Monday, 12 June 2017

The Mayfly - James Hazel


It's happening again.

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .


Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.

Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment. 


With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted.
As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?


Meet Charlie Priest, the new kid on the block. Formerly in the police force and now head of a successful solicitor's practise Charlie is dropped in at the deep end in a mystery that means absolutely nothing to him. Priest isn't your usual solicitor either, having a family background that's unorthodox, to say the least.

Surrounded by the best people he can employ, Georgie Someday, Vincent Okoro and a whizzkid accountant called Solly, Priest is going to need all the help he can get to make it out alive at the end. A man who viciously attacks him in his own apartment is later found brutally murdered, with Priest's business card in his pocket, and a former police colleague of Priest's wastes no time in accusing him of being involved. When the murdered man's family arrive and beg Priest to find out what happened to the man there's no escaping his involvement.

Shifting back and forth between the present and just after WWII has finished it becomes apparent that whatever is going on has far-reaching consequences and involves some pretty nasty ideas that you'd think by today would have lost their appeal.

The Mayfly rockets along at a cracking pace, from the first page to the last it's impossible to put it down and the fact that you become so involved with all the characters draws you in even further. For a debut novel, James Hazel has produced something pretty spectacular and one that will stay with me for some time. The author doesn't hold back and there are some vivid and gory details involved but the mystery at the heart of the book will keep you turning the pages because you will, quite simply, need to know the significance of The Mayfly.

A tip if you want to get a good night's sleep? I highly recommend you don't pick up The Mayfly to read in bed... I ended up having to put the book down on page 373 as I could not stay awake any longer even though I was sure there was something big coming! Priest and his cohorts kept my attention and I can't wait to get my hands on the next Charlie Priest adventure. I only hope that the interlude between The Mayfly and book two isn't too long.


The Mayfly - James Hazel
ISBN - 9781785762970
Publisher - Bonnier Zaffre
Release date - June 15th, 2017

Many thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for a review copy in exchange for an honest review! 

The Soundtrack To The Mayfly - James Hazel


Welcome to my stop on The Mayfly tour! Written by James Hazel, The Mayfly is a page-turning, attention-grabbing thriller which will keep you up until it's finished. Unless you have work the next day and need to be up in approximately 1.3 hours... Anyway, here is James to talk about the music that became the playlist for The Mayfly.

The Soundtrack to The Mayfly


Music is very important to me and my taste is varied, from the indie sounds of James Bay and James Morrison to American rock bands Counting Crows and Matchbox Twenty, to electro-rock eighties hits.
Consequentially, it wasn’t an easy task coming up with a playlist to accompany The Mayfly.
What I have done is tried to pick ten songs (the original list was much longer – I’ve spent a long time pruning it) that reflect the flavour of The Mayfly. Some are relevant musically, some have been chosen primarily for their lyrics, but they all mean something.
So here it is…

Scars – Jack Savoretti
Colorblind – Counting Crows
Collide – James Bay
Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
Black and Blue - Paloma Faith
Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
All We Do – Oh Wonder
Bloodline – The Slow Show
English Town – Matchbox Twenty
Don’t Just Stand There - Olli Ingall


About The Author

Before turning his hand to writing, James Hazel was a lawyer in private practice specialising in corporate and commercial litigation and employment law. He was an equity partner in a regional law firm and held a number of different department headships until he quit legal practice to pursue his dream of becoming an author.

He has a keen interest in criminology and a passion for crime thrillers, indie music and all things retro. James lives on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds with his wife and three children.


Twitter

Thursday, 1 June 2017

June New Release Giveaway!

Welcome to the June 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! The hop now runs all month long so you can enter from now until midnight on June 30th. Up for grabs is any new release this month up to the value of $22 from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country - find the list of countries here

All you have to do is choose any new release published in June and fill out the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the linky for lots of other chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #188 - Paris Adrift

Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
 
This week's choice is -


Paris Adrift - E. J. Swift
Publisher - Solaris
Release date - February 2018
Find - Goodreads

It is the near future and humanity is on the brink of destruction. The only way it can be saved is if the course of history is forcibly altered. In the twenty-first century, misfit student Hallie Lane packs up her troubled life in England and takes the first train to Paris, where she falls in with the eclectic expat community as a bartender at the notorious Millie’s.

Here she finds a new family and an attraction to the enigmatic Leon. But Millie’s is not all that it seems: inside, there's a time portal in the keg room with an inescapable hold on her. As if that's not strange enough, she receives garbled warnings from a bizarre creature and keeps meeting a mysterious woman claiming to be a time agent.

Soon, she is navigating through the city’s turbulent past and future – from the wild years after the French Revolution, through the horrors of the Nazi occupation, and to a grim near future of her own making. But with only Leon to guide her in this fractured world, it soon becomes apparent that she is an unwitting pawn in a much bigger plan and the key to humanity's future lies in her hands.


I stumbled across this one the other day on the Tor website where they announced its publication. Needless to say, my eye was drawn straight to the fabulous cover art by Joey Hi-Fi. I have no idea if this is the final cover but I absolutely adore it and the synopsis of the book just makes me want to read it even more.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #187 - The Hollow Girl


Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
 
This week's choice is -


The Hollow Girl - Hillary Monahan
ISBN - 9781524701864
Publisher - Delacorte Press
Release date - October 10th, 2017

Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.


Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn
.



It's coming up to that time of year when the books that sound good for Halloween reading start appearing. I was a big fan of Mary, Monahan's retelling of the Bloody Mary story, and I liked The Awesome, released under the name Eva Darrows, so am really looking forward to reading The Hollow Girl.



Monday, 15 May 2017

#ShelfLove 2017 - May Check-In


Welcome to May! I'm not entirely sure where the time has gone but figured an update was better late than never! I'm completely lost by what I've read or what I should be reading thanks to a fair bit of traveling over the last month or so...

My #ShelfLove total has increased by 14 this month, taking me up to 51 books in total. This still means though, that I'm going to struggle to reach my target of 180 by the end of the year. What's not helping is the fact that I'm requesting lots of library books to try and stop myself buying books and of course they have to be read within a certain period of time, which can be quite restricting... In June and July, I think I'm going to try to not request any, especially as July is ComicCon time!!!


Aims
  • Read at least 15 of my own books a month - they have to have been on my shelves up to and including December 2016
  • For every 15 books read I'm allowed to buy 3 brand new books
  • For every 20 books donated to either charity or the library, I can buy 2 new books
Progress

 
Read - 26

Own - 18
Kindle -1
Library - 7
 
TBR Challenge - 14
Review -
 
 #ShelfLove Target - 51/180

Wishlist - 2644
TBR (Still not accurate) - 1531

Goodreads Challenge Update

Thursday, 11 May 2017

May New Release Giveaway!


Welcome to the May 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! The hop runs from today through to midnight on May 31st, 2017. Up for grabs is any new release this month up to the value of $22 from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country - find the list of countries here

All you have to do is choose any new release published in May and fill out the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the linky for lots of other chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Waiting On Wednesday #186 - The Memory Trees


Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
 
This week's choice is -


The Memory Trees - Kali Wallace 
ISBN - 9780062366238
Publisher - Katherine Tegen Books
Release date - October 10th, 2017

The Memory Trees is a dark magical realism novel about a mysterious family legacy, a centuries-old feud, and a tragic loss that resurfaces when sixteen-year-old Sorrow returns to her mother’s family orchard for the summer.

Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople - especially their neighbors, the Abrams family - but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world.

Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known.

Now sixteen, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister’s death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?


Magical realism and trees? Two of the things guaranteed to make me interested in a book, along with that rather lovely cover... Bit of a cheat on this one as I now have an ARC which I'm hoping to get to soon!



Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #185 - The Waking Land


Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
 
This week's choice is -


The Waking Land - Callie Bates
ISBN - 9781473638723
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Release date - June 27th, 2017

It's been fourteen years since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father's rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she's come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again... but this time by her father's mysterious right-hand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna's veins. Now she must decide which side she's on, and whether she'll use her powers for mercy... or revenge.


A bold and gorgeous fantasy featuring a brilliant heroine on the cusp of womanhood, The Waking Land is the first of a trilogy that will delight fans of The Red Queen, Six of Crows, and Court of Thorns and Roses.


I was initially drawn to this because of the striking US cover and then I saw this oh so pretty UK cover. Then I read the author's description of her inspiration - neolithic monuments, land stewardship, royal hostages, and poisonous fungi. Sold! I'm ignoring the bit that says 'for fans of...' because that way lies disappointment!

 

Monday, 1 May 2017

#BoutOfBooks 19 SignUp


Yes, it's that time again so this is me signing up for what I think is my 13th Bout of Books. I kind of glossed over the last two and the one before that gave up about halfway through but I'm feeling good about reading after a great Dewey #readathon at the weekend! Go here to join the bookish fun for yourself!


As for what I'm reading? I shall carry on with the pile I made for the #readathon but add a couple of review titles that I'm desperate to read!


Let me know if you're joining in too, I'd love to hear about what you might read!


Sunday, 30 April 2017

What I Did In The Readathon...


Time for a change this year! Rather than constantly updating on here I thought I'd post photos on Instagram throughout the #readathon and do a round-up post here. Imagine my delight when I discovered there was going to be an Instagram #readathon too!





So that was my #readathon all perfectly set up for me in advance... Let's see what actually happened!

Hour 1 - Hour 5

Reading, lots of reading and all the IG prompts. Gail Carriger liked my picture of Soulless and left a comment (about forgetting the #readathon was on, but still, squee!!!) and I was pretty pleased with my progress.

Hours 6 & 7

Stopped for dinner, both the making and the eating of, so no reading.

Hour 8 - Hour 10

More reading but no prompts as surprise! The internet connection was down. This happens every time I do the Dewey #readathon and I'm starting to think I'm jinxed.


Hour 11 - Hour 21

This mainly consisted of reading for a bit, dozing off and waking to look at the time. Repeat a dozen times and that's how I spent those hours.

Hour 22 - Hour 24

Consisted of reading and breakfast and more reading.


And now it's all over until October when I hope I can join in the whole day again!

Closing Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? All of them...
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next time? Anything shortish and/or graphic novels
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? Nope, loved it as usual!
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The Instagram challenge, please keep this!!!
5. How many books did you read? 6
6. What were the names of the books you read? Swashbuckle Lil & the Jewel Thief, The Secret Of Nightingale Wood, Soulless, The Watcher, Thursdays with the Crown, Fridays with the Wizard. I also read a couple of short stories from Fearsome Magics
7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Secret of Nightingale Wood
8. Which did you enjoy least? The Watcher
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Sign me up please! And always as a reader, although I'd be quite happy to do something on Instagram...





Wednesday, 26 April 2017

GuestPost: If I Were A Fictional Character - Andy Briggs


I'm very excited to welcome Andy Briggs back to the Outsider today as part of the blog tour for the third instalment in the Inventory series, Black Knight. Rather aptly for a third book this is Andy's third guest post on the blog. His first was on fictional inspirations, his second was on how to write a sci-fi world, and today he's talking about his favorite fictional characters. I have to say, I agree with his final choice... A huge thanks to both Andy and Scholastic for getting to read the next heart-stopping adventure of Dev and his gang!

If I were a fictional character I would be…

If I could body-swap with any fictional character, who would it be?

Well, I think we should be treating this experiment as if we’re buying a new car. Let’s explore the car dealership, a second-hand dealership, of course. I intend to take them for a test drive.

Luke Skywalker – the young Jedi from the original series (not the old duffer in the new ones!). This should be a good test drive, after all he gets to blow up a Death Star, Imperial Walkers and run around a swamp. But ultimately, Skywalker has some serious family issues and – face it – he’s not as cool as his dad. Plus, all that moping around on a desert farm… I think it’s time to switch bodies…

After having a few minutes awesome fun being Darth Vader, I quickly flitted onward as I thought he maybe wasn’t setting quite the right tone for a distinguished blog such as this…

After a hop-skip-and-a-jump I’m experiencing Harry Potter. He’s not quite as glamorous as you may think. There’s a terrible smell of sweaty shoes in the cupboard and Hogwarts catering is failing several basic health and safety standards. I guess JK was forced to edit those details out. Onwards.

I took a wrong turn in the quantum time tunnel and, after a little excitement as Young Bond, decided Old Bond was definitely having all the fun. After all that fooling around in speedboats and supercars, it was time for another skin ‘n’ bones excursion…

This time I thought I’d take a spin through the trees as Tarzan. Yup, it’s a lot of fun, although the smell of gorilla poop is all invasive and those splinters in the feet are a nightmare. I considered dropping in on Dev, my main character in the Inventory… but I thought perhaps not. After all, I know what an uncomfortable ride he’s in for. At the end of the day my final full-body test drive was an easy decision to make and one, I think, we can agree on --

Spiderman. I would be Spiderman and, let’s face it, who wouldn’t?


@abriggswriter
About The Author

Andy Briggs is a screenwriter, producer and author of the Hero.com, Villain.net and Tarzan series. Andy has worked on film development for Paramount and Warner Bros, as well as working with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee and producer Robert Evans. With a strong social media following, Andy tours the UK regularly, doing festival, school, and library events.
Website | Twitter




Follow The Tour


The Inventory: Black Knight - Andy Briggs


Dev and his friends are back with more mind-bending tech in this third installment of the Inventory series. 

The World Consortium is recruiting more agents to defend the most advanced technology the world isn't ready for, and it's up to Dev, Lottie, and Mase to train them up for action. But will they be ready before Shadow Helix's next strike? And has Dev uncovered all the secrets of his past, or is there more to know about his special abilities?


We're back in the World Consortium with Dev, Lottie, Mason, along with some new arrivals to face the next battle with Shadow Helix. Say what you like about reading YA or middle-grade fiction, the Inventory series have been better than a lot of the adult 'tech' thrillers I've read over the years - and not because it's in a more simple form. 

Each installment has improved on the last so reading Black Knight was a huge treat but I was concerned about the addition of extra characters to the gang. I worried needlessly because Wan Soo, Riya, and Aaron were great and added an extra layer to the dynamics between Lot, Dev, and Mason. Dev and his friends are in charge of training the new recruits and this does not always go as smoothly as Uncle Charles (Parker, head of the World Consortium) would like. There's more than a little friction, especially when Mason starts mooning over the new girl and one of the new boys doesn't seem to have a good word to say about anything, except for dropping veiled hints about the fact there may be a mole in their midst...

Not only do they have to contend with Shadow Helix it appears there may be a new player in town, called the Company Of Merchant Adventurers who appear at every location the children go to on their mission to retrieve more of the technology stolen from the warehouse. There's also a mystery man who claims to have amnesia, a mysterious entity known as Black Knight and a flashback to the 1800's which I loved!

Black Knight has all the great elements from the first two books and then more heaped on top. I think the relationship between Dev, Mason, and Lot is exactly as it should be and their bond is even stronger despite Mason going gaga over Riya. The action is non-stop from the first page to the last page, the tech in this one was amazing and personally, I'd like to get my hands on some of it! There's also a space battle which I shan't say anything about so as not to spoil too much of the plot but this was by far the best trip into space I've read about, especially as we're reminded of Dev's fear of heights...

The book ends on a cliffhanger but for once I'm happy about this as it confirms (hopefully) that the gang will be back for more adventures and I would love to get to know more about the Company of Merchant Adventurers. In the meantime, all three books are going on the keeper shelf for the twins to read, even though it might be a couple of years before they're ready for them!



The Inventory: Black Knight - Andy Briggs
ISBN - 9781407162065
Publisher - Scholastic UK
Release date - April 6th, 2017

Thanks again to both Andy and Scholastic for the chance to read Black Knight and don't forget to check out my review of book one, Iron Fist, here.

Can't Wait Wednesday #184 - Girls Made Of Glass & Snow

Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week's choice is -


Girls Made Of Glass and Snow - Melissa Bashardoust 
ISBN - 9781250077738
Publisher - Flatiron Books
Release date - September 5th, 2017

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone - has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do - and who to be - to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.


Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything - unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.


I was sold on this book as soon as I saw 'feminist fantasy reimagining of Snow White' but what makes me less enthusiastic is the reference to The Bloody Chamber. Being a huge fan of Angela Carter and her work makes me nervous to read Girls Of Glass And Snow, as well as excited. Here's hoping it lands on the good side of the comparison! 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #183 - A Skinful Of Shadows


Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week's choice is -


A Skinful Of Shadows - Frances Hardinge
ISBN - 9781509837540 (UK) or 9781419725722 (US)
Publisher - PanMacmillan (UK) Amulet (US)
Release date - 21st September (UK) 10th October (US)

A Skinful of Shadows is a dark YA historical fantasy set in the early part of the English Civil War. 

Kate is an illegitimate daughter of the aristocratic Fellmotte family, and as such, she shares their unique hereditary gift: the capacity to be possessed by ghosts. Reluctant to accept her appointed destiny as vessel for a coterie of her ancestors, she escapes. As she flees the pursuing Fellmottes across war-torn England, she accumulates a motley crew of her own allies, including outcasts, misfits, criminals, and one extremely angry dead bear.

Excuse the CAPSLOCK and over-abundance of exclamation marks but OMG!!! A NEW FRANCES HARDINGE!!! HURRAH!!! This is the best news I've had so far this year and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!


Thursday, 13 April 2017

April New Release Giveaway!


Welcome to the April 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! The hop runs from today through to midnight on April 30th, 2017. Up for grabs is any new release this month up to the value of $22 from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country - find the list of countries here

All you have to do is choose any new release published in April and fill out the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the linky for lots of other chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #182 - Black Bird of the Gallows


Can't Wait Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week's choice is -


Black Bird Of The Gallows - Meg Kassel
ISBN - 9781633758148
Publisher - Entangled Publishing
Release date - September 5th, 2017

Her love breaks his curse. But his love spells her death.

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell the mysterious new boy next door is more than he appears, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. But when a grotesque, otherworldly man tries to attack her and Reece comes to her rescue, everything changes.

Any minute, chaos could rain down on her town, on her family, on everyone she cares about. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.


The blurb on the front cover says 'dark, twisty thrill ride' and I'm hoping it is. Mysterious boy next door books aren't usually my cup of tea but there's something about this one that appeals to me, and not just the cover!
 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Dream Magic - Joshua Khan


In a world ruled by six ancient Houses of Magic, a girl and a boy begin an epic and dangerous journey of discovery . . . Lilith Shadow, princess of darkness, is struggling with her growing powers. Castle Gloom is filling with ghosts, zombies roam the country and people throughout Gehenna are disappearing. Then Lily is attacked in her own castle by a mysterious sorcerer known as Weaver and his army of jewel-spiders whose bites send victims to sleep. Thorn and his giant bat Hades must save Lily from the realm of sleep and help her overcome the evil Weaver in order for her to reclaim her kingdom.

Ah Gehenna, how good it is to be back! After falling in love with all things Gehennish in Shadow Magic I was utterly thrilled to be back in the world of Lily, Thorn, Tyburn and Hades, and what a ride it turned out to be! 

Having saved the Kingdom Thorn thinks it's time for a rest but unfortunately things don't quite work out that way. The troll clans are massing and threatening war, there's a much-unwanted guest in the form of Gabriel Solar, and villagers are going missing in large numbers. Turns out that there's much more work for Lily, Thorn, squire and friend Wade, new troll maid Dott and the castle's very own zombie army.

If you like magic, giant friendly bats, princesses who are just a teeny bit Goth, squires who don't know their place but will do anything to save the girl, troll girls who think Gabriel Solar is 'bootiful' then Dream Magic is definitely for you. Thanks to unforeseen events the secret is out that Lily can do magic, forbidden thanks to an ancient curse it might be the only thing that saves Gehenna.

Tyburn is missing, there's an evil wizard intent on destroying both Lily and Castle Gloom, but worst of all? There are spiders... Beautiful crystalline spiders but all the same, spiders! They're incredibly venomous and one bite sends you into the Dreamtime where Weaver, the evil wizard, is using the power the dreams create to take revenge on Lily and her family.

Dream Magic is better than Shadow Magic, I didn't think that was possible but it is. I adored everything about it, the way that Lily steps forward with her magic knowing that she may be executed just for knowing never mind doing, the interaction with Lily's family from her father in the Library, the only place he appears to be able to manifest, to her mother and brother in the Dreamtime, beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Thorn is just as grumpy as ever but his feelings for Lily are so sweet and sometimes it's hard to remember he's still only a twelve-year-old boy. His relationship with Hades is wonderful to see, you'd never think a giant bat would be the perfect companion for a boy but he most definitely is.

Both Shadow Magic and Dream Magic go beyond the standard middle-grade novel, the friendship between Lily and Thorn, the world-building and the page-turning writing will hook any reader who loves fantasy. I know I picked up Dream Magic at 11pm intending to read a couple of chapters and didn't pit the book down until I had finished, 4 hours later... Joshua Khan has an amazing way with words, and the world he has created leaps off the page thanks to this.

Now starts the long wait for Burning Magic, where a certain young K'leef hopefully makes a welcome return and Lily and Thorn (and Hades, naturally) must team up yet again for another epic adventure!







About The Author




Joshua Khan was born in Britain. From very early on he filled himself with the stories of heroes, kings and queens until there was hardly any room for anything else. He can tell you where King Arthur was born* but not what he himself had for breakfast. So, with a head stuffed with tales of legendary knights, wizards and great and terrible monsters it was inevitable Joshua would want to create some of his own. Hence SHADOW MAGIC. Josh lives in London with his family, but he’d rather live in a castle. It wouldn’t have to be very big, just as long as it had battlements.

                           *Tintagel, in case you were wondering.


Dream Magic (Shadow Magic #2) - Joshua Khan
ISBN - 9781407172095 (UK Edition)
Publisher - Scholastic UK
Release date - April 6th, 2017

Tour Schedule
 


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