Magic Keepers: Crystal Chaos

Linda Chapman, Hoang Giang. Little Tiger. (160p) ISBN 9781788954402

Magic Keepers: Crystal ChaosThe first in a new series from Linda Chapman, and filled with really cute illustrations from Hoang Giang.

This sets up a new magical world based in Curio House, where Ava’s Great-Aunt Enid used to live and collected all sorts of interesting curios from around the world.

In her will Enid insists that all the curios have to be kept together and this is where Ava and her mum come in as they go to live in the house after Enid’s death.

With her dog Pepper and her new friends Lily and Sarah Ava falls into a world where they discover magic is real and that crystals do hold their own potential and energy.

They all have to learn how to use these powers rather SNAPPY as they accidentally let loose a scaled terror on the local fish population.

It is also a wonderful story of friendship and how everyone is different and have their own strengths and weaknesses but together they are better.

Fun and with a nice easy read I got through this in an evening and looking forward to seeing how the story develops.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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How Not To Be A Vampire Slayer

Katy Birchall. Scholastic. (272p) ISBN 9780702307966

How Not To Be A Vampire Slayer

How Not To Be A Vampire Slayer

I’ve been really lucky with what I’ve picked up to read recently, really enjoying them all and gradually working through my shelves I got to his just in time for spooky season.

This tells the story of Maggie (Slayer) and Sharptooth (Chosen One), who become friends rather than trying to kill each other.

Maggie Helsby goes to live in her recently deceased Great Uncle Bram’s house on the edge of Skeleton Woods and finds it strange that the house is surrounded by garlic and there are huge mirrors everywhere she turns, this is all before her birthright is explained to her.

Skeleton Woods are a forbidden place on the Yorkshire coast where nobody goes as it’s full of ghosts, ghouls, monster, and worst of all, vampires! Humans are repelled at the fringes of the forest as it is so dark and foreboding. The population of the local village have always kept away and heeded the legends, until Maggie goes in and finds out the truth of what is in the woods.

Full of enchantments, scary bats, creepy castles, swishing cloaks, and lots of hints about warlocks, witches, and other ghostly and ghoulish beings.

A wonderfully fun adventure all about friendship and getting past differences so everyone, vampire and human (but no cauliflowers…) can live together in peace.


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The Boy Who Grew Dragons

Andy Shepherd. Templar Publishing. (224p) ISBN 9781848126497

The Boy Who Grew Dragons

The Boy Who Grew Dragons

The Boy Who Grew Dragons had (shamefully) been on my TBR list for a long time, I initially got it to join in with #PrimarySchoolBookClub but in the end didn’t have the time to join in.

From the start of this wonderful book I was gripped and really wanted to know what happened and was disappointed that it was finished so quickly, Tomas is a bright, imaginative young boy and the other characters are all so full of life with the interactions feeling so real.

As the title suggests Tomas discovers a Dragon Fruit plant, but one with a difference. Dragons!

The addition of the sheer destructiveness of Flicker, especially the nice (squishy) addition to the poo part had me laugh out loud at a couple of points.

I am so looking forward to the books to follow the continuing misadventures of the crew, as the end of the book is something you have to read yourself.


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The Promise Witch

Celine Kiernan. Walker Books. (224p) ISBN 9781406373936

The Promise Witch

The Promise Witch

I’d been waiting on The Promise Witch forever, or that’s how it felt as the first two in the trilogy were soooo good.

From the start I realised that I was really going to enjoy this adventure with Mup and Crow, we see old enemies return and new friends step up.

There were some solid bits of humour throughout the book and there was one spot with the Grey Girl (from book two) which had me splurting my coffee as it reminded me so much of the Ghost of Christmas Present from Scrooged. This didn’t detract from the adventure and peril though, it just highlighted it.

The old Queen is still exerting her influence over Witches Burrough, playing with the weather and environment once more, but Mam is working really hard at getting the people to work together and realise their strength.

During this Magda, Crow’s mum returns and things take a massive turn for the worse, she is trying to return to the old queen, and everything gets caught up in this.

A story about love, sacrifice, loss and acceptance, where people have to help each other and trust each other to finally overcome.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.