23 Jul 2014

THE RECRUIT {CHERUB # ONE}.

THE RECRUIT {CHERUB # ONE} by ROBERT MUCHAMORE.

SOURCE: A World Book Night read.

THE BOOK {According to the back cover}: A terrorist doesn't let strangers in her flat because they might be undercover police or intelligence agents, but her children bring their mates home and they roam freely. She doesn't know that one of these kids has bugged every room in her house, made copies of all her computer files and stolen her address book. The kid works for CHERUB.

CHERUB agents are aged between ten and seventeen. They live in the real world, slipping under adult radar and getting information that sends criminals and terrorists to jail. For official purposes, these children do not exist.

FIRST SENTENCE {1: Science}: James Choke hated Combined Science.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 234/5}: Something shrieked and brushed against his leg. James jolted. He was peeing on one of the chickens that roamed around camp.

MY THOUGHTS: A great book for older children and younger teens. I'd especially recommend this for those who are looking for an adventure packed read with which to tempt boys.

Based on a fictional secret service agency set up by French civilians during the second World War Cherub recruits and trains children to act as spies. Youngsters like James, Kyle and Amy who after their initial training (which would test the endurance of most adults) are sent on missions deemed only suitable for a child ..... after all who would expect anyone aged ten to seventeen of being a master spy?

OK so there are bits of the book that stretch the imagination but on the whole this is a fun read that is so much more.

I loved that despite being highly trained spies well versed in weaponry, espionage and survival skills (think Hogworts without the lessons in 'Potions', 'Defence Against The Dark Arts' etc) in many ways these are 'normal' children who enjoy everyday things which in the case of  the main character, eleven year old James, includes play stations, Mars bars and cute girls.

That as well as all the derring-dos this is also a thought provoking, ethical read that addresses a lot of issues, some of them very grown-up which, along with the use of some mild swear words and occasional reference to drugs, may be of concern to some parents. 


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.

21 Jul 2014

THE FRANKENSTEIN DIARIES.

THE FRANKENSTEIN DIARIES edited by the REV. HUBERT VENABLES.

SOURCE: A charity shop buy.

THE BOOK {According to amazon.co.uk): "Unknown to fiction writers from Mary Shelley to the screenwriters of Hollywood, the personal diaries and papers of Viktor Frankenstein, creator of living beings, lay untouched and forgotten for over 150 years... The fruit of 6 years of labor by its translator and editor, this first-ever long awaited edition of the diaries at last tells the true story of the agonies & triumphs of Frankenstein" 

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: The reader is bound to view with some scepticism the publication, over 150 years after the event, of a volume purporting to contain extracts from the diaries of a figure universally considered never to have lived.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 44}: The castle stood stark against the sky, appearing only as a harsh, black outline deserving of its name, its battlements like the scaly back of some ancient monster.

MY THOUGHTS: Though a work of fiction because of the foreward in which we are led to believe that the legend that is Frankenstein is far from a legend and a prologue depicting 'the only known portrait of Frankenstein' its all too easy to believe that these are in fact the reproduction of a 'tattered bundle of ancient, decaying papers' sent to the author by a Swiss colleague ten years ago, some 150 years after the original story was penned.

Purporting to shed light onto the 1818 novel by Mary Shelley, whilst I'm still not sure where I stand with regard to the re-interpretation of classics I thought The Frankenstein Diaries anything but a lazy, unimaginative re-writing. 

Narrated by the Rev. Hubert before turning to the diary entries of Viktor and finally the observations of Viktor's brother, Eustaice, in a book I found even more macabre than the original. Everything from the sepia coloured pages to the wonderful illustrations (many of them anatomical/scientific), to the 'family photographs' and 'hand written' diary pages 'penned in a flowery script' turned what I felt was otherwise an OK (3 star) read into something rather exceptional.



 Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.
NB Originally rated on GoodReads as 3 stars. It was only whilst typing my review that I came to the conclusion that whilst the story rates three stars the book as a whole warrants a five star rating.

19 Jul 2014

SANCTUS.

SANCTUS by SIMON TOYNE.

SOURCE: A church fete purchase.

THE BOOK {According to the outer back cover}: What is the secret of Sanctus?

Liv Adamsen is a New York crime reporter, Kathryn Mann a charity worker. They are very different people, but their fate is bound together by one man's desperate act.

With the world's media watching, a robed man has thrown himself from the top of the oldest inhabited places on earth, an ancient citadel in Turkey. For some it is a sign of great events to come. For Liv and Kathryn it is the start of a race into danger, darkness and the most remarkable secret in the history of humanity.

It is a secret that the fanatical monks in the citadel will kill, torture and break every law, human and divine, to keep hidden ....

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1}: A flash of light filled his skull as it struck the rock floor.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 58}: As he often said, he was thirty-two, earning good money, and whilst most Goths only dreamed of making a living amongst the dead, he was actually doing it.

MY THOUGHTS: Intrigued more than gripped. Whilst hardly the worst of reads nor is Sanctus (the first book in a trilogy) the best - unremarkable characters and a badly flowing plot that jumps around from one thread of the story to another are testament to this. The main problem however lies within the fact that in a market flooded with 'religious conspiracy' novels there is nothing that really sets this one apart.


 Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.

17 Jul 2014

ANNOUNCING THE VISITORS IN PAPERBACK.




Congratulations to Rebecca on the publication of the paperback edition of The Visitors.

Historical fiction combined with a tender love story, a murder and a good old-fashioned ghost story that, incredibly atmospheric, far from being in any way scary I actually found immensely touching. This is a wonderful debut novel by an author well worth looking out for.
- See my full review here.


Available from amazon.co.uk  and most other retailers as of today (July 17th). Rebecca can be found here.

For news of your favourite authors, as well as features, videos, interviews, competitions and much more visit www.hodder.co.uk and follow us on Twitter at @hodderbooks and @sceptrebooks.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.

15 Jul 2014

HOW TO BE MARRIED.

HOW TO BE MARRIED by POLLY WILLIAMS.

SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

THE BOOK {According to the back cover}: Sadie Drew thinks she must be the world's worst wife. She only needs to walk into a room to make it untidy. She wears flannel pyjamas in bed. Furry things breed in her fridge. But she's a busy working mother not a wifebot and husband Tom loves her as she is. Until he gets a hot new job and things change. There are alpha-wives to entertain. Nuclear rows. Unsettling secrets. And the smell of another woman's perfume on his suit. Sadie risks losing everything if she can't transform herself into the perfect wife...

But what is a perfect wife anyway?

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One}: I wake up with a jolt.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 83}: Everything in Perfect Pam's is Brilliant! Fantastic! and comes with exclamation marks.

MY THOUGHTS: A likeable enough novel, ideal for those occasions when a light read is needed to bury oneself in.

Definitely one for those readers for whom characters are just as important as plot as it is quirky and eccentric characters such as Sadie, Enid, and Perfect Pam who carry the story.

A feel good book with just a tinge of sadness. Whilst How To Be Married isn't exactly laugh-out-loud fodder the scrapes Sadie got herself into certainly provided some welcome chuckles.

Warm, engaging and just that little bit improbable but then so are some of the fixes I've gotten myself into, with its floristry side-story this is just that little bit different from your usual chick-lit.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.