Thursday, 31 March 2011

10+: The Devil's Triangle - Mark Robson

Release Date: 31/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

The Bermuda Triangle has cast a shadow over Sam and Niamh Cutlers' lives since their mother vanished nine years ago. Her whereabouts remains a mystery and every year they return to the Florida Keys with their father, Matt, who is obsessed with solving the haunting puzzle. But Sam is bored with lazing around by the pool while his father hunts for the truth. Craving excitement, he and his friend, Callum, borrow Matt's boat. At first it's great fun, but when they find themselves marooned in a terrifying land, the boys realise they too have fallen victim to the Triangle's mysterious effects. Can they find a way home, or will they be lost forever?


REVIEW:

I always have a lot of fun with Mark Robsons work, whether its following an Imperial Assassin or riding on the back of dragons, you never know what you're going to get with each title apart from solid writing and a great adventure, everything else is up in the air awaiting the mental devouring of those lucky enough to pick up a copy of his book.

Here in this title Mark turns his hand at the Bermuda Triangle as Conan Doyle's Lost World meets futuristic Lizard Men with their own environmental apocalypse. Add to this a group of human rebels (ala Planet of the Apes) with a story told from the point of view of our twin heroes (Sam in the alternate world, Niamh in our own trying to find a way to get her brother and mother back) and you know that its building up for an epic series.

All in a great, if at times slightly confusing start but one that shows so much potential and options that we really can't wait to get our hands on the next title. Great stuff.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

7+: That's So Gross! Animals, Creepy Crawlies, History, Human Body - Mitchell Symons

Release Date: 31/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

More top trivia in this new series from Mitch Symons! This title includes cool Top Trumps cards to collect with your mates. It's a jungle out there...make yourself a brainbox with funny animal facts such as...why porcupines are so pongy why angry monkeys fling their poo at each other why ostriches pee on their own legs and how many hearts a squid has.


REVIEW:

Another wonderful title along Mitchells usual lines with a book chock full of trivia except this time this title is dedicated purely to facts pertaining to animals. I love the fact that he’s separating the information into specifics as that way you can pick and choose the titles that really interest you or your young reader and to be honest the only problem that I had with this title were I felt that some of the facts really weren’t suitable for Young Readers such as domesticated animals who occasionally resort to devouring their young. Whilst some of the facts were quite gory, they are interesting and definitely something that will entertain however please make sure that if you are to get it, you read it before passing it on as otherwise you may have some difficult questions to answer.

Add to this the great addition of collectable cards although the one other cautionary thing that I’d say is that hopefully Mitchell will be a bit careful as at times, an overdose of trivia can be off putting especially to the young mind.






Release Date: 31/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

Helps you learn about an ant with Dracula fangs, spiders eating their own webs, musclebound caterpillars and why fleas would be champions at the high jump.

More top trivia in this new series from Mitch Symons. This title includes cool Top Trump cards to collect with your mates. Go mad for all things mini-beast! It helps learn about...an ant with Dracula fangs, spiders eating their own webs, musclebound caterpillars and why fleas would be champions at the high jump.


REVIEW:

Perhaps my favourite of the set and also the one that grossed me out the most as things like Centipedes really do freak me out. It’s a title that kids will really get behind as they’re not only factoid full but also intriguing and unusual alongside having that freak out factor that kids are fascinated by. Add to this the usual round of weird and wonderful facts backed up with some illustrations to help keep them fun and interesting and it’s a title that will thrill for quite some time.





Release Date: 31/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

Includes facts about life throughout history, such as why Medieval people were pelted with rotten vegetables in the stocks, what the Egyptians did to bodies to make them mummies, what wild animals gladiators were forced to fight in ancient Rome and whether Vikings actually wore horns on their helmets.

More top trivia in this new series from Mitch Symons! This title includes cool Top Trump cards to collect with your mates. Engross yourself with the most gruesome, filthy facts about life throughout history, such as...why Medieval people were pelted with rotten vegetables in the stocks, what the Egyptians did to bodies to make them mummies, what wild animals gladiators were forced to fight in ancient Rome and whether Vikings actually wore horns on their helmets!


REVIEW:

For me, this is perhaps a little too much for the age bracket to which its aimed. As an adult I found it fascinating, a kid, perhaps not so much as they don’t have things to compare a lot of it to. If this is a title that you’re picking up for your young reader, please make sure that you read it first as there are quite a few morbid facts within and to be honest I’d say it should be aimed more at the ten plus market rather than the rather young seven.





Release Date: 31/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

Includes facts about our bodies, such as why we sweat and puke, what the longest recorded sneezing fit is, which Indian tribe use farting as a greeting and the statistical chance of being injured by a toilet seat at some point in your life.

More top trivia in this new series from Mitch Symons - become a brainbox and amaze your mates with these facts about our bodies, including...why we sweat and puke, what the longest recorded sneezing fit is, which Indian tribe use farting as a greeting and the statistical chance of being injured by a toilet seat at some point in your life. It also includes some cool Top Trumps cards to collect with your mates!


REVIEW:

Fun, gross title that will interest adults as much as children, unfortunately if you already own a number of Mitchell’s titles you may well have a lot of them already. One of the major problems with releasing so many at once is factoid overload which whilst a bit of fun to dip into can make some of them slip through and be sadly dismissed. If I were to be buying these for young children I would perhaps suggest purchasing the set and then handing them out as rewards (after having perused them myself to make sure that there are no uncomfortable facts that I’d have to explain.)





And Finally:
The one thing that I’m wondering about these titles though is the “collector” cards, I don’t see why they’re there as there isn’t enough for a full top trump set. Kids could find them fun to utilise but to be honest with you I really think that the cost could have been cut alongside this addition.

Overall whilst this series if great fun, a lot of the facts are available online and as such these books may be a little late although could be a great title for parents to dip into for that weird and wonderful fact, however an author really has to offer something new and different to help keep the subject alive and with the modern age being what it is I would suggest that Mitchell's style could be better suited to a more visual online presence almost cartoon like to help bring this collection of weird and unusual to the modern audience.

The o

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

TEEN: Chronicles of Nick 2: Invincible - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Release Date: 29/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

When teenager Nick Gautier was saved from almost-certain death by a mysterious warrior, he had a feeling his life was set to change. Fighting the undead has taken the place of fighting with his teachers (well ...almost) and Nick is learning to rely on his powers to protect the world from evil he could never before have imagined. Then, just when he thought things couldn't get any worse, he wakes up to find himself enslaved in a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul. He's being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn't learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them ...


REVIEW:

To be honest with you, this is a title that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time as we continue Sherrilyn’s masterful telling of the story of Nick Gautier for the young adult market which picks up where the previous book, Infinity, left off. What unfurls within this title is a story of daring, of bravery and perhaps best of all a young man coming into a world of his own. It’s cleverly written, it has some great scenes within and the author has laid out the arc so that readers will be glued to the last. Finally back that up with a sense of wonderment that many will have many readers (adult and Teen alike) amused and you know that its going to be something pretty epic.

My only real criticism to do with titles like this is that you know that the principle character will live no matter how bad the situation gets as they appear within other titles. That said, it is my only criticism of this book and with many other characters to fret about its one that will be overlooked by a great many.


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

NEWS: Tatty's Treasure Chest quick break

Hail Mighty Reader,
Tatty's Treasure Chest is taking the next week off, we've been hard at work securing titles for you to enjoy and peruse from the 29th of March onwards. As such we've exhausted ourselves and feel that we've got time for a quick Catnap of power.

All the best,


Tatty

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

12+: Tyme's End - BR Collins

Release Date: 04/01/11

BOOK BLURB:

Bibi feels out of place everywhere - everywhere that is, except for Tyme's End, the deserted house that she breaks into when she thinks nobody is nearby. There she unexpectedly meets Oliver Gardner, the owner of the house, who's just returned after ten years away. Their story and the story of Oliver's grandfather becomes inextricably entwined, linked as they are by Tyme's End itself. For Tyme's End is more than just a deserted house. It is a house that by turns can be romantic, beguiling, sinister and malevolent. It is a house that had a cruel and manipulative owner. And anybody who enters Tyme's End must prepare themselves for terror ...Part mystery, part psychological thriller, set in the present yet with forays into the past, this is a cleverly ambitious novel that makes for a compulsive and gripping read.


REVIEW:

This title to be honest is not a three character story as whilst its told from the viewpoint of three individual leads, it has a fourth who can be just as twisted, inviting or mysterious as the others, the house itself. Whilst it’s beautifully written, it’s really the characters who take this title where the reader wants to go as each element of the arc keeps the reader just as fascinated or frightened as the author wants them to be. Whilst this may seem a little strange to some readers, for me that’s the really gripping part, as after all what’s more frightening? Something you can see or that gnawing feeling of being watched on the back of your neck?

What BR Collins also does well is set the scenes which when added to a good dollop of prose and some carefully selected sentence structures really made this an enjoyable read. I’ll definitely have to seek out other titles by this author in the future for just as much fear as well as great character description.


Monday, 21 March 2011

3+: I Can Draw: Playtime/I Can Draw: At the Sea - Simon Abott

Release Date: 21/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

I Can Draw: Playtime/At the Sea gives children the confidence to learn to draw their favourite playthings. Starting from a simple shape, each step adds a little extra until the picture is complete.


REVIEW:

Whilst I never really learned to draw until later in life, I absolutely love this series by Simon Abbott that gives the young user the chance to learn to draw at an early age. It’s a cleverly designed book and one that will more than appeal to children and adults alike.

So far with this series I’ve had a lot of fun learning how to draw bugs, wild animals, seaside items as well as a whole host of useful Pets and things at the Farm with my oldest nephew. This series is one that I can’t give enough praise to as it has so much to offer. The only thing I would recommend is to hide the pen when not in use as otherwise you may well end up with a few new drawings on walls that you didn’t expect.





Sunday, 20 March 2011

7+: Why you need a Passport when you're going to Puke! - Mitchell Symons

Release Date: 03/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

Discover where a three-headed turtle was discovered in 1999, where the first toothbrush was invented, which country has summer as the only season and where you can buy square watermelons! This title is guaranteed to have young readers hooked for hours.


REVIEW:

They often say that you can tell a lot about people from the titles that they keep in the bathroom. In mine you’ll find the odd women’s magazine but always at least one Mitchell Symons book. Why? Well they’re easy to dip into and full of trivia that is not only wonderfully presented but also hugely comical. Whilst many people do wonder why, as an adult, I keep children’s titles like this in there, they soon become engrossed enough so much so that at times, I’ve had to send a Feline Expedition to hurry people up. (Yes, my cat’s respond to the command of “Find (Insert name).”

It’s almost as if Mitchell has taken a leaf from a certain Time Lord and managed to manipulate the very fabric of the universe with his wonderful mine of information. Its beautifully presented for readers of all ages, the images within comical and above all else it’s a great talking point and way to introduce the wonders of the world to the next generation. All in a lot of fun, although I would suggest that an adult reads each one first, purely as some of them may contain facts that you may not want a child to know too early.


Saturday, 19 March 2011

9+: Fly by Night 2: The Twilight Robbery - Frances Harding

Release Date: 04/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

Mosca Mye and Eponymous Clent are in trouble again. Escaping disaster by the skin of their teeth, they find refuge in Toll, the strange gateway town where visitors may neither enter nor leave without paying a price. By day, the city is well-mannered and orderly; by night, it's the haunt of rogues and villains. Wherever there's a plot, there's sure to be treachery, and wherever there's treachery, there's sure to be trouble - and where there's trouble, Clent, Mosca and the web-footed apocalypse Saracen can't be far behind. But as past deeds catch up with them and old enemies appear, it looks as if this time there's no way out ...


REVIEW:

The follow on title from the much loved Fly by Night and one that will keep readers glued from the first page to the last. The wonderfully inventive world that Frances creates will enchant, the writing is lovingly creative and when backed with great prose and a fast paced plot alongside great characters, the reader knows that they have every chance to get the most from this book. Add to this complex recipe some real humdinger twists, a touch of mayhem as well as a quest and you know that its going to be something that is very special to the young reader.

Whilst you don’t have to have read the original title in the series I ‘d suggest that you do as otherwise you may well find yourself missing some of the details that are woven within this titles tapestry which made it a real joy to read. All in, this is fun, it is complex and above all else our characters have to ask if the ends justify the means.


Friday, 18 March 2011

8+: Code Lightfall and the Robot King - Daniel H Wilson

Release Date: 07/02/11

BOOK BLURB:

When young Code falls down a hole while following a mysterious robotic insect, he lands in a world that defies imagination. Everything in Mekhos is made from metal and circuitry, including the inhabitants. Code immediately sets out to find his way home, but first he'll have to cross Mekhos's bizarre and dangerous landscape to reach the Beam Stalk. There, the legendary Robonomicon - a guide to all robot wisdom - is being by the evil Immortalis, who has plans to destroy Mekhos and invade the human world above. Can Code free the Robonomicon, save the robots of Mekhos from impending doom ...and still get home in time to catch the bus from school? With its dazzling array of robots and futuristic gadgets, this rollicking story will hold special appeal for budding techno-lovers everywhere.


REVIEW:

As a huge reader of the fantastical I’m always on the lookout for something new and interesting, so when this title landed I really had to give it a go. I mean, come on there’s a huge robot on the cover, it looks really cool and whilst I felt that its meant to be a representation of Gary, the hands are all wrong.

What unfurls within this title is a book of discovery, a story of adventure and a weird metallic symbiotic world of machinations where nature has taken a turn for the weird. It was cleverly written, the lead character is a ton of fun and I suppose that the best way to describe this is Alice in Wonderland/Never Ending Story with Robots. Add to this a whole host of vivid cast members, some loss as well as triumph and back it all up with an epic battle and you know tis going to hit the spot. It will be interesting to see what Daniel comes up with for Code’s next adventure.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

TEEN: The Immortals 5: Night Star - Alyson Noel

Release Date: 04/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

With 2 million copies of her Immortals series in print, Alyson Noel is one of the hottest paranormal teen authors writing today. Night Star continues the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. Ever and Damen must face bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears - all in the hope of being together forever. Night Star is guaranteed to mesmerize fans and leave them breathlessly awaiting the sixth and final book!


REVIEW:

What has been a joy about this series is that each title wends a path that demonstrates that the course of true love has never run smooth and whilst dealing with the supernatural challenges set before them, our two lead characters also have to face everyday issues that a great many of the readers will be able to associate with. Add to that a dark secret that rears its ugly head within this title and you know that things could get explosive and whilst prior to this Ever has been a little wishy-washy she’s learning that independence alongside mental toughening are allowing her to take steps on her own.

As usual its beautifully written, the prose delightful alongside some heartening dialogue and when wrapped up with a reasonably paced story and characters that you have learned to love over previous titles you know that you really won’t put it down to until the last page has been finished.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

11+: The Demon Collector - Jon Mayhew

Release Date: 07/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

In the time before time, Satan ruled the molten Earth, worshipped by his demons. One demon turned against him and imprisoned Satan deep in the bowels of the earth. When Satan escaped, as punishment, the demon's heart was torn from his chest and his body hidden deep in the polar ice. Only Satan knows where he lies. The heart is hidden elsewhere. If the two are brought together, the demon will be reborn and darkness will reign. Edgy Taylor sees demons when nobody else can. Edgy thinks he is insane and expects to be carried off any minute. He is a prime collector, wandering the streets of London collecting dog muck for the tannery. The only thing Edgy is good at is setting and solving riddles, and evading his brutal and abusive master. One night, when his master seems genuinely intent on killing Edgy, Professor Envry Janus intervenes. Envry takes him to the Royal Society of Daemonology where Edgy will now live. It is here, though, that Edgy discovers chance had nothing to do with their meeting, and that he holds the key to a deadly demon prophecy.


REVIEW:

Having read and loved Jon’s original outing, Mortlock, I really couldn’t wait to get my hands on this title as after completing this, I can easily say that he’s fast setting himself up as an author to not only watch but set standards by. What he weaves into his tales will hopefully take the YA genre in much the same way as RL Stine did with his Goosebump series in the 90’s. The writing is fresh, the characters outstanding and when you add into it a murky world of shadowy figures who double deal with the demons and allow their own lusts to control their fates, makes it a difficult title to put down.

All in this was an absolute delight to read and will more than likely make my top ten YA reads this year which made this a real gem of a find and one that I will enjoy a few more times before allowing my nephews anywhere near. That said, I would perhaps recommend reading this prior to letting your young reader get their hands on it as some of the issues raised may well need to be talked through but for a good scare as well as high octane thrills you really won’t do better. Come to the Darkside, we don’t just have cookies, we have Mayhew.


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

8+: The Wombles Go Round the World - Elizabeth Beresford

Release Date: 07/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

Great Uncle Bulgaria loves telling the ancient and revered history of the Wombles clans to the younger Wombles. But to his great sadness he notices that the young Wombles are not nearly as interested in the history as he is. So Great Uncle Bulgaria decides to take action and show these young Wombles how wonderful - and international - the history of the Wombles is. Tobermory invents some very eco-friendly clockwork air balloons to travel in and Orinoco, Bungo, Tomsk and Wellington are sent variously to America, Tibet and Australia. In these interesting and farflung places the young Wombles get quite as much excitement as they could wish for!


REVIEW:

Having read a Wombling story not that long back in tribute to Elizabeth, I wanted to do the same again for another one in order to get a fuller flavour of the hairy Wimbledon heroes. When this title landed I was a little shocked to see that its original release date was when I was one, so whilst I knew that it would be dated for a story to stay in print it has to have a lot of contributing characteristics to give it such longevity. What unfurls perhaps first of all is that there’s a womble for everyone, may like Uncle Bulgaria, others like Wellington or Madame Cholet , personally I’m an Orinoco fan as he’s the one I can associate with more, a bit clumsy, a fan of sleep and for me the most fun to be around.

Each womble brings something new to the reader and whilst their overall adventures have an eco-friendly connotation, they’re entertaining, the language is accessible for readers and above all else it’s a lot of fun to be around. All in great fun and with luck Bernard Cribbins will be back for more misadventures at some point with these cracking characters.

Monday, 14 March 2011

5+: Don't Want to Go - Shirley Hughes

Release Date: 04/03/10

BOOK BLURB:

Mum is ill and Dad has to go to work, so Lily will have to go to Melanie's house for the day. Dad says she'll have lots of fun, but there's a problem: Lily doesn't want to go! Join Lily as she braves Melanie's house, and realises that doing new things needn't be scary after all.


REVIEW:

I remember Dogger from my childhood and when I discovered that this had been released last year thought that I’d best get my skates on and obtain a copy. What you get with a title by Shirley is a story that has a very homey and realistic feel which is backed with some delightfully realistic artwork. It has a wonderful lead character, an everyday adventure and a child that all of us can associate with regardless of our age. That’s the key with Shirley’s titles, they appeal to adults as well as children and above all else they really will stay with you years later which makes this a wonderful addition to any child’s bookshelf.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

TEEN: The Gates - John Connolly

Release Date: 01/10/09

BOOK BLURB:

A strange novel for strange young people. Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Hallowe'en. Which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Avenue. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with Satanism. But it just happens to coincide with a malfunction in the Large Hadron Collider that creates a gap in the universe. A gap in which there is a pair of enormous gates. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out ...Can Samuel persuade anyone to take this seriously? Can he harness the power of science to save the world as we know it?


REVIEW:

Having read and enjoyed a number of John’s adult titles, I was interested to see how his writing style would translate to the younger market. Would his solid prose and sense of pace match what the young reader would want and would the characters translate as well to the younger audience?

In short, yes, John has a masters touch in known what his audience want, he delivers great characters, wonderful twists and above all else a story that you can latch onto that will drag you by the coattails to the titles conclusion. Add to this some great dialogue as well as some humour and it’s a title that adults will get as much fun from as the younger reader. All in, this was a real joy to read and the time taken out for the reading pleasure really flew by.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

3+: It's a Book - Lane Smith

Release Date: 04/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

A wry exchange between an IT-savvy donkey, a book-loving ape and a mouse forms this playful and lighthearted examination of print as a medium in the digital age. With a subversive and signature Lane Smith twist, this satisfying, perfectly executed picture book has something to say about the importance of reading to children and adults alike.


REVIEW:

I love titles that are something a little different to the many out there. What this title by Lane Smith brings to the fore is the debate about traditional publishing vs. electronic. It’s definitely creative, it has some great characters and the overall story is one to enthuse and amuse both adults and children. My only real gripe with this title is the name of one of the characters. Whilst I know that the term Jackass is technically correct, with the insult connotations I feel that they should have perhaps changed it to Donkey. That said though it is a fun title and one that really gave me a laugh and will also hopefully do the same for my nephews which are the main thing.

Friday, 11 March 2011

TEEN: The Conqueror's Shadow - Ari Marmell

Release Date: 09/12/10

BOOK BLURB:

They called him the Terror of the East. His past shrouded in mystery, his identity hidden behind a suit of enchanted black armour and a skull-like helm, Corvis Rebaine carved a bloody path through Imphallion, aided by Davro, a savage ogre, and Seilloah, a witch with a taste for human flesh. No shield or weapon could stop his demon-forged axe. And no magic could match the spells of his demon slave, Khanda. Yet just when ultimate victory was in his grasp, Rebaine faltered. His plans of conquest, born from a desire to see Imphallion governed with firmness and honesty, shattered. Amid the chaos of a collapsing army, Rebaine vanished, taking only a single hostage - the young noblewoman Tyannon - to guarantee his escape. Seventeen years later, Rebaine and Tyannon are married, living in obscurity and raising their children, a daughter and a son. Rebaine has put his past behind him, given up his dreams of conquest. Not even news of Audriss - an upstart warlord following Rebaine's old path of conquest - can stir the retired warrior to action. Until his daughter is assaulted by Audriss' goons. Now, to rescue the country he once tried to conquer, Rebain once more dons the armour of the Terror of the East and seeks out his former allies. But Davro has become a peaceful farmer. Seilloah has no wish to leave her haunted forest home. And Khanda ...well, to describe his feelings for his former master as undying hatred would be an understatement. But even if Rebaine can convince his onetime comrades to join him, he faces a greater challenge: does he dare to reawaken the part of him that glories in cruelty, blood and destruction? With the safety of his family at stake, can he dare not to?


REVIEW:

I missed this title on its original publication so when I finally found the time I decided to invest the time and the finances intot his title. What unfurls within is a young adult fantasy book that can easily bridge the gap between the Young Adult and the Adult titles on the shelves. Add to this an intriguing sense of humour, some great themes as well as characters that will more than pique the readers interest and it’s a title that is a great start to a brand new series. Whilst I’ve heard good things about the author from friends on the other side of the pond, I really wasn’t sure if it was going to be the type of title for me. Luckily I was surprised at just how enjoyable it was alongside a decent pace, some great action sequences and it’s a title that will more than fulfil the reader’s wants. Great stuff.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

TEEN: Dark Touch: Fever - Amy Meredith

Release Date: 03/02/11

BOOK BLURB:

Deepdene has been swept by what seems to be a vicious tropical disease. Luckily Eve and Jess are both healthy so they're taking their chance to enjoy the unseasonal heat wave. But then teenagers start to disappear. The spread of the disease worsens and the town is placed under lockdown. A demon is among them. It could be anybody. And now there's nowhere to go...The third title in this successful series. It is suitable for all fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer , Charmed and Twilight .


REVIEW:

Whilst I haven’t read the other two titles in the series to date, I didn’t feel that I was left hanging or abandoned by starting this series with this title. It was well written, the characters intriguing and above all else the author demonstrated a wonderful sense of prose and action with a Spartan use of words to allow you to get to the meat of the tale. Add to this some interesting quandaries as well as decent dialogue and you end up with a tale that will keep you going at its own pace to the last page. I really will have to get my hands on the other books in this series.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

12+: TimeRiders 3: The Doomsday Code - Alex Scarrow

Release Date: 03/02/11

BOOK BLURB:

Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026. But all three have been given a second chance - to work for an agency that no one knows exists. Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history ...In 1993 British computer hacker Adam Lewis finds his name in a coded manuscript that is almost one thousand years old. How did Adam's name get in there ...and why? Confronted by Adam in 2001, the TimeRiders travel back to Sherwood Forest in 1193 to discover the origins of the ancient message. But when a strange hooded man appears interested in the same thing, they begin to wonder what terrible threat this cryptic link from the past holds for the future...


REVIEW:

Whilst Alex writes a hard hitting set of Adult titles, its perhaps for his young adult novels that he’s becoming better known, they’re full of action, they have some great twists and they keep the reader gripped from the opening to the last page. Add to this some great characters who continue to grow from each adventure as well as a few unexpected twists and you know that this title is one that will keep the reader in love with the genre. A real find and a series that I hope will continue to expand in much the same way as this one, growing along with the readership. Great stuff.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

12+: Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance - Emily Franklin and Brendan Haplin

Release Date: 07/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

Teen TV celebrities Jenna and Jonah (real names, Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers) make more money in a month than most people do in a lifetime. They can't stand to be in the same room as each other, but to boost the TV ratings their agents make them a 'real life' couple. Then the deception is uncovered by the paparazzi, and Charlie and Fielding have to disappear to weather the media storm. It's not until they're far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realise there's more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile.


REVIEW:

Young readers who are fans of the OK generation will more than likely love this title as a young couple in the public eye have to face the paparazzi at the same time as their feelings for each other as they face the inevitable conclusion that they have feelings for each other. Its cleverly written, the two different points of view work very well and it is an entertaining read for the teen market. Add to this some quirky twists, some great characterisation and backing it with a real world outlook and the title is definitely one that will keep readers amused to the final page. Definitely something unusual and something that may not be done again in much the same way but a title that could make for a very interesting Teen film for someone like the Disney channel.

Monday, 7 March 2011

3+: When the World was Waiting for You - Gillian Shields

Release Date: 07/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

This celebration of new life will allow for tender bedtime cuddles everywhere as the book relishes the shared family pleasure of a new baby. This perfect first picture book will allow childen to either think about their own arrival into the world or prepare them for the arrival of a new sibling, as the words and pictures combine to create a world at peace with itself.


REVIEW:

If you want a book that’s a little different, one that isn’t action packed but full of a story to endear and enrich the heart for the young reader then this could very well be the book for you. It has some wonderful illustrations by Anna Currey, backed with rhyming couplets that will help your youngling follow the rhythm’s and patterns within. Add to that a pillowed softcover, colourful almost picturesque images and its quite a clever title. If however you want something not so heartfelt you might find this title a little bit twee for your tastes.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

10+: Young Samurai: Ring of Water - Chris Bradford

Release Date: 03/03/11

BOOK BLURB:

Jack Fletcher has been left for dead. Bruised and battered, Jack Fletcher wakes up in a roadside inn wrapped only in a dirty kimono. He has lost everything, including his memory of what happened. Determined to discover the truth, Jack goes on a quest to retrieve his belongings - his precious swords, his friend Akiko's black pearl and most important of all, his father's prize possession. Relying on his samurai and ninja training, Jack realises The Ring of Water is the key to his survival. But with only a washed up Ronin - a masterless samurai - for help, what will Jack manage to find? What will he lose? And what will he have to sacrifice?


REVIEW:

As a huge fan of Chris’ Young Samurai, I really couldn’t wait for this, the latest title in the series to land. What unfurls within is a beautifully written title that has great prose, wonderful description and tied off with characters that the reader just can’t get enough of. Add to this the return of some old enemies, a mystical touch of the east and when backed with the sheer passion of the author makes this a title that’s hard to put down. If you want to encourage your young reader with tales of Samurai, of Ninja and of positive virtues before you move them onto Clavell then this is definitely the series for you.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

TEEN: Crusade 1: The Cursed Ones - Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Release Date: 03/02/11

BOOK BLURB:

The Cursed Ones, or vampires, have made their presence known to mankind. They promised to help bring peace to the world but then declared war on humanity. The identity of their leader is unknown. Most people are too afraid or unwillingly to take a stand against them. Others, like eighteen-year-old Jenn Leitner, train secretly to become vampire fighters and risk everything in the process. Alongside her is fellow Hunter, Antonio de la Cruz. But Antonio has a secret - he is a vampire fighting on the side of humanity. Jenn must battle with her hatred of all things vampire, and her love for Antonio. For together only they can bring light into the darkness the vampires have drawn over the face of the planet...


REVIEW:

Having felt a little cheated with the least book that I read by these two authors (Dark Secrets 3) I was a little apprehensive to start a new series. I shouldn’t have been but you know when that little niggle has wormed its way between your shoulder blades that makes you wonder if it’s worth spending out for? Well that had been there for some time and unfortunately it had put me off starting this title.

Afterwards when I looked back, I can understand why it was there but did feel a little silly when I started this title and was pleasantly surprised as elements that I’d liked from the two authors writing styles came flooding back with some great characters, some interesting premises and a kick ass plotline that blew my expectations away. I really wondered why I’d delayed and with most of my niggles soothed away by the authors writing I suddenly rediscovered with a crash why I’d come to doubt them.

Whilst the concept and majority of the book felt like reinvention to a certain degree, when the principle heroine collapsed in the third act (mentally and physically) I suddenly remembered why I’d been put off the authors as this sequence felt more like a way to pad out an idea that was only half baked. Yes that top part was gooey, delicious and full of all sorts of wonder but the rest, not so much, just a big mess that needed more time before being taken out of the oven.

That said there is still a lot of interest to be had within but the authors really need to find a serious fix for the principle heroine and one that will allow the readers to see why she was suddenly given a lot of responsibility after the meltdown that felt like it would go on forever. While I do have problems with this book, I am prepared to give these two another crack of the whip provided that the next release in this series fixes a lot of the problems to do with our heroine. If they don’t then it’s pretty much the last book by them I’ll read.


Friday, 4 March 2011

9+: Zilombo - Susan Gates

Release Date: 03/02/11

BOOK BLURB:

Something strange is going on by the slimy river Oozeburn. But Jin is the only one who knows. The ancient predator Zilombo is loose and has snatched Jin's baby brother. When Mizz Z, a secret agent, arrives to investigate, the race is on to save him. But the beast's mysterious powers are evolving. She's getting stronger. As Jin, his sister Frankie and Mizz Z make their plans, Zilombo grows hungrier...


REVIEW:

I love a story that has twists, has a touch of the supernatural and above all else brings something new to the reader. Whilst I’m not quite as up on my African myths I loved the idea that SP Gates came up with within this title. Part Creature from the Black Lagoon, part Hair-Uri. Add to this a friendly writing style that draws the reader in with colourful characters that the reader will just love to meet and share some time with and you know that the story has something that will enhance the young readers experience.

Finally back that all up with the chance for future releases featuring the same characters bringing more unknown myths and legends to the readers imagination and its definitely a series to keep an eye on. A wonderful find from Tamarind.