The Enchantress

The Enchantress

The Enchantress
The two that are one must become the one that is all. One to save the world, one to destroy it.
San Francisco:
Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel have one day left to live, and one job left to do. They must defend San Francisco. The monsters gathered on Alcatraz Island have been released and are heading toward the city. If they are not stopped, they will destroy everyone and everything in their path.
But even with the help of two of the greatest warriors from history and myth, will the Sorceress and the legendary Alchemyst be able to defend the city? Or is it the beginning of the end of the human race?
Danu Talis:
Sophie and Josh Newman travelled ten thousand years into the past to Danu Talis when they followed Dr. John Dee and Virginia Dare. And it’s on this legendary island that the battle for the world begins and ends.
Scathach, Prometheus, Palamedes, Shakespeare, Saint-Germain, and Joan of Arc are also on the island. And no one is sure what – or who – the twins will be fighting for.
Today the battle for Danu Talis will be won or lost. But will the twins of legend stand together?
Or will they stand apart – one to save the world and one to destroy it?

The Enchantress by Michael Scott is the 6th and last book in the series. It always did have a big task, bringing together all the strands and finally letting us as readers know the secrets surrounding the twins, Sophie and Josh. The book is thick and I was expecting an epic tale, one that would live up to the last five books, and I have to say it was enjoyable and full of action, but I still feel a sense of disappointment, because the potential in the story carried through the last five books to make this one amazing ending, just never really happened.
The characters are just amazing, I loved the interaction and the humour between them, and the way some of those initially bad guys did the right thing, it was so well written in terms of how that was achieved, and how the interaction and the humour and also the closeness of the characters added a depth to the story and made you really care about these characters. Really there were many main characters, you think of Sophie and josh at the beginning as being the main characters, but all these other characters as they are introduced have a strong place in your hear too. For example Machievelli, Billy the Kid, Virginia Dare, all started off in my mind not being on the right side, but by the end of the book they more than proved themselves. The way that so many historical characters were used and how they helped take the story forward, was clever.
I was disappointed that the last book saw the Flamels, along with some of the other main characters stuck on Alcatraz, still fighting the monsters, while the rest of the plot took place in Danu Talis set in the past. It felt wrong that they were not all together to fight that last most important fight, that too much time was spent on delaying the monsters leaving the island and not enough time on the ending, which seemed rushed and non-fulfilling to me as a reader.
The twins, well that was it really they were not twins, I had difficulty with this part and with the knowledge of their parents true identity, and how they could have spent all that time not knowing, or even having a glimmer of the truth about them.
There were a fair amount of unanswered questions, and I wonder if at some stage there will be a prequel book that will give those answers.
However, overall this has been one amazing journey and I can only thank the author for such an imaginative well written series of books that I have enjoyed enormously. I would have to recommend this series, its brilliant.


To celebrate the release of Kim Curran’s Control, Strange Chemistry are offering 5 Signed Copies of Control and Shift! To enter, all you need to do is tell us what embarrassing moments you’d change if you could shift! Simply tweet @strangechem and use the hashtag #Control to tell us what red-faced moment you’d like to erase. Winners will be picked at random; the competition is open to international entrants; and competition ends on 31 August

The City Stella Gemmell

cover30161-smallStella Gemmell, wife of David Gemmell, was involved in finishing David’s unfinished novel when he passed away. This however is her first book she has written alone.
The City had me immersed from page one, I suppose as a fan of David Gemmell books I was prepared to give this book a fair chance to prove itself to me, and I have to say that in its own right it is a wonderful epic story, full of interesting characters, and well-crafted in terms of storytelling.
I loved the whole concept of this City, most of which now seems to exist under ground, layer upon layer of caves and tunnels and humanity living and working, never once venturing out onto the streets above.
I thought Stella created characters worthy of following; ones that you got to know and care about, that coupled with the rich description of the City and the use of language to build her world created a truly amazing story.

Doll Bones

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice.
But one night the girls pay Zach a visit and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – which claims to be made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

Holly Black is a good author, I have enjoyed her previous tithe series, and she does not let us down with this book. About three children, Zach, Poppy and Alice, friends since small, and all about to hit adolescence, Zach is feeling mixed emotions about his father’s decision to throw away his young toys, something he was not quite ready for.
The spooky china doll, part of their games becomes part of Poppy’s dreams and she tells the others they have to bury it, because of what she is told by a ghost of a girl murdered.
This is one creepy tale, that keeps you reading right to the end, it is a story of growing up, of changing emotions and feeling between the girls and Zach, and it is a ghost story intertwined with horror.
Loved the characters and the story.

Itch Rocks

Itch Rocks

After almost poisoning his whole class with arsenic gas, going on the run from a psychotic science teacher and nearly dying of radiation poisoning, life is getting back to normal for Itchingham Lofte- at least, as normal as it can be when you have a round-the-clock detail of government security guards watching your every move.

But sinister forces are still hunting for Element 126 and will stop at nothing to find out where Itch has hidden the precious radioactive rocks. With the help of his sister Chloe and his tomboy cousin Jack, Itch has to put 126 beyond the reach of unscrupulous scientists and international terrorists forever.

It’s time to save the world. Again.

The second book in the explosively exciting ITCH series.

First let me say if you have not read the first book in this series then you need to do so, it is brilliant, with humour and characters that you grow to care about. Fast paced from start to finish it packs in a lot of story, that will help you enjoy this second book in the series. It sets the pace for the start of the second book.

So Itch Rocks the second book in the series, picks up where the first book ended, but life has changed in a big way for ItchinghamLofte, an elemental collector, who in the first book managed to get himself into amazingly bad situations because of his interest in rocks. Having buried element 126 at the end of the first book we are now in a situation where no one knows its whereabouts except Itch, and he is surrounded by government security guards who follow him everywhere he goes.

However Itch is in trouble again because someone, well more then one, is trying to find element 126 and Itch is in a race to protect it and make sure it is safe for ever, with Chloe his sister cousin Jack they race to protect it against mad scientists, evil terroristsand unknown threats.

Well written it keeps you reading till the end.

Guardians Inc. The Cypher

Guardians Inc.Description
A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.

Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we’ve driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future they need a cypher.I really enjoyed this book, I do wish it had been longer, that’s just a personal thought, when I enjoy a book I want it to last.
Thomas is in trouble at school, the book opens with him sitting outside Killjoy, the Vice Principal’s office waiting for his grandfather, who is inside discussing Thomas with her. Thomas had been bullied by three other boys and used his Karate skills to get even. He is suspended for a week, but ends up better off than the other boys who get various punishments, also he is told it will not appear on his records. You feel there must be some connection here, Thomas hears his grandfather laughing with the Vice Principal behind closed doors.
The links with his school and Killjoy, is an area that it would have been good to have more back story, I felt part of that was never really explained, how did he end up at that school, we are told the back history of his parents off on a two month cruise and disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle, but it is almost as if Killjoy knew that Thomas was special before the advert for the job appeared in the newspaper and they met at the library.
By the end of the day Thomas and his father had both seen and read an encrypted message, not realising it is encrypted straight away, and is offered jobs with Guardians Inc.
It turns out both Thomas and his granddad are cyphers, and they are needed to track down a book that has chapters added by the Oracle every 500 years, and helps keep the peace between the magical world, humans and other beings.

A story that is YA fantasy about good v evil and about magic and amazing creatures, statutes that come to life and even a robot. I have seen suggestions of its likeness to Rick Riordan, but I think this book has its own tale to tell and does it fairly well.
What can I say about Guardians Inc. headquarters, except I want to live there, a large library that houses every lost book and book known and unknown to man, where you can walk through a door and be in another country, and where ever you are you go two and half blocks left and you are at the building.
Thomas is an assistant librarian and his granddad Morgan is employed in the financial department, Thomas meets killjoy again here when she comes to borrow some books, and you get a sense of the magic that is involved when Thomas reads the instructions from the computer screen and the books arrive and disappear instantly.

Things soon turn more interesting with Thomas’s house being burnt and demolished, his granddad disappearing, and finding out the girl he has a strong crush on is thousands of years old and elven.
Thomas being a cypher can read any code and any language, it soon becomes clear in the hunt for the book and new chapters that Thomas cannot share that information with anyone, the things he cyphers that are connected to the book stay inside his head, he knows what it means the clues, but he cannot share at this point. No one is sure how many clues there will be before the book is found, and towards the end of this book we find out that he is competing with his granddad who is working for the other side, and he seems to always be one step behind him.

Thomas has a good support of characters, and it will be interesting to see how they all develop over the course of the next book in the trilogy.

Shadows of the Realm

Bronwyn and Blayke are two strangers being drawn into the same war. Their world is facing invasion from the Third Realm. While they unknowingly move toward each other, they are watched, hunted, and sabotaged. When the Dragon God interferes, it seems their world, Talia, will succumb to the threat. Can they learn enough of the tricks of the Realms before it’s too late, or will everything they love be destroyed? The young Realmists’ journey pushes them away from all they’ve known, to walk in the shadows toward Vellonia, city of the dragons, where an even darker shadow awaits.

Love the idea of dragons and humans living and working side by side fighting an unseen enemy. The first in a new fantasy series for young adults this book takes us on a journey to a world filled with mystical beings and magic. The story has many strands that slowly intertwined and pull together to create an epic adventure and a world that you feel a part of, really enjoyed this book.

Silent Saturday: Forbidden Spaces Trilogy: Book One

Helen Grant’s book Silent Saturday is the first in a new series called the Forbidden Spaces Trilogy. A young adult thriller, this is narrated mainly by Veerle de Keyser who is the main protagonist. Set in Flanders, the plot is about a serial killer named De Jager who is also known as the hunter, who preys on woman in the Flanders area. The connection between the serial killer and Veerle is that she and Kris Verstraeten are both in a group called the Koekoeken a group of young people that break into buildings for the thrill of it. This is where they cross paths with De jager during one of these break-ins of an old building.
Also Kris and Veerle have a connection from when they were small, as they both witnessed a crime, a murder, but one that Veerle does not remember at the moment.
So there is a lot going on already in this novel and it’s clever the way it all intertwines.
Also Veerle’s relationship with her mother Claudine is not in a good place, her mother who is psychologically unstable, has a smothering obsession with Veerle, is manipulative and we see how Veerle tries to escape this smothering relationship, but also at the same time there is a part of her that feels sorry for her mother. The book finishes on a cliff-hanger and we are left waiting for the second one with great anticipation, well written with sympathy for the characters.


Sticker - NG Member -Prof Reader copy

House of Secrets

House of Secrets
THE HOUSE OF SECRETS follows three siblings and their family as they are forced to move to a mysterious new house in San Francisco and end up embarking on a journey to retrieve a dark book of untold power.
The Walker kids had it all: loving parents, a big house in San Francisco, all the latest video games . . . But everything changed when their father lost his job. Now the family is moving into Kristoff House, a mysterious place built nearly a century earlier by a troubled fantasy writer. Suddenly the siblings find themselves launched on an epic journey, to retrieve a dark book of untold power and uncover the Walker family’s secret history. Oh and save their parents . . . and maybe even the world.

House of Secrets was a brilliant read. Once I had read a few pages, I found it difficult to put down. Well written, fast paced, lots of action and humour. This is a true adventure story about three children, Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker, who moves to Kristoff House, perched on or literally over Sea Cliff. The house which appears almost Tardis like is an old Victorian house that once belonged to the Kristoff family.
The house seems way out of the family’s budget, especially after the “incident” that is hinted at, that had befallen their surgeon father. However the agent tells them that they are looking for a particular family fallen on hard times and they are that family. Of course things are never that simple and as the story unfolds we learn of the connections between the Walker’s and the Kristoff’s.
All the children feel uneasy at the house, but the parents love the house, and they decide to buy. While looking around the house Cordelia falls in love with the library, and “borrows” a book which of course knowing the way tales go was one big mistake, especially with a stone agent, who actually is a powerful witch and daughter of Denver Kristoff watching their visit.
They move in and from that point the story moves at a fast pace right to the end of the book, with book characters coming alive, pirates, WW1 Fighter Pilot, witches, savages, giants, and an attic that seems to bring people back from the dead.
The house holds many secrets, as the book title suggests, and there is a labyrinth of interesting secret rooms and tunnels, and barrels to help it float.
My one criticism would be the depth of the characters; they were difficult to really feel empathy for. I am sure though that as the series progresses that will change.