The Map Maker’s Daughter by Caroline Dunford @verdandiweaves @SpellBoundBks @zooloo2008 #yafiction #fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Map Maker’s Daughter by Caroline Dunford. This is a Young Adult fantasy read that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-cop of the book.

Sharra’s world is a terrifying place.

Violent seismic ‘Shifts’ and outbreaks of an all-consuming black fire radically alter landscapes on an increasingly frequent basis. Only the Map Makers can predict where the Shift will fall, and Sharra, daughter to one of the most famous Map Makers, yearns to join their ranks and break a cultural taboo which forbids female cartographers. Sharra’s father, Lord Milton, is one of the few to challenge the current order, but his shadowy past limits his political reach and his second wife, Lady Ivory, is determined to manipulate him to ensure a privileged future for herself and her daughter, Jayne.

The main obstacle standing in Ivory’s way is Sharra.

MY REVIEW…

This is a wonderful Young Adult Fantasy book that follows the adventures of Sharra, she is the daughter of a mapmaker. Their role is to warn the world when the earth shift. When shifts happen danger and death follow.

Sharra is not like most girls her age, she’s a bit of a tom-boy, gets into trouble and is interested in the skill of map-making. This skill isn’t just your average map-making, it is a skill that literally can move mountains. Girls and women do not possess this skill, but then Sharra’s mother had the skill so it can happen.

This is a really enjoyable fantasy story, it has some magical intrigue to it and it is easy to follow. I would say that this is more a lighter fantasy book and it would work very well for younger readers. There is enough description to keep the plotline flowing and plenty of mystery and intrigue to keep the attention. I soon found myself caught up in this book and quite unable to leave it until I had finished it.

The character of Shanna is an interesting one, she has a stepmother who is always on at her, a father who is trying his best and also the stereotype of what society expects of a young woman of her position. This gives several elements that make for interesting reading. Add into this the danger that Shanna is in from those who want to have more of a hold over the map-making skills and it makes for a good action-adventure story.

I really enjoyed this, it is a good Young Adult Fantasy that I read in one sitting, I did find it wrapped up a little quick for me, and I could have quite easily read another 50 pages or so. I also think there is the potential here for another follow on book and if that is the case I would definitely be picking that one up. This is a fantasy, coming of age type story and one I would happily recommend. 

About the Author…

Caroline lives for stories. Reading them. Telling them, Watching them. She can’t get enough of them. She can hypnotise people and she sings well in the shower. She enjoys cooking, but hates housework, and has managed to convince everyone who knows her that she doesn’t understand washing up. So much so that when friends visit some of them do it for her. Fortunately she also has a dishwasher. She always feels she didn’t make enough of her teenage years, and hopes that at least the teenagers in her books do!

Visit Caroline at – Facebook Instagram TwitterWebsite

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Threadneedle by Cari Thomas @Cari_Threads #Threadneedle @RandomTTours @HarperVoyagerUK #urbanfantasy #NetGalley #debutauthor #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Threadneedle by Cari Thomas. I adored this book so much and I would like to thank Anne at Random Things Tours and Harper Voyager UK for my spot on the tour and for my e-copy of this gorgeous book.

Anna’s aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences.
Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever.


Until she meets Effie and Attis.


They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed. A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revellers lose themselves in a haze of spells.


But as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her aunt was right all along.
Is her magic a gift…or a curse?


Told through spells created with knots and threads, this is a story that is both innovative and
based in traditional witchcraft.

My Review…

Wow-what an amazing book this was. I had such high hopes for this book as I was really in the mood for a witchy fantasy type story and this is what I got and so much more.

Anna has been warned about the dangers of magic and its use. Rather than risking the danger, it would be better if Anna had her magic bound, in other words, has it blocked so she cannot use it. Anna sort of goes along with this until she discovers that she is not alone in this magical world. That others have powers and that they do use them. They are not all of the same opinions as Anna’s guardian and Aunt. I have to say, thank goodness they don’t share her opinion.

Mysterious deaths are reported in the paper, with a range of far-fetched sounding rumours. I mean there are no switches, it is a myth, right? Well, as far as the author, Anna and her friends are concerned there are witches, they are not myths, they are just good at hiding themselves.

I adored everything about this book apart from one thing… it ended and I have to wait for more! This was such an easy book to get caught up in, the story of Anna and her Aunt is at times brutal. The author really does have a great way of expressing the term “tough love”, there is more to this than first meets the eye though. Safety, fear and danger have a large part to play.

I do like how the author brings a group of misfits together and how she uses them to good effect to deal with being a teen and the problems that come with it. In some respect, this is a story about a group of teens who are dealing with life, school and the whole rebel thing but this group has a little more up their sleeves than your average teen.

I also like how the way the author gave various traits and characteristics to the group but then challenges their characters. I am not revealing how this occurs, while it isn’t exactly a major part of the story it does show the progress that the group makes as a whole.

This is a coming of age story, it is about learning lessons in life and that actions have consequences. Yes, it is a young adult read that I do think that age group of readers would love, but also the older readers. I did at times feel a hint of A Discovery of Witches, as Anna learns more about the magic and (I love that series of books btw).

This is a wonderful fantasy book that mixes magic with a world of today. It is simply a brilliant book and as I read it over a couple of days I was hooked, addicted and didn’t want it to end. It really didn’t feel like a book over 500 pages long. It is one I would definitely recommend and I am eager to see more in this exciting new series. 

About the Author…

Cari Thomas has always loved magic, inspired by her upbringing among the woods and myths of Wales’
Wye Valley. She studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at
The Cardiff School of Journalism. Her first job was at teen Sugar magazine where she ran the book club and
quickly realized she wanted to be the one writing the books instead. She went on to work at a creative
agency, spending her spare time researching magic and accumulating an unusual collection of occult books.
She wrote her debut novel Threadneedle while living in London, wandering the city and weaving it with
all the magic she wished it contained. She now lives in Bristol with her husband and son, who bears the
appropriately Celtic name of Taliesin.

A Note from the Author…

I remember the old family stories about my Great Aunt Mary. A fiercely independent, enigmatic woman who was said to be a witch. Perhaps it was these early stories seeping into my subconscious, perhaps it was devouring The Worst Witch, or growing up in rural Wales surrounded by myth and fairy tales, or maybe it was just me, but from a young age I developed a fascination for all things witches and magic.
But let’s not forget that the witch’s hut always sits outside of the village for a reason. In my research, I became just as obsessed with magic’s opposite forces – repression, fear, suspicion and prejudice. After all, if my Great Aunt Mary had been alive a few centuries earlier she may well have been burnt at the stake.
Witch hunts became an area of fascination for me and the more I read the more outraged I became – how powerful, outspoken women and men, or people of the pagan faith, or simply outsiders, have time and time again been suppressed, silenced and extinguished from society. How the power structure of the day meant that it was near impossible for them to have a voice and to defend themselves.
Why was it such people terrified those in power? Why were we not taught more about this dark period
of history? Why did the themes feel like they still resonated so strongly today?
I explore these tensions in Threadneedle- the freedoms of magic set against a fear of witches and feminine
power; schoolgirls forced to take on the injustices of the world one spell at a time.
The sheer joy of writing the book came in bringing these tensions into the modern world and particularly
into the London setting we think we know. Ultimately, this is where the heart of the story lies: in feminine power and sisterhood, bringing together
an unlikely set of outsiders, who together must navigate their way through the light and dark of being
a young woman in today’s world. A world that is more complex than ever and yet still plagued by many
of the same issues that my Great Aunt Mary would have faced, and all the witches who came before her.

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What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson @PenguinBooks #YAFiction #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson. I do think this is a book that is more Young Adult but I have to say that this grown up reader absolutely adored this beautifully written story!

I requested and received a copy of this book via Amazon Vine.

Winter. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

Jack Morton has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he’d do anything for. Even die for. Now with their mother gone, and their funds quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison. He chooses the money.

Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Trust no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or help the brothers survive.

Choices. They come at a price.

My Review…

This is such a beautifully written story and one that I found very hard to put down even for a moment.

Jack has to make a decision, either get what meagre belongings he has left and with his brother try to make a life of their own. Their father is in prison, their mother has gone. Their father has not seen either of the boys for years, but Jack does decide to go and visit him to see if his father will finally stand up and help them. Such a simple decision but one that kickstarts events that will have the boys in danger.

Ava, a new girl at school. A loner and one who can stand up for herself. Her father has taught her survival skills, to be independent and not to fall for anyone. Keep her heart and feelings closed off. A simple act sees her start to look at things slightly differently.

This is such a beautiful story and one that is full of intrigue and danger for various reasons. The author has really captured the dangerous atmosphere in which the characters find themselves. The characters are not sure who they can trust, but they do realise the sense of doing the right thing. For Jack, his priority is his younger brother Matty, everything that Jack does is for the good of Matty and for a better future for him.

There is danger at every turn for the characters and the author does this with at times almost lyrical writing. The words just flow wonderfully and even though this is a young adult book, I, an older reader adored it.

This is a story that readers of contemporary fiction, family drama and young adult stories. It is a gorgeous story that is heartbreaking and very poignant. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Island by C.L. Taylor #TheIslandBook #YAThriller @HQStories #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island by C.L. Taylor. It has been a while since I read one of Cally’s books, so I was really looking forward to this one. Aimed at Young Adult Readers it also works very well for Adults as well.

Here’s more…

Lost meets The Hunger Games in the thrilling new young adult novel from C.L. Taylor, the Sunday Times and million-copy bestselling author.

Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

My Review…

I really enjoyed this YA book and how the author approached fears and phobias through a group of teens alone on an island near Thailand.

The group of 6 have known each other all their lives, they have holidays every year. As they have grown up they have drifted apart somewhat, dynamics between each of them have altered. Tragedy has hit more than one of the group and this leads to a small void starting to encroach on the group.

A holiday on an island, a chance to get away under the supervision of a guide should be good for the group. However, when the guide dies things that had been kept hidden or controlled start to unravel. A sense of seeing beyond the mask if you like as the situation the teens find themselves in changes dramatically.

I really enjoyed the tense suspense of this novel and how the author explored the changing and challenging dynamics of the group. As they find themselves in disarray they also start to suspect that there is a danger stalking them. What or who this is they are not sure, who is to blame, who is playing games and what is to happen are questions that I needed to know the answers to as I read.

The isolation of the island adds to the sense of loneliness and separation. As I got to know each of the 6 better I began to realise that there is more than meets the eye, they are not quite the stable group I initially thought they were.

This is a really good tense, suspense ridden YA thriller and one that I really enjoyed. A good deal of mystery, intrigue and suspicion across the novel gives it that page-turner addiction. One I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Bridge of Lies by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #YAfiction #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Bridge of Lies by Misha Herwin, this is the second book in The Adventures of Letty Parker series and I have to say I adored it.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Letty Parker and Associates Detective Agency is finally in business. Before they can take on their first case, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous suspension bridge is blown up. Letty decides to investigate but getting hired is not as easy as she thought, especially when the Dark Ones have their own plans for her.


Then there is Ma Pountney and her witches, plus The Bear and his gang of villains each determined to stand in Letty’s way. Nothing goes right and one by one Letty’s friends desert her. Even in a city, crowded with folk arriving for the Balloon Festival, Letty finds herself alone.

This is the second book in this series, 12 year old Letty Parker has recently started her own business of finding missing persons and lost things. Letty Parker & Associates has its first job and it comes in by way of one of the associates Mango, the other are Hepzibah, Jeb and Gabriel although he seems to be absent at the moment.

The setting for this story is Bristol and is just as Brunel is building a bridge. Having a historic fact like this is great for helping to set the scene and also keeps the reader well and truly in the time. It is also a great time to use for other things in the story such as Ma Poutney and her witches as there would have still been a lot of superstition and belief in old magical rites and rituals.

As I mentioned, Letty and her team have a new case but this soon gets overtaken buy other events as once again Letty is right in the thick of things. Friendships are put to the test in this story as loyalties are strained.

I really enjoyed this book and it has such a great feel to it while I was reading. The setting and time are great and there is also the inclusion of a fantasy thread with witches, bears, magic, nephilim, gargoyles and other dark creatures. I also found that one character in particular brings a steam punk style with some of his advanced technologies and adds a great additional element.

This is aimed at younger readers at around 8-12 years but I can say I adored it and it didn’t take long before I was engrossed. If you are a fan of YA books that have mystery, magic and mayhem then you really should look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, alike or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

City of Secrets by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for City of Secrets by Misha Herwin, this is the first book in the The Adventures of Letty Parker series and is aimed at Young Adult readers.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Letty Parker lives by her wits.

Estranged from her family, she sells pies on the streets of Bristol. But this is a Bristol full of dark secrets, peopled by gangs, monsters, dragons and gargoyles – and by creatures older than time.

When her friend and stepsister disappear, when members of Jeb’s gang vanish, Letty is plunged headlong into a conspiracy where homeless children are being spirited away to a place where a terrible fate awaits them.

These are the poor and the lost children of the streets whom no one seems to care about – except for Letty. But what if a rich child went missing? Would the authorities then act? Together, Letty and Jeb hatch a plan…

What a brilliant introduction to Letty Parker and the starting point for a series of books aimed at the Younger Reader. I am definitely not a young reader but I can honestly say that if I had picked up City of Secrets as a 9 or 10 year old I would have loved it, as it happens even now as a grown up reader I still loved it.

The author has created a fabulous character in Letty, she is joined by Jeb and his gang and also the somewhat lonely character of Gabriel. Letty is a pie-seller in Bristol, she is a street kid as such as she lives on her wits and needs to work to pay the rent on a small room. Some local children have been going missing in very mysterious circumstances, it is only when a young boy who Letty as just befriended also goes missing that she realises that something is amiss.

The author has created a fabulous story that has a Victorian feel to it. Carriages, gangs, murky alleys and dark, dangerous things that lurk in the shadows add to the ambience of the story. It is a story that has some wonderful descriptions and good dialogue that made me smirk on a few occasions.

Letty is a determined character who is stubborn and tenacious when she gets something in her head. This tenacious attitude will stand her in good stead as she faces her investigation.

There is an evil at work and this is investigated further into the story as Letty and Co start to dig further into the disappearances. The story has a good fantasy feel to it as various monsters, dragons and gargoyles become part of the story, yes there are gargoyles and this makes me very happy!

This was a wonderfully paced story that had me eagerly turning pages and has left me waiting and wanting to see what happens in the next book in the series called Bridge of Lies.

Even though it is aimed at a younger audience, I would say around 8-12 years, adults would also enjoy it, well I did! It is a fabuolous book full of adventure, fantasy and mystery, its exciting and a real page turner. I would definitely recommend it.

Image taken from Misha’s Amazon Author Page

Misha Herwin was born in England of Polish parents. English was not her first language but once she learned to speak it, she has never stopped. At twelve she wrote and staged her first play in a theatre made from a cardboard box. Since then things have improved and her plays have been both performed in England and Jamaica, where she lived for a while. As Misha M Herwin she has written two novels “Picking up the Pieces” and “House of Shadows”, both published by Penkull Press. “Dragonfire” “Juggler of Shapes” and “Master of Trades” are her fantasy trilogy for kids. “City of Secrets” is her most recent book and is the first in a fantasy adventure series for children. Her stories for adult readers have appeared in a number of anthologies including “A Fairy’s Story,” in “Bitch Lit”, and “The Satan Stones” in “Ancient Wonders,” by Alchemy Press. Her latest “The Loop Line” is in “The Darkest Midnight in December”. Her children are grown up and she lives in Staffordshire England with her husband in a house with a dragon in the garden.

Follow Misha on Twitter Amazon Author PageWebsite

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph @VincentRalph1 @PenguinUkBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #AreYouWatchingMagpieMan #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

A page-turning new YA thriller for the social media age, perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and One Of Us Is Lying.

Ten years ago, Jess’s mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.
She was the first of his victims but not the last.


Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she’s using it to catch the
killer once and for all.
The whole world is watching her every move.


And so is the Magpie Man.

This is a very topical read as people spend more and more time on social media. Sharing various aspects of their lives is the norm. But can you use it for your own benefit?

Jess has a chance to use a reality internet show to get more exposure as she tries to gain interest in the death of her mother. The killer was never caught and is known as The Magpie Man. She uses this show as a platform to garner interest in the hope that the killer can finally be caught.

When I first started this book I was a little shocked at the amount of chapters, over a hundred of them. When I started reading I found the chapters to be quick to the point and they flowed into each other really well. They also suited the story, for me it reminded me how quickly social media feeds are quickly updated.

The story starts well and then as viewers on social media start to gain interest there are different sides to the responses. Not all the responses are gone into, instead just key moments are picked out. It would have been very easy to be bogged down and waylaid but instead the flow is kept as the story pans out.

We all know that social media has its good as well as bad sides. But then the threat is elevated as things start to get close, and with this the tension of the story starts to increase.

The story was well laid out and had me gripped as I followed Jess on the hunt for the killer of her mother. This is a story that is aimed at YA readers and it also works very well for adult readers as well.

I enjoyed the tension as I got further and further in the story. Discovering the impact on not only Jess but also her Dad. There are some really poignant moments in the story and it had me eagerly turning the pages.

While this book has a YA target audience, specifically 12-17 years old, I also thoroughly enjoyed it. A mix of thriller, mystery and crime it had me hooked and I would definitely recommend it.

Vincent Ralph has been writing in one form or another since his teens and
always dreamed of being a novelist. He owes his love of books to his mother, who encouraged his imagination from an early age and made sure there were new stories to read.


Vincent has lived in London, Cornwall and Chester but he now lives in his home county of Kent with his wife, son and two cats.

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Victory Day by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts for Victory Day by Rachel Churcher. This is the latest in the Battleground series and I have been loving it. It is a YA dystopian that is set in the near future. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my invite onto the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith meet in London. As the war heats up around them, Bex and Ketty must learn to trust each other. With her friends and family in danger, Bex needs Ketty to help rescue them. For Ketty, working with Bex is a matter of survival. When Victory is declared, both will be held accountable for their decisions.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.
Purchase Link

This is the latest in the Battleground series, a YA dystopian set in th near future. Bex and her group are in hiding in Scotland while family and friends are awaiting a trial. Ketty is feeling the pressure in London as the tension increases and her position is reliant on her boss.

Up to this latest instalment in the series, the focus has been on Bex and the resistance trying to evade capture, getting embroiled in skirmishes and trying to survive. The government is using Bex and the resistance in propaganda style news broadcasts and using video clips of family and friends to provoke a reaction. Ketty is the one responsible for the video and is not adverse to using her own strong arm tactics to gather information that could help in the capture of Bex and her group of friends.

Victory Day has a more political leaning to it, the machinations of government and politics has been very carefully woven into the story that has seen the Bex and Ketty pitted against each other from the very start of the series. As we know, when politics is involved things can get messy. People are used and lies are the norm, putting yourself in the best possible position becomes priority and is a matter of survival.

Victory Day see’s these long term adversaries being thrust right into the thick of things once again as moves are made that could change the future in this story. Things are being brought out in the open and truths are finally being uncovered, feelings are shared and the full extent of the past is brought to the front.The tension has really increased with this story, but in a different way to the previous ones.

If you have not yet read any of this series, then you really want to read it from the very beginning. It is full of intrigue and tension as corruption, lies, deceit and politics have all been brilliantly woven to create an amazing series. Victory Day is another fabulous read and had me hooked and it became a one sitting read. I would definitely recommend this book and the series.

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.
She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.
Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

See what other Book Bloggers think by checking out their stop on the Blog Tour…

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Fighting Back by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on the next installment of Rachel Churchers Battleground series. Fighting Back is the fourth in this YA dystopian series and I am loving it so much.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and her friends are in hiding, sheltered by the resistance. With her family threatened and her friendships challenged, she’s looking for a way to fight back. Ketty Smith is in London, supporting a government she no longer trusts. With her support network crumbling, Ketty must decide who she is fighting for – and what she is willing risk to uncover the truth.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

Purchase Link – HERE

This is such a good series and I have loved every book I have read. I will say that to get the full benefit of the characters and the story-lines, you really should read in order.

Fighting Back continues the story of Bex and her friends as they are now refugees. While they are safe, there are those that are not. Her mum and friends who were left behind are now being used in a propaganda crusade by the Government.

Ketty is still in the thick of things in London as she helps work the propaganda machine. She is discovering that life in the machine is not quite as she expects. Propaganda is something that is lies and deceit and it has a knock on effect and so she finds she is having to watch her back.

I really enjoyed this book as the author delves into various aspects of corruption, deceit, lies, conspiracy. Once again she pulls on the emotions of the reader as I got to see another side of Ketty. This character I keep changing my mind about so much and this is all credit to the authors writing, if you are up to date with the series then you will know what I mean about Ketty.

Bex is a character I have always liked, but the author again has worked her magic with this character. While Bex wants to do more and help in the fight against the government, she is starting to become more aware of her limitations. When she decides to do something about it I was so pleased for her, but there is a big downside for her. There is a subtle shift in Bex and I do worry that she is loosing a little piece of herself to do what is right! Oh my goodness Rachel, you are really putting your characters and me through the mill!!!!

This is such a well written series that I know is aimed at a Young Adult but works so well for an older reader. Anyway, who says you have to be a certain age to be young! The series is one that has a relevance to a possible future and it is so well timed with Brexit and all the political shenanigans at the moment.

It is balanced so well and at times questions the readers loyalty to the characters and the situations they find themselves in. This series would be absolutely brilliant for classroom/ group discussion as it explores dilemmas and problems.

This is a fabulous series and Fighting Back is another step up in the intensity of the ongoing story. I think I may have mentioned how much I like this series a time or two already, so it may come as know surprise when I say that I Absolutely Recommend this book.

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

Social Media Links –

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Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll @WriterJustinC @CazVinBooks #Bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll. My thanks to Caroline at Bits About Books for arranging my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging a copy of this fabulous book. My apologies for being late with this review, I hadn’t realised the Tour dates had changed, but better late than never as they say 🙂

This is the second book in the Hemlock Jones series and I loved it as much as I did the first one. Before I get carried away singing the praises for this author’s Hemlock series, let me show you what it is all about…

When orphans vanish from their beds across Victorian London, twelve-year-old demystifier Hemlock Jones and her companion, Edward, take the case!


This time, the trail will lead them from their Baker Street home, along lost rivers and into the heart of the city, to face exotic enemies and a charming man with dark plans…

Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans is the second of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, the award-winning series of detective adventures for children and adults.

Oh it is so good to be travelling around Victorian London with Hemlock and Eddie, oops sorry Edward! Hemlock and Edward are a fabulous combination. Hemlock is a demystifier, she takes the mystery out of criminal cases that she decides to investigate and Edward is her Associate.

Her latest case is one that involves the disappearance of orphans. She is approached as she had helped on a previous case, though her and Edward did not get the credit they deserved, instead it went to that other famous consultant from Baker Street! Though she did not get the credit, she is recognised as being a help, so she agrees to give her expert help in the search for the missing children.

Now, you know I mentioned how I enjoyed wandering around Victorian London with the duo? Well, this time I was glad that as a reader I can experience things from the pages of a book! I bet Edward would wish to be in my position instead of traipsing and crawling through the rat infested sewers!

This book is fabulous and has mystery, intrigue and uses powers of observation and deduction or should I say demystification! I should mention that it is aimed at a younger audience, but this grown up (depending who you ask!) reader loves it!

It is a story that is accessible and is at a pace that holds the attention, there are quieter moments in it but these are moments are essential to the case or are about the lives of the characters themselves. I think this story is ideal for giving a younger audience a mystery novel that has a feel of the classic Sherlock Holmes but in a more upbeat way, it has action and adventure as well as mishaps and danger. I remember trying to read a Sherlock story when I was younger and I was not old enough to understand it, but if I had access to Hemlock Jones I would have been so happy. I will add that as an adult reader I love the Sherlock Holmes books!

The story itself is good and holds the attention, there are mentions of the yuckier side of London and it also has reference to a poem / folk tale that I think would make for good further reading for the target audience. I love that the main heroes of the story are children and their escapades are in an adult world. They are given a chance to deal with an investigation that is adult sized, but its their belief in their own instincts and observations that lead to solving the case.

This is a fabulous read and I think that the younger audience would absolutely enjoy it. It is the 2nd book in the Hemlock Jones series and I would definitely recommend it.

Justin Carroll is an author who balances his love of comic books and games with a passion for martial arts and musicals.

Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, when not writing, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things.

Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards with “Careful What You Wish For” (Wyvern Publishing) and placed in the top twenty of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge twice.

December 2012 saw the birth of Justin Carroll’s first novel: Everything’s Cool – a dark, psychological thriller.

His second novel, Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death, is a Young Adult novel and the first in a series featuring Hemlock Jones, the fiery 12-year-old demystifier whose brain easily equals and surpasses that of the famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death” won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards.

Now, Justin has published the second book in the Hemlock Jones Chronicles: Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans, perfect for all fans of 10 years and above of adventurous detective mysteries!

Follow Justin on – Author websiteTwitterFacebookAmazonGoodReads

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be wonderful 🙂 xx