Monday, 17 December 2018


By Vince Vawter

In this sequel to Paperboy, Victor is now 17 years old.  He has changed a lot since he was an 11-year-old paperboy, and although he still stutters, he has come to terms with his disability.  He doesn’t stutter as much as he used to, but he also isn’t bothered by it as much.

Victor now has a job as a copyboy at a newspaper and he’s on the verge of going to college.  But when one of his closest friends dies, Victor must fulfill a promise he made to spread his ashes at the mouth of the Mississippi river.  

In the days before school starts and against his mother’s wishes, Victor makes a trip south to New Orleans.  There he meets Philomene Moreau, a girl who quickly captures his full attention.  With her help, he hopes to find the mouth of the Mississippi – a location that is hotly disputed among the locals.

There’s only one thing stopping Victor and Phil from setting out on the river.  Hurricane Betsy has taken a sudden turn and is now heading straight toward New Orleans.  Things get pretty tense as those living on the Gulf of Mexico begin to evacuate.  But Victor is determined to fulfill his promise – and he hopes Phil will help him.

Copyboy is just as good as Paperboy but is suitable to an older audience.  Just as Victor has grown up, readers will need to have grown up a little before reading this next installment.  Copyboy is also good as a standalone novel.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Royal Bastards

Royal Bastards
Royal Bastards

by Andrew Shvarts

Tilla is a Royal Bastard. Her father is Lord Kent of the Western Province, who doted upon Tilla until his trueborn children came along. In this world, the bastard children of nobles can be legitimized if their noble parent wishes. This is something Tilla secretly longs for - to sit by her father’s side, dressed in fancy gowns, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family.

Until that day, Tilla and her half-brother Jax, a stablehand, spend their time exploring hidden tunnels beneath the castle and feast at the bastard table with the other bastards. One such bastard is Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.
At a feast that honours the kingdom's Princess Lyriana, Tilla meets the princess when, going against protocol, the princess chooses to sit at the bastards’ table. Lyriana explains that she wants more adventure and she talks Tilla, Jax, Miles and Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north to take her on a late-night escapade outside the castle. While beyond the castle walls, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards have no choice but to stick together and forge unlikely friendships as they try to thwart a war they know is coming.

A fast paced action magic filled story, that begins the Royal Bastards series.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Not If I Save You First

Not If I Save You Firstby Ally Carter

Maddie and Logan are best friends who both live at the White House. Logan’s dad is the president and Maddie’s is the head of the Secret Service charged with protecting the president.

At a party one night, trouble erupts and suddenly Maddie is torn away from everything she knows when her dad takes her to Alaska where there is no phone, no internet and no Logan. She writes weekly to Logan, but never gets a reply.

Fast forward 6 years and Logan’s parents are tired of his rebellious behaviour so they send him to Alaska for a taste of reality. Maddie can’t believe it, he just shows up, unannounced. She wants to kill him for abandoning her, for never writing back to her.

Maddie has plans to simply ignore Logan and get on with her chores, but a kidnapper interrupts them, injures Maddie and runs off with Logan. With the weather turning to icy winter conditions and little options for getting help, Maddie sees no choice but to track Logan and the kidnapper.  This begins an adventure in the Alaskan wilderness requiring Maddie to use all of the survival skills she has honed in the 6 years of living in the back country. 

Will it be enough to save Logan? 

It is a good adventure story with surprises and turns that are somewhat unexpected. All around a good read, typical spy, action chase kind of tale – wilderness style!.

This is a standalone novel from the author of Gallagher Girls and the Heist Society series for young adults. 

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Mortal Engines

Mortal EnginesBy Philip Reeve

This is a steam punk industrial revolution sci-fi fantasy story set in a time when the major cities of the world are individual self-contained entities that travel across the barren earth. This is a world eat world time and bigger, stronger cities chase after smaller, weaker cities and towns and devour them, keeping scrap that might be useful and discarding the rest. 

There is your usual scavenger crew, those out to make a quick buck off the misfortune of others who scavenge the discards of cities devoured. 

There is also the typical class systems of upper and lower with the power hungry upper class leaders readily betraying each other to further their own interests – who can really be trusted in this world? 

Tom is a 3rd class apprentice historian living in the traction city of London in this world. He has been sent to work in the gut of London, which is the bottom station that is currently dealing with the recent acquisition of a small town and needs to filter the material to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. While there, Tom saves his mentor from a seemingly deranged assassin, but then suddenly finds himself outside of London in the mud pit with Hester, the would be killer. 

Weighing his options, Tom decides to follow Hester and their adventures begin as they both try to get back to London, which by now has moved away from them at a rapid pace. Hester and Tom join forces to uncover the truth about what is really happening on London and meet a wide array of friends and foe along the way to the final battle.        

For sci-fi fans who love a detailed story with mini battles, setbacks and triumphs, this is a must read. this is the first in the four book Mortal Engines series.       

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The Last Namsara

I would like to preface this review by stating that I read this entire book in one day. It was it was raining, it was the long weekend, and it was just that good!  

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of the sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness-and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

Asha, the daughter of the Dragon King, is that destroyer.  And what a fearsome destroyer she is! Her grandmother enslaved a whole population of foreigners, made enemies of the dragons, and banned the old stories.  Asha follows in that legacy. She goes out into the Rift with her trusty ax and takes down dragon after dragon. She is ferocious, fearless, and just plain fierce.  

Feared and reviled by all in the kingdom, it is illegal to touch her or even meet her gaze. As a child, she did the forbidden; she told the ancient stories outlawed by the king. For breaking this rule, the First Dragon, Kozu, set fire to her entire town, killing hundreds, destroying homes, and disfiguring the entire side of her face and chest. To atone for her sin, she became a killing machine, destroying as many dragons as she can find. Her other act of atonement will be to marry the cruel commandant on her eighteenth birthday. Jarek is a cruel, drunken, brute of a man that Asha will do anything to be rid of. 

When Asha’s father offers her a chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the head of the First Dragon Kozu, she eagerly takes up the challenge.  What should be an easy task becomes much more complicated when her brother Dax asks her to save one of Jarek’s slaves from a deadly lashing. Rescuing Torwin requires Asha to help him escape and an unlikely alliance is formed. With his help, her quest to kill Kozu seems to get more and more complicated.  Truths start to be revealed that cannot be denied. Are dragons really the bringers of destruction she has been lead to believe, or has someone been lying? 

Realistic characters, ancient stories, and Dragons make for an awesome debut novel by Kristen Ciccarelli. If you like great fantasy novels, with realistic, flawed, but tough as nails heroines, this book is for you. Similar reads I`ve tried out recently are Seraphina by Rachel Hartman or the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.