Category Archives: Young Adult

Young Adult reviews

John Owen Theobald: A Kingdom Falls (Extract and Giveaway)

A Kingdom Falls  (2017)
(The third book in the Ravenmaster Trilogy series)

London, 1944. Britain’s capital is back in the firing line. It has been several years since the Blitz ended, but now death is dropping from the skies once more. Has the tide of war turned again?

Anna Cooper survived the Blitz but she lost her mother and the people closest to her. Amid the flames and rubble, she discovered that everything she thought she knew about her family was a lie. She learned that nobody was prepared to take an orphaned girl seriously and she decided to fight back.

Now, Anna flies warplanes for the Air Transport Auxiliary but she knows it is not enough. Hitler is ready to unleash one final terrifying secret weapon, against which there is no defence. But Anna won’t let that happen. If there is no defence, there is only one option: attack.

book cover of A Kingdom Falls


6 June 1944 

We float in silence through the night. It is the silence of the abyss.

Twenty men sit facing each other across the narrow fuselage. I turn my head away to the porthole. At first it’s an enormous wall of black, but I can just make out shapes in the light of the moon: other gliders headed to other targets, also crowded with soldiers and vehicles.

I look back at the men inside – decent blokes, most of them. D-Company, first boots on the ground. The thought hits me like a brick: Timothy Squire, one of the first soldiers in the greatest invasion ever attempted. Only a year ago, I was working as a builder down at the docks.

A voice rises up, as Bishop, one of the younger soldiers, tries a Cockney tune to mask the fear.

I don’t want to be a soldier, 

I don’t want to go to war; 

I’d rather hang around 

Piccadilly underground 

Some of the lads join in, but swiftly fall silent, and again we are soundless men, stuffed in a glider with a jeep and two anti-tank guns.

I rest my boots lightly on the plywood floor, trying not to think of what would happen if we were shot from beneath – how the whole thing would cave in and crack into pieces. I try not to think of what might happen if the tow rope snaps, and we ditch into the North Sea. I try not to think at all.

With shaking hands, I ease the buckles strapping me in. No matter what happens, I will not be belted in here to drown or burn.

I glance over at Arthur Lightwood, the other sapper and my best mate through all this, ready to make a joke, but his eyes are squeezed shut. It barely looks like him, under a camouflage helmet, his face black with stove soot. I must look the same. Not as ugly, of course.

I can’t worry about us being shot down. Just do my bit. We will land ahead of the armies, find the bridge, and disarm the bombs. I’m a sapper, I can disarm a bomb. That’s all. Then we hold the bridge until the reinforcements arrive.

A man couldn’t ask for better reinforcements. In a few hours a whole continent of British and American troops will be crossing the sea, tens of thousands of trained soldiers. The greatest bloody cavalry you could ask for.

I look back at the window. I’ve got to see something, otherwise this rolling will have me sicking up in my helmet. Clouds hide the stars, I can see only the haze of the full moon.

‘All right!’ Major Roland’s voice blasts into the stillness.

The glider is ready to be cut loose and there is no going back. A powerless glider falling to the earth. The well-defended earth.

I think again of ‘Rommel’s asparagus’ – great sharp poles erected against glider landings. Major Roland had no bright ideas about avoiding these. We’ll try not to land on them. My heart throbs in my chest.

My mind flees to happy, easy, warm thoughts. Anna Cooper on Tower Green, the ravens croaking on the battlements, Dad dusting off his beloved suits of armour. The earth unmoving under my feet.

With a great heave we are cut loose. I count – six heartbeats before gravity rushes in. Seconds have never passed so slowly. My stomach drops to my feet, but I keep my eyes on the porthole.

I can only see a broad shape, dark against the darkness, but I know what it is: the great bomber that towed us here is heading back. There goes Cecil Rafferty, swanning off back to England. Back home. His job is done, ours is about to begin.

Once Rafferty’s plane has vanished, my shoulders sag with relief.

I told him to watch out for Anna, to make sure she is safe from her father, that sneaky German who’s turned up in her life in the middle of a bleeding war. We shook hands on it, Cecil Rafferty and I. 

She’ll be safe, I know. Relief is followed by the suffocating thought that I will never see her again.

Forward motion jolts my head down. The pressure builds in my ears, pushing against my skull. We are falling, fast. No time to spare a thought for Anna or Cecil Rafferty. The dive builds, our speed growing, as we plummet into the howling darkness.

And the abyss swallows us whole.

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Filed under Historical Fiction, John Owen Theobald, Young Adult

Joanne M Harris: Runemarks “New Edition” (Blog Tour Day 1)


Joanne Harris (MBE) was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels, including Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.

Joanne Harris

Since then, she has written 15 more novels, two collections of short stories, a Dr Who novella, guest episodes for the game Zombies, Run and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, has honorary doctorates in literature from the universities of Sheffield and Huddersfield, and has been a judge for the Whitbread Prize, the Orange Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science.
Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as: “mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion of the system”, although she also enjoys obfuscation, sleaze, rebellion, witchcraft, armed robbery, tea and biscuits. She is not above bribery and would not necessarily refuse an offer involving exotic travel or pink champagne. She works from a shed in her garden, plays bass in the band she first joined when she was 16, is currently writing a screenplay and lives with her husband and daughter in a little wood in Yorkshire.

Author Web Site

Artwork by Andreas Preis: publisher: Gollancz.



I think the first think that should jump out about this book is that this is not its first foray into the world, if you check the bibliography below you can see it was first released in 2007, yet in 9 short years its getting a major re-release. That should really jump out and demand your attention, not all books get a reprint, let alone a total facelift and re-release.

I have to admit i missed this book first time around, but having read the wonderful Gospel of Loki i had to be involved in the blog tour and read it…… and so to help you do the same join the Blog tour and read more of the extract each day….





In the days when the Worlds were young, the Middle Worlds were nothing but ice. Nothing lived there: nothing grew. Nothing disturbed the Order of things. But in World Below, Chaos reigned. Great volcanoes erupted below the surface of the frozen ground; great rivers of lava, like giant snakes, punched through the bedrock of the Worlds. And in the meeting of Fire and Ice, emerged a race of beings who, like gods, shaped the Worlds and ruled them, bearing the weapons of Chaos and wielding its forbidden runes. These ancient, all but immortal beings were the Æsir and the Vanir. Born from war and destruction, for centuries they lived and reigned supreme across the Nine Worlds, and, at the peak of their powers, were finally brought low and destroyed in a series of cataclysmic events, which the ancients called Ragnarók, and which we call Tribulation. Nowadays, their names are known only to the eminent few. The power of their runes is lost to all but members of the scholarly elite. Even their stories are banned; for a tale can travel across the Nine Worlds, even unto the Kingdom of Death, and gods are like weeds; you pull one up to find that a dozen have re-grown. Through stories and dreams, their names will go on: through stories and dreams, their power endures. This is why the Order exists – the Order of Learned Historians, sole custodians of the past and guardians of the future. Now, long after Tribulation, Order has returned to the Worlds. But mankind must still remain vigilant. Runes are

like dandelion seeds that grow wherever they find untended ground. Through them, the Fire of Chaos burns on, and can never be quite extinguished. And the Prophecy of the Oracle, the last and most secret of documents collected by the Order of Learned Historians in what is now known as the Good Book, tells of a battle yet to come, a final, titanic battle between the forces of Order and Chaos, in which the gods and their enemies will once more meet each other face-to-face. Some claim this has already happened. Some claim it has happened many times. Some claim it is still happening.

RUNEMARKS by Joanne M Harris is being re-issued in hardback by Gollancz on 24th November

Buy from Amazon UK

Please Join Kate for Day 2 of the blog tour and the next part of this wonderful extract

Click for Day 2

Chocolat Trilogy
1. Chocolat (1999)
2. The Lollipop Shoes (2007)
aka The Girl with No Shadow
3. Peaches for Monsieur le Cure (2012)
aka Peaches for Father Francis
1. Runemarks (2007)
2. Runelight (2011)
The Evil Seed (1992)
Sleep, Pale Sister (1994)
Blackberry Wine (2000)
Five Quarters of the Orange (2001)
The Coastliners (2002)
Holy Fools (2003)
Gentlemen and Players (2005)
Blueeyedboy (2010)
The Gospel of Loki (2014)
Different Class (2016)

Joanne Harris Box Set (2002)
Jigs and Reels (2004)
Because I’m a Girl (2010) (with Tim Butcher, Kathy Lette, Henning Mankell, Deborah Moggach, Marie Phillips, Irvine Welsh and Xiaolu Guo)
Any Girl Can Be a CandyKiss Girl! / Tea with the Birds / The G-SUS Gene (2011)
Auto-da-fe / Free Spirit / Fule’s Gold (2011)
Class of ’81 / Come in, Mr Lowry, Your Number Is Up!(2011)
Eau de Toilette / Fish / Never Give a Sucker… (2011)
Faith and Hope Go Shopping / Hello, Goodbye (2011)
Gastronomicon / The Ugly Sister (2011)
Last Train to Dogtown / The Little Mermaid (2011)
A Place in the Sun / Al and Christine’s World of Leather / The Spectator (2011)
A Cat, a Hat, and a Piece of String (2012)
Four For Fantasy (2013) (with Brian Aldiss, Joe Hill and Richard Christian Matheson)

Breakfast at Tesco’s (2011)
Waiting for Gandalf (2011)
Series contributed to
Doctor Who : Time Trips
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller (2014)
Doctor Who: Time Trips: The Collection (2015) (with Cecelia Ahern, Jake Arnott, Trudi Canavan, Jenny Colgan, Stella Duffy, Nick Harkaway and A L Kennedy)
Non fiction
The French Kitchen (2002) (with Fran Warde)
My French Kitchen (2003) (with Fran Warde)
The French Market (2005) (with Fran Warde)
The Little Book of Chocolat (2014) (with Fran Warde)

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Alex Scarrow: Re-made (Review)

Alex Scarrow used to be a rock guitarist.

After ten years in various unsuccessful bands, he ended up working in the computer games industry as a lead games designer.

In 2006 his first adult novel A THOUSAND SUNS was published by Orion. Since then he has been a full time writer. To date he’s had 5 thrillers published by Orion.

He is also the author of the bestselling TIMERIDERS series published by Puffin, which has been sold into over 30 foreign territories.

TIMERIDERS was a RedHouse Awards, Catalyst Awards, Hampshire Book winner and a finalist for Galaxy Children’s Book of the Year.

Alex lives in in Norwich with his family. In his spare time he snowboards, sails, writes music and walks his yappy jack russell, Max. He is also very active on twitter and Facebook.

Alex is represented by Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates

Author web site

Remade (2016)
(The first book in the ReMade series)
A novel by Alex Scarrow


Leon and his younger sister, Grace, have recently moved to London from New York and are struggling to settle into their new school when rumours of an unidentified virus in Africa begin to fill the news. Within a week the virus hits London. The siblings witness people turning to liquid before their eyes, and they run for their lives. A month after touching Earth’s atmosphere the virus has assimilated the world’s biomass.

But the virus isn’t their only enemy, and survival is just the first step . . .



Re-Made the new title from Alex Scarrow, I for one have been looking forward to the next new book from this author. Not that i have not thoroughly enjoyed his fabulous TimeRiders series. But I’m a huge fan of his adult thrillers, so when I learned that this latest book would be the start of a new Young Adult series i didn’t know if i was disappointed or pleased. Alex Scarrow clearly has an affinity for writing Young Adult fiction so its not like its not going to be an excellent series, but would it work for both Adult and YA markets?

I was very intrigued with the concept of Re-Made, an extraterrestrial virus, one so aggressive it turns people to soup in hours. But the virus is so much more than that. Told around the attempted survival of one family trying to travel to a safety zone, to survive. We follow Leon and Grace and their mother as they encounter various stages of the virus, avoiding its attempts to take over the planet. The inevitable touch points with other survivors is where Alex can introduce his observations on society and its inevitable melt down in the face of adversity. This element of the book is very reminiscent of his Last Light series.

As ever Alex excels at his characters, these alone will keep the reader hooked, i do feel that the younger kids may have a few disturbed nights with this plot, but that’s the idea isn’t it?

For a first book in a series i think he does an excellent job of building the plot and dialing up the tension of the viruses planet wide assimilation and knowing Alex’s books some of the seemingly innocuous elements will come back later and turn out to be highly important, the end of the book is as ever where it gets really interesting, left on the edge of a cliff ready for book 2, as to be expected from this author.

I’m not sold on the book being an adult thriller, i felt that too many elements are toned down to meet the YA market, if he were to really write a grown up version of this then he could cause some very sleepless nights. But i know many teens (and some pre teens) who will love this, it very much has the appeal for the gamers who love the apocalyptic plot lines and the drive for survival.

Knowing the huge hit Timeriders was with the kids i have no doubt that this book will go down a storm as well, spreading among the YA population like a Re-made virus….

I’m looking forward to what happens next.



Last Light
1. Last Light (2007)
2. Afterlight (2010)
1. TimeRiders (2010)
2. Day of the Predator (2010)
3. The Doomsday Code (2011)
4. The Eternal War (2011)
5. Gates of Rome (2012)
6. City of Shadows (2012)
7. The Pirate Kings (2013)
8. The Mayan Prophecy (2013)
9. The Infinity Cage (2014)

Ellie Quin
1. The Legend of Ellie Quin (2012)
2. The World According to Ellie Quin (2012)
3. Beneath the Neon Sky (2013)
4. Ellie Quin in WonderLand (2014)
5. Girl Reborn (2015)

1. Remade (2016)
A Thousand Suns (2006)
October Skies (2008)
The Candle Man (2012)
Series contributed to
Doctor Who : Eighth Doctor
Spore (2013)
Doctor Who (with Holly Black, Malorie Blackman, Eoin Colfer, Neil Gaiman, Charlie Higson, Derek Landy,Richelle Mead, Patrick Ness, Philip Reeve, Michael Scott Rohan, Michael Scott and Marcus Sedgwick)
12 Doctors 12 Stories (2014)

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2015: Titles i hope to review….

Every year around this time i post a list of books that i would like to review… its only ever a starter for 10, it only includes the ones i know, there are many i don’t, many that will be a surprise: Its a line in the sand (and maybe a hint for the lovely publishers 😉

I hope it also helps my fellow readers and bloggers know what is coming…..

Title Author Publisher Date
Rain on the Dead Jack Higgins Putnam 30/12/2014
The Providence of Fire: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne: Book Two Brian Staveley Tor 15/01/2015
The Last Roman: Honour Jack Ludlow Allison & Busby 22/01/2015
The Mime Order (The Bone Season) Samantha Shannon Bloomsbury 27/01/2015
Blood Infernal: The Order of the Sanguines Series James Rollins, Rebecca Cantrell William Morrow 10/02/2015
Guns of the Dawn Adrian Tchaikovsky Tor 12/02/2015
The Autumn Republic (Powder Mage trilogy) Brian McClellan Orbit 12/02/2015
Master of War: Defiant Unto Death David Gilman Head of Zeus 12/02/2015
Kings and Emperors: An Alan Lewrie Naval Adventure (Alan Lewrie Naval Adventures) Dewey Lambdin Thomas Dunne 24/02/2015
Fields of Wrath: A Renshai Novel Mickey Zucker Reichert DAW 24/02/2015
Wings of the Storm Giles Kristian Bantam 25/02/2015
Those Above (The Empty Throne) Daniel Polansky Hodder 26/02/2015
Gallow: The Anvil Nathan Hawke Gollancz 26/02/2015
The Boy Who Wept Blood (Erebus Sequence 2) Den Patrick Gollancz 28/02/2015
Maximus Richard L. Black Shadow Mountain 03/03/2015
Rome’s Lost Son: Vespasian VI Robert Fabbri Atlantic Books 05/03/2015
Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Four Christian Cameron Orion 12/03/2015
The Assassin (Isaac Bell Series) Clive Cussler Michael Joseph 12/03/2015
Sword Of The North (The Grim Company) Luke Scull Head of Zeus 12/03/2015
Empire of the Moghul: Traitors in the Shadows Alex Rutherford Headline 09/04/2015
Eagles at War: (Eagles of Rome 1) Ben Kane Preface 09/04/2015
Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Five Christian Cameron Orion 09/04/2015
Gallow: Solace Nathan Hawke Gollancz 09/04/2015
The Skull Throne (The Demon Cycle, Book 4) Peter V. Brett Harper Voyager 09/04/2015
The Patriot Threat (Cotton Malone) Steve Berry Hodder 09/04/2015
Thunder of the Gods (Empire) Anthony Riches Hodder 16/04/2015
The Curse of Anne Boleyn C C Humphreys May-15
Keane’s Charge Iain Gale Heron Books 07/05/2015
At the Ruin of the World John Henry Clay Hodder 07/05/2015
At the Ruin of the World John Henry Clay Hodder 07/05/2015
Absolution (The Carnivia Trilogy) Jonathan Holt Head of Zeus 07/05/2015
The Girl Who Walked Into The Fire Manda Scott Bantam 07/05/2015
The Watchman of Eternity Paul Witcover Bantam 07/05/2015
The Seeker (Damian Seeker 1) S. G. MacLean Quercus 07/05/2015
Solomon Creed Simon Toyne Harper Collins 07/05/2015
Black River Tom Harper Hodder 07/05/2015
Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Six Christian Cameron Orion 14/05/2015
Blood and Steel (Throne of the Caesars, Book 2) Harry Sidebottom Harper Collins 21/05/2015
Piranha (Oregon Files) Clive Cussler Putnam 26/05/2015
Greatcoat’s Lament Sebastien De Castell Jo Fletcher 02/06/2015
Tintagel Book 1 M. K. Hume Headline 04/06/2015
Whose Business is to Die Adrian Goldsworthy W&N 11/06/2015
The King’s Assassin Angus Donald Sphere 15/06/2015
The Liar’s Key (Red Queen’s War, Book 2) Mark Lawrence Harper Voyager 18/06/2015
Queen of Fire: Book 3 of Raven’s Shadow Anthony Ryan Orbit 02/07/2015
The Bone Labyrinth: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels) James Rollins William Morrow 02/07/2015
Uprooted Naomi Novak Tor 02/07/2015
The Immortal Throne Stella Gemmell Bantam 02/07/2015
Kingmaker 2: Betrayal Toby Clements Century 02/07/2015
The Insider Threat: A Pike Logan Thriller Brad Taylor Dutton 07/07/2015
Wars of the Roses: Margaret of Anjou Conn Iggulden Putnam 16/07/2015
The Madagaskar Plan Guy Saville Hodder 16/07/2015
Ruin John Gwynne Tor 16/07/2015
Ruin John Gwynne Tor 16/07/2015
Marston Moor (The Civil War Chronicles) Michael Arnold Hodder 16/07/2015
Half a War (Shattered Sea) Joe Abercrombie Harper Voyager 28/07/2015
Hereward: The Immortals: (Hereward 5) James Wilde Bantam 30/07/2015
Vanishing Games Roger Hobbs DoubleDay 30/07/2015
The Protector S.J. Deas Headline 30/07/2015
Saxon: The Pope’s Assassin Tim Severin Macmillan 30/07/2015
The Eternal World Christopher Farnsworth William Morrow 04/08/2015
Salamis Christian Cameron Orion 13/08/2015
Fool’s Quest (Fitz and the Fool, Book 2) Robin Hobb Harper Voyager 13/08/2015
Sword of Apollo Noble Smith Thomas Dunne 18/08/2015
Scourge of Rome: Gaius Valerius Verrens 6 Douglas Jackson Bantam 27/08/2015
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms George R. R. Martin Harper Voyager 06/10/2015
The Prisoner’s Gold (The Hunters 3) Chris Kuzneski Headline 08/10/2015
The City of Mirrors Justin Cronin Orion 08/10/2015
The Hanging Tree Ben Aaronovitch Gollancz 19/11/2015
War Hawk James Rollins, Grant Blackwood Orion 07/01/2016
Fire C C Humphreys Century 05/05/2016
King of Ashes (The War of Five Crowns, Book 1) Raymond E. Feist Harper Voyager 05/05/2016
The Ember in the Ashes: The Book and the Sword: 2 Antoine Rouaud Gollancz 16/06/2016
Robin Hobb Untitled 3 (Fitz and the Fool, Book 3) Robin Hobb Harper Voyager 14/07/2016

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Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, Crime, Dystopian, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Non Fiction, Supernatural, Thrillers, Young Adult

Parmenion Books 2014 : The best books i have read this year.

As i do every year i have struggled and struggled with this list. How do you compile it, who goes in it etc… There are so so many great books in 2014 and many many authors not mentioned who deserve a mention, EG: Paul Collard, Anthony Riches, Douglas Jackson, SJA Turney, Robert Fabbri, Michael Arnold, Ben Kane, Nick Brown, Conn Iggulden, Simon Scarrow, Alex Scarrow, Harry Sidebottom, Angus Donald, Andy McDermott, Sam Sykes, SJ Deas/Nathan Hawke, James Wilde … see what i mean!!

There was a new Robin Hobb this year, CC Humphreys produced another splendid book, The very underrated Noble Smith had his second book out, there were some debuts that blew me away, inc I.D Roberts and Kingdom Lock and Toby Clements Kingmaker… If someone could figure out how i could just sit and read and still earn a living please let me know… because keeping up with all these amazing writers is becoming a full time gig, i think at last count i have read 127 books this year (and i still have time to get over the 130 mark).

Best of the year.

Best Short Story

Part Three (2013)

Tom Swan: Christian Cameron Blog Review

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (20 Nov 2014)

Best Short Story/ Novella Honourable Mention

Murder at KH

Murder at the Kinnen Hotel Brian McClellen Blog Review

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 74 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Best Compilation:


Day of Fire: Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter Blog Review

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Knight Media, LLC (4 Nov 2014)

 Best Fantasy (Joint Winner)

The Incorruptables

The Incorruptibles: John Horner Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 Aug 2014)

One of the splendid debuts this year, incredible world building.


Prince of Fools : Mark Lawrence Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (5 Jun 2014)

First in a wonderful new series, by a man who is a master of the genre (and a bloomin nice chap too)

 Best Historical Fiction


God of Vengeance : Giles Kristian Blog Review

Trailer Shoot (Behind the Scenes)

Book Trailer

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (24 April 2014)

(many will note that I have not picked a Christian Cameron book for best Historical Fiction, it was a deliberate omission to allow others to shine forth. Both Long War and Great King are books that could have sat along side this title, But i felt that God of Vengeance deserved to shave it on pure merit, it’s a stupendous piece of writing. Giles writing has a poetic almost musical quality even when the blood is flying and the swords are singing, hence my winner)

 Best Crime


The Abduction: Jonathan Holt Blog Review

A very evocative crime thriller, transports the reader.

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (8 May 2014)

Best SCi Fi

red rising

Red Rising: Pierce Brown Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (28 Jan 2014)

One of the best debuts i have ever read.

 Best Action Adventure


Pyramid: David Gibbins Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (6 Nov 2014)

A man who lives his craft, he is Jack Howard, and it shows on every page.

 Best Debut

traitors blade

Traitors Blade: Sebastian De Castell Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (6 Mar 2014)

The Dumas for the fantasy genre, and a stupendous debut.

Best Young Adult

half a king US Half a King UK

Half a King: Joe abercrombie Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; 1st edition (3 July 2014)

People said Joe Abercrombie couldn’t write Young Adult…. oh so wrong.

 Non Book Highlights

53a 2014-06-16 18.02.10

Thorkil Jewellery Blog Review

A master craftsman, bringing the past to life using very old tools and skills.

2014: Book that affected me the most:

goldenred rising

To be Honest it is Golden Son by Pierce Brown, but technically that a 2015 release, so I will instead choose Red Rising. I really do NOT like SCiFi, fantasy, history,crime etc… love it, most genres I really enjoy, I watch SciFi, but I cannot read it. Yet Red Rising  (and Golden Son) had me in their grip from first page to last. I enjoyed them immensley. Pierce Brown is a very very talented man.

Blog Review (Golden Son)

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (8 Jan 2015)

I look forward to sharing 2015 with you all, publishers, readers, reviewers, everyone. this is a hobby that gives and gives, i hope im giving back in some small way.


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Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, Crime, Dystopian, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Supernatural, Thrillers, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Pierce Brown Golden Son (Review)

Pierce Brown's picture

Pierce Brown

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.
Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

Book Description

Buy the Books from Amazon UK

Buy a signed copy from the USA


Ender’s Game meets The Hunger Games in this, the second in an extraordinary trilogy from an incredible new voice.

‘I’m still playing games. This is just the deadliest yet.’

Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind’s last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.

In RED RISING, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It’s a journey that will take him further than he’s ever been before – but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.


When i started reading the first book in this series it was because i had been told by some very reliable people “Its amazing”, the reason i needed convincing was due to the fact that i simply never ever read space books, i love to watch SCIFI but i cannot read it.

It takes something very rare to capture me and make me break that rule and i expected to ditch Red Rising after a couple of chapters, only to find myself utterly absorbed in this heroic tale of flawed human beings in a deeply flawed society. Red Rising was a total triumph, and yet still a Young Adult novel and held back slightly.

Golden Son doesn’t, it pushes every boundary, friendships are made and lost, alliances or created and broken, worlds and the whole of human society is in flux, all because Darrow has been raised, carved into Gold to cause waves, to put the whole of the current status quo into question, to challenge the rule of gold, to save the other colours of humanity, to save mankind/ society from its own entropy, from the evil arrogance and entitlement that has become the golds lot in life, bred for war, bred to be the cream of society, both physically and mentally.

I really don’t want to delve into the plot too much because i don’t want to spoil anything for anyone else, but know that there is so much covered, Darrow must face the sovereign the leader of the Golds, he must confront his former friend Cassius and his family, he will meet Are’s and find out who his real friends are and who will betray him. This book astounded me, when i finished it last night i was utterly elated, deflated, battered exhausted and full of longing for book 3… its simply a brilliant book, written by such a talented writer.

As its Dec 2014 i have no issue saying that not only will this make my Top 10 for 2014 this will be joining one other title as joint book of the year for Parmenion Books in 2014, my top 10 to be announced in the next couple of weeks.

I cannot recommend this book/ series highly enough




Red Rising
1. Red Rising (2014)
2. Golden Son (2015)
Red RisingGolden Son


Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, Dystopian, Fantasy, Pierce Brown, Thrillers, Young Adult

John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard: Empire (The second book in the Chronicles of the Invaders Trilogy series) Cover Reveal!!

John Connolly's picture

John Connolly

Ireland (1968 – )

John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.

For all you fans of book 1 Conquest….


(The second book in the Chronicles of the Invaders Trilogy series)
A novel by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard

The second in the epic series from bestselling author John Connolly, and Jennifer Ridyard. For fans of THE 5TH WAVE and I AM NUMBER FOUR.

Worlds apart, closer than ever.

Syl Hellais was the first of her kind, the Illyri, to be born on Earth after their invasion. Paul Kerr has dedicated his life to the human resistance movement, his people’s struggle to be free. Brought together by chance they formed the strongest of bonds. But now they will be punished for that love, and exiled to the outermost reaches of the universe.

For Syl, this means a journey to the centre of the Illyri empire, to the horrors of the Marque. Surrounded by murderous teens, gifted with terrifying abilities, she must penetrate to the heart of the power that lies there and uncover the darkness behind it.

As leader of a band of human conscripts and Illyri refugees on a distant planet, Paul too must discover the truth about the race that rules his people. The very existence of an entire solar system has been hidden and the future of Earth itself is uncertain. As the Illyri begin to leave the ancient planet, it seems it will be abandoned. But to what?



DRUM ROLL………………….




                                     UK Cover                                                                                       


EMPIRE jacket


         US Cover

US Empire


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Pierce Brown: Red Rising (Review)


Pierce Brown

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.

Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre

Book Description

red rising

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.


Red Rising by Pierce Brown: This book was a foray into something different for me, which is my personal challenge this year “To Read as many books as i can that take me out of my comfort zone”.

Right from the start i had to hang on to the book covers to stop from being swept up into the maelstrom of this plot and transported to Mars. I was amazed to discover its being billed as a Young Adult novel. Its complex world building and multi-layered society is leaps ahead in style and depth of almost any other YA book i have ever read. It very much put me in mind of Julian May and the Many Coloured land series (this being one of my all time fav series, gives you an idea of the compliment here).

Taking place on Mars, introducing the Red, the bottom of society, the worker slaves, in a society led by the elite Golds. One red is destined to rise from his station, to learn adapt and grow. It is this adaptation and growth that allows the reader to experience all the levels of emotion. through failure, victory, death, love, friendship, comradeship and so much more.

Inevitable comparisons will be made to Hunger Games, but this blows that series away. For me this is right up there with the quality of Wool by Hugh Howey A book that transported me to another time another place and other reality. For those that read you will understand the phrase : Book hangover, this is what i have now, i don’t know what to read next as my hair of the dog… but it will need to be damn good.



Filed under Dystopian, Pierce Brown, Young Adult

Ellie Quin : Alex Scarrow Q&A + Review

The Author


I live in Norwich with my wife, Frances, my son, Jake a very spirited little dog    called Max. I spent the first 10 years out of college in the music business chasing    record deals and the next 12 years in the computer games business as a graphic artist    and eventually a games designer. For those of you who like their computer games,    here’s some of the titles I’ve worked on:

Waterworld, Evolva, The Thing, Spartan, Gates of Troy, Legion Arena. In 2005 I got    my first book deal with Orion, writing adult thrillers. And in 2009 I signed up with    Puffin to write the TimeRiders series.

I seem to spend most of my time hunched over my laptop in various cafes and coffee    bars sipping lattes, tapping keys and watching the ebb and flow of shoppers outside    on the street. As I write this, I’m working on the third book in the TimeRiders series.    Ahead of me, lies research work for my next thriller, and also some screenplays I’m    looking forward to writing. Although I’m glad to be where I am now, I do occasionally    kick myself for not having succumbed to the writing bug much earlier. But then we    all just muddle along through life, don’t we? There’s rarely a plan.

Ellie Quin

A brand new series from the Author of TIMERIDERS!

Welcome to a universe
as you’ve never seen it before;- genetically engineered pocket pets, plant life
with a crabby attitude, soda pops that fight back…and revoltingly slimy junk

Ellie Quin’s just a normal young woman. Bored with her life on a
remote farm, staring up at the stars at night and wishing she was far away on
another more exciting world.

She thought she was normal. Turns out she
was wrong. It turns out she’s the most valuable, the most dangerous, the most
hunted-for human in the universe… and there are people already closing in on

The Legend of Ellie Quin: a breathless pursuit across a colourful,
madcap universe of shopping malls and space ships. Lip-gloss and lazer guns.


Alex scarrow best known for his TimeRiders
(Book 1)
series, and also for his adult thrillers A
Thousand Suns
, The
Candle Man
, Last
 Afterlight October Skies.

The one thing that Alex has been consistent with is his great
Each person is brought to life very quickly, with a very honest
human quality, never given an ability or set of circumstances that the every day
person could not deal with.
Its this approach that makes all his books grab
you from the first page to the last.
Ellie Quin is no exception, i have to
say that i draw some comparisons with “The Ballad of Halo Jones” the 2000ad
classic tale, but don’t let that put you off, its not a classic for no reason,
its one of their iconic tales. But Alex does take the concept in a different
Some might wonder if this is a tale for teens? or just girls. But
I’m a 40 year old man and i enjoyed it very much….(does that say more about me
or the book…i leave that to you).

I give you none of the story, as its
too easy to give spoilers… but suffice to say its worth a download (its free
for the next few days, and then still only £1.99 after 2 & 3 are
already on amazon to download as well, so get stuck in and immersed in the new
Iconic story of a young Woman’s travels in a highly imaginative future world. a
thriller set against and extraordinary Universe

Buy it


 Alex at Brit School Brussels
1) So Ellie Quin: a bit of a departure from Timeriders and the timeslip thrillers, how did you settle on this idea? ELLIE QUIN was in part inspired by a story in the classic British comic 2000AD. The story was called HALO JONES and followed the exploits of a very ordinary young female protagonist exploring a madcap universe. It was a story that was never finished and pulled mid-way because the comic’s publishers weren’t sure the all-male audience would buy into a less than heroic female central character. Another influence was Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which I loved as a teenager. I remember wishing there really was that insane, wonderful, colourful universe out there to explore.
2) Were there any influences from your past for this book? Well Halo Jones and HitchHikers I’ve already mentioned. But other influences would probably include Frank Herbert’s DUNE, the movie FIFTH ELEMENT, the tv series FIREFLY.
3) What authors influence you as a writer? and how much did your Brother Simon Scarrow influence you? Stephen King was a big influence on me as a youngster. Also Arthur C Clarke. Simon and I have grown up reading the same books, watching the same movies, playing the same PC games even. So I wouldn’t say Simon has influenced me, more, we’ve both drawn from the same pool of imagination.
4) Why a female lead character? Why female? Good question. I think I’m drawn more to female characters, perhaps because in an action adventure, they’re innately more vulnerable than some spunky, heroic young guy who can defy death with his chiselled jaw and finely honed wise-cracks.
5) Is Ellie based on anyone/ Influenced by anyone in your life, or pure fiction? Ellie’s basically a navel-gazer. A futuristic emo. If she’d been a peer of mine she’d have listened to the Smiths. She’s pretty plain and unexciting – an everyman (woman). And that’s what works best I think. To see a character who isn’t blessed with superpowers, or ingenuity or incredibly brave. Those sorts of characters bore me witless because you know the author will allow them to deftly dodge the bad guy’s bullets simply because it suits the story. (What I call Selective Stormtrooper Stupidity – ie; in Star Wars the Stormtroopers are lethally accurate against average Rebel grunts, but, put them up against a main character, and sheeesh, they can’t shoot for Sh*t)
6) What age range (if any) are you aiming Ellie Quin at? Teen and up. To be honest 11+. Hopefully like TimeRiders, ELLIE QUIN will find readers of both genders and all ages.
7) The first 3 parts are already for Sale on amazon. Will you be adding these to other formats (Nook etc?) and when will the next installment be ready / on sale? I’ll be writing the next 3 book saga in the new year and hopefully it’ll be up on Amazon by late summer. As for other formats, I’m afraid its Kindle only for the next year, after that, who knows?
8) Of all the books you have written, which is your fav? Gawd that’s a tough one. The answer does change everytime I get asked that question. But quite often I’m drawn to the first TimeRiders book as an answer because that’s the book where we get to meet Liam, Maddy and Sal for the first time. Very special place in my heart, that book has.
9) What comes next? for Timeriders? any Adult Thrillers? anything new? I am also at the planning stage with a new teen series for Puffin. Unfortunately I’m having to keep that one well and truly under-wraps for the moment.
10) Free forum: What would you say to your Readers and new readers to convince them to read Ellie Quin? I’d like TimeRiders fans to download a sample of the first ELLIE QUIN book and see how they get on. It’s very similar to TimeRiders in terms of pace, big ideas, strong likeable characters. It’s about a very ordinary girl who yearns to escape a boring rural existence on a remote agricultural planet. But soon becomes embroiled in a universe-spanning conspiracy. She finds herself on the run through this madcap, colourful, vibrant universe full of really fun ideas. For instance….pets you can grow from seeds, nail varnish that when it dries you can watch TV on your finger, genetically engineered labourers with four arms, weird fortune telling aliens, soda pops that change flavour all the time, plants with a cabby attitude!….lotsa fun stuff in a big, big, universe. The series has just been launched on Amazon. You can download it as an ebook or order (soon) a printed version from Amazon. If you’re interested in learning more about it go to

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Filed under Young Adult