Tin

Padraig Kenny. Chicken House. (352p) ISBN 9781911077657

Tin

Tin

Follow the ragtag band of mechanicals as they search for Christopher, who has been abducted by someone who wants to discover his deepest secrets.

Throughout this gripping adventure, Tin is set in an England of alternative 1930s where mechanicals (robots) are common, there is a huge nod to ‘The Wizard of Oz’, a curmodgeonly wizard, evil witch, someone longing for home, and a ragtag band of friends who are on their own journeys of discovery.

Pádraig has developed a wonderfully believable world where Pinocchio was burnt on a bonfire through fear, but Gepetto (Runcible) kept developing his creations, perfecting them, but there was always fear. Therefore a set of rules were developed to make the mechanicals acceptable.

The pace is perfect and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, always one step ahead of you keeping you wanting more. This is accompanied by some of the best described locations ever, some of which are very dark indeed.

It feels like the start of a new fictional universe which I would be more than happy to explore further.

I will just leave with one last thing, Round Rob.


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Three Dark Crowns

Kendare Blake. Pan Macmillan. (432p) ISBN 9781509804559

Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns is the start of a Y.A. fantasy series by Kendare Blake, and a good start at that, and for once I never got the twist until the end of the book, which leaves us on a massive (almost literally) cliff-hanger of a revelation.

Kendare tells the story of Three Princesses, triplets that are born every generation to become the Queen of Fennbirn, the only problem is that the other two have to die for one to be crowned.

Each Princess is meant to be the master of a different type of magic; poison, elemental and natural and are given to their sixteenth year to develop their skills in their speciality.

Things do not go as planned (well if it all went as planned there wouldn’t be much of a novel really) and we follow the three princesses through these.

I enjoyed the premise and the execution was well done and am looking forward to the next book in the series.


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How To Be Right In a World Gone Wrong

James O’Brien. Ebury Publishing. (240p) ISBN 9780753553121

How To Be Right In a World Gone Wrong

How To Be Right In a World Gone Wrong

This is another book I read absolutely ages ago and have just got around to getting a review out for.

During the Brexit debacle I watched James quite a bit on YouTube, finding him funny and astute without being really unkind to people he disagreed with and wanted to read about how he came to this conclusion on how to deal with debate whilst still staying on point.

I wasn’t disappointed, with great clarity James boils down the arguments in various areas such as Brexit, Political Correctness (would be the term ‘woke’ now), and Trump showing what the facts are, not opinions and in doing so sets a challenge to those on the opposite side of the ‘debate’ to prove these facts wrong.

He’s always said he is willing to change his mind when facts are presented that makes a previous stance wrong and has done so, and apologised for being wrong when shown to be.

A fun read, but also an important read, remember the facts and keep calm whenever you see these various forms of illiterate thinking on what some want to turn into emotional areas that are ruled by opinion.

Still to read his follow up to this, but I’m looking forward to it.


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Beatrix the Bold and the Curse of the Wobblers

Simon Mockler. Templar Publishing. (256p) ISBN 9781848127654

Beatrix the Bold and the Curse of the Wobblers

Beatrix the Bold and the Curse of the Wobblers

I received this book in a large packet of Middle Grade books in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it’s taken me ages to write this review as I’ve been so slow in my reading over the last year and a bit.

This is the first in a cracking series from Simon and Cherie, and really sets the background for the rest of the books to come.

Beatrix has lived in the palace all her life (she believes) and if she ever leaves she will get eaten or fall off the edge of the world (she’s been told).

A great little adventure where Beatrix gradually discovers lots of different things about her background and why she’s never allowed to leave it. Full of a great cast of characters, especially Dog, this is well-written and cracks along at a really good pace with some great twists and turns.

Full of great illustrations from Cherie Zamazing that really bring the story to life and add to the overall humour of the book, one of my favourites is the door to The Hunting Lodge, really creepy.

An excellent start to a great series, full of fun and imagination.


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