• Book Review,  Reviews

    Death or Ice Cream? – Gareth P Jones

    Larkin Mills: The Birthplace of Death! Larkin Mills is no ordinary town. It’s a place of contradictions and enigma, of secrets and mysteries. A place with an exquisite ice cream parlour, and an awful lot of death.  An extraordinary mystery in Larkin Mills is beginning to take shape. First we meet the apparently healthy Albert Dance, although he’s always been called a sickly child, and he’s been booked into Larkin Mills’ Hospital for Specially Ill Children. Then there’s his neighbour Ivor, who observes strange goings-on, and begins his own investigations into why his uncle disappeared all those years ago. Next we meet Young Olive, who is given a battered accordion…

  • Book review - image of The Forest of Ghosts and Bones by Lisa Lueddecke on a wooden background with blog title in blue box to the left
    Book Review

    The Forest of Ghosts and Bones – Lisa Lueddecke

    The Eve of Saints approaches and the poison rain which shrouds Castle Marcosza strains at its boundaries. When Beata’s brother is taken by the rain, Beata and her friend Benedek must make a perilous journey of discovery to uncover the root of her secret – why she is the only person who can walk through the rain unscathed. But Beata is soon caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with mysterious Liljana, a girl with hidden powers of her own. And with magic outlawed in Marcosza, can the pair find a way to work together to harness their forbidden ability and unleash its full potential? Or will they find themselves…

  • The Box and the Dragonfly by Ted Sanders on wooden background
    Book Review,  Reviews

    The Box and The Dragonfly – Ted Sanders

    From the moment Horace F. Andrews sees the sign from the bus – literally a sign with his name on it – everything in his normal little life changes. An encounter with the House of Answers, a magically hidden warehouse full of mysterious objects and even stranger people, only leads to more questions. These people think he’s special – a Keeper of an incredible gift – although scientifically-minded Horace isn’t so sure he really believes in that kind of thing. But then a confrontation with an impossibly tall, thin, creepy and undoubtedly menacing man makes him think twice… Horace must now quickly begin to unravel the mysteries of this hidden…

  • book review of Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
    Book Review,  Reviews

    Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell

    Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were…

  • Book Review

    The Dreamsnatcher – Abi Elphinstone

    “There are footprints in the snow, sudden marks picked out by the moonlight. They weave a path through the forest, round the ring of ancient oak trees and on towards the wooden hut. But there they stop, and the smoke curling out of the chimney is the only sign that anyone is inside.  Seven cloaked figures sit round a table, their hoods pulled up despite the fire crackling in the grate. At first, they whisper together, their voices low and guarded. And then the whispers fade, heads drop and lips curl back.”  Moll has been a member of Oak’s camp for as long as she can remember. Having no parents…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret – DD Everest

    “Sardines. That was the mystery ingredient in Loretta Foxe’s chocolate cake, and both her children knew it. This particular cake was covered in blueberry icing and had twelve candles on it. It was sitting on the kitchen table in the Foxe family’s house in Oxford.  As well as the cake, there were heaped piles of sandwiches, smothered with pickled spreads. bowls of colourful crisps and a number of small, unmarked glass pots”  The Foxe family children have no idea its Archie’s birthday, they don’t even know who Archie is, and he doesn’t know them. But when a mysterious package arrives for him on his birthday with strict instructions to take…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Little Celeste – Dawn McNiff

    “I was only out of my room for two minutes, I swear it. But when I got back, there she was.  A baby.  Lying on my duvet, crying her head off.  A real, true-life baby. Come from nowhere.” When a baby turns up in her room Shelley believes she may have gone mad, this is confirmed when she realises only she can see said baby but it can throw things, knock stuff off shelves and hit people, all the while everyone around thinking it wasShelley herself. Shelley knows she cant just ignore the baby and walk away and with her mum off in cloud cuckoo land since Scott the Toadstool…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Ghoulish Song – William Alexander

    “The last day of Kaile’s life did not start well.  She was up before the sun bothered to be, and fumbled a bit with her beside lantern. The flint sparked, the wick caught, and she blinked herself awake in the sudden, violent light. Then she wound up the case and watched it turn.  The lantern was a music bow, a shadow puppet show, and one of Kaile’s very favourite things. Animals marched around the bedroom walls as it turned in a slow circle. She stared at the shadows while slowly remembering what day it was.” On Inspection Day at her mother’s bakery everything had to go perfectly. So when Snotfish’s…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Unhinged – AG Howard

    “My art teacher says that a real artist bleeds for her craft, but he never told us that blood can become your medium, can take on a life of its own and shape your art in vile and gruesome ways. I shove my hair over my shoulder, puncture my forefinger with the sterilised safety pin i had tucked in my pocket, then position the final glass gem on my mosaic and wait.  As I press the translucent bead into the wet, white plaster, I shudder at the seeping sensation. It’s like a leech at the tip of my finger where I touch the glass, sucking and siphoning my blood to…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Splintered – AG Howard

    “I’ve been collecting bugs since I was ten; its the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.  Some of my victims line the walls in shadow boxes, while others get sorted into mason jars and placed on a bookshelf for later use. Crickets, beetles, spiders… bees and butterflies. I’m not picky. Once they get chatty they’re fair game.” Alyssa Gardner can hear plants and insects. She can hear the things they are trying to say. It is a gift, or a curse, that has been passed through the women of her mothers family for years, ever…