Blog Archives

The Inventory: Black Knight by Andy Briggs – Blog Tour 

Black Knight is the third book in The Inventory series that follows Dev and his friends as they protect the world from dangerous inventions and those that seek to use them. You might remember me taking part in the blog tours for Book one – Iron Fist, and Book Two – Gravity

Author Andy Briggs has kindly returned with a guest post on writing sequels, and I’ll share my thoughts on Black Knight too. 

The process of writing sequels in a series


The Inventory is my third series of books. My first venture was the HERO.COM and VILLAIN.NET series, and they were a huge leap into the unknown for me. I hadn’t written a serial before and this one was effectively two separate series – one hero, one villain – in which each book in the series happens the same time as the other. Effectively two parallel series in which characters and plot points crisscross from book to book. And there were to be eight books all together!


It was a nightmare to plot and I ended up with a huge map on my wall that looked more like a subway map, the interconnecting lines were individual character arcs bisecting at key plot points. It had turned from a book into a science project – but amazingly, it worked!

Tarzan came next. I thought this would be an easier series to plot as I had the weight of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ legacy to fall back on. However, that also made it a difficult challenge as there was a huge fan base that were very protective of the beloved character. The challenge was to create a new Tarzan that also felt familiar. That was a huge challenge I hadn’t bargained for.

 When it came to the Inventory, I was delighted to once again have a blank canvas, something I hadn’t had since Hero & Villain. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to create new characters, with their own flaws and quirks, and not have to be guided by the past, and having a more linear series fused the best of both my previous series experience into one. 

Looking back on my various series I think I have found the path I prefer – something new, something linear and something in which characters can grow and keep surprising me. I’m already in Book 4 and am delighted that I’m in a story that I hadn’t fully anticipated in Book 1, working with characters who weren’t even born then. That’s a nice place to be – after all, it’s the same place my readers will be as they turn the page… the future still unknown…

 About the Author

Andy has extensive experience working on multinational co-productions and has worked in comics, books, TV, film and trans-media projects.

Andy wrote and Executive Produced Legendary, currently the most successful independent UK/Chinese co-production. Released in China and grossing $5 million in the first week, with a theatric US release in 2014. With his brother he worked on Hollywood features such as Judge Dredd and Freddy vs. Jason and TV shows for the SyFy Channel and Netflix.

He wrote and co-created Secret Agents, a trans-media interactive spy experience for children, currently on at the Discover Centre, Stratford. He has 16 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world.

He has written 20 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world. In 2016 his latest feature, Crowhurst, will be released.



Dev and his friends are back with more mind-bending tech in this third installment of the Inventory series. 

The World Consortium is recruiting more agents to defend the most advanced technology the world isn’t ready for, and it’s up to Dev, Lottie and Mase to train them up for action. But will they be ready before Shadow Helix’s next strike? And has Dev uncovered all the secrets of his past, or is there more to know about his special abilities? 

What I Thought 

The playing field in Black Knight is spread wider still (we spend little time in the Inventory but the time that we do will have you on the edge of your seat…) and new players are added to the mix including more people Dev, Lot and Mason’s age. These new recruits are placed under the care of Dev and let’s just say not all of them like being bossed around, especially not by someone that keeps ‘spacing out’. 

Something strange is going on with Dev and his memory, when he keeps having flashbacks into someone else’s mind. The other thing that drives him to distraction is a boy who seems to have taken a liking to Lot. Personally I’m liking this development in their relationship and hope it continues next time. My favourite parts are generally those from Dev’s point of view. 

As ever the Inventory series is a fast paced thrilling read full of inventions and chases. There’s one particular chase that I really enjoyed, and I’m sure you will too. 

We also have a new enemy – one that has been around much longer, and that has a potential super weapon at its disposal. I won’t let on the ending of course only to say that…Cliffhanger alert! But that means there’s more to come and I know I’ll be reading on.  

Thanks to Andy for the story and Katrina at Scholastic for my copy of Black Knight. Opinions are my own of course. 

Check out the rest of the blog tour at the stops below. 


The Inventory: Gravity by Andy Briggs – Blog Tour

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Iron Fist – the first in Andy Briggs’  The Inventory series, about a top secret vault that contains banned gadgets that are too dangerous to be in the world. You can see my interview with author Andy Briggs here.

Book two of the series Gravity is already here and having enjoyed the first book I was eager to read more about Dev and his friend Lot and Mason’s adventures.

gravityGoodreads link


Eeek! Think that’s a monster? Nope: it’s a person. What terrible weapon could do this…? Errr – well, that used to be top-secret. Problem: it’s not quite so secret anymore. Dev messed up big time the day he let the ruthless Shadow Helix gang into the Inventory. What is the Inventory, we hear you ask? Well, it’s the secret lockup for all the deadly battle tech the world is NOT ready for. Which is why letting it get nicked was a REALLY BAD IDEA. Now the Shadow Helix have Newton’s Arrow: a terrifying weapon that messes with gravity, causing … well, you get the picture from this book’s cover. Dev and his mates HAVE to get it back – even if it means crossing the entire globe. To stop this evil, no trip is too far!



Andy Briggs is a screenwriter, producer and author of the, and Tarzan series. Andy has worked on film development for Paramount and Warner Bros, as well as working with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee and producer Robert Evans. With a strong social media following, Andy tours the UK regularly, doing festival, school and library events.




What I Thought?

After the big reveal at the end of the first book Andy Briggs catapults Dev and his friends straight into the action with the aim of retrieving the missing tech stolen from the vault. It’s really not long before the three teens are out on their own facing evil foes half way across the world. I enjoyed that this fact was poked fun out of in the book, although it definitely made the adult characters, particularly Charles Parker, less sympathetic.

Dev reminded me of Book 5 Harry in this story and he certainly has some big issues to deal with, which makes him the main focus of this story. The parallel between him and some of the other characters is explored well.

There is more fun technology and science to explore and the plot is certainly action packed. For me, I would have liked a few more quieter moments and perhaps a bit more exploration of Lot and Mason’s characters, although they both get their own kick-ass moments.

This is a really fun series that I’m looking forward to keeping up with and continue to recommend. It is very visual and I’d love to see it as a TV series and/or Graphic Novel.

Blog Tour

My stop is the last on the blog tour but you can check out the other stops for more reviews and features.


Thanks to Scholastic for the free copy – all opinions are my own.


The Inventory: Iron Fist – Andy Briggs – Blog Tour

Iron Fist


Imagine you had access to countless items of technology which have been classified as potentially too dangerous for the world to have access to!

Dev’s Uncle is the caretaker of The Inventory, the World’s strongest vault.

However, on the day that Lot, a girl from school, and bully Mason happen to visit, thieves try to break in to steal Iron Fist, and the three kids find themselves in a deadly battle with the intruders, and The Inventory.

My thoughts

I really enjoyed this middle grade action adventure and particularly warmed to Dev. Isolated from making friends because he can never invite them home he doesn’t have the best relationship with his uncle so is pretty lonely with a somewhat sarcastic robot his only company. Dev is clearly intelligent and has paid attention to workings of The Inventory but can he beat the thieves? Well, that would be classed as a spoiler so I’m not going to tell you. What I can say is that readers will enjoy the array of technology, be thrilled by the chase and surprised by certain revelations. I’m certainly looking forward to reading future adventures.

Interview with Author Andy Briggs


How much fun did you have making up whacky inventions and which do you wish were real?

Making things up for a living is, in a word, awesome. Making up wild inventions for The Inventory was, therefore terrific fun. However, I had one vague rule at the back of my mind: make them feel real, even if it means pushing the barriers of fringe science, they have to at least sound plausible. That’s what set Star Trek aside from plenty of other science fiction shows, it was more science than fiction.

Straight away I would waltz into the Inventory, strap on a pair of Hover-Boots and fly around at breakneck speeds. If the internal security was to prevent me from pilfering the boots, then I would try and sneak off with the Onmi-Board, which is a next generation skateboard that puts Segways and hover-boards to shame.


Who is your favourite inventor and why?

That is so easy: Nikola Tesla. The Croatian genius who invented so many things – such as radio control, the Tesla coil (which used to be a vital component of old TVs), and – radio. Of course I can hear many history teacher correcting me there, but they’re wrong. There was a bitter legal battle with Marconi… go and read about it. Fascinating stuff. Many of Tesla’s inventions are only just being explored today.

Despite his amazing inventions, Tesla died penniless, had a pigeon as his best friend and believed that aliens transmitted ideas straight to his brain…


Writing is inventing. What is your process: Inspired by a Eureka moment or a carefully planned trial? 

If you had asked me this for any other book then I would have answered that it’s all carefully planned. I structure the chapters and key plot points and have my Eureka moments away from the page, then carefully integrate them into the story. This comes from the screenwriter side of me, scripts have to be very carefully structured and timed.

However, this time I threw caution to the wind and ploughed into the story. It wasn’t a moment of madness, it was an experiment. The Inventory itself is supposed to be a place of unexpected twists and turns, so I wanted to be surprised just as much as the reader. I didn’t want to fall into the trap of those old James Bond movies in which 007 gets exactly the gadget he needs later in the story. I wanted my heroes to find seemingly useless items then be forced to make them work to escape a dastardly situation later. The result is that I, at least, was surprised by what lurks in the World Best Kept Secret…


Were you a science geek in school? If not what was your best/favourite subject?

Um. Yes. When it came to choosing GCSEs I took Technology Design, Chemistry and Physics. Then for A-levels I took Maths and Physics – and Media Studies too, of course. The problem was, I wanted to know about quantum physics, black holes and travelling at the speed of light and, sadly, that didn’t crop up in my lessons so I quickly became bored and went off to write stories instead. These days I’m always watching documentaries, reading New Scientist and Wired Magazines and pretend I know exactly what they’re all talking about…


What have sheep ever done to you? (Reference to making them invisible and blowing one’s head off) 

Before the RSPCA descend upon me, they are fake sheep! Sheep are menacing. They have weird horizontal pupils and quietly judge you when you walk past their field. Sure, they act dumb, but the moment you’re out of earshot they’re baa-ing away in their cryptic alien language. Them (and cows) are contributing to massive global warming as they fart in order to terraform our planet for their own nefarious purposes. You mark my words, the cute fluffy image is merely creative marketing…


Which of the characters in the book would you Repeat, Rewrite, Remove and why? And yes you have to answer ;0

Ooh, now I know I don’t like you! What a cruel question… I would repeat Lot, because, as the daughter of an Air Force test pilot, she is a gung-ho thrill seeker.

I would rewrite Dev because you can never have a perfect hero (and by perfect, I still include all the flaws that make them interesting) as you keep coming up with new and intriguing issues and problems to inflict upon them. That said, the joy of writing a series is that I can now put him under so much more pressure and really pull him apart…

Finally, I would remove Mason (if I had to) because bullies should be erased (or thrown into the prison colonies of our future masters, the sheep (see above).


Huge thanks to Andy for some brilliant responses. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

The Giveaway

Comment below with which everyday invention you’d confine to The Inventory and tell me why (is it dangerous or just plain annoying) and then head over to the Rafflecopter to register your chances to win. Closes Wednesday 11th at midnight. UK and IRL residents only.

The Rest of the Tour

Iron Fist blog tour banner

You can find the links to all the blogs on tour organiser Faye’s website here.

%d bloggers like this: