It never ceases to amaze me how Sharon Sant can write for such a diverse audience. No two books ever go down the same route or are even aimed at the sIt never ceases to amaze me how Sharon Sant can write for such a diverse audience. No two books ever go down the same route or are even aimed at the same market. Storm Child is perhaps written for a slightly younger audience than her previous book (Dead Girl Walking). This doesn't detract from any quality or storytelling however.
The Victorian setting fused with magical elements makes for an exciting read. The bleak, lonely, cold world our cast survive in is harsh and often unrewarding. The orphans do anything they can to get by; performing tricks for coin and tips. And it's a violent semi-rural world too, with wolves roaming free and untrustworthy people on every corner.
The story - one of a mysterious baby found abandoned on the heath - builds steadily; you're never sure where it is going, following the mischievous doings of the enigmatic Polly and hopeless romantic Isaac. But boy does it smack you in the face in the final third with a dangerous cult rearing its ugly head.
Storm Child is intelligently written, with a funny cast of characters who will appeal to a variety of ages. It mixes historical accuracy with a loose sort of fantasy that sparks your mind into thinking it definitely could have happened. Think Pullman's Sally Lockhart series meets Croxall's Tethers trilogy. Storm Child has it all: mystery, magic, humour, adventure, conspiracy, and love - all in abundance. A great read....more
I am a huge fan of Marcus Sedgwick. His earlier work (like this) is much more gothic than the newest works, and I like that. Being reintroduced to BoyI am a huge fan of Marcus Sedgwick. His earlier work (like this) is much more gothic than the newest works, and I like that. Being reintroduced to Boy and Willow in the dark, gothic, almost Victorian world they inhabit was nice, familiar, and soothing. Boy and Willow's naive view of the world was refreshing.
I have to say though that the world felt flat and the twists and turns felt predictable. I love Sedgwick's writing, and it is fresh, too the point, but has a magical, almost literary quality to it. His words have rhythm. His words aren't the problem here - it's more the storyline, which isn't exciting enough, dramatic enough, nor attention grabbing.
Having read and loved Jane Yates's previous novel (Garden) I sat and read Octopus Pirate in admiration. Jane Yates has produced a prolific and entertaHaving read and loved Jane Yates's previous novel (Garden) I sat and read Octopus Pirate in admiration. Jane Yates has produced a prolific and entertaining story that is emotional, kind, and full of genuine fun. Coco is a freak, an outcast - or so he thinks so, especially as he joins a circus because of his strange tentacles on his neck, but he soon begins to see he has so much to offer the world.
In the beginning, I especially loved the relationship between Coco and his adoptive guardian Mary. The way in which Yates writes this slightly steampunk novel is that of a fable. It captures your heart along the way, especially as you see Coco come of age - which is really what this novel is all about. It is obvious that the author has written this book with much love - its somewhat naive telling is simply addictive. Octopus Pirate made me smile from start to finish, and is perfect for almost any age, but I secretly think adults will love this a tad bit more. It made for a refreshing read. ...more
As a hardened fan of Raymond Khoury for many years, this little short story was right up my alley. A quick read, Khoury teams up with renowned authorAs a hardened fan of Raymond Khoury for many years, this little short story was right up my alley. A quick read, Khoury teams up with renowned author Steve Berry (an author I've been recommended many times but never actually read). The return of Sean Reilly was a welcomed one I guarantee you.
Although ridiculously short, Shadow Tag was tremendous fun. Light-hearted, humorous at times, and always full of action, it was a pleasure to see the authors be snapped up along with their actual characters. This was an interesting and original take on a story. The baddies forcing the authors to come up with a terrorist plot was just ingenious in fact. I also found the little touches brilliant too - the fact that Reilly and Malone feel something is missing from their usual tactics - but as the reader, we know it is because the authors aren't pulling their strings in the background making them work as they should!
Many will criticise this as overly short and not delivering a powerful enough punch as expected, but I found the subtleties light-hearted and entertaining. It has car chases and kidnap - all in under fifty pages! ...more