The third book following ‘Webley and the World Machine’ and ‘Kip and the Grinders’ in Zachary Chopchinski’s Hall of Doors Steampunk adventure series is another action-packed, highly entertaining adventure story that features Adal, Arija and their friends Kip and Ypsilon as they negotiate a most challenging world full of dark creatures and even darker intentions.
Chopchinski yet again demonstrates his creativity and humour in his edgy writing, sassy dialogue, and the complexity of the settings and the creatures who inhabit them. This novel, while still full of adrenaline and suspense, also explores some of the characters’ personal issues and motivations, developing more maturity and thoughtfulness amongst the familiar snark and showmanship.
One distinct contrast to the first two books in the series is that there is some sexual content in this book that makes it less suitable for younger readers, and really making it an NA rather than YA novel.
A blend of steampunk and paranormal fantasy, ‘Kip and the Grinders’ is an original and suspenseful story that will keep readers intrigued and entertained.
The sequel to Inspector Hobbes and the Blood, this is the second book in Wilkie Martin’s Unhuman urban fantasy mystery series.
‘Inspector Hobbes and the Curse’ delivers an intriguing and unpredictable mystery story featuring the hapless Andy and the unflappable Inspector Hobbes as they investigate the circumstances of a wild animal killing a local farmer’s sheep.
Of course, nothing is as straightforward as it might otherwise be, so the story develops into a much more complicated and unexpectedly bizarre case than either Hobbes or Andy are expecting.
Martin’s writing is witty and easy to read, characterised by a lighthearted tone that is enriched by word play and “dad-joke humour”, and balanced by macabre scenes and some really lovely poignant moments. The story is very engaging, and carries the reader along at a very comfortable pace.
This quirky and fun read provides a great escape for the duration of the book, and the series is proving to be most enjoyable.
Ronaldo is no ordinary reindeer, as this wonderful children’s book reveals.
Ronaldo attends the Flying Reindeer Academy alongside his best friend Rudi, enjoys The Weekly Flyer comics every Saturday morning, and dreams of becoming one of Santa’s elite reindeer like his hero, Vixen Pedersen.
This is a really fun story about friendship, encouragement and celebrating one another’s achievements. The story is infused with humour and warmth that is sure to engage and entertain young readers. The characters and events of the story are relatable, delivering positive lessons and modeling appropriate responses to typical.childhood challenges along the way.
Delightful reading for families and for independent young readers, this book would make an excellent addition to family, school.and community libraries.
While many people may insist that they wish their dreams really would come true, this story reminds the reader that it might not always be a good thing. ‘My Dream Woman’ is a heartwarming, entertaining and quite fantastic tale of the power of dreams in the lives and destinies of those who have them.
The author has created a quite brilliant concept with the Guild of Dream Warriors and in doing so has opened up a whole new realm of potential for contemporary fantasy— one which the author has deftly and confidently made her own with the mystical and mysterious collection of characters who populate this story. Of course, nothing is perfect, and therein lies the complication that sets the plot of this delightful tale in motion.
The story is written in a familiar and relaxed tone that makes the reader feel as if they have known Andi, the central character, for much longer than just the time they’ve been reading. The story rolls on at a good pace, at some times lighthearted and amusing, and at other times suspenseful and intriguing, but always delivering twists that keep both the reader and the characters curious and engaged.
Once again, Cleiptt has produced a highly original and quirky story that has far more depth and meaning to it than just mere entertainment. As the assumptions, fears and instincts of the characters are explored, so are those of the reader, revealing truths that challenge the way in which one understands their own responses to life and the different people with whom we share it.
There is some adult content, so it’s not a book for younger readers, but it is a positive and empowering read that promotes understanding of different perspectives and orientations.
Having found so much to enjoy in this novella, it is very exciting to know there are two more books in the Guild of Dream Warriors series.
Dark, witty and ironic, ‘Good Omens’ is a brilliant read. This should come as no surprise, given that its authors are both creative geniuses.
This audiobook recording is brilliant. The casting is fabulous and the performances are outstanding, making this an excellent listening experience which is entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time.
’Good Omens’ ticks all the boxes for the perfect dark comic fantasy.
This is a fun fantasy story full of action and adventure for Paul Paulson and his donkey, Gilbert, who set out on a journey and find themselves landing in more danger than they ever anticipated. It’s a story that reminds the reader of the power of friendship and loyalty, and the importance of working together to solve problems and achieve what needs to be done.
The story moves at a good pace, full of twists and turns that engage the imagination and keep the reader guessing. There are a few macabre moments, effectively balanced by the optimism of the central characters and the humour and positive tone of the writing.
‘Becoming a Hero’ is an entertaining and enjoyable novella with a good moral and valuable messages that will suit for Young Adult and older readers.
‘Wild Rose’ continues the story of Pastor Ian MacCraig and the community of St Conan’s in Lochawe, Scotland, that began with Thistle Down.
This is a lighthearted, often humorous and sometimes very poignant story of an unlikely meeting that unleashes an unpredictable series of events full of twists and turns.
While it is a romantic story, it’s also a story of human nature in which judgement and forgiveness feature prominently. It challenges the reader to think about their own perceptions of others, especially those who stand out from the crowd in one way or another.
There is some subtle adult content, so it’s not a book for young readers. That being said, that content is written with sensitivity, and is unlikely to offend adult readers.
‘Wild Rose’ is a most enjoyable read, and has been awarded a Silver Acorn.
‘Thistle Down’ introduces Pastor Ian MacCraig of St Conan’s Kirk in Lochawe, Scotland, and the various members of the congregation and community in the village in a lighthearted and warm story of two very different sisters and their prospective wedding plans.
The tone of the story is warm and familiar, aided by delightfully origina yet typically Scottish characters who speak with frankness and good humour. This book really does have the feel of one of those wonderful British TV series that one watches on a Saturday or Sunday evening, becoming immersed in a small community and the local goings on while getting to know all the neighbours.
Being a novella-length read, it was easy to read in an afternoon, and provided a wonderful escape for a couple of hours.
‘Thistle Down’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.
Just like Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, this is a fun romp full of coincidence, disguise, trickery, and mistaken identity, albeit set on a tropical island in the 21st century.
Clepitt’s trademark humour infuses the narrative with warmth and a lighthearted tone that make the story very entertaining. The characters are, in keeping with Shakespeare’s play, delightful and a bit daft at the same time, which is how the story is actually made to work.
Given that the play already bent the gender roles and expectations back in the 1600s, it is a plot that easily lends itself to the incorporation of gay and lesbian characters and themes, achieved with the intelligence and wit that are characteristic of Clepitt’s writing.
There is sufficient homage to Shakespeare’s tale to make it recognizable, and sufficient originality and development of setting, plot and characters to make the work distinct as Clepitt’s own.
A most enjoyable read, ‘Or What You Will’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.
’The Interspecies Poker Tournament’ is a prequel to The Rose Thief’, Claire Buss’ first novel to feature Ned, Jenni, and the rest of the Thief Catcher gang.
It is a wonderfully quirky fantasy story, full of rich and diverse characters that all have their own priorities and vested interests in catching the murderer.
It’s written with humour and warmth that infuse the story with a genuine feel-good tone, despite the multiple deaths, general trickery and deliberate obfuscation by some, and the presence of some rather sinister characters.
This novella-length book can easily be read in a couple of hours, and would best suit a YA-and-older audience. I found it to be a great diversion on a quiet afternoon, and thoroughly enjoyed the story.
’The Interspecies Poker Tournament’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.