Author Archives: kirstyes
The fourth and final book in the Who Let the Gods Out? series was recently released and I’ve whipped through all four books this week.
- Who Let The Gods Out?
- Simply The Quest
- Beyond the Odyssey
- Against All Gods
Book 1 Synopsis
When Elliot wished upon a star, he didn’t expect a constellation to crash into his dungheap.
Virgo thinks she’s perfect. Elliot doesn’t. Together they release Thanatos, evil Daemon of Death. Epic fail.
They need the King of the Gods and his noble steed. They get a chubby Zeus and his high horse Pegasus.
Are the Gods really ready to save the world? And is the world really ready for the Gods?
Each book sees a quest to find one of the four Chaos Stones. Will Elliot get them and everything else he wants?
Elliot – 12 year old Elliot is our protagonist and he is a boy who, like Atlas, has the world on his shoulders. Kind, considerate and conflicted.
Virgo – 1,000ish year old Constellation in the body of a young girl sneaks down to earth trying to do an optimal job but discovers that maybe she’s not always right.
Hermes – the messenger god is I think, my favourite character. Hippy surfer dude type. Substitute older brother. Catchphrases includes Bosh and Boom.
Josie – Elliot’s mum. Josie Hooper is a single mother by circumstance, but she’s not well. Clearly experiencing an early onset dementia she cares for Elliot deeply and he for her. His love for Josie drives the whole story.
Zeus – King of the Gods. Flirt, womaniser but really a softie with a good heart of not the most strategic mind.
Thanatos – Our big bad. Daemon of death. Finally released from his imprisonment in Stonehenge he is now after the Chaos Stones to take over the mortal world, and get rid of most of the mortals.
Patricia Porshley-Plum – The real big bad. Umbridge’s posher sister. Mortal. Wants to buy Home Farm Elliot and Jodie’s home, and she doesn’t really mind what she has to do to get it. Nicknamed Horse’s Bum but deserves worse.
Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family – once you’ve read Maz’s take on the Royals you will never look at them in quite the same way. Like Dahl’s Sophie and the BFG seek support from the Queen, now she’s obviously had some practice and is more prepared to handle the supernatural than ever before.
From the titles which are all punny takes on song titles to accessories such as iGods, literal toilet humour and Ares Sean Connery accent there is plenty to raise a smile for children and adults. And if your kids don’t go around crying Snordlesnot after reading this I’d be very surprised. It’s also beautifully British.
As well as the characters named above there are a whole host of others from Greek mythology and they are highly recognisable with their unique characters and situations slotted perfectly into the plot. From morose emo-rocker Jason to poor Sisyphus battling with his boulder, every character earns their place on the page.
As an adult reading a book series aimed at the 8-12 year old reader there is much to enjoy. The Zodiac council is a commentary on modern politics, and if you are a fan of Marvel’s Avengers the gods have to be the original superheroes.
Totes emotional with ocular leakage
I expected this series to be funny and it is. There were numerous laugh out loud and big grin moments whilst reading but I wasn’t expecting the emotional rollercoaster I got towards the end of book 3 and I think I spent around one third of book 4 in tears. Maz made one particularly brave decision which I was hoping she would make and then was really emotionally taken aback when she did. This series is full of heart and I urge you to read it to/with kids or alone.
Barry Cunningham on behalf of the publisher Chicken House adds a message to the front of each of their books explaining why they picked the book and what the reader has to look forward to. I think this is a lovely and really unique touch and helps build excitement through the series.
Maz is as humorous and full of energy in real life as her books might indicate. She narrated the audiobooks herself and having heard her talk at a couple of signings I think she will have done a cracking job. Maz is an author keen to undertake school visits and will provide an entertaining and educational opportunity discussing writing craft and generally making the kids smile. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
And that’s my review. In short. I loved them. Read them. Boom!
Welcome to my spot on the Beauty of the Wolf blog tour. Wray Delaney is a pen name for author Sally Gardner. I’ve read both Maggot Moon and Tinder – her “retellings” of the moon landing and the fairytale The Tinderbox.
In Beauty of the Wolf she tackles Beauty and the Beast with a gender twist, faeries and an Elizabethan setting. Sounds marvellous, and just feast your eyes on this beautiful hardcover 😍.
‘What some might call beauty, I find monstrous’
In the age of the Faerie Queene, Elizabeth I, Lord Francis Rodermere starts to lay waste to a forest.
Furious, the sorceress who dwells there scrawls a curse into the bark of the first oak he fells:
A faerie boy will be born to you whose beauty will be your death.
Ten years later, Lord Rodermere’s son, Beau is born – and all who encounter him are struck by his great beauty.
Meanwhile, many miles away in a London alchemist’s cellar lives Randa – a beast deemed too monstrous to see the light of day.
And so begins a timeless tale of love, tragedy and revenge…
A stunning retelling of Beauty and the Beast
Beauty of the Wolf is out now, and if your appetite for Beauty and the Beast retellings has been whet, you might like to check out the following too. I appear to have a number of them – not all read yet.
The Original by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (1740)(not yet read 😱) – this edition designed by MinaLima has interactive pages and is a work of beauty.
A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) /A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF) by Sarah J Maas – ACOMAF has to be one of my favourite books of all time and the first and the second books in this series are loosely inspired by B&tB with Faeries making the perfect beasts.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – a contemporary YA fantasy with a human girl sucked into a world where a Prince is cursed to relive his 18th year and turn into a beast every autumn. This is a recent release, and first in a series.
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (not yet read) – our beauty in this one is betrothed to an evil ruler and has been trained to kill him. Will she?
The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross (not yet read) – this one is told from the Beast’s point of view and reviews suggest he is extremely sympathetic in this version.
2017 Film novelisation (Read)
Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (Read) – story centred on an adventure with the magical book that appears in the 2017 film.
As Old As Time (not yet read) is part of the Twisted Tales series and has the tagline – What if Belle’s mother cursed the beast?
The Beast Within (not yet read) is part of the Villains Tales series focusing on the Beast.
Disney animation (1991) – Belle is my favourite Disney Princess and every bookworm I know just wants the Beast’s library, and a number prefer the cartoon beast to the cartoon human. Plus Chip is the cutest teacup ever.
Disney live action (2017) – I actually really enjoyed this live action remake staring Emma Watson especially the little feminist twists that were added.
Beauty and the Beast TV series (1987 – 1990) – I was in love with this series as a teen. Linda Hamilton of Terminator fame starred as Catherine who finds romance with Vincent (Ron Perlman) who lives below the city in the sewers.
Beauty and the Beast TV Series (2012-2016) – Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk is a detective who falls for an ex-soldier hiding from the government who experimented on him. I started this series and really enjoyed it. Must watch the rest.
Beastly (2011 Film) – Vapid pretty boy Pettifer gets cursed by an Olsen twin and needs Vanessa Hudgens to fall in love with him. Cheesy but fun.
Are there any other B&tB retellings I’m missing?
What strikes you most about the synopsis of Beauty of the Wolf?
I was gifted a copy of Beauty of the Wolf from HQ/HarperCollins and I think I’ll be having a Beauty and the Beast themed read/watchathon in March.