Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Peter Jay Black - Shockwave (Urban Outlaws) - Book Review (Bloomsbury 2016)

The Urban Outlaws have been infected! Hector Del Sarto used them to spread the deadly Medusa virus and now the whole of London is in lockdown. Only Hector and his father have the antidote. Can Jack, Charlie, Obi, Slink and Wren work together to bring down the Del Sartos once and for all? The whole city depends on them!

One day, a team of super-skilled kids popped into Peter Jay Black's head; that was the day the URBAN OUTLAWS was born. The first book in this fantastic series was published back in March 2014, which only seems like yesterday. The authors love of gadgets and films have made a fantastic impact on the following series. The second book was entitled  "Black Out" and the third book "Lockdown". Both were published by Bloomsbury in 2015 with fantastically cool and vibrant book covers. Each book followed the characters through a series of impossible missions that left the reader hooked from the very first page.

The plot line in book four "Counterstrike" was extra special in many ways. It is definitely my personal favourite and was out early this year. I have loved every minute of this series and I hope that you do too, if you've not already done so. I have flexed my fantasy wings and flown higher than Mount Everest, even landing on the summit due to big action bangs in every book. I have really come to love the characters and their individual personalties as if they were old and new friends. Every adventure has stayed fresh in my mind until the next instalment is unleashed. 

We have now arrived at the latest book, SHOCKWAVE. As the book title might suggest, in more ways than one (giving nothing away), this could be the last pages that we read, but I really hope not! Jack, Charlie, Slink and Wren face their toughest challenge in a fantastic high-stakes battle to save their lives and everybody on the planet. The clock is ticking and so will your heartbeat as the action unfolds in this gripping and engaging mission to defeat Hector and the deadly virus. The story is told with heart and gusto; it has many chapters jammed packed with exhilarating action and adventure.   

The imaginative qualities found in all of the books will rival the dreams of kids. Any reluctant reader will drop into any of the stories and really enjoy them, as they are fun, fresh and totally cool. All of the characters are different and fantastically written, with brilliant personalties that any reader (regardless of age or gender) will relate to. There are characters who are creative with gadgets e.g. a techno geek who is good with computers and surveillance as well sporty and action seeking characters. Each person brings their skills  to make a great team as they all want to make a difference in the world in order to make it a better place for everybody. 

This is a fantastically feel good series for everyone; it is smart, funny and a bucketful of entertainment, but what will happen now? Have we seen the last of the Urban Outlaws? 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Middle Grade Book Picks (8yrs-12yrs) - November 2016 - (Published US Post)

Tony Abbott - The Copernicus Legacy: The Crown of Fire - Published by Katherine Tegen Books (November 15, 2016)

“Upon my life, I will.” Across the centuries, every Guardian who has protected one of the twelve relics of the Copernicus legacy has taken this vow. But never have the consequences of the promise been more profound. The secret network of the great astronomer’s spies is the target of an assassination plot, led by the despicable Galina Krause. And now the Kaplans are more alone than ever before as they race from France to Antarctica against a deadly ticking clock.
There is not much time left for Wade, Darrell, Lily, and Becca to find the remaining relics and defeat their enemies. But are they willing to risk the life of one of their own in order to save the world?

Jacob Grey - Ferals #3: The White Widow's Revenge - Published by HarperCollins Children's (November 8, 2016) 

The thrilling conclusion to Ferals, a fantasy trilogy that’s part Batman, part The Graveyard Book, and all high-stakes adventure.
Caw has defeated the dreaded Spinning Man and vanquished the Mother of Flies. But a new feral has appeared—one who intends to uphold the Spinning Man’s dark legacy. Known as the White Widow, this spider feral is determined to destroy Caw and bring Blackstone back into an era of crime and fear.
Now everyone Caw holds dear is in danger. And this time Caw may not be able to protect them.

Jennifer Brody - Return of the Continuums: The Continuum Trilogy (BK2) - Published by Turner (November 1, 2016)

As Myra Jackson and her friends set out to find the First Continuum, Captain Aero Wright and two companions from the outer space Second Continuum find themselves banished for treason and stranded on Earth. Wright has vowed to complete his late father’s mission to recolonise their ancestral planet, but his true mission is to find the mysterious girl who haunts his dreams. Meanwhile, Myra and the young refugees of the underwater Thirteenth Continuum must make an unlikely ally if they are going to survive the hostile surface world and reach their destination, the nexus of humanity’s hope for survival. As their paths begin to converge, the Beacons that guide and connect Myra and Aero begin to prove their power, and a shadowy force with a centuries-old grudge reveals itself.

Linda Fairstein - Into the Lion's Den (Devlin Quick Mysteries, The) - Published by Dial Books (November 15, 2016)

Watch out, Nancy Drew—Devlin Quick is smart, strong, and she will DEFINITELY close the case in this thrilling new mystery series for girls and boys from New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein.

Someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page—an old map—possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.

Kirsten Hubbard - Race the Night - Published by  Disney-Hyperion (November 8, 2016)

That's what Teacher says, and twelve-year-old Eider knows she's right. The world ended long ago, and the desert ranch is the only thing left. Still, Eider's thoughts keep wandering Beyond the fence. Beyond the pleated earth and scraggly brush and tedious daily lessons. Eider can't help wishing for something more-like the stories in the fairytale book she hides in the storage room. Like the secret papers she collects from the world Before. Like her little sister who never really existed.
When Teacher announces a new kind of lesson, Eider and the other kids are confused. Teacher says she needs to test their specialness-the reason they were saved from the end of the world. But seeing in the dark? Reading minds? As the kids struggle to complete Teacher's challenges, they also start to ask questions. Questions about their life on the desert ranch, about Before and Beyond, about everything Teacher has told them. But the thing about questions-they can be dangerous.

This moving novel-equal parts hope and heartbreak-traces one girl's journey for truth and meaning, from the smallest slip of paper to the deepest understanding of family. The world may have ended for the kids of the desert ranch . . . but that's only the beginning.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: New Teenage Book Picks - November 2016 - (Published US Post)

Neal Shusterman - Scythe (Arc of a Scythe Bk1) - Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (November 22, 2016)

Two teens are forced to murder—maybe each other—in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

Marissa Meyer - Heartless - Published by Feiwel & Friends (November 8, 2016)

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland―the infamous Queen of Hearts―she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favourite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. 
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

David A. Poulsen - And Then the Sky Exploded - Dundurn (November 15, 2016)

When Christian learns his great-grandfather helped build the A-bombs dropped on Japan, he wants to make amends … somehow.

While attending the funeral of his great-grandfather, ninth-grader Christian Larkin learns that the man he loved and respected was a member of the Manhattan Project, the team that designed and created the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during the Second World War.

On a school trip to Japan, Chris meets eighty-one-year-old Yuko, who was eleven when the first bomb exploded over Hiroshima, horribly injuring her. Christian is determined to do something to make up for what his great-grandfather did. But after all this time, what can one teenager really do? His friends tell him it’s a stupid idea, that there’s nothing he can do. And maybe they’re right.

But maybe, just maybe … they’re wrong.

Alexander Gordon Smith - The Devil's Engine: Hellfighters - Published by The Devil's Engine (Book 2)

In Hellraisers, he made a demonic deal. Now, in this sequel, The Devil's Engine: Hellfighters, it’s time to pay the price. 
Thrown into a relentless war against the forces of darkness, fifteen-year-old Marlow Green and his squad of secret soldiers must fight for control of the Devil’s Engines―ancient, infernal machines that can make any wish come true, as long as you are willing to put your life on the line. But after a monstrous betrayal, Marlow, Pan and the other Hellraisers find themselves on the run from an enemy with horrific powers and limitless resources―an enemy that wants them dead at all costs. Failure doesn’t just mean a fate worse than death for Marlow, it means the total annihilation of the world. And when all looks lost and the stakes couldn’t be higher, just how far is he willing to go?
In the second book of The Devil's Engine trilogy, Alexander Gordon Smith has written another of his signature thrilling, fast-paced Faustian horror story that turns the tables on the battle between good and evil.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

J. K Rowling - NEW HARRY POTTER FILM BOOSTS POTTER MEMORABILIA (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' hand-written and illustrated by J.K Rowling comes to auction in December
A rare presentation copy of ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’, created, hand-written and illustrated by JK Rowling, containing a personal inscription by the author to the editor who launched her career, will be offered for sale at Sotheby's London in December. The sale coincides with the release of a new Harry Potter film – Fantastic Beasts.

Both will be seen as true Christmas treats, The Tales of Beedle the Bard is estimated to reach £300,000 to £500,000 when it hits the saleroom on 13th December, rather more expensive than the price of a ticket to see the film Fantastic Beasts. In 2007, a copy produced specifically for sale at auction to raise money for J.K Rowling's charity Lumos, was sold at Sotheby's for a record-breaking £1.95 million.

Pontus Silfverstolpe founder of Barnebys, the search engine which tracks art, antiques and collectables internationally across 1,600 auction houses with 500,000 items for sale at any one time, says: “Harry Potter has become an auction phenomenon. Any Harry Potter memorabilia, film posters, film costumes, and anything to do with the actors who starred in the films are eminently saleable. Prices have steadily increased over the past decade. For example recently we have seen a number of items make surprising amounts."
                                                          * JK Rowling’s Harry Potter chair sells for $394,000 at Heritage auctions in the USA
* First edition's of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone sell for in excess of £25 000.
* 'Holy Grail' - hardcover first edition first printings of the first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1997. Only 500 were published and 300 went to libraries. Copies crediting "Joanne Rowling" (not J.K.) can fetch up to £35, 000.
* By book four, JKR was signing less copies of books - so any books from 4-7 in the series with a signature are highly collectable - around £10,000. 
* By book six JKR was no longer doing book tours and signed copies of books were becoming rarer and rarer.

The current copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard being sold by Sotheby’s is number three of the seven that J.K Rowling produced. The author presented it to British publisher Barry Cunningham, who famously accepted the first Harry Potter book for publication. This copy is especially important to Wizard fans as Cunningham played an instrumental role in launching J.K Rowling’s career as an international best-selling author.

In a dedication written in the front of the book, JK Rowling wrote: ''To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell… THANK YOU.''
Cunningham recalls the experience of receiving the copy on 12th December 2007 as 'unreal,' becoming 'progressively more exciting' as he opened a white jiffy envelope to reveal a beautiful, cloth-wrapped manuscript book, adorned with semi-precious stones and a sterling silver mounted skull. The original packaging, in which the copy was delivered, is included as part of the lot.
Originally presented as a personal gift to 'those most closely connected to the Harry Potter books,' the manuscript of wizarding tales is one of only seven unique copies produced for the most important people in Rowling's life during this time.

'The personal resonance of this book makes this both an exceptional and highly desirable object to come to auction. It is particularly special as it is only one of six made for those closest to the author throughout the journey of creating the Harry Potter series,  gifted to the man who recognised the brilliance of J.K Rowling’s writing and her potential impact on children’s literature,' explained Dr. Philip W. Errington, Director, Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts Department.
Bound in brown morocco leather, the manuscript carries seven unique mounted rhodochrosite stones. At the end of the volume, the author notes that these semi-precious stones are 'traditionally associated with love, balance and joy in daily life.' The exterior is additionally embellished with hallmarked sterling silver ornaments, centred by an ominous skull.

Containing clues that were to prove crucial to Harry Potter’s final mission to destroy Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes, The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a volume of five wizarding fairy-tales left to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore in the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Only one tale, 'The Tales of the Three Brothers' is recounted in the book.

The magical book will be on view at Sotheby's New York from 9th-11th November and Sotheby's London from 9th-13th December, 2016. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2016


Here we are again, Oh yes, Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars is back again for another exciting year and we are looking for a new worthy winner. If you are returning to the site for another year, or you 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 zonePlease make sure that you vote and enjoy the experience. Don't forget to share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers - everyone is welcome. #Bookcoverwars

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules:
There will be four weekly heats with five book covers to vote for. All heat winners will make the grand final. However, one more entry will also be entered into the final; this will be the book cover with the most votes from the other four heats as the highest runner up. 

Congratulations! Heat One Winner:  Alexander Gordon Smith - The Devils's Engine: Hellfighters Bk2 - Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (November 1, 2016) Book Cover by Andrew Arnold - (171 Votes brilliant stuff) 

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 book which is a hardback copy, Tales of the Peculiar - Ransom Riggs. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll - VOTE HERE
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - VOTE HERE
  • Mention it on Twitter/Facebook any place you like!  #BOOKCOVERWARS 
  • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this book giveaway competition is  only open to the UK only.
  • This poll will end 15th November 2016 at midnight UK time. 
So here are the five book covers to vote for this week:

Book One: Rob Lloyd Jones/Petur Antonsson - Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake - Published by Walker Books (5. Jan 2017) - VOTE NOW HERE

Book Two: Andy Briggs/Sam Perrett - Gravity (The Inventory) - Published by Scholastic Press (6. Oct 2016) - VOTE NOW HERE

Book Three: Peter Bunzl/Becca Stadtlander - CogHeart - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (1 Sept. 2016) - VOTE HERE NOW

Book Four: Curtis Jobling/Blacksheep - Max Helsing and the Beast of Bone Creek: Book 2 - Published by Orchard Books (12 Jan. 2017) - VOTE HERE NOW

Book Five - M. G. Leonard/Julia Sarda/Helen Crawford - Beetle Queen (The Battle of the Beetles) - Published by Chicken House (6 April 2017) - VOTE HERE NOW

Monday, 7 November 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Favourite Children's Book Picks UK Published November 2016

Patricia Elliott - The Connie Carew Mysteries: The Ship of Spectres: Book 2 - Published by Hodder Children's Books (3 Nov. 2016)

A brilliant new heroine with a nose for mystery and adventure - for all fans of Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow and Murder Most Unladylike.
After solving a case of potential identity theft, Connie Carew is back in her second mystery. This time, it takes place aboard a luxury ocean liner, bound for New York. Only, there's trouble at sea. Someone is trying to harm the passengers. Why? Who has a grudge against whom? 
It's up to Connie to investigate the secrets of all the passengers as, mile by nautical mile, the ship sails closer towards disaster.
Connie is a clever, witty and opinionated young detective, living at an exciting time - the early part of the 20th century when women were beginning to carve careers and lives of their own. Patricia Elliott has been widely praised for her historical fiction. This is Patricia writing at her very best.

C. R. Grey - Song of the Sword (Animas) - Published by Hot Key Books (3 Nov. 2016)

After her defeat at the Progress Fair, Viviana is determined to return, and this time, she's building an army. With the Dominae strengthening, Tremelo, Bailey and the rest of their friends work feverishly to develop a device that could overpower Dominance once and for all. But when Tremelo is kidnapped, Bailey must take the lead in the fight to protect the bond.

As they prepare for battle, Bailey uncovers a legend: a sword with the power to defeat Viviana is hidden somewhere in the kingdom. On an epic journey across Aldermere in search of the sword, the friends unravel startling secrets about the bond, Bailey's past, and each other.

In this thrilling conclusion to the Animas trilogy, Bailey and his friends must risk everything to save the bond they treasure and restore the rightful king to the throne of Aldermere.

Ruth Hatfield - The Book of Shadows (The Book of Storms) - Published by Hot Key Books (17 Nov. 2016)

Strange shadows are appearing over Danny's town. Where they land, people are drained of all colour and hope. Cars crash; people stand, directionless.

Fleeing from the shadows, Danny knows Sammael is behind this horror. Danny knows the world must be saved; he knows that to do that, Sammael must be destroyed. Once again, Danny must overcome his belief that he's not brave, and face his greatest fears. Danny needs Cath. But first he must rescue her from underneath the shadows. 

Their only hope might be the mysterious Book of Shadows - but they will have to make it first. And is Danny doing the right thing? Can Sammael really be destroyed?

The thrilling conclusion to The Book of Storms trilogy

Peter Jay Black - Shockwave (Urban Outlaws) - Published by Bloomsbury Children's (3 Nov. 2016)

The Urban Outlaws have been infected! Hector Del Sarto used them to spread the deadly Medusa virus and now the whole of London is in lockdown. Only Hector and his father have the antidote. Can Jack, Charlie, Obi, Slink and Wren work together to bring down the Del Sartos once and for all? The whole city depends on them!
The Urban Outlaws face their toughest challenge yet in the final book of this high-octane adventure series for fans of Robert Muchamore, Anthony Horowitz and Alex Scarrow. 

Friday, 4 November 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Eoin Colfer - Iron Man: The Gauntlet (Marvel Fiction) - Book Review

Tony Stark is known throughout the world as many things: billionaire, inventor, Avenger. But mainly for being the Invincible Iron Man.

Just when Tony is about to add his pizzazz to an international eco-summit in Ireland, someone close to him forces him to question his role in making the world a more dangerous place with his high-tech weaponry. But Stark doesn't have much time to reflect before an old enemy presents him with an even greater challenge: the assassination of all the eco-ministers, and Iron Man himself. Just how invincible Iron Man is when he is stripped of everything remains to be seen in this breathless adventure by the best-selling author of Artemis Fowl.

Marvel comic favourites are becoming literally bigger, bolder and more exciting than ever! Marvel Press is proud to present five brand-new young adult and middle-grade novels coming in 2016!  The first issue is Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, which was created by the writer and editor Stan Lee. 

The character first appeared in a Tales of Suspense (issue 39) in March 1963. More recently Iron Man has appeared in many classic epic Marvel movies which has instilled a big passion in many people across the globe. If you have read the comics or watched the films then you will certainly love to read this new instalment as it ties in so brilliantly with both sets of fans. 

Eoin Colfer, a life long fan of the super hero, has set about the task of bringing the character to a new generation of fans, but he has given it the Eoin Colfer electric charm. The glossy cover will flash before your eyes as the action unfolds from the very first page. The story feels very original as it takes a well known character, but then takes it to new superhero ball park of Dublin, Ireland. The story is played out in the whimsical fantasy dream world of Eoin Colfer. 

When Iron Man sets out at the start of the story with his so called "Party Pack" Iron Man suit, Eoin has drunk his first cup of tea. When Iron Man is flying around saving the world Eoin puts pen to paper and thinks of being Iron Man. He dreams of being supercool, smart and funny but, ironically, Eoin is the man behind the power who moves this epic story into a brilliant fantasy adventure that any reluctant reader will love to hang around in. 

Iron Man's back history is quickly explored. We are given the basics for those uninformed before explosively leaping into action. Iron Man notices the sudden reappearance of a missing U.S. gunboat off the coast of an uninhabited Irish Island. He investigates with humour and charm despite having no backup and only a party-pack Iron Man suit loaded with fireworks, disco music and SOME AMAZING dance moves. A simple scout mission suddenly uncovers a sinister plot to destroy a vitally important World Eco-summit happening nearby. 

The fantastic story explores the mind and personality of Tony Stark; it shows his vulnerabilities and personal feelings which are loaded with his deadly smart aleck comments. I really liked this aspect of the story as you don't really get this in the Marvel Comics or the Films. I also love the Irish twist, humour and character that Eoin hurls at the reader faster than a spinning sliotar. 

The character of Inspector Conroy was my favourite as he made me chuckle on a number of occasions; he brought some zany reality to the story. I really did feel for him. It was an absolute pleasure to read this book with a great villain at the heart of the adventure, action in abundance and some fantastic gadgets. It is a really easy to follow plot, full of shining whit, Irish charm and a whole bucket of craziness to boot. Hopefully we will have a lot more to come! 

Published by Marvel Press (26 Oct. 2016) Egmont (27 Oct. 2016)

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

CAI Pictures Press: Release: The Three Hares proof-of-concept short CP

Los Angeles – October 31, 2016, All Hallow’s Eve
Director Tony Catter and CAI Studio Pictures debut film project THE THREE HARES has completed its first step towards a feature film goal with a release of its highly anticipated lofty proof-of-concept short today, October 31 2016, All Hallow’s Eve. THE THREE HARES was filmed entirely in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire England with all post done in Los Angeles at CAI Studio. Set in Wiltshire, England in the year 2023 and starring Oliver Park, THE THREE HARES is a dark fantasy proof-of-concept short. 

After a long absence, magic has returned to England – with dire consequences.
A new shadow department of MI5, Magical Artifact Recovery, has been tasked with tracking down all magical artifacts lost during the Great Rupture. Only a few know the true power and location of the most formidable magical artifact, the Three Hares Cameo, but their days are numbered....

THE THREE HARES is based on true untold legends of the west country of England. Many have seen the magical shape-shifting witch hares, but few have lived to tell the tales. Mystery further surrounds the revered Chinese Three Hares Insignia, found in churches across England; three hares entwined in a circle connected by their ears, whose true meaning is lost to the sands of time and the Silk Road.
The Three Hares from CAI Studio on Vimeo.

Studio Pictures

LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA 90019 P: 323.643.1685 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Favourite Children's Book Picks US Published October 2016 - Post Two

Michael Dante DiMartino - Rebel Genius (Rebel Geniuses) - Published by Roaring Brook Press (October 4, 2016)

A new fantasy-adventure series from the co-creator of the hit animated shows Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra!
In twelve-year-old Giacomo's Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. A few artists possess Geniuses, birdlike creatures that are the living embodiment of an artist's creative spirit. Those caught with one face a punishment akin to death, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he's in serious trouble. 
Luckily, he finds safety in a secret studio where young artists and their Geniuses train in sacred geometry to channel their creative energies as weapons. But when a murderous artist goes after the three Sacred Tools--objects that would allow him to destroy the world and everyone in his path―Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to stop him.

Rachel Hawkins - Journey's End - Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (October 25, 2016) 

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings us a riveting middle grade fantasy-adventure, perfect for fans of Lisa Graff.
The town of Journey's End may not literally be at the end of the world, but it sure feels like it to Nolie Stanhope. Spending the summer with her scientist father in the tiny Scottish village isn't exactly Nolie's idea of a good time, but she soon finds a friend: native Journey's Ender Bel McKissick. 

While Nolie's father came to Journey's End to study the Boundary--a mysterious fog bank offshore--Bel's family  can’t afford to consider it a threat.  The McKissick’s livelihood depends on the tourists drawn by legends of a curse. Still, whether you believe in magic or science, going into the Boundary means you'll never come back. 

…Unless you do. Albert Etheridge, a boy who disappeared into the Boundary in 1914, suddenly returns--without having aged a day and with no memory of the past hundred years. Then the Boundary starts creeping closer to the town, threatening to consume everyone within.
While Nolie's father wants to have the village evacuated, Bel's parents lead the charge to stay in Journey's End. Meanwhile, Albert and the girls look for ways to stop the encroaching boundary, coming across an ancient Scottish spell that requires magic, a quest, and a sacrifice.

Ron McGee -  Ryan Quinn and the Rebel's Escape - Published by HarperCollins (October 25, 2016)

Ryan Quinn and the Rebel’s Escape is the first fast-paced, sensational novel in a trilogy about a New York City teenager who could give James Bond and Jason Bourne a run for their money. Fans of Alex Rider and the Spy School series will be completely enthralled.
Ryan Quinn hopes his traveling days are over. The son of a United Nations worker, he’s grown up in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa—everywhere but home. He’s finally settled at a great school in New York and is making friends when, suddenly, his world is turned upside down.
Ryan is blindsided when his father disappears and his mother is abducted. Left with nothing but questions, he soon discovers his parents have been leading a double life. They actually work with the Emergency Rescue Committee, an underground organisation that has performed dangerous rescue missions since World War II, and they’ve been secretly training Ryan to follow in their footsteps.
With his parents’ lives in the balance and more at stake than he knows, Ryan dives into a mission of international intrigue that sends him around the globe. To survive, he must trust his training and perform his own daring rescue mission in a thrilling race for freedom.
Don't miss this first book in Ron McGee’s high-stakes trilogy about Ryan Quinn.

Dan Jolley - Five Elements #1: The Emerald Tablet - Published by HarperCollins (October 18, 2016)

Five elements. Four friends. One city—and its sinister shadow. This epic new middle grade series is filled with awesome elemental powers, nightmarish creatures, and nonstop adventure that will thrill fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Rick Riordan, and Brandon Mull.
When Gabe Conway and his friends find a strange old map in his uncle’s office and follow it to a crumbling secret chamber beneath San Francisco, they think they’re just having one last adventure before Gabe moves away. 
They don’t expect to end up bound to the magic of the elements, or to set off a chain of events that none of them can explain. But they’re about to get more of an adventure than they bargained for.
For the last century, a power-hungry cult has been plotting to merge our world with a twisted parallel realm. Gabe’s bloodline holds the key to the barrier between the worlds—and now it’s up to Gabe, his friends, and their new elemental powers to save San Francisco from utter destruction.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Guest Post: Andy Seed - Prankenstein On Tour - Total Write-Off: Fiction vs Non-Fiction (Halloween Day)

Welcome, Andy Seed, to Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books to celebrate the publication of the third book in the Prankensteinseries which was published on October 6th by Fat Fox Books. The story sees our hero, Soapy Thompson, having a fun time on a world cruise along with his friends from Estonia, Arvo and Loogi (the 'twince'). All is going well until some modern-day pirates board the ship and kidnap Soapy's mum. 

This is a brilliantly illustrated (Richard Morgan) silly adventure full of fun and trouble aimed at readers 7 years and upwards. Here is Andy's Post Total Write-Off: Fiction vs Non-Fiction.

Most children’s authors write made up stuff and some write true stuff. The made up stuff (i.e. stories) comes under the boring label ‘fiction’ and the true stuff (i.e. fact) has the completely useless title of ‘non-fiction’. If ever there was a phrase to send children to sleep, someone has found it and attached it to a whole sphere of publishing. To make matters worse the label is absurd: how can you define something by what it’s not? ‘Coffee or non-coffee, madam?’ 

I’m one of the few authors who writes both novels and factual books for kids and because they are so perceived to be so different you might think it’s almost like having a split writing personality. With fiction there’s a blank page and the author is the creator of people, places, events – the controller of time, space and, well, everything. With non-fiction there’s a known world out there: a box of information into which you dip and select and then weave into some kind of paper presentation, probably with pictures and diagrams and facts and figures. 

Except that it’s not that simple. Most of the time fiction writers work within the real world and need to do lots of research to ensure that their tale has plausibility and a convincing setting. My most recent novel Prankenstein on Tour may be a funny romp about a prank-playing monster who sends a world cruise into meltdown but it still needed to be set on a ship which reads like a real ocean liner and the characters needed to visit real places with buildings and details described as they really are. 

So, fiction writers must check their facts too, a lot of the time, and therefore blend imagination with reality. Of course if you’re setting a story on Planet Mooku in the year 3028 then it’s a different game although your spacecraft will still have to obey the laws of physics and the galaxy you’re in must make sense to the reader. 

In the case of Prankenstein on Tour, it’s the third book in a series and I really enjoyed the fact that I could re-visit previously created settings and work with established characters, injecting humour and fun into the story. In the book, the central character Soapy Thompson, aged 12, is overjoyed when his dad wins a world cruise for five and even more excited when his best friends, the detective-like Estonian twins Arvo and Loogi can come along too. The problem is cheese. If Soapy eats any he turns into an uncontrollable prank-crazed beast. Normally there’s no cheese at his house but here on a giant cruise ship… 

So, what about writing non-fiction? Well, for a start it doesn’t just cover facts. My own non-fic children’s titles, such as The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff which won the 2015 Blue Peter Best Book with Facts Award is mainly factual but contains jokes, riddles, silly names, poems and lots of other content that was created rather than researched. 

Children sometimes ask me if it’s harder to write fiction and usually I say it is because you have to create a whole world and then make the characters in it take us on a journey which will draw us in powerfully. Yet there’s a huge imaginative process in the writing of factual content too. There are a million ways to do it and more. Take the fact that the tiger is the largest of all cats. How can that be presented? Written in a dull sentence, yes, but a picture would help. A photo? What about a comparison with another animal or a human? A diagram? Some kind of snappy graphic? Instead of telling its weight in kg, how many 5 year-olds might it weigh the same as? (18 using averages) and so on. There’s a different kind of process but it’s still highly creative. 

There are places where the two worlds collide too, of course: biographies and true stories for a start. So maybe fiction and non-fiction aren’t so different. But pleeeeease, let’s have a new label for the latter.