Friday, 31 October 2014

The Legacy has Begun!

Legacy of the Claw - C.R.Grey
Available - November 2014

I rarely liken books to the wonder and benchmark that is Harry Potter but that’s the only way I can describe the delightful tingle I got while reading this series debut. 

With certain similarities in the beautifully detailed world, strong friendships, a mysterious prophecy and boarding school excitement it defiantly feels familiar but still with plenty of unique qualities - an almost steampunk feel, a lost King and at the core of the story is the Animas bond between Man and animal ‘Kin’which has been beautifully designed and well explained. There is a great balance between the extraordinary powers that people posses to bond with their familiars and the practical balance of nature that gives the story a credibility that will have everyone wanting their own Animas bond (if only a thing really were so).

Bailey isn't your average 13 yr old as he has an absence of Animas, adopted when he was only an infant he shares neither his Mum's Animae Horse or his Dad's Animae Hare and not only does he feel completely isolated but has also been labelled a freak in his home town, a situation he cant see improving with his move to the prestigious Fairmount Academy but things are about to get very interesting for young Bailey and his new found friends.

The story is engrossing, fast paced and well realised. I really think this could be the start of something very special so grab a copy today and tell me if I'm right!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Archaeologist turned Writer uncovers thrilling new series

The Book of Storms - Ruth Hatfield
Available - November 2014

It's just so refreshing to read a great book for the younger market (9-12yrs) that still feels advanced while pitched perfectly for that audience, with a story you can say is original and exciting while using the tried and tested theme of a young boy embarking on a grand adventure!

Danny has been left alone at home while his parents go out in the dead of night to chase a fearsome storm - parent of the year material huh? when Danny wakes the next morning he finds plenty of signs that the storm has been there, but none of his parents so of course brave 11 yr old Danny with the help of Mitzy the next door neighbours cat decides to go and find them.

The story is filled with Earth based magic, talking animals and elements and of course a whole lot of adventure. Also delving into the passions that easily turn to obsessions and the selfishness that can result. In a wonderful twist the bad guy is an unusual take on the Sandman, a malevolent being who is tired of humanity taking all the credit for his brilliance, a character who's actions make him very easy to hate.  Over all this is a captivating and exciting story for kids of all ages and the best part? its part of a new series so watch this space!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Contemporary Irish Teen Thriller

Shiver the Whole Night Through - Darragh McManus
Available - November 2014

Originally found on the slush pile at Hot Key HQ, truly making it a Diamond in the Rough!

While this is Darragh's debut in teen fiction this Irish author brings all of the finesse of his previous adult Crime novels paired with a unique younger voice creating a thrilling murder mystery with a supernatural edge….

Aidan as a main character is intelligent, witty and relatable, there is an obvious change in him throughout the novel and its interesting to see how that change effects the characters around him.There are some pretty heavy themes of suicide, bullying and hooking up or 'Shifting' (a term used in Irish slang that can mean anything from kissing to full carnal knowledge. I love it!) not to mention he pretty much chain smokes throughout the entire book. But its these darker aspects that make it real and compelling, I mean don't we all want to read about someone with grit, integrity and a bit of familiarity? Besides these 'themes' are sadly just a part of life and reading about a character who overcomes his fears and limitations can only help the rest of us right?

There is also a fantastic exploration of history, where the whole town has a grim backstory, a sordid past that when examined closely is just down right scary, giving a glimpse of the mythical Ireland I love most. Darragh links the past and the present with an ancient evil that Aidan must confront or risk loosing the entire town to its frigid clutches.

As a stand alone novel it works perfectly well but thats not to say that I don't want more because I do - I think theres a lot more to come in Aidan and Sláine's story.