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.
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 Hero.com, Villain.net 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.
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.
Thorn, an outlaw’s son, wasn’t supposed to be a slave. He’s been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they’re headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire.
Lilith Shadow wasn’t supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But following the murder of her family, young Lily became the last surviving member of House Shadow, a long line of dark sorcerers. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way she can save it is by embracing her heritage and practicing the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?
Just when it looks like Lily will have to leave her home forever, Thorn arrives at Castle Gloom. A sudden death brings them together, inspires them to break the rules, and leads them to soar to new heights in this fantasy with all the sparkle and luster of a starry night sky.
Joshua Khan was born in Britain. From very early on he filled himself with the stories of heroes, kings and queens until there was hardly any room for anything else. He can tell you where King Arthur was born* but not what he himself had for breakfast. So, with a head stuffed with tales of legendary knights, wizards and great and terrible monsters it was inevitable Joshua would want to create some of his own. Hence SHADOW MAGIC. Josh lives in London with his family, but he’d rather live in a castle. It wouldn’t have to be very big, just as long as it had battlements. *Tintagel, in case you were wondering.
What I Thought
Well, I couldn’t defy Rick Riordan – I loved this story.
This is a fantastic addition to the fantasy genre aimed at younger readers (with much older ones able to enjoy it just as much).
Lily and Thorn are both great lead characters and immediately make you want to invest in their story. And, what a story. It’s full of twists and turns and working out who is good and who isn’t (like anything is that simple anyway) will keep you guessing. I found myself questioning my mind many times. The only one slight frustration I had was how easily the characters jumped to conclusions at times, but I will forgive them this time.
There are three key animal sidekicks in this and each play an important role in the story, there’s a clue to my favourite one on the front cover.
There is clearly a lot more to know about this world and the magic within in but the information is being given to us piece and piece, when necessary, and makes you want more. So I’m very happy to say there will be at least two more books in this series. Dream Magic comes out in 2017 and Burning Magic has been announced too.
If you like…Seven reasons you will love Shadow Magic
- Books in maps
- Abraxos in the Throne of Glass series – Hades is very cool
- Mia’s magic in Nevernight
- Game of Thrones (for a MG audience)
- A feministy slant to your books – women aren’t allowed to do magic – What?!
- Spooky castles with secret tunnels
- Graveyards, ghosts and zombies
Scholastic are really doing well on their acquisition of middle grade fantasy. Looking forward to reading more.
Check out the rest of the tour on the blogs below
I received a copy of the book from the publisher but as ever the review and opinion on the book is ALL MINE.
For today’s stop on Robyn Silver: The Midnight Chimes Blog Tour I will be reviewing this enjoyable middle grade story.
Life was very ordinary for ten-year-old Robyn Silver. The often-ignored middle child in a big family, the most excitement she had was the dash to the dinner table to reach the last slice of pizza. Until… she begins to see creepy creatures around her town – creatures that are invisible to everyone else. And when her school is forced to decamp to mysterious Grimdean House and she meets its equally mysterious owner, Mr Cryptorum, Robyn finds herself catapulted headfirst into an extraordinary adventure – with more excitement than she could possibly have imagined. Be careful what you wish for…
This book is out tomorrow so add to your Goodreads list and buy from your favourite retailer
Paula Harrison is a best-selling children’s author, with worldwide sales of over one million copies. Her books include The Rescue Princesses series. She wanted to be a writer from a young age but spent many happy years being a primary school teacher first.
What I Thought
I would describe this as The Mortal Instruments for the younger reader – all the training, but not the romance (friendship instead). The storyline is very much a chosen one situation but this time our heroine isn’t alone in her discovery of a new world filled with monsters. I would say it took me a little while to get into this but once vampires were introduced the drama increased and I whipped through the rest of the tale, and was left hoping that there is more to come.
If you like the cover art – and what’s not to like – you will want to grab a hardcopy of this book because each chapter starts with a superb illustration by Renée Kurilla, and the book finishes with a mini monster compendium of all the weird creatures Robyn and her friends face.
The use of chapter titles had me in two minds, on one hand they are quite ‘telly’ giving you a heads up about what is to come and on the other I’d say they were almost like the summary headings a ten year old might put in a diary. I think younger readers will be fine with them though.
I loved all the main children characters from fiesty Robyn, her sweet younger sister Annie and her recorder!!!, Robyn’s best friend, dyslexic inventor, Aiden and bookish Nora. The children really do lead this with a few adult characters around to show them the way. They also learn to be very very careful of what you wish for – especially where sweets are involved.
There are plenty of surprises and some excellent scope for a longer series. I’d recommend this to readers that love middle grade and that enjoy urban supernatural fantasies where a hidden world exists alongside our own.