Friday, 29 August 2014

Adult Movie News: UK Trailer/Main Poster - Alexandre Aja's - HORNS ( Joe Hill) Starring Daniel Radcliffe - #HornsMovie

Warning rated for 15 years and over.
Lionsgate is pleased to bring you the Main UK Trailer and Main UK Poster for Alexandre Aja's HORNS. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple and Max Minghella. Released into UK cinemas on Wednesday, 29 October, 2014

From master-of-horror Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D) comes this supernatural, offbeat thriller starring beloved British actor Danielle Radcliffe (Harry Potter, Kill Your Darlings) and the talented Juno Temple (Magic Magic, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For).

Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) is accused for the violent rape and killing of his girlfriend, Merrin Williams (Juno Temple). After a hard night of drinking, Ig awakens, hungover, to find horns growing out of his head; they have the ability to drive people to confess sins and give in to selfish impulses. Ig decides to use this effective tool to discover the circumstances of his girlfriend's death and to seek revenge by finding the true murderer.

Daniel and Juno lead an all-star cast with strong support from David Morse (The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker) and Heather Graham (The Hangover I&II, Boogie Nights).

HORNS is based on the dark fantasy novel of the same name from New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill (Heart Shaped Box) with a screenplay by Keith Burnin. Alexandre Aja, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland and Cathy Schulman produce.

Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella with Heather Graham and David Morse
Producers: Alexandre Aja, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland and Cathy Schulman

Lionsgate releases HORNS on Wednesday 29 October 2014 

Join the conversation on Twitter with #HornsMovie

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Mr Ripley's New Children's and Teen Books September 2014 - Post Two

Scott Westerfeld - Afterworlds - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Books (25 Sep 2014)
Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings...Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about 

Kenneth Oppel - The Boundless - Published by David Fickling Books (4 Sep 2014)
After a murder is committed, Will finds himself in possession of a key that has the potential to unlock the train's hidden treasures. Together with Maren, a gifted escape artist, and Mr Dorian, a circus ringmaster with amazing abilities, Will must save the Boundless before someone else winds up dead. With villains fast on his heels and strange creatures lurking outside the windows, the train hurtles across the country as Will flees for his life. His adventure may have begun without his knowing...but how it ends is now entirely up to Will.

Dave Shelton - Thirteen Chairs - Published by  David Fickling Books (4 Sep 2014)
Jack stands in the dark on the landing of the old house, and looks at his feet - He has been here for minutes, his hand on the door handle, debating whether or not to go in. A high-ceilinged room lit only by candles. Thirteen chairs, one empty. Twelve ghostly storytellers, waiting to begin. Come in! Sit down. We have been expecting you. Listen to our stories. Are you brave enough? And what is the story that you must tell? Jack is a curious boy. Are you?

Kendall Kulper - The Witch of Salt & Storm - Orchard Books (4 Sep 2014)
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the sea witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother - the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic - steals Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roe's power.
The one magical remnant left to Avery is the ability to read dreams, and one night she foresees her own murder. Time is running short, both for her and for the people of her island who need the witches' help to thrive.
Avery has never read a dream that hasn't come true, but a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane tells her he can help her change her fate. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected. And as she falls in love with Tane, she learns it is his life and hers that hang in the balance.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Chris D'Lacey - A Dark Inheritance Blog Tour (Day Two Chapter One Preview) - UK Chicken House

Chapter One Preview:
It was the day Mum took the coast road to school.
The day I tried to save a suicidal husky.
One day before I began to wonder if my father was still alive.
‘Mum, why are we going this way?’ moaned Josie.
The car had hit a pothole and bounced my sister up from her video-game console. She rubbed her window with the side of her fist and I saw the wide green spaces of Berry Head. Beyond it, just a few hundred yards to her right, lay the cliffs and the spiralling drop to the sea.
I already knew how Mum was going to answer. I’d heard the radio broadcast at breakfast.A burst water main on the outskirts of Holton Byford. It didn’t take a genius
1to know there would be hold-ups on our normal route to school.

‘Flooding,’ Mum muttered, crunching the gears. The Range Rover lurched and slowed a little. Mum hit the gearstick again, forcing the car into third. She was a pretty good driver, but she’d never got to grips with a manual shift.
‘Flooding?’ Josie wrinkled her nose. She questioned nearly everything Mum came out with. It got them into arguments. But not today.
The car slowed again, then rolled to a stop.

Mum sighed like a tyre deflating. Best-laid plans. I could almost read it on her lips.
‘What’s the matter?’ I asked, closing my book. I was halfway through a story of The Illustrated Man.
‘Police,’ she said.
‘Cool.’ Josie craned her neck sideways to see. She liked the police and wanted to join them when she was older. She had a mind for criminal detection, she said. She was smart, my sister, there was no denying that. She was into sudoku and crosswords and stuff. But it didn’t make her Sherlock Holmes. Not yet.

I could see the cars now through the slanting drizzle, two of them angled in to block the road, their roof lights circling like bright blue whips.We had the wheels to go around them, over the grass, but Mum wasn’t the type to run against the law. She fussed with a curl of her hair and waited.
A policeman wearing a lemon-coloured jacket walked
towards us, making window signals. Mum hit a button and her window slid down. The salt tang of the rain- washed sea swept in, bringing the cold of early spring with it.
The policeman took off his hat. Despite the rain, there was sweat on his brow.
‘I’m sorry, you’ll have to turn back,’ he said. He had a thin face full of shades and angles, the dark shadow of his close-shaved cheeks echoing the raven-black crop of his hair.
‘Why?’ said Josie, hitting him at once with the full indignation that only a ten-year-old could muster.
He didn’t even look at her. He said to Mum, ‘There’s been an incident.’
‘A jumper?’ My sister gasped.

‘Jo-sie!’ Mum winced apologetically and covered the flush of blood to her neck.
The policeman put on his hat, adjusting it once with a tug of the peak. The Berry Head cliff was famous for suicides.We all knew that – even Sherlock.
‘If you’d turn the vehicle around, please, and head back into Holton.’
‘Seriously?’ Mum studied the way ahead. Beyond the cars, there was nothing to see. A tilted signpost was the only hint of drama.
The policeman nodded.‘The road will be closed for an hour at least.’
Mum’s shoulders slumped. But before her hand could reach for reverse, Josie came to the rescue. Stroking her ponytail against her shoulder, she said,‘Oh, but I’ll be late for school, Officer.’

Officer. That was cute. She knew how to play people, Josie Malone. Despite her youth, she already had a fan club of male admirers.Valentine’s Day was a serious time for cardboard recycling at our house.
The ‘officer’ straightened his muscular shoulders, his yellow jacket crackling. He stroked his chin. He seemed to like the attention this kid was giving him, liked that she was showing some degree of respect. He made a weak attempt to stand his ground.
‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but—’ ‘I’ve got my music test at nine. My finals – for the flute.’ Flute? I threw Josie a sideways glance. Mum, to her
credit, didn’t even flinch. Josie couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. She could barely blow a whistle, never mind a flute. But, boy, she had a major talent for stories.
She thickened the plot.

‘It’s for my scholarship. I’ve been rehearsing my Mozart every night for months, haven’t I, Mum?’
‘She’s . . . very dedicated,’ Mum chipped in, looking as if she’d like to ooze into the footwell.
The policeman looked uneasy. Now he had a dis- affected parent and a dewy-eyed little girl testing his resolve. He bit his lip and looked back at the police cars.
‘What exactly has happened?’ asked Mum, in the kind of voice that would have made the devil confess his sins.
A second went by.The windscreen wipers beat their rhythm, the metronome of everyone’s ticking heart. The engine’s cooling fan came on. Josie put her console aside. ‘A walker reported a dog,’ said the cop. Mum shrugged.‘Lots of people walk their dogs here.’ ‘Well, that’s just it.’The policeman stubbed his boot on the ground.

‘The dog is running at the edge of the cliff – but we can’t find any sign of an owner.’
‘Maybe it’s a stray?’ Mum suggested, avoiding the words no one really wanted to say.
The policeman shook his head. ‘It’s a breed – with a collar.You don’t get many strays like that – not wandering around up here, anyway.’
‘Okay,’ Josie said, ‘here’s how it is.’ She cracked her knuckles in the dip of her lap. She was now the investigat- ing officer. ‘Catch the dog and check its name tag. It’s bound to have a name tag and an address.You can call the address to see if the owner is missing. If you find the owner, that means they haven’t jumped. Then you’ll know that the dog has just run away – or maybe been stolen and dumped here, yeah?’

There was a pause while everyone considered their verdict. Eventually, the policeman said to Mum, ‘Bright spark, isn’t she? High IQ?’
‘Off the scale,’ said Mum.‘Not a musical one.’
He rested his forearm against the car and gradually slanted his gaze towards Josie. ‘Yes, miss, we’ve thought of all that.

The problem is—’
‘You can’t catch the dog,’ I muttered. Though they’d tried. Hence the sweat on the copper’s brow.
‘Correct,’ he said. ‘It’s . . . resisting arrest.’ He pulled his mouth into a half-crooked smile.‘And now it’s too close to the drop for comfort.Are you all right, son?You look a bit peaky.’
‘He has asthma,’ said Josie, hearing me wheeze.
But that wasn’t strictly true. Lately, I’d been having these peculiar moments when my breathing faltered and my head would go light. The doctors were calling it a type of asthma because they couldn’t find another expla- nation for it. The ‘attacks’, when they came, always followed a pattern: a fierce tightness in the chest, then a slight blurring of vision.A few puffs on my inhaler would usually put me right. But on the last two occasions, things had been different. The symptoms had speeded up and been more pronounced. I’d had this weird sensation of floating, as though my mind wasn’t quite in sync with my body. I hadn’t dared tell Mum or the doctors about it – I was scared they’d think I was crazy. Deep down, I’d been hoping it would just go away.
I could see the dog on the headland now.A grey-and- white husky running back and forth like a distressed wolf.

The rain thumped hard against Josie’s window.
A powerful gust of wind billowed like an airbag inside the car.
And the longer I looked at that troubled dog, the closer I seemed to get to its thoughts.
‘It’s going to jump,’ I breathed.

‘What?’ said Josie. She was patting my pockets for my inhaler.

A Dark Inheritance is out now in paperback (£6.99) published by Chicken House. Mr Ripley's Book Review is also HERE why not check it out as well.....

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Publishers News: Paul Magrs Signs New YA Book Deal - Lost on Mars 2105

Wales-based children’s and young adult publisher Firefly Press has acquired a YA science fiction title by Dr Who novel writer Paul Magrs.
Lost on Mars, which will be published in spring 2015, tells the story of Lora and her family, who are human settlers on the red planet and struggling to survive.
“I wanted to write a science fiction epic set on another planet, about human beings surviving in incredible new circumstances and encountering mysterious and fascinating new ideas,” said Magrs. “It’s a kind of blend of the best elements of classic children’s fiction, such as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, and Golden Age space operas such as Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.”
Firefly publisher Penny Thomas, which acquired world rights from literary agent Charlotte Robertson at United Agents, said she was “delighted” to sign Magrs and described the book as a “thrilling read from a terrific writer”.
Magrs has written more than 25 original Dr Who novels for BBC Books, as well as YA title Exchange (Simon & Schuster Children's), which was shortlisted for the Book TrustTeen Book Award in 2006 and longlisted for the Carnegie in 2007.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books Review - The Unicorne Files: A Dark Inheritance - by Chris D'Lacey

When Michael saves a dog in a clifftop rescue is the opening line to the synopsis on the back of the book. You may be forgiven for thinking that this book sounds unappealing and pass this one by, but you would be sadly mistaken.... 

This is a cracking book by Chris D'Lacey. It has been about two years since his last published book. He has since moved house and county which has perhaps had some influence on his latest book. This is the first book in The Unicorne Files entitled A Dark Inheritance - the next installment has already been written and is called ALEXANDER’S ARMY which I'm eagerly waiting for. 

What is the series about? 
It’s about a young boy called Michael Malone, who is recruited by UNICORNE because he has an extraordinary ability to alter his reality.  At the start of the series Michael’s father, Thomas, has been missing for three years after disappearing during a business trip.  What Michael doesn’t know, however, is that his father was also a UNICORNE agent.  Michael’s quest to find out what happened to his father forms the general arc of the series.

The narrative takes the reader through a twisting and gripping story that hooks you the further you explore the story. You are transported into a supernatural thriller full of danger, action and teenage reality. This makes a fantastic blend that anyone can relate to regardless of age or gender. 

Who are the main characters? The principal character is Michael.  He lives at home with his mum, Darcy, and his younger sister, Josie.  Michael is recruited into UNICORNE by the smooth-talking Amadeus Klimt, who claims to have information about Michael’s father.  Klimt is aided by two other agents, a feisty young French woman called Chantelle and an ex-marine who is only ever referred to by his surname, Mulrooney.  During the course of his first investigation, Michael also meets the principal female character, Freya Zielinski, a goth with a troubled past and a dark secret… 

You will love both the male and female characters in the book as they are well represented and well written. They are not written about in too much detail, which gives them a sense of mystery, and the character dialogue is just enough without detracting from the story. 
Why should I read this book? This is a quick paced walk down the fantasy paranormal; a journey of action, reality and a spoonful of the dark and mysterious. It is a well plotted story for fans who enjoy exploring their imagination. Whilst the ending introduces a shadow of what is to come in the next book. More UNexplained Incidents Cryptic Occurrences and Relative Non-temporal Events coming your way soon.....

Chris is embarking upon a seven-date blog tour discussing all things A DARK INHERITANCE. Check out the blogs at the links below:

26th August - BOOK ZONE FOR BOYS
1st September - BOOKTRUST
2nd September - TEEN LIBRARIAN

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Mr Ripley's New Children's and Teen Books September 2014 - Post One

Charlie Higson - The Hunted (Enemy Book 6 ) - Published by Puffin (4 Sep 2014) 
The Hunted is Charlie Higson's sixth terrifying installment in the thrilling The Enemy series
The sickness struck everyone over fourteen.
First it twisted their minds.
Next it ravaged their bodies.
Now they roam the streets -
Crazed and hungry
The others had promised that the countryside would be safer than the city. They were wrong. Now Ella's all-alone except for her silent rescuer, Scarface - and she's not even sure if he's a kid or a grown-up.
Back in London, Ed's determined to find her. But getting out of town's never been more dangerous- because coming in the other direction is every SICKO in the country. It's like they're being called towards the capital and nothing is going to stop them . . .
In the penultimate book in The Enemy series, the survivors' stories cross with chilling consequences.

Rick Yancey - The 5th Wave: The Infinite Sea - Published by Penguin (6 Sep 2014)
The Infinite Sea is the hugely anticipated follow-up to the phenomenal - and bestselling - The 5th Wave by Carnegie-shortlisted Rick Yancey.
THE 1st WAVE: Took out half a million people.
THE 2nd WAVE: Put that number to shame.
THE 3rd WAVE: Lasted a little longer. Twelve weeks . . . Four billion dead.
IN THE 4th WAVE: You can't trust that people are still people.
Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others' ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
Cassie and her friends haven't seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

Tom Becker - Afterwalkers - Published by Scholastic Press (4 Sep 2014) 
Grave robbery, murder and fear... For hundreds of years the people of Alderston have guarded a terrible secret. When Jamie's family receive a summons to do a mysterious job, they move into a house that looks over the graveyard. Soon Jamie witnesses a series of strange visions and terrible attacks. He begins to suspect that the great iron cages placed on top of the graves are not there to keep robbers out, but to keep the dead in. A curse rests on the town. The undead are in charge, and somehow Jamie is the only hope.

Alex Campbell - Land - Published by Hot Key Books - ( 4 Sep 2014)
The sea rose. Civilisation was wiped out, countries drowned. Out of the ashes of a desperate refugee camp, a new society was born, with a new place to call home: Land. Trapped by an aggressive sea, its citizens were bound to rules that saw the weak removed, marriage and children by approval only, and designated work for all. All for the greater good...Decades later, and seventeen-year-old Christy's life is on the cusp of irrevocable change. She has become eligible for The Pairing, a carefully selected marriage of political and social convenience where romance is out of the question. Her grandmother, Cons, has also reached a significant age - sixty-six: soon the Selection Truck will arrive to take her away forever. Christy's only hope for protection lies with her errant rebel father ...but nothing goes as it's supposed to. As Christy finds a Pairing which might offer a new opportunity for love and security she also uncovers a destiny that has been hidden from her; truths that have been disguised as childhood lies. With Cons' life under threat, Christy is forced to face a whole new world, one where she must choose between those she cares about and the greater good. A new life where she must play the reluctant rebel, revolutionary, lover ...and assassin.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Holly Black Announced as New Doctor Who Writer - Lights Out ( 12 Doctors 12 Stories) - Puffin

A Twelfth Doctor needs a twelfth adventure written by a twelfth author. That author is: Holly Black 

To celebrate the arrival of Peter Capaldi on to our screens as the newly regenerated Doctor, Puffin is reissuing its sensational series of Doctor Who short stories, each written by a different author but with an extra brand new twelfth adventure, available in eBook and as part of the 12 Doctors 12 Stories paperback anthology, publishing on 23rd October. Offering the perfect addition to the top-selling series, the twelfth story, Lights Out, has been penned by self-confessed Doctor Who fan and best-selling female sci-fi writer Holly Black

Following short stories by Eoin Colfer, Michael Scott, Marcus Sedgwick, Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness, Richelle Mead, Malorie Blackman, Alex Scarrow, Charlie Higson, Derek Landy and Neil Gaiman, Holly has written the twelfth adventure in this series, based on the Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. Holly Black commented: "It's a huge honour to get to write a story in such an amazing science fiction universe, one which makes for an ultimate writer's playground with its flexibility across time and space. I am a big fan of the series and of the Doctor himself, our alien hero who reminds us over and over of our humanity and carries a screwdriver instead of a gun."

Doctor Who is the longest running sci-fi TV show in the world and celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The anniversary TV episode saw an average of 12.8 million viewers tune in to BBC One to watch the Doctor regenerate. To celebrate the anniversary, Puffin – in partnership with BBC Worldwide – published a series of eleven eShorts each based on one of the eleven Doctors, priced at £1.99 and released monthly from January to November 2013. The series has brought together some of the most exciting names in children’s fiction, from commercial blockbusters to literary award-winners. These authors have brought their own interpretation and reimagining of their chosen Doctor, creating a unique Doctor Who adventure in their own inimitable style. 

Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children. She is co-creator of the hugely successful series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, which secured her several top spots in the New York Times Bestsellers List and was adapted into a film in 2008. More recently, Holly has collaborated with fellow writer Cassandra Clare, on a brand new series titled Magisterium which is due to publish this autumn. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.

The story will be available in eBook for £1.99 and will be included in a paperback anthology (£12.99) of the twelve stories, Doctor Who: 12 Doctors, 12 stories. Holly’s new story will also be included in a stylish gift slipcase, the perfect Christmas present for Doctor Who fans, containing all 12 adventures for £18. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Teen Horror Book Picks August 2014

Rin Chupeco -  The Girl from the Well - Published by Sourcebooks Fire (August 5, 2014)

I am where dead children go. Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.
Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.

April Genevieve Tucholke - Between the Spark and the Burn - Published by Dial (August 14, 2014)

Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world. But then, the Devil once told me that it's easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry. The problem with River West Redding was that he'd done both to me. The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet's life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River's other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn't long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .

Madeleine Roux - Sanctum: An Asylum Novel - Published by HarperCollins (August 26, 2014)
In this haunting, fast-paced sequel to the New York Times bestselling photo-illustrated novel Asylum, three teens must unlock some long-buried secrets from the past before the past comes back to get them first. Featuring found photographs, many from real vintage carnivals, Sanctum is a mind-bending reading experience that blurs the lines between past and present, genius and insanity, perfect for fans of the smash hit Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they'd love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it's here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.
Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own—one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined.

Alexandra Adornetto - Ghost House (The Ghost House Saga) - Published by Harlequin Teen (August 26, 2014)
After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother's country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger… 

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander's past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her. 

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever…and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Mr Ripley's Book Choice August 2014 : Michael Grant - Messenger of Fear - Electric Monkey

Michael Grant - Messenger of Fear - Published by Electric Monkey (August 28, 2014)
This is the first book in the thrilling, chilling new series from no. 1 bestselling author of Gone, Michael Grant. I remembered my name - Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself. And then the games began. Think you know the meaning of suspense? Think again...The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear. But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out...

“Who are you?”
That was the first question I asked the boy in front of me. The pale, solemn young man in the black coat with small silver skulls for buttons.
But he didn’t answer it. Instead he answered the question I never asked, but which was nevertheless what I really wanted to know.
Am I dead?
No, not dead, he told me.
But surely not quite alive, either. How could I be?
I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, still shuddering at the memory of the creeping yellow mist that had awoken me in that strange, silent land, I could recall nothing else about myself.
The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Huw Powell - Spacejackers - Published by Bloomsbury

This is one of the coolest book covers around at the moment. The cover illustration was designed by the talented Alex Fuentes. Bright, vibrant and eye-catching it will certainly help lift the book off the bookshelves by an eager reader. Spacejackers is a brand new trilogy featuring Jake Cutler and his new-found friends; it is a cracking action-packed debut from Huw Powell. 

The story is a space romp full of aliens, fantastic space monsters and an abundance of technology and cool gadgets. The mysterious start fills you with intrigue; the futuristic world catapults the reader into a fast paced page turner crafted with a high energy tempo that will have the reader lapping up the pages. 

Jake Cutler, a boy searching for his destiny in the company of a ship full of ruthless space pirates and some special cargo, is abandoned as a baby on the Planet Remota, where he is left in the care of a group of cyber-monks. After living a sheltered life, it all changes when his home is invaded by ruthless space pirates with just one target: him. Jake is now on the run with a bounty hunter and the suspicious-looking crew of a spaceship called the Dark Horse. However, Jake Cutler's destiny to find his home planet soon uncovers the truth about his past. 

This book should be dubbed as SPACECRACKERS, as it is funny, full of explosive mayhem and zero-gravity antics that you will all love. Nevermind the well-written crazy characters, vast alien worlds, shipwrecks and one mighty black hole. This book is full of high-octane space battles and planet skirmishes which is a fantasy strong point. I loved the detail in the story - it's very well imagined, highly overactive which, in my opinion, leaves the plot feeling a little quirky and delivers a sense of fun which I really enjoyed. I love a great space story and this one ticks all of the boxes - it should do very well.

This is a great interstellar delight full of exciting adventure for the young and the old. The dramatic and climactic ending leaves the story ready to be continued in 'The Sword of Altus' which is due to be published in March 2015. NEVER TRUST A SPACE PIRATE. OUT NOW IN ALL GOOD GALACTIC BOOKSHOPS. 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Mr Ripley's Book Review: Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book - Graphic Novel Volume One - Adaptation By P. Craig Russell

In the UK, Bloomsbury is due to release the first volume in a graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book which is both a Carnegie and Newbery medal-winning novel. In fact this is the only novel to have won both prestigious awards. The book will be published on July 31st with Volume 2 due to hopefully follow at some point in September.

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 1 is adapted by P. Craig Russell, who has over forty years of experience producing graphic novels, comic books and illustrations. However there are also a number of star performers involved in illustrating each chapter such as: Kevin Nowlan, P. Craig Russell, Tony Harris, Scott Hampton, Galen Showman, Jill Thompson, and Stephen B. Scott. All contribute to the chapters in their key signature styles. Volume 1 will cover Chapter One through to the Interlude whilst Volume 2 will cover Chapter Six to the very end.

The story follows Nobody "Bod" Owens, a normal boy who lives in a graveyard, and is being raised by the graveyard’s ghosts and an otherworldly guardian.  There are adventures to be had in the graveyard, but Bod must not leave it, or he will have to face the man Jack, who killed Bod’s family.

So it was that Bod was taken in by the graveyard folk – the ghosts of those long since passed – and raised as one of their own. With centuries of knowledge between them, Bod’s education is eclectic if somewhat arcane, but it will stand him in good stead for what his fiercely inquisitive nature will lead him to encounter both inside the graveyard and when he strays oh so dangerously out. Fortunately he has a quiet yet determined guardian in Silas, the very tall man with the very pale skin and the very dark hair. Silas is no ghost as you have probably gathered; nor is he still amongst the living.

The Graveyard retains the adventure and mystery, but now it's picture perfect through a world of illustrations and images. The realism and imagery that Russell brings to the table sharpens the characters and intensifies the gruesome elements of the tale. The story is fully brought to life; the surreal and the sublime are delivered fully. It delivers a classic masterpiece to a new audience of readers and will have to be noted as one of my favourite Graphic Novels for some time. 

I really loved the idea of having six artists all working together on one novel. They all bring their own style and character to the pages through a display of immense technical skill. The use of colour brings an ambience to the story which conveys the mood of each chapter to the reader. It's a theatre of mix media that everyone should appreciate. I'm really pleased to see a favourite story of mine get this treatment and be converted into a graphic format. 

A hand moved in the darkness holding a knife of graphic colour to raise the imagination. The lurking horror that you encounter will grab you by the throat and lead you through the story like no other. It will certainly leave you wanting Vol 2 to arrive very soon. 

This is an enjoyable visual delight that has a fantastic story at heart....

Monday, 28 July 2014

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's and Teen Books Picks - August 2014

Glen Huser - The Elevator Ghost - Published by 
Groundwood Books 
(Canada) - (12 Aug 2014) - Small Press Pick 
When Carolina Giddle moves into the Blatchford Arms, no one knows what to make of her sequin-sprinkled sneakers and her trinket-crusted car. But the parents are happy there’s a new babysitter around, and Carolina seems to have an uncanny ability to calm the most rambunctious child with her ghostly stories.
Armed with unusual snacks (bone-shaped peppermints, granghoula bars and Rumpelstiltskin sandwiches), candles to set the mood, and her trusty sidekick — a tarantula named Chiquita, Carolina entertains the children with some good old-fashioned storytelling and, at the end, a great Halloween party.
Governor General’s Award winner Glen Huser brings his quirky sense of humor and horror to some time-honored motifs. The artistic Lubinitsky girls find out that artists must be wary of the power of their own creations. Holy terror Angelo Bellini discovers that no one can throw a tantrum like a double-crossed pirate. The Hooper kids, including UFO junkie Benjamin, learn about some eerie goings-on in the New Mexico desert. Timid Hubert and Hetty Croop are practically afraid of their own shadows, until they hear the story of a boy who finds the perfect weapon for overcoming his fear of the dark. And Dwight and Dwayne Fergus, two would-be Freddy Kruegers, finally meet their match in Carolina, and her story of the footless skeleton.
As for Carolina Giddle herself, it turns out that she has a timeworn connection to the Blatchford Arms, and to the ghost who still haunts the building — especially its old-fashioned elevator.

Julia Lee - The Dangerous Discoveries of Gully Potchard - Published by OUP Oxford ( 7 Aug 2014)
An improbable hero, a spine-tingling adventure, and a surprising twist of fate.. 
Gully Potchard never meant to cause any trouble. He's just an ordinary sort of boy . . . at least that what he thinks. But when an old acquaintance comes knocking, it isn't long before Gully is tangled up in a mess of mischief and skulduggery. Cats and dogs go astray, a child is kidnapped, and ransom notes are delivered to the wrong people! But as a storm rages and a fire blazes, Gully discovers that he has an extraordinary skill that might just make him an unlikely hero after all . . .

Lucy Inglis - City of Halves - Published by Chicken House - (7 Aug 2014)
London. Girls are disappearing. They've all got one thing in common; they just don't know it yet. Sixteen-year-old Lily was meant to be next, but she's saved by a stranger: a half-human boy with gold-flecked eyes. Regan is from an unseen world hidden within our own, where legendary creatures hide in plain sight. But now both worlds are under threat, and Lily and Regan must race to find the girls, and save their divided city.

Edward Carey - Foulsham (Iremonger Trilogy) - Published by Hot Key Books (7 Aug 2014)
Foulsham, London's great filth repository, is bursting at the seams. The walls that keep the muck in are buckling, rubbish is spilling over the top, back into the city that it came from. In the Iremonger family offices, Grandfather Umbitt Iremonger broods: in his misery and fury at the people of London, he has found a way of making everyday objects assume human shape, and turning real people into objects. Abandoned in the depths of the Heaps, Lucy Pennant has been rescued by a terrifying creature, Binadit Iremonger - more animal than human. She is desperate and determined to find Clod. But unbeknownst to her, Clod has become a golden sovereign and is 'lost'. He is being passed as currency from hand to hand all around Foulsham, and yet everywhere people are searching for him, desperate to get hold of this dangerous Iremonger, who, it is believed, has the power to bring the mighty Umbitt down. But all around the city, things, everyday things, are twitching into life...

Friday, 25 July 2014

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books Preview: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare Announce (The Iron Trial) Magisterium Series - First Look

Book One of the Magisterium Series: The Iron Trial. 
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.
Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.
All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.
So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.
Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.
The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .


Twelve-year-old Callum Hunt has grown up knowing three rules by heart.
Never trust a magician. Never pass a test a magician gives you. And never let a magician take you to the Magisterium.
Call is about to break all the rules. And when he does, his life will change in ways he can’t possibly imagine.
The Iron Trial is the first book in an epic fantasy series that I’m cowriting with Holly Black.  The Iron Trial, will be released in September 2014 by Scholastic/Doubleday Children's  Books. Four books will follow, one for year of Call’s life from twelve to seventeen, as he comes of age in a world where child apprentices train to be warriors and dark magicians seek to defeat even death. There’s not much else I can say about the books yet, as I’m sworn to secrecy, but I’ve always wanted to write with Holly, and I can definitely say the collaboration has produced characters I love and a story I hope you’ll find as funny, dark, adventurous and unexpected as I do.

From a distance, the man struggling up the white face of the glacier might have looked like an ant crawl- ing slowly up the side of a dinner plate. The shantytown of La Rinconada was a collection of scattered specks far below him, the wind increasing as his elevation did, blowing powdery gusts of snow into his face and freezing the damp tendrils of his black hair. Despite his amber goggles, he winced at the brightness of the reflected sunset.

Still, the man was not afraid of falling, although he was using no ropes or belay lines, only crampons and a single ice axe. His name was Alastair Hunt and he was a mage. He shaped and molded the frozen substance of the glacier under his hands as he climbed. Handholds and footholds appeared as he inched his way upward. By the time he reached the cave, midway up the glacier, he was half frozen and fully exhausted from bending his will to tame the worst of the elements. It sapped his energy to exert his magic so continuously, but he hadn’t dared slow down.

The cave itself opened like a mouth in the side of the moun- tain, impossible to see from above or below. He pulled himself over its edge and took a deep, jagged breath, cursing himself for not getting there sooner, for allowing himself to be tricked. In La Rinconada, the people had seen the explosion and whispered under their breaths about what it meant, the fire inside the ice.

Fire inside the ice. It had to be a distress signal . . . or an attack. The cave was full of mages too old to fight or too young, the injured and the sick, mothers of very young children who could not be left — like Alastair’s own wife and son. They had been hidden away here, in one of the most remote places on the earth.

Master Rufus had insisted that otherwise they would be vulnerable, hostages to fortune, and Alastair had trusted him. Then, when the Enemy of Death hadn’t shown up on the field to face the mages’ champion, the Makar girl upon whom they’d pinned all their hopes, Alastair had realized his mistake. He’d gotten to La Rinconada as fast as he could, flying most of his way on the back of an air elemental. From there, he’d made his way on foot, since the Enemy’s control of elementals was unpredictable and strong. The higher he’d climbed, the more frightened he’d become. Let them be all right, he thought to himself as he stepped inside the cave. Please let them be all right.

There should have been the sound of children wailing. There should have been the low buzz of nervous conversation and the hum of subdued magic. Instead, there was only the howl of the wind as it swept over the desolate peak of the mountain. The cave walls were white ice, pocked with red and brown where blood had splattered and melted in patches. Alastair pulled off his goggles and dropped them on the ground, pushing farther into the pas- sage, drawing on the dregs of his power to steady himself.

The walls of the cave gave off an eerie phosphorescent glow. Away from the entrance, it was the only light he had to see by, which probably explained why he stumbled over the first body and nearly fell to his knees. Alastair jerked away with a yell, then winced as he heard his own shout echo back to him. The fallen mage was burned beyond recognition, but she wore the leather wristband with the large hammered piece of copper that marked her as a second-year Magisterium student. She couldn’t have been older than thirteen.