, 10th May:

Or, if you are a teacher, you can register your entire class by following this link:

If you can’t make the live broadcast the entire event can be downloaded or streamed for free from Thursday, 17th May here:

We are really looking forward to this event: David Walliams is a brilliant entertainer and this promises to be a fantastic event.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Alexander Gordon Smith - The Fury Blog Tour & Trailer Competition


A brand new competition from THE SPARK  HYPERLINK "", Faber’s new online community aimed at creative 13 – 18 year-olds. 

THE FURY is a brand new YA thriller from Alexander Gordon Smith, about what would happen if, without warning, the whole world tried to kill you. It’s a non-stop, rollercoaster ride of excitement, mystery and supernatural terror – and we giving YOU the chance to create the trailer for it!   

If you’re between the ages of 13 and 18 and fancy trying your hand at filmmaking, all you need to do is send us a script and storyboard for the trailer of THE FURY, by 2 July. You don’t need filmmaking experience or equipment – if your script is selected in our top five you’ll win a Flip camera with which to bring your trailer to life!

Finally, the filmmaker behind the best of those five trailers will win a £500 Apple Store voucher and see their film used worldwide as the official trailer for the book.
Go to the competition page  HYPERLINK "" to find out more about the book, how to enter and tips on how to write the storyboard for your book trailer. Closing date Monday 2nd July 2012. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Highlight: Andrew Prentice and Jonathan Weil - Black Arts

book cover of 

Black Arts 

The Books of Pandemonium 


Andrew Prentice and 

Jonathan Weil        

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books (5 Apr 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0385615132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385615136

Jack walked slowly across the court. Already his heart was beginning to thud. He looked back as he was lifting the mat of ivy that hid the opening in the wall. His ma was standing at the door, watching him.

'I'll be back before sundown, then,' said Jack.
'And what else?'

She said it every day, before letting him go. The answer came on its own, like a ritual.

'Watch my back.'
'Never forget it, Jack,' she said. 'Stay sharp. Stand the test, and don't be afraid.'

They were the last words she ever spoke to him.

Elizabethan London is a filthy, dangerous city ruled by criminals. After his mother is murdered, Jack seeks refuge with a notorious gang of offenders, led by Mister Sharkwell. Offering his services as a thief, Jack earns his keep. But when the 'Judicious Nipper' picks the wrong pocket at the Globe Theatre, he uncovers another side of London altogether - a city pulsing with magic and haunted by demons.

As an outbreak of devil-worship is publicised, Londoners' hatred mounts in retaliation - forcing bewildered Jack into pursuing the truth in secret. The Elect - a band of Puritans preaching against witchcraft, magic and devilry - spearhead the city's anti-witch fervour, led by the charismatic Nicholas Webb. A growing power at Court, rumour has it that the preacher wants to purge the city entirely and build a New Jerusalem. But Jack suspects Webb - not least of killing his ma.

This atmospheric, action-packed story is the debut in an original series from talented and highly inventive duo, Prentice & Weil

Darren Shan - ZOM-B - Book Cover Reveal - Simon and Schuster

Hi guys!

We revealed the cover for Darren Shan’s ZOM-B today on our London Book Fair and I wanted you guys to see it in all its glory… please do let me know what you think, we’re really excited about it! - (Brilliant Book Cover - I love it!)

Try not to have nightmares!! ZOM-B is out on 27th September 2012 and is the first in a 12-part serial, with books publishing every three months until 2015.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Preview - Laura Powell - Burn Mark - Bloomsbury

By Laura Powell
Publication Date: 7th June 2012
Price: £6.99


The walls of the Burning Court were high and white-tiled, its ceiling one giant chimney. If the young witch at the stake had been able to look up the funnel, she might have glimpsed a distant pane of sky.
Instead, she stared ahead. There was a glass panel in front of her, and the shadowy shapes of the inquisitors behind. One of them would have his hand on the switch, ready to light the fuse.

She couldn’t speak or move. Her body had been frozen rigid by the drug they’d given her so that she would be numb and immobile throughout her execution. Her reflec- tion in the glass was calm. Everything was quiet and orderly, exactly as it should be.

In which case . . . should she be aware of the coarse material of her prison shift, or sense the chill coming off the shining tiles? Propped up in the centre of the pyre, she was newly conscious of the weight of its wood.
The witch’s heart began to stammer. This wasn’t right. Something must have gone wrong. The drug wasn’t working properly. She had to let them know before it started. She had to tell them, she had to explain –

But her tongue didn’t move. Her eyes were locked open, her mouth was locked shut. The fear was suffocating, but she couldn’t gasp for breath. Her face in the glass gazed peacefully back, while every nerve, every muscle, every pulse of her heart and brain screamed STOP.

The wood sparked.

No, wait, please wait –

A thin yellow flame wriggled into life, then danced upwards. Smoke rose with it. Heat blossomed, intensified.
Behind the blurred glass, the unseen audience was waiting.
Tendrils and coils of fire. Her eyes stung from its smoke. Her pale hair was already rippling into flames. At any second they would be eating into her flesh. She was screaming and screaming now, soundlessly –


Burn Mark is the first of a captivating new series of thrillers with a fantasy twist. In a world where witches are the persecuted underclass and inquisitors the ruling power, a shared destiny forges an unlikely alliance between the children of two ancient enemies.

Glory is from a family of East End witches that was once feared and respected. She is desperate to become a witch herself and restore their reputation. Lucas is the privileged son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition, the witches' mortal enemy. Becoming a witch is the worst thing that could happen to him, but it does, and on the same day it happens to Glory. The unlikely allies must overcome their differences as they are thrown into the centre of a conspiracy that could destroy their lives.

Think Witch Child meets The Sopranos meets Spooks and you have a flavour of what this incredible book is all about. Laura Powell has used her extensive research into the history of witchcraft to create a convincing alternate world where mortals and witches coexist. This is a truly impressive novel from a talented writer new to the Bloomsbury list.