Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: New Book Picks In December 2013 - UK Post

                         


Joseph Delaney - The Spook's Revenge - Published by Bodley Head - 5, December 2013 
'He's the seventh son of a seventh son. His name is Thomas J. Ward and he's my gift to the County. When he's old enough we'll send you word. Train him well. He'll be the best apprentice you've ever had and he'll also be your last.'
These were the words of Tom's Mam to the county Spook some years ago. As Tom, the Spook and their allies prepare to battle with the Fiend on a huge scale, to finally enact their revenge, it now remains to be seen whether Mam's declaration will come true.



K . D. Faerydae - Hidden Magic (Liberty Realm) - Published by Matador - 1, December 2013
Eight-year-old Grace Darling lives in the small village of Witern Wood. She and her best friend Christian have had many adventures within the woods but have never once come across the ancient gate that lies concealed behind a large holly bush, the entrance into Liberty, a magical land, where everything is currently not as it should be. An evil force is lurking, depleting Liberty of all that is good. The malevolent Nomeds feed frequently and with each meal they become more formidable. The noble Zavier, leader, or 'Berthold', of Maytime Meadow is tasked with the collection of the rest of the realm's Berthold. These leaders must gather in front of the Great Prophet, who has foreseen a way in which the Nomeds may be defeated. Zavier selects some of his herd and the small and chirpy Chester to accompany him on a magical and treacherous journey across Liberty. The group face many challenges, a race against time and an increasing threat from the evil Nomeds. Will they make it in time...and what exactly has been prophesied? 
                   

J . A. Souders - Renegade (Elysium Chronicles) - Published by Tor Books - 5, December 2013
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she's believed that everything is perfect. Her world. Her people. The Law. But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into Elysium's secluded little world, Evelyn comes to a startling realization: Everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren't under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster. Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb...and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Guest Book Review: Veronica Roth - Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

                              

Guest Book Review By Sarah @TotalTeenFiction - For more reviews like this take a look    
here: http://totalteenfiction.blogspot.co.uk/ Twitter  

* This Book Review contains spoilers for the first two books in the series as it's the final book in the trilogy.

I was both excited and terrified about going into this book. I loved Divergent, and whilst Insurgent wasn't quite up there with it, the ending had left me on tenterhooks dying to find out what was going to happen next. I was really lucky to get to read this book so soon after release, because I know spoilers have been flooding the internet! Luckily I managed to avoid them and I'm keeping this review spoiler free as well.

My connection with Allegiant was instant. I loved falling back into the writing which was tense and gripping throughout. This book is told from dual POV, alternating between Tris and Four. I thought this worked really well for a few reasons. At the beginning, I think it helped give a real insight into the relationship between Four and his parents which was important to the plot. Without Four's insight, I think that element of the story would have been really lacking. Secondly, it helped cement my love of Four. I've always liked him, but maybe not quite on the same level as others have. In Allegiant I was able to really connect with him as a character and feel for him that bit more during what he goes through. There is a lot of inner turmoil he puts himself through as certain things come to light and he questions himself and his identity. It was really interesting to see how he reacts to those moments, and how that balances out with Tris' reactions.

As the final book in a trilogy, I was expecting Allegiant to answer questions that the previous two books had posed. It certainly did that. Finding out the bigger picture was something I was hoping for going into the book, and I wasn't disappointed. There is a lot of discovery about the wider world which was something I was curious about. I loved being able to appreciate the world Roth has come up with more fully as well as seeing how the characters react in an environment they aren't used to. There's also a chance to visit more of the characters' pasts which was something I enjoyed, as well as an exploration of the factions and their origins.

One of my favourite things about Allegiant, and why I thought it worked so well as a final book in a trilogy, was the way it reflected back on the previous two books. The characters are always reminiscing on their past experiences which made me all nostalgic. I loved reflecting on those moments from the first two books and reliving those scenes. It sounds incredibly cheesy, but it was like remembering a treasured moment with friends, not just characters. I think fans of the series will really appreciate those little touches. I certainly didn't expect to get so sentimental and the fact it made me feel this way has made Allegiant my favourite book in the trilogy. It also helped add to the suspense because the characters are reflecting on their pasts to help them make important decisions about their future, when the whole time you know the book is steadily drawing to a close.

I thought the relationship between Four and Tris was a real strength of the book. I adored their stolen moments together because it provided that touch of normality in this ever increasing craziness that surrounds them. Seeing them together just allowed you to escape from this chaotic environment they find themselves in and reminded you of what is important during troubled times, and provided a great contrast with the other events happening throughout the book. Like with Insurgent, things don't always go smoothly between them, which is understandable with what they're up against and I liked that added tension and intensity between them.

Throughout the book, the characters are constantly challenged and there was a lot of focus on trust and betrayal, friendship and family, love and sacrifice and the fight to protect each other. I loved how all these themes came together and seeing how each of the characters adapted and dealt with situations in their own unique and different ways.


I'm trying to avoid discussing too much of the plot in this review, because I don't want to spoil anything about the book for anyone, and so this review is purely my personal reactions to the story. I found it to be incredibly moving, a lot more so than I was expecting. There were some really emotional scenes that just blew me away and broke my heart as well as some incredible plot twists. All the way through I was trying to second guess what would happen, and none of my predictions came true. Everything that happened was always a shock or surprise keeping me hooked to the pages and lifting my jaw from the floor! I thought the ending of the book was incredibly well done, and I closed Allegiant feeling satisfied that the trilogy and the characters had been done justice. 

Thanks for reading...

Friday, 8 November 2013

Exclusive Book Cover Reveal: Roy Gill's - Daemon Parallel and Werewolf Parallel Published by Kelpies Teen

                           

It is an absolute privilege for me to share with you, for the very first time, the new book covers for Roy Gill's spring book release. Indie based Edinburgh Floris Books are launching an exciting range of books for teenagers - these books will be published under the new imprint of Kelpies Teen. I'm sure that you'll agree that these covers are incredibly cool and will certainly captivate the teenage audience that they are intended for.

The two amazing covers that you can see are for Roy Gill's Daemon Parallel and Werewolf Parallel books. The second cover is for the new adventure which is part of the Parallel Series - personally, I just can't wait to read this once it has been published! 


In my opinion, these are absolutely fantastic book covers. They really are book covers with attitude - bright, bold and eye catching. However, they also ooze a hint of 'don't read this book before bedtime' message as something might just get you in the night when you least expect it! These amazing book cover illustrations are the work of the talented illustrator Adrian Stone. To find out more about him and his work click Here

I would like to take this opportunity to thank both the publisher and Roy for having faith in me and my blog to show these eye-catching beauties. It really is a privilege for me to share these covers with the digital world as well as being able to share a few of my thoughts with you. We would love to hear what you think so please get in touch. 

To find out more about these books and the publishing company keep an eye out on their new KelpiesTeen Facebook page Here


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Clockwork Watch: The Arrival #1 by Corey Brotherson & Jennie Gyllblad & Yomi Ayeni - A Graphic Novel



About the Project:
Clockwork Watch is a collaborative storytelling project set in a retro-futurist vision of Victorian England. It's a five-year immersive participatory story told through graphic novels, interactive promenade theatre, freeform role-play, online adventures, an interactive book, and a feature film.The story set is in a genre called Steampunk, a non-colonial style of Victoriana, at a time when clockwork mechanics and science are the two most important developments in the world.This site hosts updates from the story universe. We invite participants to interact with news by contributing, photographs, videos, letters,  even drawings showing how developments affect their characters, living in the Clockwork World.                   



Book Synopsis:
London 1899. Steam billows out from every corner of the city while huge Zeppelin airships float in the sky overhead. Enter the world of Clockwork Watch, a place where Victorian values are coupled with anachronistic technology, not least of which are the clockwork servants - the mechanical slaves that keep this society ticking along - this is the world of Steampunk. Technological and social change is in the air - human-clockwork hybridisation is the talk of the town; the unwise employment of science has led to amazement and outcry - the public wants to know whether Science is about to play God. Clockwork Watch: The Arrival is the first of three graphic novels launching an immersive and participatory story told across live events, promenade theatre, online adventures, interactive literature and a feature film.



Web site: http://www.clockworkwatch.com/
Production Blog: http://www.clockworkwatch.org/

Monday, 4 November 2013

MR RIPLEY'S BOOK COVER WARS 5 - HEAT THREE 2013/14 AND JONATHAN STROUD BOOK COMPETITION

Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars are back again for the fifth year - it is that time again where we are looking for a further worthy winner. If you are returning to the site for another exciting year or are new to this competition, then I send you a very warm welcome. It is a delight to have your company in the book cover war zone. Don't forget to share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers - everyone is welcome.

For any follower of this site then this is the chance for you to become part of the weekly book cover wars. Each week, for the next 2 weeks, I am going to select five book covers for you to vote for. NEW RULES - the five book covers who get the most votes over the four weeks will go head-to-head in the final. You may not win the heat, but you could still get to the final of 'Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Wars 2013/14'. 

THE CURRENT LEADERBOARD CLICK THE LINK:HERE

As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a different special book each week. Therefore, in order to kick off the competition this week, we have an amazing collectable SIGNED FIRST EDITION HARDBACK - JONATHAN STROUD - THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND, GREAT PRIZE.

If you are interested then all you need to do is:

  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll ( click any of the links VOTE HERE and vote for your favourite book.
  • Leave a comment through this post and a twitter name if you have one....
  • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open Worldwide.
  •  Heat Three ends midnight (UK TIME)  11th November 2013. 
So here are the five book covers to vote for this week:
                           

Book One: Gareth L. Powell - Hive Monkey - Published by Solaris - 2, January 2014 - Book Cover by Jake Murray - VOTE HERE


Book Two: Derek Landy - Last Stand of Dead Men - Published by HarperCollins Children's - 29, August 2013 - Cover by Tom Percival - VOTE HERE
                          

Book Three: Samantha Shannon - The Bone Season - Published by Bloomsbury - 20, August 2013 - Cover by David Mann - VOTE HERE


Book Four: William Hussey - Haunted - Published by OUP Oxford - 5, September 2013 - Cover by Rohan Daniel Eason - VOTE HERE


Book Five: Jenna Burtenshaw - Winterveil  - Published by Greenwillow Books - 25 June 2013 - Cover by Larry Rostant - VOTE HERE





Let the voting commence on this years Book Cover Wars 2013/14. Please leave your comments on the post and twitter name if you have one to win the signed book.  Also if your really nice, why not give us an RT or mention use #bookcoverwars or share on Facebook. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Wars 2013/14 Leaderboard - After Two Heats

  • 1- Niel Bushnell - Timesmith  - 156 VOTES - Heat One 
  • 2- Ian Johnstone - The Bell Between the Worlds ( The Mirror Chronicles) - 122 VOTES - Heat One
  • 3- Thomas Taylor - Dan and the Caverns of Bone - 76 Votes - Heat Two
  • 4- Dawn Finch - Brotherhood of Shades - 68 VOTES - Heat One
  • 5- Philip Caveney - Watchers - 56 Votes
  • 6- Ransom Riggs - Hollow City ( Miss Peregrine's Children) - 51 Votes - Heat Two
  • 7- Teresa Flavin - The Shadow Lantern (Blackhope Enigma) - 37 Votes - Heat Two
  • 8- Jonathan Stroud - Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase - 21 Votes - Heat Two
  • 9- Andrew Beasley - The Battles of Ben Kingdom: The Feast of Ravens - 20 VOTES - Heat One
  • 10 - Patrick Carman - (Pulse) Tremor - 18 VOTES - Heat One 
We are at the halfway mark in Mr Ripley's annual book cover wars. This is the leaderboard so far, with the top five books with the most votes getting a chance  to fight it out in the grand final. Thank you all for your votes and support. 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Dan Stevens on new project - Frankenstein - (Downton Abbey)

Celebrate Halloween with an exclusive video interview of Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens talking about his latest project – Frankenstein (29 Oct). The award-winning actor and narrator has recorded an uncanny audiobook performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch exclusively for Audible.co.uk, available for the first time ever to listeners in the UK.


In Frankenstein, the young student Victor Frankenstein tries to create life, unleashing forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.

Posting the behind-the-scenes. 

Best known as Matthew Crawley in the hit ITV drama Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens' other television work includes lead roles in Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty and Andrew Davies's adaptation of Sense & Sensibility.
Dan Stevens is also a prolific narrator of audiobooks: his reading of Louisa Young's My Dear I Wanted to Tell You won the 2011 Audiobook of the Year at the Galaxy National Book Awards. He also recorded Stef Penney's The Invisible Ones.

The Frankenstein audiobook by Mary Shelley is available only from Audible.co.uk, the UK’s leading provider of downloadable audiobooks.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Guest Author Post by Sandra Greaves - The Skull in the Wood

                             

Guest post: Shivers down the spine

As Hallowe’en approaches, Undiscovered Voices 2012 winner Sandra Greaves talks about how she created the creepy atmosphere in her first novel, The Skull in the Wood, and how to get into the right frame of mind to bring on the shivers. 

A contemporary ghost story set on Dartmoor, The Skull in the Wood is the tale of two quarrelling cousins who unearth a curlew skull in the middle of a wood. From that moment, dark things start to happen – birds and animals turn bad, and there’s talk of an ancient evil called the gabbleratchet stirring into life. Which is very bad indeed…

The Skull in the Wood became spookier over several rewrites. In part, it was down to the moor. Dartmoor can be a very scary place, and it got into my blood – we live close by and I did lots of walking there as I was writing the book. It’s vast, strange and empty – 368 square miles of wilderness, and one of the last bits of wild Britain.

And of course it’s a gift of a location – brooding, dark, unsettling. There are countless myths and legends associated with it, and most of them are nasty. Conan Doyle set The Hound of the Baskervilles here, and the folklore is full of tales of giant black dogs that spell big trouble. On top of that, it’s a dangerous place – extremely cold, with mires you can sink into, and the fog can come down without warning, obliterating every landmark. 

All I had to was to bring it to life.

I drew on a number of dark myths to construct my plot. The folklore of birds features prominently – particularly the malevolent reputation of curlews, seen for centuries as birds of ill omen. And I took the European-wide myth of the Wild Hunt, led by the devil, which is prominent on Dartmoor, and entwined it with weird English folk tales about wild geese changing into hellhounds on stormy nights. In some regions this is known as the ‘gabbleratchet’ – a wonderful word that became central to The Skull in the Wood.

What I found along the way was that less was more. Not describing what lay at the heart of the gathering evil was far more effective than trying to spell it out. My editor, Rachel Leyshon, was brilliant in encouraging me to up the scariness and increase the peril at every stage. What worked best for me was to take terror into the everyday – to twist normality a tiny bit so that ordinary things became suddenly chilling.

Often I wrote the most frightening bits after dark. For the scariest passages, I had to get myself into a kind of semi-waking state (often with a glass of wine at my hand). Then I’d type madly, letting the demons in and onto the page.
Happy Hallowe’en.

                          


The Skull in the Wood is out this autumn, published by Chicken House, for 10+ readers. Mr Ripley's Book review find it Here
www.sandragreaves.com Twitter: @sandra_greaves 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Mr Ripley's Three Graphical Delights - Recent Reads From Kendal Comic Festival 2013

                       


Ivan Petrus - The Nieuport Gathering - Published by Editions Lannoo (25 Jan 2012)
In the trenches of World War One three soldiers meet. They have just countered the first attacks of the Germans at the Yzer front. They spend the day together on November 1 1914 and agree to see each other again in exactly 10 years. If they survive the war, that is. This is the story of 3 men, 3 soldiers with their own history and the 3 lives they have led: before, during and after the Great War. A dramatic story, enforced by the beautiful drawings of Ivan Petrus. All of the costumes and details illustrated in this graphic novel are historically correct.
                      

Stephen Collins - The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil - Published by Jonathan Cape (9 May 2013)
The job of the skin is to keep things in.
On the buttoned-down island of Here, all is well. By which we mean: orderly, neat, contained and, moreover, beardless.
Or at least it is until one famous day, when Dave, bald but for a single hair, finds himself assailed by a terrifying, unstoppable.monster*!
Where did it come from? How should the islanders deal with it? And what, most importantly, are they going to do with Dave?
The first book from a new leading light of UK comics, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is an off-beat fable worthy of Roald Dahl. It is about life, death and the meaning of beards.
(*We mean a gigantic beard, basically.)


Gareth Brookes - Black Project, The - Published by MYRIAD EDITIONS; (12 Sep 2013)
Getting yourself a girlfriend is easy, according to Richard. All you need is papier mache, string, soft material, a balloon, some old fashioned bellows, and a good pair of scissors. The difficult bit is keeping her secret. Set in an English suburb in the early 1990s, this is the story of Richard's all-consuming passion for creating 'girls' from household objects. But as his hobby begins to flourish, his real life friendships and family relationships deteriorate.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Mr Ripley's Book Review: Twinmaker by Sean Williams - Electric Monkey

                           

Twinmaker is the first instalment in a new trilogy that will definitely have you clambering to read the next book in the series. I have never actually read a book by this author, as a solo writer, only the books that he has collaborated with Garth Nix on. Therefore, I was very interested to read this yellow lump of a book which is over 500 pages long. The intriguing idea and the blurb on back was fascinating to me - I really wanted to see how this book would develop.

After two chapters or so the book, in my opinion, was not going too well. I found it really difficult to connect with the two main female characters. On reflection, I perhaps found them a little too overpowering. However, the further I read through the story the more things dramatically changed. More characters were brought into the mix and the whole story unfolded in an amazing way. It soon became an absolute joy to read. In fact, it got to the point where I could not put this book down. I soon found myself reading late into the night.

This book is set in a futuristic world which is strongly led by technology. It explores the themes of identity and social networking, which are both brought to a whole new level. It could be that this vision actually becomes reality in years to come. The ability to step into a booth and be instantly transported, to anyplace that you desire - even space. This fuels an amazing journey that will have you transported to Sean's imaginary world and all from the comfort of your very own armchair. 

Psychologically you will find it hitting the spot for the YA audience. It asks such questions as: if you were given the chance to change something about yourself, would you? What about if it was morally wrong, would you still do it?  The character, Libby, is determined to give it a try when she gets the following message offering 'improvements". . . . 

You are Special.
           You are Unique.
                 And you have been selected.
                           The method is simple.
                               Improvement is certain.
                                  You can change anything.

At this point, the adventure takes a fast rapid turn of events when Libby's friend, Claire, goes in search for answers. This new direction for the reader means that you will be sucked into a maelstrom and spat straight back out into an amazing futuristic world. You'll find yourself zipping from place to place in your own personal d-mat booth. 

The story for me included everything that you would want and more - it has been very cleverly written and thought out. The identifiable poetry quotations add a fascinating and interesting element to the story. Whilst the complex ideas that have been woven into the fabric of the story add another dimension and texture. The characters soon became engaging, interesting and varied. This book was a fantastic surprise for me - a really cool book and a dream to read. I'm ready to crashland back to reality......

Overall verdict: buy it and try it....

Published by Electric Monkey - UK (7 Nov 2013) ISBN-13: 978-1405264334

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

MR RIPLEY'S BOOK COVER WARS 5 - HEAT TWO 2013/14 +SUSAN EE - WORLD AFTER PROOF BOOK COMPETITION

Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars are back again for the fifth year - it is that time again where we are looking for a further worthy winner. If you are returning to the site for another exciting year or are new to this competition, then I send you a very warm welcome. It is a delight to have your company in the book cover war zone. Don't forget to share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers - everyone is welcome.

For any follower of this site then this is the chance for you to become part of the weekly book cover wars. Each week, for the next 3 weeks, I am going to select five book covers for you to vote for. NEW RULES - the five book covers who get the most votes over the four weeks will go head-to-head in the final. You may not win the heat, but you could still get to the final of 'Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Wars 2013/14'. 

POLL TABLE - Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars 2013/14
  • Niel Bushnell - Timesmith  - 156 VOTES - HEAT ONE 
  • Ian Johnstone - The Bell Between the Worlds ( The Mirror Chronicles) - 122 VOTES - HEAT ONE
  • Dawn Finch - Brotherhood of Shades - 68 VOTES - HEAT ONE
  • Andrew Beasley - The Battles of Ben Kingdom: The Feast of Ravens - 20 VOTES - HEAT ONE
  • Patrick Carman - (Pulse) Tremor - 18 VOTES - HEAT ONE 
As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a different special book each week. Therefore, in order to kick off the competition this week, we have an amazing collectable PROOF copy by Susan EE - World After. A chance to read it early, publication date - 21st November 2013 fantastic book for you to win.

If you are interested then all you need to do is:

  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll ( click any of the links  VOTE HERE and vote for your favourite book.
  • Leave a comment through this post
  • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open Worldwide.
  •  Heat Two ends midnight (UK TIME)  30th October 2013. 
So here are the five book covers to vote for this week:
                         

Book One: Ransom Riggs - Hollow City ( Miss Peregrine's Children) - Published by Quirk Books - 25 January 2014 - Cover by Dogie Horner VOTE HERE
                          

Book Two: Jonathan Stroud - Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase - Published by Doubleday Children's - 29 August 2013 - Cover by Alessandro 'Talexi' Taini - VOTE HERE

Book Three: Thomas Taylor - Dan and the Caverns of Bone - Published by A&C Black Children's - 6th June 2013 - Cover by Thomas Taylor - VOTE HERE

Book Four: Teresa Flavin - The Shadow Lantern (Blackhope Enigma) - Published by Templar Publishing - 1st May 2013 - Cover by Lawrence Mann - VOTE HERE
    


Book Five: Philip Caveney - Watchers - Published by Fledgling Press - 10th September 2013 - Cover by Kylie Tesdale - VOTE HERE






Let the voting commence on this years Book Cover Wars 2013/14. Please leave your comments on the post to win that proof.  Also  if your really nice give us an RT or mention use #bookcoverwars or share on Facebook. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Book Review: Nick Valentino - Thomas Riley and The Maelstrom - Zova Books

                     

It has been over two years since I last had the pleasure of reading Nick's first book 'Thomas Riley'. Therefore, I was really looking forward to getting acquainted with the characters again and finding out was going to happen next in the story as Nick takes us back into the steampunk realm in this second eventful adventure with Thomas Riley.

After just a few pages, I found my feet really quickly with the characters and ploughed through this story like a whirlpool full of airships. It's still full of advanced steam powered technologies and fantastical science/tech weapons and gadgets that will blow your mind. It's all told in fantastic great detail, which I found very descriptive and amazingly imaginative from the delights of the airships and rampaging battles. It's fuelled by high octane action where stakes are high, it will have you gripped to the airships steering wheel on a straight course to the deadly perils ahead. 

'Thomas Riley and Cynthia Basset's adventures in their steampunk world have turned down a dark path. After an assassination attempt, the West Canvian heroes receive a message from a mysterious woman about the whereabouts of Cynthia's missing suitor and famous sky pirate, Sam Burges. Cynthia insists on pursuing the lead despite great risk, so the two of them take off with a rogue colonial sky pirate and his eclectic crew to find the man that she loves. On their journey, Thomas and Cynthia learn that Sam has joined with their enemies, the Lemurians, under the supervision of the mad man, Doctor Wolfgang Gerhard. To make matters worse, Sam is in a commanding position on board the secret airship, The Maelstrom, that has the ability to control the weather in a most nefarious way. Thomas and Cynthia's loyalty to their country and to each other are laid on the line in this steampunk tale of love, loss and adventure.'

My favourite element of the story included the colonial sky pirate and the eclectic crew. The story lines connecting these characters were particularly colourful and well thought out. Each character could have easily had a greater spotlight with more explanation into their backgrounds. Perhaps these might be further expanded upon through the next story - I would be particularly interested to read more about Cale and his endeavours on the Seychelles Island. 

Perhaps the only slight disappointment of this book was the ending. I have to state that this is only my opinion, and was purely based on the fact that I was hoping for it to be different and end how I wanted it to. This didn't mean that it wasn't appropriate or effective, but it just meant a slight adjustment from the way that I thought it was going to finish.

Unfortunately, this is not a book that you will come across sitting on the shelves of an ordinary bookshop. However, I do strongly recommend that you really try to get hold of a copy through either the publishing company (Zova Books) or a signed copy through the author's website. Here This is yet another fantastic epic tale that will continue to grab your imagination with full throttle. Full Steampunk ahead.....

Thursday, 17 October 2013

New Children's/Teens Books - Fantasy/Horror/Adventure - Picks November 2013 - US Post



          Book Cover Wars landing page is here, come and have a vote. Click the title....

Andrew Post - Fabrick - Published by  Medallion Press (November 1, 2013) Age 12+ - 544 Pages
Clyde has worked for Mr. Wilkshire for a very long time. Life is comfortable in his keeper's chateau—until Mr. Wilkshire is attacked. Clyde goes into hiding and emerges to find his only friend dead.
Brokenhearted and clueless how to bring Mr. Wilkshire's killer to justice, Clyde accepts the help of a unique group of friends, including Flam the Mouflon treasure hunter and Nevele the royal stitcher. Throughout their adventure, Clyde learns he isn't alone in this world with his magical ability: there are others like him called fabrick weavers, and for all it is both a special gift and a curse. His gift is to ease the conscience of anyone who makes a confession to him, but the curse is that the person’s luck will be reduced in proportion to the severity of the offense.
Having left his pampered life behind to set things right, Clyde joins his new friends traveling into the razed city of Geyser, into the labyrinthine world beneath, and to the palace beyond. Along the way, the group deals with an unrelenting maniac pursuer, a corrupt king, a band of pirates, a small army of guardsmen, and just a few million dog-sized bugs—all while hopefully managing to avoid jinxing their own members.
Yeah, no problem.
                               

Andy Marino - Uncrashable Dakota - Published by Henry Holt and Co. (November 12, 2013) - Age 12+ - 320 Pages

In 1862, Union army infantryman Samuel Dakota changed history when he spilled a bottle of pilfered moonshine in the Virginia dirt and stumbled upon the biochemical secret of flight. Not only did the Civil War come to a much quicker close, but Dakota Aeronautics was born.

Now, in Andy Marino's Uncrashable Dakota, it is 1912, and the titanic Dakota flagship embarks on its maiden flight. But shortly after the journey begins, the airship is hijacked. Fighting to save the ship, the young heir of the Dakota empire, Hollis, along with his brilliant friend Delia and his stepbrother, Rob, are plunged into the midst of a long-simmering family feud. Maybe Samuel’s final secret wasn’t just the tinkering of a madman after all. . . .

What sinister betrayals and strange discoveries await Hollis and his friends in the gilded corridors and opulent staterooms? Who can be trusted to keep the most magnificent airship the world has ever known from falling out of the sky?
    

Robert Paul Weston - The Creature Department - Published by Razorbill (November 5, 2013) - Age 8+ - Pages 352

It’s a tentacled, inventive, gooey, world in there. . . .
Elliot Von Doppler and his friend Leslie think nothing ever happens in Bickleburgh, except inside the gleaming headquarters of DENKi-3000—the world’s eighth-largest electronics factory.

Beneath the glass towers and glittering skywalks, there's a rambling old mansion from which all the company’s amazing inventions spring forth. And no one except Uncle Archie knows what’s behind the second-to-last door at the end of the hall.

Until Elliot and Leslie are invited to take a glimpse inside.

They find stooped, troll-like creatures with jutting jaws and broken teeth. Tiny winged things that sparkle as they fly. And huge, hulking, hairy nonhumans (with horns). It is unlike anything they’ve ever seen.

But when Chuck Brickweather threatens to shut down the DENKi-3000 factory if a new product isn’t presented soon, the creatures know they are in danger. And when Uncle Archie vanishes, it’s up to Elliot, Leslie, and every one of the unusual, er, “employees” to create an invention so astonishing it will save the Creature Department.
                               

Tim Lebbon - Contagion (Toxic City) - Published by Pyr (November 5, 2013) - Age 12+ - 210 Pages

Jack and his friends are in a race against time to save the remaining inhabitants of a postapocalyptic London from a nuclear bomb.
 
Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the rest of the world, protected by a large force of soldiers (known as Choppers) while the rest of Britain believe that their ex-capital is a toxic, uninhabited wasteland. But that's not true. Jack and his friends know that the truth is very different--and incredible: the few remaining survivors in London are changing; developing strange, fantastic powers; evolving. And the Chopper force guarding London is treating the ruined city as its own experimental ground.

Now, Jack's powers are growing. His friend Lucy-Anne's powers are developing too, and Nomad--that mysterious woman who started it all--is close by. But the Choppers have initiated their final safeguard--a huge nuclear bomb that will wipe out London, and everyone still within its boundaries. Jack and his friends must spread the news of the bomb and save everyone they can. Before that can happen, Jack must face his father, the deadly Reaper, in their fin

Sunday, 13 October 2013

MR RIPLEY'S BOOK COVER WARS 5 - HEAT ONE 2013/14 + ANGIE SAGE SIGNED BOOK COMPETITION

Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars are back again for the fifth year - it is that time again where we are looking for a further worthy winner. If you are returning to the site for another exciting year or are new to this competition, then I send you a very warm welcome. It is a delight to have your company in the book cover war zone. Don't forget to share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers - everyone is welcome.

For any follower of this site then this is the chance for you to become part of the weekly book cover wars. Each week, for the next 4 weeks, I am going to select five book covers for you to vote for. NEW RULES - the five book covers who get the most votes over the four weeks will go head-to-head in the final. You may not win the heat, but you could still get to the final of 'Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Wars 2013/14'. 


As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a different special book each week. Therefore, in order to kick off the competition this week, we have an amazing collectable book which is a signed, hardback copy of Angie Sage - Fyre. This is a great read and a fantastic book for you to win.

If you are interested then all you need to do is:

  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll ( click any of the links  VOTE HERE and vote for your favourite book.
  • Leave a comment through this post
  • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this competition is open Worldwide. Heat one ends midnight (UK TIME) 21st October 2013. 
So here are the five book covers to vote for this week:



Book One - Niel Bushnell - Timesmith ( The Timesmith Chronicles) - Published by Andersen - March 2014 -  Designed by James Fraser, art editor Kate Grove. VOTE HERE

                             
Book Two -  Andrew Beasley - The Battles of Ben Kingdom: The Feast of Ravens - Published by Usborne Publishing - September 2013 - Illustrated by David Wyatt , Design by Hannah Copley. VOTE HERE


Book Three - Patrick Carman - (Pulse) Tremor - Published by Katherine Tegen Books - 25 February 2014 -  Book cover designers - Joel Tippie and Amy Ryan. VOTE HERE



                        

Book Four -  Dawn Finch - Brotherhood of Shades - Published by HarperCollins - 26 September 2013 - Designed by Liam Relph. VOTE HERE
                         
Book Five - Ian Johnstone - The Bell Between the Worlds ( The Mirror Chronicles) - Published by HarperCollins - 6 June 2013 - Designed by Blacksheep UK. VOTE HERE

Let the voting commence on this years Book Cover Wars 2013/14. Please leave your comments on the post to win that signed book.  Also  if your really nice give us an RT or mention use #bookcoverwars or share on Facebook.