BOOK REVIEW | Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (3.5 stars)

Howl's moving castleVerdict: Fun, easy and humorous read with an unfortunately vague ending.

Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three, which in Ingary means she’s nothing special. She’ll never go on adventures or achieve greatness but, being shy and humble to a fault, she’s resigned to her fate. Yet, when Sophie falls foul of The Witch of the Waste, her boring future is turned upside down as she’s forced to seek help from the fearsome Wizard Howl.

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Assassin’s Fate is out! | Meeting Robin Hobb

hobb signingLast night, I headed over to Shaftesbury Avenue for a Robin Hobb book signing. It was pouring with rain but trivial things like terrible weather have never stopped me celebrating my geekdom. Robin Hobb, for me, is the Holy Grail of fiction writers and apparently I’m not alone in thinking that. When I got there, the queue was very long. Fortunately my friend Maria had arrived in plenty of time to save a space for us. S.E. Berrow rocked up a short while later, bringing clear skies with her, and the door to Forbidden Planet opened.  Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW | A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (3.5 stars)

conjuring-of-lightVerdict: A neat end to a great story, definitely worth the read but lacking the magnetism of the previous two novels. 

The novel picks up where A Gathering of Shadows ended; our heroes are in a bad place and the odds are stacked high against them. Osaron, the piece of magic who would be king, the piece of magic who thinks its a god, is free, and all surviving Londons – White, Red and even Grey – could pay the ultimate price. Continue reading

Top 10 Tuesday: Children’s stand-alone novels

Last Sunday was International Children’s Book Day, so this week’s Top 10 Tuesday is, of course, about children’s books. There are lots of excellent series out there for children but sometimes stand-alone novels get left in the dust. Several publishers and editors have commented on the difficulty of selling a stand-alone novel due to lack of ‘shelf-presence’, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less worthwhile.

Here are ten of my stand-alone recommendations for children: Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW | Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (3 stars)Book Review, Books, reading, fiction

SkulduggeryVerdict: Fun and well-written, but doesn’t quite hit the mark for me.

Stephanie Edgeley attends the funeral of her Uncle Gordon and meets a strange man called Skulduggery Pleasant. From then on, things get a bit crazy.

I know there’ll be a lynch mob waiting outside my house as soon as I post this, and I regret that I can’t give Skulduggery Pleasant more stars. I really wanted to. It was funny and well-written, Skulduggery himself was incredibly witty… I think I may have developed a crush on him at some point which, given he’s a very old, reanimated skeleton, presents a whole set of ethical and logistical problems. The plot was solid and well-thought out, too, if a little predictable.

And yet…

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BOOK REVIEW | Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen (5 stars)

adulthood is a mythVerdict: Brilliant and incredibly relatable. I think Andersen is stalking me and my friends.

I don’t usually review publications like comic-strip books or graphic novels, but this book hit me so hard in the face with its perfection that I felt compelled to share it with the world.

Dubbed as ‘A Sarah’s Scribbles collection’, Adulthood is a Myth is a vivid insight into the mind and life of Sarah Andersen, who is the new spokeswoman for a generation of artistic introverts. From battling wars with her sadistic uterus and to constantly losing the fight to leave her bed on a rainy day, Andersen’s cartoon creation speaks to the little niggling voice in all of our heads, saying one thing: I get it.

And she does get it. I enjoyed this brilliantly funny collection of sketches from start to finish. I could relate to most of them personally; the few I didn’t identify with were sent to my friends, who related to them instead.

The art itself is very simplistic but appealing, with Andersen’s style expressing obvious emotion just by tweaking a few lines of ink. I’d recommend this to anyone who, although technically adult, feels as far from grown-up as can be. If you prefer books to people and can’t wait to get into your pyjamas at the end of the day; if you’re a fan of procrastination and struggle being socially acceptable on a daily basis, this book is for you.