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Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  66 reviews
In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings.

The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …

Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen
Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Amazon
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Tethers by Jack CroxallThe Wayward Gifted by Donna K. Childree3 Days by Krista MaddenAfterlife Academy by Jaimie AdmansChasing Forever Down by Nikki Godwin
Indie Young Adult – March 2013 New Releases
1st out of 34 books — 34 voters
Allegiant by Veronica RothClockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareRequiem by Lauren OliverThe Indigo Spell by Richelle MeadUnravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
YA Novels of 2013
361st out of 1,501 books — 10,343 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,022)
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Tony Gilbert
I am always reluctant to give a book five stars as no book is perfect. However, I couldn't not give Tethers five stars, it is just superb. It is a well written book and is so easy to read - I finished it in 2 days, just couldn't put it down! Although Tethers is technically a fantasy, it doesn't always feel like it because the characters are so believeable. I implore you to read this, whether you are a fantasy fan or not, whether you are ten years old or one hundred. Just give it a go.
An action packed debut novel from Jack Croxall that is fast paced, with a mix of adventure, mystery and fantasy.
There is a feeling of the Enid Blyton adventure books but with a lot more besides. The two lead characters are strong and well written featuring great dialogue and humorous banter.
It is a well paced novel that develops the characters and leads you through wanting to know more. The story is set in Victorian times and is part of a trilogy. This first novels sets the scene and characters
★Moonrise Books
In a small, Victorian era English village called Shraye, Esther Emerson and Karl Scheffer have limited opportunities for adventure and even fewer opportunities to explore the world beyond the confines of the only village they have ever known. Karl’s best chance for a successful future appears to rest in the promise of a teaching apprenticeship. Karl’s mother is excited about the possibility of Karl becoming a teacher, and expects Karl to share in her enthusiasm; however, Karl is less than enthus ...more
Dan Thompson
The first time I read the synopsis for Jack Croxall’s Tethers, I instantly knew that it was undoubtedly a book I very much wanted to read. A YA (young adult) novel set in the wake of a Victorian winter, where teenagers Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson stumble upon a journal full of strange passages. Upon reading, Karl soon discovers both Esther and his names on the last page – a possible prediction? Quite abruptly, our lead teenagers soon realise that they have been pulled into a sinister conspi ...more
I wasn't so sure when I first started reading this book as I thought the accents in the prologue was strange, but then I was introduced to Karl and Esther from that moment I was hooked.

Karl and Esther go to Mr Emerson's house to have a snoop around while he is away, only to realise that they are not alone in the house. They quickly make their escape before they are seen and Karl picks up a book hidden beneath the floorboards that he thinks the intruders are looking for. They decide to take it to
For my pre read thoughts and reasons for my rating, please visit my blog From the Shadows I Review

I have to say this is another book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The story draws you in with beautiful description and a sidekick that shines so bright that I had to reach for my sunglasses! Did I mention how much I love the Victorian era and that made me love getting to create images of old fashioned scenes (although, I did miss making everyone drive Lamborghinis.). The writing made me want to read
Emma Adams
Tethers is an exciting story set in the Victorian era, with a fabulous blend of mystery, adventure and fantasy and an engaging pair of lead characters. We follow thirteen-year-old friends Karl and Esther as they discover a cryptic journal in their neighbour’s house, which leads them into a bigger mystery surrounding a gemstone with strange powers. The plot carries the reader along at a nice pace, and there are plenty of surprises and twists along the way. Karl and Esther are sympathetic protagon ...more
Rebecca Bradley
A great debut with strong characters. My favourite being the young girl Esther. She was strong and feisty and a really likeable character. She could have done with being more forefront in the story, but she came through well anyway.

The point in the story when I found out where Tethers came in was a great point for me. It had a stronger meaning than I imagined and wove its way right through to the ending with significance.

Not my usual kind of read, but one I found I enjoyed.
Louise K.
An enjoyable read which is well paced and easy to read. Well worth the money. Just wish it had been a bit longer; I look forward to book 2.
What starts as a mere curiosity soon spirals into a much bigger picture filled with lies, powerful artifacts, and conspiracy. Teenagers Karl and Esther come across a strange journal among their shenanigans, a journal filled with random passages and strange, almost dream-like quotes. It isn't long before they also discover a strange stone. They must together leave their home and figure out what is going on, and more importantly, save their skins.


I am so impressed with this book. I wasn't sure
Mar 03, 2013 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
This is the first ever review I have written for a book whose author I actually know in real life! So forgive me if I sound insincere - but I genuinely loved this book! Young adult fiction is such an exciting genre - you can do so much with it, and Jack really has. It has a past, a present and a future. I love books where I find myself imagining how I want the story to go, but then as I read on, realising that what is actually happening is far more satisfying than what I imagined, and makes more ...more
Zane David
This is a début novel? WOW...magical and wonderfully written. Jack Croxall has a bright future.

I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the journey of Karl and Esther from start to finish, and can't wait for book two. You have me hook, line and sinker Jack,and to end on a cliff hanger? I really shouldn't like you for that...but I just can't help but praise Tethers enough. One of my top books of the year.

To me Jack's prose is perfect, not over the top and flowery, or boring and dull, keeping my min
Silver Petticoat
Sword fights, mystery, action, adventure, and memorable characters that jump off the page. There is definitely something exciting to be said about Young Adult Fantasy Adventure stories. These kinds of fantastic tales were the stories you stayed up all night reading with the flashlight on (probably giving you the glasses your mother promised you’d get for squinting in the dark), and these were the stories you remembered and read over and over because you wanted to experience that world of adventu ...more
Liz Wilkins
So, my latest foray into the world of YA fiction, brought me here, to the Victorian setting of "Tethers", an absolute gem of a tale, not only to read for yourself but as a story to read to others. In it we meet Karl and Esther, two friends who find themselves on a grand adventure having discovered a notebook with strange notations and a mysterious gemstone. Chased by those with nefarious purposes they embark on a journey to find a missing girl, and to discover the true nature of the gem..with so ...more
Sharon Sant
As soon as I heard about this book I was desperate for it to be good. The whole idea was one that I loved. I had to wait a while for its release, but when I finally got to read it, I was relieved to find that it was good... not just good, but brilliant. Somewhere between Pullman’s Sally Lockhart mysteries and Moonfleet, this is a rip-roaring debut novel. Sharply written with well observed characters that you can root for, Tethers has you turning pages faster that Ronald MacDonald can throw out b ...more
Without sounding hyperbolic, I think this book has changed my life.
Fantasy is a genre I've tried time and time again to immerse myself in but I've never succeeded. There seems to be a small part of my brain that refuses to suspend disbelief and constantly goes NO. THAT WOULDN'T HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE. Yes brain, well done: we are reading a fantasy novel, that is why.

I've known about Tethers for a long time but I've never really had much of an urge to read it even after Megan protested countless tim
Tethers has so many of the elements I enjoy in any book; adventure, mystery, friendship - and all set against the historical backdrop in the Victorian era. Karl and his friend Esther dragged me along in their wake and I found myself pushing aside other things to pick up the Kindle and read another few pages. The banter between the two made me smile; Esther is written as a partner in crime rather than a winsome female archetype and this is what I enjoyed most about Tethers.
Lloyd Baron
It's impressive that this is a debut novel. Jack Croxhall has written a great YA book which is compulsively addictive. I only purchased it (Using the word "purchased" lightly) because it was free on Kindle. I saw it on Twitter and thought, "Why not." I wasn't expecting much as I usually only read heavy duty Fantasy or Horror. At first I did think it was too young for me but (as is the same with watching cartoons) the innocent side of me shrugged it off and I began to enjoy the plot.

The character
I've given 'Tethers' five stars because I felt it was really exemplary of its genre - all of its genres!! Part fantasy, part sci-fi, a little bit steampunkesque! Full review to come!
Lekeisha Thomas
Thirteen-year-olds Karl and Esther are best friends who discover a mysterious journal in their neighbor’s house. When Karl find his and Esther’s name on the last page of the journal, they soon find themselves in a conspiracy concerning a gem with strange powers.

Karl and Esther are very precocious characters. Smart and witty are just two of their likable qualities. These two are always looking for a chance to adventure out of the small village that they’ve only known their whole lives. From the v
Kristin Ravelle
At the outset I would like to thank the author for free days on Amazon by which I was fortunate to download a free copy of Tethers – I was so glad to be able to read this book! I would actually rate this 3.5 stars.

Tethers is a charming story about two young teen friends, Esther and Karl, who live in a small Victorian-era Lincolnshire village. Naturally they’re up to no good and while on the prowl at a neighbourhood house, inadvertently discover a curious notebook with strange scribbles, incompre
Sarah (TotalTeenFiction)
Full review also posted here on TotalTeenFiction

I grabbed Tethers as a free Kindle download a few weeks ago because it looked like something a bit different! The book tells the story of Karl and Esther, who come across a mysterious notebook. When they discover their names appear in the book, they end up swept up in an adventure to discover what it all means.

I can honestly say after finishing it that Tethers was such a breath of fresh air! It was such a fun, likable story yet it had so much goin
J. Yates
Book Review: Tethers by Jack Croxall

This gripping adventure which starts in a rural village set in the Victorian period will delight steampunk fans.
The two main charters; Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson, start the book as good friends but as the tightly knit plot gets underway they have to develop new skills and trust in each other.
Karl’s qualities shine though in the story, he starts off as quite meek and mild with little knowledge of travelling and the dangers of the world other than the loss
Andy Angel
This YA novel by newcomer Jack Croxall is a wonderful story of adventure set in Victorian London.

Two weeks ago 13 year old Karl was caught trespassing in a village neighbours garden but before he is caught he sees, through the window, an engraved silver box which looks out of place among the clutter of the house. Although told by his mother to stay away, he returns with his friend Esther. There is no sign of the box, or Mr. Statham, the neighbour so Karl and Esther break in, only to find out the
Maartje Leah
Deze recensie komt van m'n blog

Tethers heb ik al een tijdje geleden gelezen (vanaf 27 juni tot 7 juli om precies te zijn). Ik heb er nog geen recensie over geschreven omdat ik steeds niet zo goed wist wat ik er nou eigenlijk van vond. Nu een tijdje later merk ik dat het boek niet super veel indruk op mij heeft gemaakt. Omdat er een paar keer gevraagd werd naar m’n mening over dit boek, schrijf ik er dus toch maar een blogpost
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Can you alter fate? Author Jack Croxall toys with the idea of predestination in his young adult adventure story Tethers. The swiping of a journal from a recluse’s estate launches thirteen-year-olds Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson from their small hamlet of Shraye into the underworld of greed and murder. An entry in the journal describes Karl and Esther being in Acclesthorpe, a town that’s a half-day’s walk from Shraye. Neither
Hazel West
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review; that in no way changes my opinion or rating for this book.

Thoughts on the Overall Book: This was the kind of book I loved to read when I was a kid, and I obviously still do. It had action, a cool mystery, and a bit of fantasy thrown into the mix, overall making a quick-paced, enjoyable story.

Cover--Yea or Nay: Yes, I like how it has the Viniculumn on the front, though I do wish the cover gave some indication t
*Visit my blog for a chance to win an e-book copy of this book - link at the end of the review*

This book was not what I was expecting at all, in a very good way. At first it got me super curious and interested and then it got me surprised at the events that I was presented with.

Taking place in the 1800's, Tethers shows us a very different perspective of the Victorian times. Advanced science, seers (sort of) and brave children were not something I was expecting to find in this book. I honestly wa
Edit: 21.06.2013
When I wrote that review, I was going through a bit of a shoddy time and I don't feel like I've done it justice so here we go again.

Esther and Karl are the perfect team and it's not often you can say that about 2 13 year old children, they are feisty and determined to get what they want even though what they want probably won't do them any good. The way they avoid the Mistress' attempts to get to them is often impressive, even if they do occasionally need a bit of help from Mr Ca
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Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie. He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and currently toils away as a science writer in between working on his books. He tweets via @JackCroxall and blogs at
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“Don’t you touch her,’ threatened Esther, ‘or I’ll claw your face off.’
Steven turned away from Abigail and eyed Esther instead. ‘I’d like to see you try.’
‘I bet you would,’ snapped Esther, ‘ you've got such an ugly mug it’d probably make for an improvement.”
“You can't save someone from their own decisions.” 5 likes
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