Category Archives: Books

Audio Books

I’ve been watching a lot of BookTube (YouTubers who talk about books) recently, which has been getting me inspired to read more and thinking about different aspects of bookishness (it should be a word).

One thing that I see many readers “read” is audio books. I have no problem with the concept of audio books. I do believe they “count” as reading and have no snobbery over “reading” only being in a certain way.

But… I don’t like audio books. I can’t do them.

There are two main reasons that I can think of for my dislike for audio books.

1. I’m autistic.
This doesn’t mean that all autistic people can’t stand audio books. We’re all different. Some autistic people can’t concentrate on reading text and therefore audio is much better. Some autistic people can only read non-fiction and don’t understand novels. We’re all different. But for me, I’ve worked out that I process auditory information with more difficulty than visual information.

I used to think I didn’t think visually because I don’t see pictures in my mind but then it was explained to me that visual includes text and that makes complete sense to me. If I’m asked to do something, I need it in writing or I’ll get it wrong (unless it’s something simple, but even then I might forget!) I always preferred communication via email when I worked, because it made more sense to have things to look back on. Now I know why.

So audio books are fairly useless to me because my mind wanders and I can’t concentrate on the words being said. Films and television don’t have this, because there is a visual element as well as the audio. But I also struggled with free online courses when I tried them because they seem to be video based and I needed transcripts to skim through too.

Which leads me to…

2. It’s so slow.
Continuing with online learning, I got so frustrated with video based learning because you can’t skim it. For lessons, if I already know something I find it very boring. And then get distracted, and lose interest… School was not great for me, and I’m even more impatient as an adult! But you have to listen to every second of a video or audio in case you miss something new or important, but a 30 minute video might only include 5 minutes of relevant information, so I can skim through text and pick out what I need, and concentrate where I need to.

For novels, that isn’t relevant because I want to read everything and not skim (unless I’m bored and I want to know if it’s worth continuing or I should just stop) but again audio is so s-l-o-w. I’m a reasonably fast reader. I’m not a speed reader but I read something like 60-100 pages per hour of an average novel (depending on text and page size), although I’m much slower with non-fiction.

So a 300 page novel will probably take me about 4 hours to read. So (looks for a book that might suit…) take Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. Amazon says it’s 292 pages. I don’t know how long it actually took me to read but it was an easy read so let’s be generous and say 4 hours. The audio book is 7 hours and 10 minutes long. Seven hours for a short book! I’ve just looked up a longer one, 503 pages but 14 hours! Eek! I know a lot of bookish types listen on twice speed but that’s unlikely to work for me.

I’d rather read two novels than listen to one in the same amount of time.

So, that’s why I don’t do audio books. I know they’re vital for many people, and I know that some are brilliantly narrated, and some have full cast versions which seem like they’d be awesome. But they’re not for me.

DNF

I generally tend not to DNF books, I try to persevere through something once I’ve started it, but I’m about to DNF my second book of this year because I want to read more and part of that is deciding that life is too short to force myself through something I’m not loving.

It’s not that I never want to read the book I’m DNF-ing (Our Dark Duet – VE Schwab), it’s just that I really can’t be bothered to read it now. I only bought this duology (This Savage Song / Our Dark Duet) because they were both 99p on Kindle, and technically I got them free because of credit from taking slow shipping on Prime. I loved the Darker Shade of Magic trilogy so I’ve been surprised how dull I’ve found these two.

I finished This Savage Song, so I don’t feel that I’ve not tried even though I’m DNF-ing Our Dark Duet on pg130-ish. I’ve read some reviews of Our Dark Duet just in case it’s worth sticking with but my opinion hasn’t changed so bye-bye it is.

The first book I DNF-ed this year was The Versions of Us – Laura Barnett. Touted as a cross between Life After Life and One Day, I was interested in the concept. However the characters didn’t interest me, I didn’t particularly like them and I didn’t care enough to follow their stories. I loved Life After Life, but I remember feeling meh about One Day although I can’t remember much about it now.

The Versions of Us was a charity shop purchase so will be going back to one next time I unhaul. I persevered to pg220 on that one, so I definitely gave it a try, but again life is just too short and my TBR piles are just too high!

Despite planning to read physical books I already own in order to reduce the books in my house, my most recent reads have been new books (physical and Kindle) that I’ve just bought. This is typical of me – as soon as I write a list of what I want to read, I avoid it!

TBR

My TBR pile is slightly huge, and I’m still buying books. Oops.

I don’t normally have a list of books I plan to read at a particular time, because it depends on how I feel, but this year I thought I’d do a list of books I’d like to have read by the end of the year, and then see how well I did!

This year I’d like to read:
Gentlemen and Players – Joanne Harris
The Blue Lady – Eleanor Hawken
God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson
The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion (part read)
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
Wizard & Glass – Stephen King (started)
Wind Thru’ The Keyhole – Stephen King
Wolves of the Calla – Stephen King
Song of Susannah – Stephen King
The Dark Tower – Stephen King
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage – Sydney Padua
Shogun – James Clavell
Seed – Lisa Heathfield
Muddle Earth – Chris Riddell & Paul Stewart
Muddle Earth Too – Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell
The Thirteen Treasures – Michelle Harrison
The Thirteen Curses – Michelle Harrison
The Thirteen Secrets – Michelle Harrison
The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness (reread)
The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness
Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness
The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander (reread)
The Black Cauldron – Lloyd Alexander (reread)
The Castle of Llyr – Lloyd Alexander (reread)
Taran Wanderer – Lloyd Alexander (reread)
The High King – Lloyd Alexander (reread)
Dragon’s Blood – Jane Yolen (reread)
Heart’s Blood – Jane Yolen (reread)
A Sending of Dragons – Jane Yolen (reread)
Dragon’s Heart – Jane Yolen (don’t own yet)

That’s more than enough pre-planned books, I’ll chose the rest as and when I feel like reading them! I’d also like to include at least six non-fiction titles in this year.

So far this year I’ve read:
The Girl Who Saved Christmas – Matt Haig (illus Chris Mould)
Mostly Mary – Gwynedd Rae (illus Clara Vulliamy)
Vampire Fire – J R Rain
Goodnight Mr Panda – Steve Antony
Swapsies – Fiona Roberton
Tamsin and the Deep – Neill Cameron & Kate Brown
Tamsin and the Dark – Neill Cameron & Kate Brown
The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf – Nick Bryan
Rush Jobs – Nick Bryan
The Silent Companions – Laura Purcell
The Tudors: Kings, Queens, Scribes and Ferrets! – Marcia Williams
Nanette’s Baguette – Mo Willems
Different Class – Joanne Harris
Turtles All The Way Down – John Green
The Adventures of Egg Box Dragon – Richard Adams & Alex T Smith
The Versions of Us – Laura Barnett (DNF)
Here We Are – Oliver Jeffers
Midnight Moon – J R Rain
Make More Noise – Various
Thornhill – Pam Smy
Fantastically Great Women Who Made History – Kate Pankhurst

And by the end of today, I’ll have finished:
A Spoonful of Murder – Robin Stevens

 

Book Blogging

I’ve fallen out of the blogging habit (although the plan is to get back into it this year), but I’ve been keeping a track of my reading and achieving an average of reading at least one book a week for the last five years, because I *love* books and reading, and I just wasn’t making the time to read when I could have.

I’ve recently been wasting my reading time on watching book vloggers. I’m enjoying the videos, and they’re great for relaxing to, plus I can leave them on in the background while I do other things (like write this!) They’ve not been good for my TBR list though, because I’ve bought several of the books they’ve covered (the ones that are currently 99p or £1.99 on Kindle). I DO NOT NEED any more books to read!

One of the things I’ve realised from watching the few booktubers that have come up as recommendations, is that I actually do read a lot of books! Compared to bookish people, I thought I barely read, but I guess the people I saw reading 200+ books a year are actually more exceptional than I already thought!

Another thing with the booktubers (who mainly seem to be white female teens / early 20s) is that I read a lot quicker than I thought too. I’ve watched a couple of 24hr readathon blogs and surprised by how little was read! When I was a teen I’d read two books in a day (waking hours, not 24hrs) fairly regularly. I remember avoiding revising for university exams by reading three books in a day instead… Anyhow, what I mean by this is not “ugh, they call themselves bookish people and they barely read” but “oh, I’m actually not bad at reading after all”!

I don’t know how they get through all their book hauls though! But I guess that’s a bookish thing, buying too many books? Did I say too many? No such thing!

I’ve recently sorted through all my books (well, not *all*, just most of the ones not on bookcases…) and written a TBR list based on both physical and eBooks. It’s a bit long. Oops.

I have (roughly) 70 non-fiction and 350 fiction books to read. Not including the ones I want to re-read. That works out at about EIGHT years worth at my usual reading pace. But there are so many more that I want to read that I don’t have, or haven’t been published, and ones to re-read, and…

Bother.

So I need to up my reading again. Last year I read 76 books. Well, I read 76 books that I count as part of my total. I read 101 books including graphic novels and early readers. I don’t know how many books I’ve read including picture books. I don’t count books that take under an hour to read in my personal “book a week average” challenge, but I do record them as read in my Bullet Journal. This year I’m also writing down picture books read, because that has slipped to a handful as my girls are getting older, but I want to get back into reading and reviewing picture books because I love them.

So far this year I’ve read:
The Girl Who Saved Christmas – Matt Haig (illus Chris Mould)
Mostly Mary – Gwynedd Rae (illus Clara Vulliamy)
Vampire Fire – J R Rain
Goodnight Mr Panda – Steve Antony
Swapsies – Fiona Roberton
Tamsin and the Deep – Neill Cameron & Kate Brown
Tamsin and the Dark – Neill Cameron & Kate Brown
The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf – Nick Bryan
Rush Jobs – Nick Bryan
The Silent Companions – Laura Purcell
The Tudors: Kings, Queens, Scribes and Ferrets! – Marcia Williams
Nanette’s Baguette – Mo Willems
Different Class – Joanne Harris

So far this year I’ve bought: Oh dear, oh dear… 42 books. And I have another 6 on order… Nine are eBooks so don’t take up space at least! Ten (and the six on order) are new books, and the remaining 23 are second hand, hence the total being so high. I need a book-buying ban. And a book cull.

I don’t want to cull my TBR list because I do want to read them all. I’m trying to get through the physical books first because there are several that I will return to charity shops after reading, and I do need to cull.

So…

Book collecting – I can do very well, but I’m going to slow down.

Book reading – I can do quite well, but I’m going to read more.

Book reviewing – I’ve really got to push myself to do this again!

Scholastic Book Club for Christmas

Scholastic Book Clubs asked me to share some of my favourite choices from their Christmas selection, and in typical fashion I’m late (aarrgghh technical issues) and there’s only one day left to order for delivery on time for Christmas. However as a bonus, there an extra 20% off everything until 19th December too.

Even if you miss Christmas delivery, Scholastic Book Club books are at low prices all year round, with 20% of every order (over £10) going to a school of your choice. Win win.

Buy Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone or Chamber of Secrets from Scholastic Book Clubs.

My number one choice of gift is one (or both) of the illustrated Harry Potter books. I think these are wonderful gifts for any age – heirloom for a baby up to any age. Even those who aren’t Harry Potter fans should appreciate the wonderful illustrations. At £16.99 each they’re a bargain from Scholastic Book Clubs, and with 20% off that’s £27.18 for both. Bargain.

Buy The Jolly Postman or The Jolly Christmas Postman from Scholastic Book Clubs.

However for that awkward child age when they’re aware of getting presents until they’re ready to listen to (or read) the Harry Potters (about age 1-7ish depending on child), you can’t go wrong with The Jolly Postman with all the letters and leaflets to pull out. It’s unlikely to survive being read to death, so spares always welcome!


Buy The Wild Wilder or The Lie Tree from Scholastic Book Clubs.

Finally, the other awkward teen age where the recipient may feel too old for Harry Potter but is still too young to like whatever they like, one (or both) of these historically based, gorgeously illustrated novels might suit.

These are just a few pics from a wide selection, have a bruise and order quickly for 20% of and Christmas delivery.

Disclosure: I received nothing for writing this post, I just love gorgeous books and special offers.

Technical Difficulties

My laptop is dead. My less than 18 month old, 40th birthday present laptop. Sniffles.

Mr Chaos has backed up the files despite Windows not opening but it looks like the hard drive has been knocked too many times so needs to be replaced. It’s not happening at this time of year, even with the offer of a free old drive to check whether it will work again.

Sniffles sniffles grumble.

My children are banned from ever using my laptop again. Not that the ban has any meaning, with the laptop being out of action.

I bought a basic Kindle Fire in the black cyber sales, and have installed Google framework etc on it so I can do more stuff. Now I need to get the hang of image editing (I think I’ve found an app that will do layers) and putting pictures into blog posts.

I have a huge pile of Christmassy book posts I wanted to do, but it’s all taking longer working it out on a very basic tablet. Ah well. I used to be techy, I’m sure I can work it out again 🙂

NetGalley Reads

I appear to have ended up in a state of (fear?) over writing reviews, which makes each one take too long and I worry that I’m not doing the ones I care about justice. I’ve managed a couple of posts of Chaos Castle this year, but I’m generally being avoidant. So I’m trying to write some quick reviews here of past NetGalley books I’ve read (some over a year ago) in order to get into practice!

A Song for Ella Grey - David Almond (Hachette Children's Books, 2014)A Song for Ella Grey – David Almond (Hachette Children’s Books, 2014)

I think I am not a David Almond fan. So far, of the three or four of his books I’ve read, I’ve loved Skellig and have felt meh at best for the others. I very much disliked A Song for Ella Grey, I think all the more so because of the rave reviews from everywhere else. I did not see what other people saw in this book. I have no frame of reference to relate to the teens, and thought that perhaps this was the problem. I also never studied English Literature past GCSE level so perhaps I was missing out there too. But I believe a novel should be enjoyable regardless of what level you read it on. Maybe it has more for the literati, but it still needs to be readable. I realised that A Song for Ella Grey was lacking not just in my experiences on reading Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan. Again, I have no frame of reference to relate to the characters, but because of the way they were written, I could relate. Again I could not relate to studying English, but Apple’s writing was beautiful and enjoyable. Crossan’s writing is beautiful, lyrical, and enjoyable (I also love The Weight of Water.) Almond’s writing was a slog, with generally unlikeable characters, and no relation to the Orpheus myth that I know. It’s been over a year since I’ve read this, so I don’t have a clear memory, but I have no desire to try again and try to work out what it was that I was missing.

Buy A Song For Ella Grey at Amazon*

Heart of Dread: Frozen - Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnson (Hachette Children's Books, 2014)Heart of Dread: Frozen – Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnson (Hachette Children’s Books, 2014)

This is the first in a dystopian fantasy series. It’s been over a year since I read this, so I can’t write a very clear review, but it was a quick read with a believable world and I would read the sequels if I didn’t have such a big TBR list. One to read if you’re into YA fantasies, albeit fairly standard fare.

Buy Heart of Dread: Frozen at Amazon*

Buy Heart of Dread: Stolen at Amazon*

Buy Heart of Dread: Golden at Amazon*

The Astounding Broccoli Boy - Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Macmillan Children's Books, 2015)The Astounding Broccoli Boy – Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2015)

I’ve not actually read any other Cottrell-Boyce, but I know I really should. I read The Astounding Broccoli boy about a week after the Doctor Who episode Forest of the Night (written by Cotterell-Boyce) first aired, which slightly detracted from my enjoyment as the TV script and the novel recycled some scenes. In different contexts, but because I’d read/seen within a week it did seem a bit lazy. I don’t know if this was changed in the final print version, as the NetGalley was out five months before publication. However, silly distractions aside, Broccoli Boy is a funny novel about three very different children who suddenly turn green, and what happens after this. Illustrated by Steven Lenton, I grabbed this in paperback when it came out and would happily re-read. At some point, I might get around to reading Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s other novels.

Buy The Astounding Broccoli Boy at Amazon*

What Milo Saw - Virginia McGregor (Little, Brown, 2015)What Milo Saw – Virginia McGregor (Little, Brown, 2015)

This book tries too hard. If it was just about Milo and his unique view of the world, then that is a story in itself. But it then adds in immigration and nursing homes in a mess of trying-to-win-some-diversity-award that mostly just left me feeling that the story was trying too hard to be too many things, and managed to sideline Milo’s disability and its effect as a result despite claiming to be about this. Read several months ago and not memorable enough to have much to say about it.

Buy What Milo Saw at Amazon*

NEED - Joelle Charbonneau (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)NEED – Joelle Charbonneau (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

From the author of The Testing trilogy, comes a contemporary but no less disturbing story set in an all-American high school. NEED is the new social network – tell it what you want, and do what it asks, and you get what you’ve asked for. It warns that it should only be for things you need, but of course the students ask for stuff they want (phones, laptops, etc), or even revenge. Soon they realise that none of this is for free, and NEED knows too much about you… There’s a main plot on one teen, searching for her father, and a twist relating to this, but the social media concept in itself makes this a compelling YA thriller.

Buy NEED at Amazon*

The Wolf Wilder - Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2015)The Wolf Wilder – Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2015)

Katherine Rundell’s writing is beautiful, and I found my only bug with The Wolf Wilder (which I also had with Rooftoppers) is that it seems to end too soon. I’m sure there should be more! I didn’t know what to expect from this story, and I read the title as “The Wolf, Wilder” thinking it was maybe fantasy from a wolf viewpoint, but finding out that a wolf wilder is someone who returns ex-pet wolves to their nature. Which was fascinating, especially in a backdrop of Russia just before the Revolution. This is another book I will buy in paperback when it is out, because it has gorgeous illustrations (the downside of NetGalley are the “illustration here” comments in the middle of the text, because they are unfinished proofs!) I already want to read this again.

Buy The Wolf Wilder at Amazon*

Counting Stars - Keris Stainton (Hot Key Books, 2015)Counting Stars – Keris Stainton (Hot Key Books, 2015)

This is my first Keris Stainton book and although out of my usual genre (contemporary romance isn’t really my forte) it was a fun read and I much enjoyed it. I’m afraid for me it comes under popcorn as a quick read that doesn’t stick in the memory, but that’s due to my personal tastes. However, I would happily pick up any other Stainton novel based on Counting Stars, knowing that I would have an enjoyable and well written read ahead of me.

Buy Counting Stars at Amazon*

Into The Dim - Janet B Taylor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)Into The Dim – Janet B Taylor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)

This is a time travel novel, set in contemporary Scotland and 12th Century London, written by someone who I’m fairly sure probably has made nothing more than a fleeting visit at best to a very touristy part of Scotland, if visited at all. It might work better in America, but as a Brit reading, it is so inaccurate as to be painful. Which I expect is also how Americans feel about some British writers writing about contemporary America. The historical aspect didn’t feel well researched, and although the concept was interesting, it really didn’t work for me. It’s described as Outlander for teens, but I’ve not read or watched Outlander to compare. However I think for a time travel tale, 18th century is more believable than 12th century. Seriously, how much has language changed in over 900 years? Is it really possible for 21st century people to pass (the language they were using as written certainly wouldn’t have), or to not catch some long-dead illness that would kill them quickly? Am I completely over-thinking this? You may have guessed that this didn’t entirely work for me.

Buy Into the Dim at Amazon*

Demon Road - Derek Landy (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2015)Demon Road – Derek Landy (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2015)

I expect “not as good as Skulduggery Pleasant” isn’t much of a review, but I think I need more time to get into this new world of a teen that turns into a demon, her incredibly f-ed up family, and a new host of not-as-human-as-you-thought characters. Actually, having written that, I feel more inclined to revisit it. If you’re a fan of Skulduggery, then you need no tempting to read this, but Demon Road is definitely aimed at older YA than early Skulduggery was. I expect I will be buying this series as it comes out in paperback, but I’m glad I got to read the preview so I didn’t pay for a hardback.

Buy Demon Road at Amazon*

Buy Desolation at Amazon*

Of these nine books, I recommend The Astounding Broccoli Boy, The Wolf Wilder, and NEED first, plus Heart of Dread: Frozen, Counting Stars, and Demon Road.

All books received free to read via NetGalley, with thanks to the respective publishers.

* affiliate link

#bookgivingday #giveaway

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It’s International Book Giving Day! As I posted on Instagram, I’ll be giving away five books today. Three are brand new, unread, and can be won from entering the very easy rafflecopter entries below.

The other two are read (although as new apart from slight crease where front cover has been opened) and will be given away via Instagram. Note: the post above is not a giveaway post.

These are personal giveaways, not affiliated with anyone, and posted to UK mainland addresses only. Giveaway closes at midnight tonight, and please allow time for posting if you win because it’s half term break and I won’t get to a post office for at least a week.

Good luck 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rapunzel Books

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In the tale of Rapunzel, Rapunzel’s birth mother craves the salad leaves / rampion / garlic / greens growing in the garden next door. Nothing else will do for her, and she pines for this one thing…

I have a huge TBR pile. More books on my Kindle that I’ll be able to read in a lifetime. Plus a least four books that I urgently need to read and review right now.

[I’m talking novels when I say books. Reading picture books and early readers are no problem.]

I’ve read on one day for the last two weeks because I have a rapunzel book. I want to read a particular book (that I don’t own) and I just can’t get into anything else at all.

My current rapunzel book is The Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch.* It was published five years ago and I’ve managed to completely bypass it. It wasn’t until last year that I realised it was in a genre that I’d probably enjoy. And this year, I realised that the author wrote two Seventh Doctor stories that I’d enjoyed as a teenager (I have a soft spot for Sylvester McCoy stories – and Remembrance of the Daleks and Battlefield were ones that I actually remembered watching. Especially Battlefield. I was 14. I had a crush on one of the characters. Blush.)

There is no reason for me to need to read this particular book now, but it’s stuck in my head. I may not even like it. But it’s stuck in my head.

I have no reason to buy another book at the moment, I have more than enough to read, and re-read. I have a TBR list that will take me two years to get through. I don’t have £9 spare to spend on a paperback.

But, like Rapunzel’s mother, I will probably give in. This is not my first rapunzel book, nor will it be the last. Some turn out to be my favourite reads.

But in the meantime, I can’t concentrate on reading any other novels, because I pine for the rapunzel and nothing else will do…

Do you have rapunzel books? Please share yours. Were they what you expected, or a disappointment?

*affiliate link

The Shadow Keeper by Abi Elphinstone

theshadowkeeperAbout (from Simon & Schuster)

Moll Pecksniff and her friends are living as outlaws in a secret cave by the sea, desperate to stay hidden from the Shadowmasks. But further along the coast lies the Amulet of Truth, the only thing powerful enough to force the Shadowmasks back and contain their dark magic. So, together with Gryff, the wildcat that’s always by her side, and her best friends Alfie and Sid, Moll must sneak past smugglers, outwit mer creatures and crack secret codes to save the Old Magic.

With more at stake than ever before and the dark magic rising fast, can Moll and her friends stop the Shadowmasks before it’s too late?

Perfect for fans of J.K Rowling, Piers Torday and Michelle Paver.

Chaos Comments

I was late to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, and all three were out in paperback before I was given the set by a friend. This was handy, because I when I ended a book with a “No! I need the next one NOW!”, I could read the next. The ending of The Shadow Keeper has left me feeling like this again, but there isn’t the next book to read now.

The world of The Shadow Keeper takes me back to the books I loved as a child, and I’m itching to re-read The Dark is Rising sequence, The Chronicles of Prydain, and The Wizard of Earthsea again now.

Following on from The Dream Snatcher, Moll and her friends are still avoiding the dark magic whilst searching for the second amulet. The stakes are higher, and the pain experienced by members of the tribe were heartbreaking. Poor Gryff! Poor… Oh, but no spoilers.

There are codes to solve too! I was one of those kids that translated the runes in the Hobbit, so codes rock for me.

I love this exchange near the end of the book, it sums up Moll’s character for me, and a fab piece of humour.

‘- and Moll wants to go after it tonight,’ Puddle finished. ‘In the rain. Without a boat. To Devil’s Drop.’

‘What’s Devil’s Drop?’ Siddy asked warily.

Moll raised her jaw. ‘A waterfall that might or might not be a little bit haunted.’

‘How haunted are we talking?’ Alfie asked.

Moll tapped her foot impatiently. ‘Dead sailors, I think.’

Siddy moaned. ‘Only you would come up with a plan as mad as that, Moll.’

Then a few pages later, Abi will break your heart. The danger is real. The trust and friendship are deep. Moll’s world is one worth visiting. I savoured this book over a longer period so I didn’t have to leave them again, and I can’t wait for the next part.

The Shadow Keeper is published by Simon & Schuster on 25th February, and The Dream Snatcher is out now.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of The Shadow Keeper by the author, and I’ve even got a mention in the acknowledgements. [Squee!!] I also think Abi is a pretty awesome person. This doesn’t affect my honesty in writing reviews.