I've been really looking forward to seeing how James Treadwell's fantasy series will be concluded. This is a trilogy which I feel has somewhat flown uI've been really looking forward to seeing how James Treadwell's fantasy series will be concluded. This is a trilogy which I feel has somewhat flown under the radar with very little pre-publicity buzz. It is however one which has captivated me, without me being able to put my finger on exactly what it is about the story that has appealed to me so much.
The author, James Treadwell, has stated that his concept for the series was to imagine what would happen in the modern world if magic was to suddenly return. How would it affect or change society and what would it mean for certain individuals? I think the overall sense of the magical and the fantastical is carried along throughout the book, at the same time as there being a gritty realism and an atmosphere of dark danger to the story.
'Arcadia' centres around a young boy called Rory who lives on a tiny island with his mother and a community of other women. As the only boy there, he is cossetted by the women but at ten years of age he can be rebellious and finds himself becoming entangled with a group of mysterious strangers who are set to change his life forever. I loved the character of Rory and I enjoyed seeing events unfold around him.
Although I didn't always understand the subtext to some of the things that happened in the book, I honestly didn't feel that this mattered at all. I just loved the wild, elemental feel of the story and the sense that something epic was unfolding on the page.
This is the third and final book in the series but I almost think that you could read it as a standalone novel. It's not until the last few chapters that all the threads start to come together and previous characters return for the conclusion. Although I've read the whole series, it's been quite a while since I finished the first two books and I was a little hazy on some of the events that had taken place. Gradually I began to recollect things that had happened but don't let it put you off if this is the first book by James Treadwell that you're picking up. I'm sure you will enjoy it anyway!
I highly recommend this to fantasy fans who are looking for that next great read. ...more
This book was exactly my cup of tea! Set in 1935, it's a detective story with a difference. The difference being that the detectives are teenage girlsThis book was exactly my cup of tea! Set in 1935, it's a detective story with a difference. The difference being that the detectives are teenage girls, Daisy and Hazel, who along with their two friends are determined to solve a crime which is committed in Daisy's own home. Of course, you know that they will leave no stone unturned in their quest to find the guilty party and solve the case.
I haven't read the first Wells and Wong mystery, 'A Murder Most Unladylike' but I'd heard enough about the series to know that I desperately wanted to read it for myself. I didn't really matter that I hadn't started with book one because this was a standalone story and it took me no time at all to become acquainted properly with the characters. Daisy is impetuous, quick thinking and clever, whereas Hazel balances out her spontaneity by being more of a think before you act kind of detective. However, you always know that she will stand by Daisy's side through thick and thin.
I loved the setting of the novel. Britain in the 1930's is one of my favourite periods so this appealed to me immensely. I also liked the fact that it was set at Fallingford, Daisy's home, with such a fabulous set of unusual characters staying at the house - Lord and Lady Hastings, eccentric Aunt Saskia, Uncle Felix, Daisy's brother Bertie and his friend Stephen and new governess Miss Alston. Everyone is under suspicion when a fatal crime is committed and it reminded me of a murder mystery party, where the culprit must be found before anyone is allowed to leave.
I thought that the narrative, told from Hazel's point of view, was brilliant. It drew me into the story instantly and I couldn't put the book down for a second. There were lots of exciting and important clues to be discovered and I loved following the girls' sleuthing. It was a bit like a really exciting game of cluedo!
There were so many things about this book which appealed to me and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries but is also looking for a mystery with a twist. The next book in the series is going to be called 'A First Class Murder' and I for one, can't wait to read it! ...more
Joss Stirling is one of my favourite UK authors and I'm always excited when she has a new book out. I adore her Soulfinders series but I'm turning intJoss Stirling is one of my favourite UK authors and I'm always excited when she has a new book out. I adore her Soulfinders series but I'm turning into an equally big fan of the titles in her new Young Detective Agency series. Last year's 'Storm and Stone' (renamed Struck) was a brilliant read and I was hopeful that she would write another instalment. My wishes were granted with 'Stung' which follows two other members of the team, Nathan and Kate, as they find themselves in danger and on the run.
The story was really exciting, with Nathan tasked with bringing Kate in. However, she is not the easiest person to apprehend and keeps him well and truly on his toes, as he tries to hunt her down. I thought the relationship between the two was great, with a kind of love/hate vibe going on in the beginning, until Kate comes to realise that Nathan is on her side and will do anything to help protect her. I didn't feel the romance between them as much as I had previously done with Raven and Kieran but I think that was in keeping with the overall storyline, which was more about the mystery behind what had happened to Kate and why she was on the run, rather than focusing on the two falling for each other.
I did prefer Nathan as a character to Kate, but I think that's partly due to the fact that Kate was on the defensive most of the time, so didn't reveal quite so much about herself. Nathan on the other hand was terribly sweet and also extremely likeable.
I loved the mystery and action of the plot and the sense of danger that lurked the whole way through the story. I found the ending really gripping and packed full of thrilling moments. This was another winning read for me and I'm dying for Joss Stirling to continue the series. What will happen next?! ...more
This is the fourth Sarah Crossan book I've read and it reminded me most of 'The Weight of Water' in the way that the main character Apple, expresses hThis is the fourth Sarah Crossan book I've read and it reminded me most of 'The Weight of Water' in the way that the main character Apple, expresses her inner feelings and emotions through the poetry that she writes.
The story is about thirteen year old Apple who lives with her Nana but longs for her mother, who left her when she was young, to return. When her hopes are answered, she believes that she and her mother can rebuild their relationship but things don't turn out to be quite so simple. The idealistic picture of her mother that she has built up in her head is far from reality and as much as she tries to pretend otherwise, her life starts to spiral out of control.
There are many of Apple's poems throughout the book and they are really beautiful. They reflect the tumultuous nature of her relationship with her family. She has a real gift for words and I enjoyed reading these immensely. Through her poems she can begin to explore her feelings of anger, disappointment and sadness which she has bottled up for such a long time.
I thought that the story was very moving and touching and perfectly explores the bonds that are formed between family and friends. Things don't always work out the way we want them to but that's okay because life always has ups and downs. The bumps in the road will always be there but with the help of those who love us, it's possible to overcome them and come out the other side in one piece.
'Apple and Rain' is a brilliant contemporary read by a British author who has a talent for wringing every drop of emotion out of you. Have your tissues ready! ...more
The Shadow Cabinet’ is the third book in the Shades of London series. I thought this was the concluding part but judging by the ending, there is stillThe Shadow Cabinet’ is the third book in the Shades of London series. I thought this was the concluding part but judging by the ending, there is still more in store for Rory and co. I do think that the overall storyline could have been wrapped up in three books but Maureen Johnson obviously has more twists and turns up her sleeves.
The story picks up after the events of ‘The Madness Underneath’, with Stephen in hospital and Rory expelled from school. Things begin to get very strange as she starts to unravel the truth about what is going on beneath the streets of London. It was strange not seeing Rory at school and actually I missed that a lot in this book. I always enjoyed seeing her trying to maintain a normal school life with her newfound abilities and I felt that this offered an air of reality about proceedings. It took a bit of getting used to not having that feature as part of this instalment. At the same time, I did enjoy following Rory through the streets of London and visiting some very familiar landmarks.
Now, it’s a long time since I read the previous books in this series, so I felt like I needed a recap at the start and that’s just what I got. That helped to ease me back in and caught me up with everything I needed to know about the plot and the characters. I will admit that I got a little lost at times with some of the paranormal elements of the story but Maureen Johnson did a good job of steering things back on track and sucking me back in again.
Lots of terrible things happen in the book and the characters don’t always get what they want but I think this is reflective of life in general. It also helped to keep me on the edge of my seat because I had no doubt that just about anyone could meet a sticky end if the plot called for it.
The ending packed a real punch and definitely left me wanting more. I honestly have no idea what will be thrown at the characters next but it's exciting waiting to find out. ...more