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In a tradition of stories going right back to Beowulf, referenced in the book, this is a tale of stolen treasure, trickery and courage. Aidan is struggling to keep things together at home: his mother has been sectioned and his father seems almost paralysed with despair. It falls to Aidan to deliver the sacks of mail his postman father is hiding in their garden shed. So when thieves steal his bike Aidan has to go after them. It’s here that magic – old magic – intrudes into the contemporary setting. There are no portals suddenly opening, it’s not the sort of magic to bring special powers; hard to define, harder to pin down – ‘a sort of stillness that moved’ says Aidan – human lives are of no consequence to it and if Aidan emerges a hero it’s due to his own strengths. Gripping, compulsive reading, an exceptional book. Authors Sara Crowe (Bone Jack), Rupert Wallis (All Sorts of Possible) and Natasha Carthew (The Light that Gets Lost) all understand old magic and have written similarly powerful and enthralling stories. ~ Andrea Reece
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | March 2016 Book of the Month Broken Sky is the stunning start to ‘The Broken Trilogy’, an intriguing and wonderful mix of dystopian fantasy linked with disconcerting reflections of history and military, plus it’s full of thrills, suspense, espionage and romance. It is nearly two thousand years after the clock restarted due to a terrible war and each country in the world is represented by pilots at the World for Peace complex. Rather than disagreements escalating to war, single Peacefighter pilots battle it out in the sky in a Peacefight, with the aim to win by shooting down the plane, not the pilot. 18 year old Amity is a Western Seaboard pilot, she is captivating and tenacious, the prologue throws her straight into action. L.A. Weatherly doesn't release all the information you need to know about this world straight away, she lets you piece it together, which brings a greater connection and understanding. I found myself completely immersed in this fascinating and original novel and quite simply didn't want to come up for air, I loved it and can’t wait for the second in the series. Due to the content, I would recommend this to older teens. ~ Liz Robinson
Here’s an really interesting premise: the world has been seeded with spheres - perfectly round gems in a variety of colours. Where they come from no-one is sure, but when paired they bestow different special abilities, from ambidexterity, to increased intelligence. No wonder they are in such demand, particularly the rarer colours which change hands for millions. Sully supports himself and his mother through dealing in spheres and with his new partner the gorgeous if intimidatingly tough Hunter, finds the rarest. The discovery puts not only them, but the entire human race in danger as the provenance of the spheres is finally revealed. Fast-moving, with a cast of interesting teen characters, and that clever idea, this is first-rate sci-fi with a cool heist set-up too. Alien invasion will be big in 2016, readers will enjoy the The 5th Wave too. ~ Andrea Reece
‘Movers’ is a captivating and exciting, action packed dystopian adventure. There really is nothing more fascinating or thrilling than exploring a world, set in the future, just outside of reach, where everything has changed beyond recognition. ‘The Hourly Times’ is the perfect introduction to this story, cleverly placing you in 2077 and explaining the fear held by Nowbies about Movers and Shadows, people who can connect to each other through time. Pat and his younger sister Maggie are Movers, their father has been Shelved for moving his shadow from the future to the present and now Pat and Maggie are in terrible danger. Meaghan McIsaac transports you to the future, she enables you to experience time travel yourself, to see this strange and frightening world, to get to know this family, to care about their fate. Once I started reading, I really didn't want to stop. I adored every second of this breathtaking ride and while desperate to know the ending, didn’t want the last page to come! ‘Movers’ is quite simply fabulous and a must have, must read book. ~ Liz Robinson
Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award In a Nutshell: time travel – family – stardust Even physicists struggle to understand quantum theory but Christopher Edge makes a very fine attempt at an explanation, though the most striking thing about his story is actually not the how of quantum physics, but its particular why: Albie - named after Einstein of course – has a very good reason to make like Schrödinger’s cat because in a parallel world the mum he’s just lost to cancer could still be alive. Using his mum’s scientific theories, laptop, Geiger counter and a banana (they’re radioactive), he manages to create a wormhole through the fifth dimension and reach parallel worlds. This provides multiple opportunities for Back-to-the-Future-style comic confusion, though eventually Albie finds the consolation and comfort he needs back where he started. A clever, funny and very touching novel. ~ Andrea ReeceReaders who enjoy this will also like Ross Welford’s Time Travelling with a Hamster, another funny, warm-hearted novel about family and time travel. A message from the Editor: “This is a funny, moving and exciting novel. Like Albie, the reader never knows where they'll end up, what they'll find, or whether they'll ever get back home again…"
A film tie-in version of The 5th Wave, a novel that packs a punch on every page with hope and despair in equal measure alongside life and death. It will leave you gasping for breath and keep you hooked to the end and long after it'll be a book that makes you think. In a sentence it's The Passage meets The Hunger Games and it's now major film by Sony Pictures starring Chloe Grace Moretz (If I Stay). The sequel to The 5th Wave is equally gripping - download an extract of The Infinite Sea here!
It's the final days of earth, and sixteen-year-old Char is right where she belongs: in prison. With her criminal record, she doesn't qualify for a place on an Ark, one of the five massive bioships designed to protect earth's survivors during the meteor strike that looks set to destroy the planet. Only a select few will be saved - like her mom, dad, and brother - all of whom have long since turned their backs on Char. The first book in the Ark Trilogy.
September 2015 Debut of the Month At once a sweeping love story and a high-concept page-turner, this ambitious, accomplished debut resonates long after the story has ended. Teenagers Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. And during their incarnations – the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the speculative near-futures of 2019 and 2039 – they are destined to meet, fall madly in love, and change the course of history for the better, though in so doing they lose one another, and themselves, over and over and over. Innovatively told through prose, letters, emails, articles and social media posts, this expansive debut is rich in both historical detail and thought-provoking hypotheses. The multi-narrative structure and compelling, question-driven plot (How many times must Katherine and Matthew die to save the world? Will their next time together be different?)will appeal to readers with a wide range of tastes and interests, from historical fiction and romance, to speculative fiction and time slip mysteries. Moreover, Katherine and Matthew’s extraordinary love and heart-breaking predicament speaks to the romantic in us all. ~ Joanne Owen
Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back ...but no one knew what was waiting outside. The earth is a wasteland. Government and order have disintegrated and now Cranks, people driven to insanity by the disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim ...and meal. Does Thomas hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?
From Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson and bestselling author M. G. Harris, comes the second in this gripping new action-adventure series. Ben Carrington's dream has become a reality: he's finally a member of Gemini Force. But, still suffering from the deaths of his parents, it's a bitter-sweet triumph. When news reaches GF1 of a gang of illegal 'ghost' miners trapped after a South African mining disaster, Ben is glad to spring into action with the team. But it soon emerges that the company, Auron, doesn't want its miners found. Ben must work out who to trust if he's to ensure that Gemini Force pulls off its most difficult mission yet ...
A cracking sci-fi post-apocalyptic adventure thriller for 11+ year olds that has already taken the US by storm and is set to achieve similar success globally. A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher I love books like this. You are plunged into the action, just as confused and frightened as the characters you meet. There are no rules – or none that make sense – but gradually you learn to survive, and to hope. Or is that another trick? This is brilliant, nail-gnashing stuff. Thanks, James, I didn’t want to sleep for a week anyway!
A cracking sci-fi post-apocalyptic adventure thriller for 11+ year olds that has already taken the US by storm and is set to achieve similar success globally. Surviving the apocalypse was hard enough, but when Mark's community is attacked by an unknown enemy spreading a deadly virus, he's determined to find out who's responsible before the Flare infects them all ...