Month: May 2014

BOOK REVIEW – Dragon Shield by Charlie Fletcher

Following on from the ever popular (and rightly so) ‘Stoneheart’ Trilogy comes Dragon Shield, the first in an all new trilogy of books from Charlie Fletcher. The brilliantly written ‘Stoneheart‘, its follow up ‘Ironhand‘ and ITS follow up ‘Silvertongue‘ will be hard to beat, but Charlie is definitely up for giving it a go.

Set within the same realm as the previous trilogy, Dragon Shield tells the story of Will and Jo who are thrust into a mysterious world of which they only dreamt. However this world comes with its fair share of consequences, one of which is fire-breathing dragons. With the streets of London as a backdrop, Will and Jo must adapt to a world of statues that are able to come to life and terrorise those who dare step in their paths!

The synopsis for this books reads; “Something dark has woken in the British Museum, and it has stopped time, literally freezing the city in its tracks. The people are there, but unmoving, unseeing – like statues. The statues, on the other hand, can move, and are astonished at what they see.” The perfect summary of a thrilling, twisting and turning novel that is bound to excite and invigorate all ages.

This reader found it to be well written, not too simplistic (as can be expected from other books of this type), with good character progression and emotion in bounds. The ideal start for younger readers looking to explore new genres. And there’s Dragons- what’s not to love?

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Out on 03/07/2014 from Hodder Childrens
ISBN: 9781444917321


BOOK REVIEW – Paraphernalia by Steven Connor

This book is incredibly interesting. There, I’ve said it, I’ve used the ‘I’ word. Interesting would also perhaps imply that it’s quite dull. However this couldn’t be further from the truth. Steven Connor, as the book informs, “is a professor of modern literature and theory at Birkbeck College” and is also “the author of many academic books (on subjects ranging from the English novel to ventriloquism, skin and flies)”. These accolades only help to improve the content of this fascinating journey through the lives of magical (and largely ‘every-day’) items.

There are so many ordinary objects that we just don’t realise the true value of, until perhaps we can’t find them or we’re stuck with a substandard alternative. Objects such as plugs, batteries and combs may seem like every day items, but when you are able to really deeply delve into their history and true purpose with the help of Mr Connor, you’ll be amazed at what they honestly mean to us.

What significance do these items have for us? How would you explain these items to an extra-terrestrial if you so had to? Until you have to sit down and think properly about these questions, you just don’t know what we take for granted. Now if you’re anything like me then you hoard things, you keep the unnecessary and the interesting items that crop up in daily life that may have a use…further down the line, maybe? If you are like me, then you’ll love this book for that very reason. Its difficult to explain why people hoard things and maybe this book will go some of the way to understanding these relationships that people form with the mundane objects that are otherwise meaningless.

This book is more than just a list of things that we pass by in our homes all the time without noticing. It’s much more than that. It’s a historical and detailed whimsical look into the magical things that we really couldn’t live without. If you watch ‘How Clean is Your House’ and feel that slight bit of sympathy for those types of people, or even if you are interested in why we have what we have, how we use these items and where they have come from, then this is the book for you.

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Out now from Profile Books
ISBN: 9781846682704

GUEST BOOK REVIEW – Divergent by Veronica Roth

Guest Reviewer: Ami  (@mama_roach)

Desperate to read this before the I saw the film, I frantically searched for a copy of Veronica Roth’s Divergent. The prestigious and reputable Waterstones came to the rescue and fuelled my YA book craving! It certainly wasn’t difficult to find, as Divergent finds itself in the dystopian sci-fi category (and it’s not like this category is popular or anything!) I approached the story with an open mind, having read a mixture of reviews – some quite negative and too busy comparing it to The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), but most were positive and highly-engaged with the main character Beatrice, as she finds herself choosing her future, torn between family and what is right.

Set in a future divided into factions, each representative of ‘the best’ human traits, Beatrice belongs to Abnegation, a community dedicated to human kindness and selflessness, but she finds herself torn when labelled ‘Divergent’. Will she leave her family to find her ‘real’ self? Can selflessness and bravery go hand-in-hand? You can read it to find out!

Beatrice, in her journey of self-discovery, comes across a whole host of characters, some stronger than others. I found Four a little bit unrealistic, but I guess there needs to be a love interest that isn’t the cliche of Edward Cullen (sparkly vampire from Twilight fame). I was glad that he had flaws and was, at times, a little rude to his ‘Tris’. However, don’t let the idea of a love interest put you off, as the main storyline is very effective. Beatrice not only has to contend with, at times, an ignorant love interest; she has to contend with her own survival! This is where the action begins and does not end. The novel is action-packed from start to finish and made breathing at a normal rate difficult!

As you read on through the novel, Beatrice becomes more confident and about as kick-ass as it gets. She jumps off buildings, climbs Ferris wheels and faces her fears. But the main plot-line of the trilogy doesn’t come into focus until the end of the novel; I felt like too much of the time was spent developing her character in this one, but this was necessary to build to the main storyline of the trilogy. It definitely left me wanting to see the film and read the next two rather urgently!

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Out now from Harper Collins Childrens Books
ISBN: 9780007420421