Saturday, 23 July 2011

NEWS: Tatty Takes a Week off.

Hail Mighty Readers,
With the publishing world turning at its own pace, Tatty's Treasure Chest is taking a week off to establish some order to the chaos for future requests.

We hope you'll be back at the beginning of next month so that we can make keep you up to date.

All the best,


Thursday, 21 July 2011

8+: Kit Salter 4: The Shaman's Secret - Natasha Narayan

Release Date: 15/07/11


The feisty and adventurous Kit is in a coma after being poisoned in China by her arch enemies the Baker Brothers. On board a ship to England, her friends are desperate for a cure. When they hear about an inventor who is working on electricity and Electro Therapy, the group change route to Tombstone, Arizona, western America, to find him. Luckily Kit is cured in time but it's not long before she is in mortal danger once again; one of the dastardly Baker Brothers has turned into a shape shifting Skinwalker and has cursed Kit. The gang must now travel to the Grand Canyon and enlist the help of a Shaman medicine man. But the Wild West is full of dangerous outlaws: ruthless cowboys and highway robbers. Can they navigate though the dangerous Wild West and make it to the Grand Canyon in time? An enthralling journey into the heartland of America filled with danger and discovery.


The latest outing for Kit and to be honest after the way things had been left from the previous title one that many readers feared could have been the final one. It’s cleverly written, the cast growing physically as well as emotionally throughout the outing and when you add old foes, some clever writerly magic and an overall arc to savour, it more than makes a wonderful read for readers new and old to the series. Finally add to the mix a wonderful sense of prose, some great character interaction which when backed with the twists within makes this a title that the young reader really will clamour for more of. Great stuff.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

TEEN: The Traitors Gate - Sarah Silverwood

Release Date: 02/06/11


It's Christmas-time, and Finmere Tingewick Smith (Fin to his friends) is back in Orrery House, with Christopher, one of his two best friends. They're there for the Initiation of the new Knights of Nowhere. The boys have tried to find some normalcy after their recent adventures, but they're badly missing Joe. He's stuck in the Nowhere, guarding two of the Five Eternal Stories that weave all the worlds together; they're held inside his own body. In the Somewhere, Christmas is a time of glad tidings and gifts and goodwill, Christmas trees, carols and the celebration of good things. But there is no Christmas in the Nowhere, and in both worlds, things are not as settled as they look, for Justin Arnold-Mather is getting ready to make his move. In the Nowhere, something is moving through the streets, attacking people - random victims - and leaving them mad and disfigured. And in Orrery House, a tiny crack has appeared in the Prophecy table. The Prophecy is coming alive. The battle lines will be drawn between even the closest of friends, for the fight is on. The Dark King is rising.


Having not read Sarah’s first novel, I only have this one to go on. The plot line is quite adult, the characters fitting in nicely to the appropriate genre and to be honest it’s a great transition title to help get the reader to the adult world. Add to this great character depth with various degrees of peril as well as a roundedness that allows the reader to associate as well as think their own way through which when finally added to a reasonably fast moving plot, some great prose and a decent level of description really allows the reader to get the most from it.

A wonderfully refreshing read and one that has left me wanting more. I’ll definitely have to look into the first one now whilst I wait to see what happens in the third exciting instalment.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

TEEN: Ship Breaker - Paolo Bacigalupi

Release Date: 07/07/11


Nailer's time is running out. He's getting too big for his work ? stripping copper wire from old oil tankers ? and once he's off the crew he's on his own, stuck in a shack on the beach with no food, no money and no way of earning his keep. He has one last chance. The thing all crew members dream about, a lucky strike, has hit in the shape of a clipper ship beached during the last hurricane. If he can hold off the rest of the scavengers long enough to get the oil out, he might just have a future. But oil's not the only thing on the ship. And what Nailer finds is going to change his life forever.


The Teen market is one that is growing up and doing it fast as this title by Paolo Bacigalupi has gone to prove. Whilst many stick with the sweetness and light of first love, this book dives into the seedy underbelly of a bleak future where the world has gone to hell and the only way for many to make money is to salvage what they can which is the existence (if you can call it that) of Nailer proves in this gripping new title by Paolo.

Back that up with some great prose, decent pace and a lead character that the reader will get to grips with fairly quickly and it’s a title that really will keep you glued as you wonder as to his fate before the final page is turned. All in this was a great find by Atom and one that demonstrates that plenty of foreign authors have a voice that will attune itself to other languages when given a chance. Great stuff all in.

Friday, 15 July 2011

TEEN: Tempest Rising - Tracy Deeb

Release Date: 04/07/11


Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home, continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark, and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kona, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an other-worldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her - and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.


To be honest with you I put off reading this title for a while purely for the fact that I thought it probably wasn’t for me, hoping that one of my female reviewers would pick it up and give it a go. (Alas Lady Eleanor decided that there were plenty of other “fish” that took her fancy more so left it to me.)

What surprised me was that whilst I expected this to be a Teen Chick Flick type of title I was surprised at how rounded it was, at how the character had to try to adapt her duel nature (often unsuccessfully) as she negotiated not only our own world but the hidden mysteries of the sea that call to her with their own siren song. Its beautifully written, the character nicely rounded and all in whilst in places it did come over as a little simplistic it’s the interactions as well as revelations which, when backed with a decent plot line really keep the title afloat.

All in, whilst I was surprised at my enjoyment, its definitely made sure that I’ll look into others by this author, even if the book back doesn’t sell itself which only goes to show that below the surface some titles really do run deep and strike a chord with a reader on so many levels.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

GUEST BLOG: Leonardo and Michelangelo - Mary Hoffman

Hail Mighty Readers,
As part of her blog tour, we're here hosting todays blog in the continuing series. To see the other blog entries please visit here.

We hope you enjoy:
14. Leonardo and Michelangelo

I knew as soon as I decided to write this book that I would have to tackle the Everest of creating a believable representation of Michelangelo. Thanks to Giorgio Vasari, who worshipped him, we have a lot of information about the artist’s life. But Vasari is notoriously unreliable about his facts. There is another biography of Michelangelo written by a much younger contemporary, Ascanio Condivi, and there are various anonymous accounts that attest to the rivalry between Michelangelo and Leonardo when the older artist returned to Florence from Milan.

Great. Not only did I have to create a believable Michelangelo but a credible Leonardo as well. And show them in their relationship together. As I’ve said many times, Michelangelo is my favourite sculptor; I first saw his work in the flesh – “in the marble” – when I was twenty and was totally hooked.

But (*whispers*), I don’t really like his painting at all. Yup, the masterpiece that is the Sistine ceiling? Don’t like. I think the rot set in with his circular painting (tondo) in the Uffizi, of the Holy Family, done in pinks and blues and oranges. It led to the Mannerist school of painting of the High Renaissance which leaves me cold – too much exposed flesh and iron man musculature.

Leonardo, on the other hand, left a small number of exquisite paintings, of which my favourite is Lady with an Ermine. But he was a terrible non-finisher! He lost interest quickly and spread himself too thin. (Michelangelo left a lot of sculptures unfinished too and invented the “non finito” or “unfinished” technique, of leaving some parts unpolished and still roughly carved).

So just by looking at their work you can see Michelangelo as this monumental labourer with flashes of pure genius and Leonardo as the quicksilver dilettante, moving restlessly from work to work. We know that Leonardo was a bit of a dandy because there is a list of the clothes he left at his death – all rose-coloured velvet cloaks and suchlike. Whereas Michelangelo was the opposite of fastidious about his person, often not changing his clothes or washing for very long periods.

If you look at them through twenty-first century eyes, Leonardo would have been a lot nicer to be around!

But I can’t help that; if there are “Leonardo people” and “Michelangelo people” put me down as a fan of the sculptor. The author Theresa Breslin is a “Leonardo person” and has written about him in The Medici Seal. And now I have tried to create a credible portrait of my favourite sculptor. I feel that I understand him, different from me as he is in just about every possible way. Something speaks to me across the ages and this cantankerous, smelly, broken-nosed artist shows me in his work all the humanity and sense of the infinite that a truly great artist can achieve.

For more information on Mary:
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TEEN: David - Mary Hoffman

Release Date: 04/07/11


Michelangelo's statue of David is renowned all over the world. Thousands flock to Florence to admire the artistry behind this Renaissance masterpiece, and to admire the beauty of the human form captured in the marble. But the identity of the model for this statue that has been so revered for over five hundred years has been lost ...In this epic story Mary Hoffman uses her persuasive narrative skills to imagine the story of Gabriele, an eighteen-year-old who, by becoming Michelangelo's model, finds himself drawn into a world of spies, politicking, sabotage and murder. Set against the backdrop of Florence, this is a rich, colourful and thrilling tale.


For those who aren’t sure if a Mary Hoffman book is for them there are some simple questions to answer. First of all, do you like historically placed titles? Do you enjoy a character driven title that has some great twists? And finally, do you want a story that brings the complicated historical times to you in such a way that it’s understandable?

If the answer to these is yes, then Mary Hoffman is an author you should definitely try. The prose is snappy, the characters complex and perhaps best of all, the story takes you to the heart of the period which many thought perhaps the age of enlightenment for modern man. Add to this great dialogue, real issues to which the reader can associate and a fast moving plot that really will keep you on the edge of your seat.

All in all, this title was one that I highly enjoyed and when you add documented events into the account it’s a title that really will impress as well as enthuse the reader. Great stuff.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

12+: Jake Rollins and the Howling Sphinx - James Rollins

Release Date: 07/07/11


An ancient and priceless ruby - the Eye of Ra - has been found beneath the Egyptian sands in the Valley of the Kings. Legend has it the jewel holds immense power, but it has fallen into the wrong hands - which means trouble for Jake and Kady Ransom, and a new action-packed adventure as the pair are catapulted into an ancient land of shifting sands, dark magic and dangerous enemies ...Can Jake and Kady survive and outwit the Skull King himself?


To be honest when I read the first book I saw potential and had a blast so when the second landed I underwent a reread in order to make sure that I got the most from the release. As with the original it was a lot of fun, the action quite fast when it got going and the characters really stepped from the pages. Add to this a whole degree of mystery that underlie this mysterious world which when backed with a whole host of rich history to dip into really made this a real joy to read.

Hopefully each of the characters will continue to grow with my only real gripe being the sadly lacking expansion of Kady who I felt should have come more into her own in this outing. With luck that will be rectified in future offerings but as usual, the prose really kept it moving alongside some great dialogue. Great stuff.

Monday, 11 July 2011

11+: Wintercraft 2: Black Watch - Jenna Burtenshaw

Release Date: 14/04/11


Kate has escaped the clutches of the High Council and Silas has left Albion for the continent. But their lives are forever linked and as the veil weakens, causing Albion's skilled to fear for everyone's safety, Silas and Kate find themselves drawn together by the mysterious and corrupt Dalliah Grey.


Having read the Jenna’s debut, Wintercraft last year, I was wondering whether or not she’d be able to match the passion, as well as skill of the first title in this, her second release which for me is more the make or break title for a debut author rather than the first book.

What unfurls within is a tale that is wonderfully plotted with characters that continue to grow and whilst this title is thinner than the previous due to a lot of world setting having already been done, it gets down to the nitty gritty and gives the reader a story arc that will keep them glued from the first to the last page. Add to this snappy prose, great dialogue as well as characters that you really care for and it’s a book that will make this a must not miss series. All in, this was a great read and one that I’m pleased I started, it can only go up so get on the bandwagon now and join the crusade to help Albion.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

3+: No, Baby, No! - Grace Nicols, Ill. Eleanor Taylor

Release Date: 05/07/11


Baby is busy doing all the things that babies love to do, like exploring the kitchen, chewing up newspapers and climbing up too high. But members of his family aren't quite as positive about his antics as he is and there are lots of cries of 'No, Baby, No!' However, one day Baby does something really special and everyone celebrates with quite a different refrain.


Picture books need to fulfil a number of things for the young reader, first of all they need to be able to engage with the story, secondly they need to be able to understand what’s happening, and finally they need something to keep them interested from start to finish.

What Grace and Eleanor create in this release is a story that is full, light hearted and full of wonder which the target audience will ask for time and again. It’s easy to remember, the pictures are colourful and when backed with large scale words could be a great story to help start to teach the joy of reading.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

TEEN: Haunting Violet - Alyxandra Harvey

Release Date: 04/07/11


Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts, especially since her mother has worked as a fraudulent medium for a decade. Violet has taken part in enough of her mother's tricks to feel more than a little jaded about anyhting supernatural. The ghosts, however, believe in Violet and she's been seeing them everywhere. One ghost in particular needs Violet to use her emerging gift to solve her murder ...and prevent the ghost's twin sister from suffering the same fate.


Whilst most know Alyxandra for her Drake Chronicles, this current standalone title is one that I was wondering what I was letting myself in for. After all to suddenly divert from a bestselling series to create something new when you’re still technically a new author, is a brave move. What you get in this title from Alyxandra, is a heroine who stands on her own from the myriad of cast members, who has to gain emotional as well as physical independence and when blended with the time period to which its set makes this an absolutely wonderful read.

Add to this some magical twists, a surprise or two that you don’t see coming alongside quite a full plot outline and it’s a title that whilst fast paced doesn’t leave the reader feeling that they’ve been cheated as each of the various threads are tied up wonderfully at the titles end. All in this was a cracking read and I eagerly look forward to more tales in Violets world from Alyxandra.

Friday, 1 July 2011

8+: The Vampire Hunters - Pete Johnson

Release Date: 02/06/11


On my thirteenth birthday, my life changed for ever. That's when I learned the shocking truth: I'm a half-vampire. Think that sounds cool? Think again! I've been attacked by an evil vampire bat, had huge cravings for my best friend's blood, and nearly died from eating a pizza (half-vampires aren't great with garlic). Writing my secret blog is the only thing that's kept me from going completely crazy. As if life couldn't get any more complicated, there have been some vicious attacks in the local woods. Vampire-mad Tallulah (definitely not my girlfriend) thinks a super-vampire is behind them - and she's desperate to prove it, with a mysterious chain that's supposed to glow red-hot when a vampire is close by. And I have a horrible feeling that the chain's going to turn red-hot any day now ...This is a new novel from award-winning author Pete Johnson that taps into the very current interest in vampires - done with Pete's humorous, accessible touch.


OK, this is the second novel in the trilogy by Pete Johnson and whilst I missed the first I don’t feel that I’ve been cheated or missed out on some of the humour within the book. Add to this a good pace, cracking characters which when backed with good solid imagination and a writing style that will keep the readers glued from the start to finish and this book really will win people round.

Finally if you’re looking for a series that has a wonderful concept from start to finish, a character that readers can associate with which when backed with some cracking twists that many won’t see coming and it’s a story that really was a lot of fun to read.