Tuesday 27 November 2018

Tales of Ramion

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Frank Hinks' Tales of Ramion series of children's books. I have two books from the series, Story 1 - The Land of Lost Hair and Story 17 - The Dream Thief.

Both stories involve three brothers, Alexander, Benjamin and Julius and their protector, the Dream Lord cat Snuggle. In The Land of Lost Hair the evil witch Griselda tries to enchant the boys so she can eat them but things go awry and all she achieves is making the family lose their hair. Snuggle takes them to the titular land, pursued by Griselda and various giant items of hairdressing paraphernalia.

Will they get their hair back?
Will the boys become tea for the evil Griselda?

In The Dream Thief the boys' mother's dream of being an artist is stolen by The Dream Thief and they, along with Snuggle and their mother (as a six year old child - trust me, it all makes sense) head to the Land of Dreams to try and get it back.

These are, I must say, lovely books to own. As well as captivating stories they are beautifully illustrated by the author. The stories can seem a bit surreal at times but are just the kind of thing children (of all ages) will love and the illustrations are equally so. A welcome addition to any library, in my opinion.
Please, if you get the opportunity, check out the other posts and bloggers on the tour

Sunday 25 November 2018

The Lingering by S J I Holliday

Well, this was a surprise. I jumped on the chance to review The Lingering as soon as I read the blurb. I was expecting a good read but not as good as it turned out.

The premise is a fairly standard one - a young couple move to a new location to start a 'new life' but all may not be as it seems...

The new location in this case is a commune on the site of an old psychiatric hospital. In it's own way the hospital almost becomes a character in the story itself, looming large over everything. 

As 'unexpected and unexplained incidents' affect the lives of the residents the history of the site unravels itself and we are kept guessing as to who is responsible.

So, the first thing that drew me in to The Lingering was, obviously I guess, the story. It had a feel of the creepy kind of tale I enjoy. The idea of 'new location, new start' has been done many times before so it takes a confident author to take it on and do something interesting with it and, thankfully Holliday pulls it off here. 

Also, a quick mention of the cover art (I am a big fan of good cover art). The art here is both exceptionally good and also confusing, which sets the tone for the story. It draws you into the picture but leaves you feeling something is 'off'. And inside, just before you start, are two roughly pencil drawn floor plans of Rosalind House and grounds. Again, slightly creepy in a way I couldn't quite put my finger on. BUT!! Creepy is good when it comes down to story. This is a story that will leave you unsettled at times with hints of Hitchcock and (for me) James Herbert.

 Please, if you get the chance, have a look at the other review blogs on this tour.
Thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this Blog Tour and to Orenda Books for supplying the book itself

Monday 12 November 2018

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

All Spensa wants is to be a pilot like her dad was and take the fight to the alien Krell. The problem is that her dad was killed when he seemingly deserted his squad mid battle and no-one is going to let that act of cowardice be forgotten.

But just when it seems all Spensa's dreams are shattered the Krell massively increase their attack numbers and the people of Desolation will need every available body that can get to try and survive. It looks like Spensa is going to flight school after all.

Skyward is a rather hard book to place for readership. In a way, with it's young protagonist the easy thing would be to call it YA but that would probably mean a lot of older readers may miss out (although, in my opinion, YA is a misleading label as there are a hell of a lot of cracking books in that genre that I enjoy - and at 50+ years old I'm a long way from being YA). The story itself is as good as I expected from Sanderson, he does characters really well and Spensa is just that - a really well drawn heroine, flaws and all.

Where this book comes into it's own though is when the pilots take to the air. These scenes are both epic and breathtaking with the pages whizzing by.

The animosity from many towards Spensa is strongly felt but there's also a sense of kinship and acceptance from some which balances things nicely.

Hopefully Sanderson will have more of this story to tell and when he does I'll be at the front of the queue to grab a copy and see what the future holds.

Many thanks to Stevie Finnegan and Gollancz for inviting me to take part in this Blog Tour and please, if you get the time, have a look at the reviews from these other lovely bloggers who have taken part