Archives for category: Hachette Children’s Group

Image result for winterborne home for vengeance

Published by Hachette Children’s Books

Just getting back into reviewing books after the initial confusion that has taken over the world. This should have been reviewed a few weeks ago – came out on 5th of March.

‘But you’re dead,’ she reminded him and

the scary glare

morphed into a mischievous gleam.

A heroine waiting for her Mother to come and collect her. April has lived in several homes over the years. It doesn’t matter, her mother is going to collect her and take her away. There would be some explanation. This is an adventure filled with bravery, friendship and a missing orphan

What’s more – and this is important, it’s the start of a new series! Which is fantastic.

I love the starts of series. The cover (UK cover) of this one, doesn’t really inspire me – the American version is much better – no matter. Order one from your friendly Waterstones / Independent web site today and get it soon – something to enjoy whilst the rest of the world runs in circles.

Image result for tiger heart penny chrimes orion

Published by Orion / Hachette

This debut novel was one I picked up at work as the cover attracted me to it when it came into the store a few days ago. Sadly I wasn’t sent a proof – otherwise this would have been read and reviewed well before publication.

This is rather different – set in a period that is a curious mix of Georgian and Victorian history. Which you would think would be confusing, however, it isn’t – it’s rather an interesting merge of the two. Filled with characters – a young chimney sweep falls down into what should have been a normal room, in a normal residential house, and finds herself in a cage – set against the fireplace which contains a rather large


This is full of colour. Fly attempts to escape (without returning up the chimney – for reasons you will understand if you read her story), and what is more she decides to try to return the tiger to the wild. It’s a story of freedom & equanimity; from avarice, captivity, bondage, and slavery. It’s a roaring, brilliant tale.

Part and parcel, and dare I say beauty of this story – this peculiarly hybrid Georgian and Victorian adventure, is the patois used between Fly and her cullies. For those more unused to the phrases there is a guide to their gutterling…at the back, however, it isn’t necessary to keep referring to it – the story flows without interruption. It is though, a pleasure to read once the story has been finished and should be a source of amusement and perhaps will help such phrases and words such as half-inching, snaffle, termagant, varmint and addlepated to be more widely used…

This is marvellous. It is proper slumdinger of a story with just the right of sorrow and joy mixed…

It reminded me of another book I read some years ago (but don’t seem to have reviewed, for which apologies) – The Boy with the Tiger’s Heart, by Linda Coggin – I think I must have read it before I started this blog. If you like tigers…then this is another for you…


the-witches-sabbath-1-bb09241Published by Hachette Children’s Books

A superb story of two teenagers whose story is closely entwined. A story of a prophecy (there’s a surprise), of witches, modern and ancient. Of families, sisters and aunts. Of good. Of ancient and modern magic – of belief and of evil. Oh, and mothers, and their hopes and dreams.

Its superb.

Its a love story too, and of one of sacrifice.

If you like all things witchcraft, wild and magic this is certainly one for you…brilliant.

I can’t find a completed cover for this on the Internet so have chosen one of my favourite Arthur Rackham pictures of witches and their familiars…the cats in this are particularly suitable for this story…and it is a picture for Minx – a cat in the story… who reminded me so much of my familiar, presently asleep on my bed…

Due to be published on the 16th of June 2016

Published by Hachette Children’s Books

This is an extraordinary book, full of mythical creatures, suspense, history and drama – I am approximately half way through and have become totally involved with Ruby and her adventures.

The description of Shanghai in 1926 is like nothing I have ever come across, full of gangs and general unrest; things are unpredictable at the best of times, and trouble is brewing. Ruby’s brother has died and there are only hints as to what happened to him so far – but there is more to what we have been told.

Ruby’s friends the Tang family have disappeared amongst the general unrest and she’s really unsure as to what has happened to them, or even if they are safe. Her parent’s behaving oddly and are trying to protect her, but she’s got more on her mind than their demands that she stays home, with results that are far reaching and that is nothing to the spirits (hu li jing and others) that are roaming the city and taking an unhealthy interest in her.

This is a superb and brilliant addition to Julian Sedgwick’s titles – (previously published: The Mysterium Trilogy: The Black Dragon, The Palace of Memory, and The Wheel of Life and Death, along with Dark Satanic Mills co-authored with Marcus Sedgwick, and the e-book Escalator to the Clouds.)

Edgy and full of colour this is a book to savour and to enjoy.

Since writing this I have now finished the book – and what an ending! I am pleased to report that this is the start of a series – Shadows of the Yangtze, the further adventures of Ruby and Charlie and continuation of this story is advertised as coming out in February 2016…It can’t come soon enough!

Published by Hachette Children’s Group / ISBN 978 1408330036

The dark. Can be very dark. This story about how one night the dark visits Laszlo in his room and how he bravely confronts his fears… It is the illustrations that make this book so powerful, pertinent and wonderful.

I remember so well the darkness depicted in this book…Jon Klassen has managed to show how darkness can fill a room and how light can cut through darkness,  – an extraordinary piece of work and collaboration.

Published by Hachette Children’s Group / ISBN 978 1444913705

This is the first book in a trilogy involving Danny Woo who has been brought up in the Mysterium Circus until his parents were killed in a fire. He starts to live with his aunt an investigative journalist.  They travel to Hong Kong, where his aunt disappears and Danny finds himself trying to find her and in doing so finds out more than he expected and life becomes dramatically more dangerous…

A brilliant book to start a superb series. Full of tension and clever twists. The Mysterium is not a traditional circus and as a result Danny is an extraordinary hero…

The two other volumes in the tilogy are

The Palace of Memory / 978 9444913712 and

The Wheel of Life and Death / 978 1444913729

Published by Hachette Children’s Group / ISBN 978 1842556931 / Series 

A wonderful gothic tale by this inventive and extraordinary author. The majority of his books are on the whole for older readers, however this is the start of a brilliant series for this younger age group. In this the first book of this brilliant series we are introduced to the Otherhand family and Edgar who is a very grumpy discontented raven. He is disturbed to find that the family ignore his warnings after he sees something that shouldn’t be there, and the castle itself begins to flood…

There are six volumes in the series –

Flood and Fang 9781842556931

Ghosts and Gadgets


Lunatics and Luck


Vampires and Volts


Magic and Mayhem


Diamonds and Doom


Published by Hachette / ISBN 978 1444011067

This is the most beautiful edition of my favourite Marcus Sedgwick book. Set in 1915 it tells of a young girl’s struggle with the curse of second sight as her brother’s go off to war and the Somme. No-one believes what she says and this is the tale of her bravery and her extraordinary response to the tragedy that she has seen, but hasn’t yet come to pass.

It is as always with Marcus a superbly crafted story and this edition complements the text exquisitely. It really is a lovely book to handle. Try to purchase this edition while stocks are out there.