The Witches of World War II

Paul Cornell, Valeria Burzo. TKO Studios. (160p) ISBN 9781952203183

The Witches of World War II

The Witches of World War II

Another of the first batch of approved books from NetGalley.

This graphic novel is written by the dark pen of Paul Cornell and wonderfully illustrated by Valeria Burzo, and takes us on a fanciful journey of a group of occultists recruited to play on the fact that Nazi High Command believes “in all this occult rubbish”

The story is loosely based on the true story of the New Forest Coven and Operation Cone of Power, and includes a ragtag group of occultists including Aleister Crowley, Doreen Valiente, and others in their bid to capture Rudolph Hesse a proponent of the Thule Society.

The story cracks along at a great pace weaving fact and fiction into a wondrous whole, with the illustrations supporting the mystical and prosaic but with a style that reminds me of some of the work in Hellboy comics by Mike Mignola whilst standing as their own.

Paul Cornell’s storytelling comes to the fore making it a believable tale full of tension and build the characters well considering the short time he has to do so, I especially enjoyed the Crowley that inhabits these pages.

A great graphic novel well worth picking up.


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The October Witches

Jennifer Claessen. UCLan Publishing. (352p) ISBN 9781912979905

The October Witches

The October Witches

I’ve finally got around to using NetGalley properly and what a first book to set off with.

From the magnificent cover all the way to the last words this is a brilliant magical adventure full of heart, family, and friendship.

This is the tale of the Merlyns and Morgans, the descendants of the first two witches, Merlyn (a woman not a man) and Morgan, who fought each other for power and in the end limited witches power to the month of October.

Clem is the main protagonist of the story who has just come into her power this October and becomes the fifth point of a star and the key to a plan her mum and aunts have been planning to make the magic last all year round, but the dastardly Morgans interrupt this plan and try to enact their own plan to have magic all year round and to control the world.

Full of excellent characters from Bobby the pony to the bumbling but mysterious postman, full of Aunts and young hags, I raced through this story never wanting it to end but desperate to find out what happens, and it seems to have been set up for a sequel, hopefully next October


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.

NetGalley Wednesday #1

Stone Blind

Stone Blind

I thought I’d do this post on a regular(ish) basis to remind myself of where I’m at with NetGalley.

This will keep me up to date with requests and reviews still to do.

I’m going to concentrate on children’s books, fiction and non-fiction with an eye to getting some books for the store, part of my monthly pick for our tables.

I will be getting some random stuff if it strikes my fancy, especially science fiction, horror, fantasy, and folklore and mythology especially if it has a twist to the tale.

Pending Requests

  • Godkiller by Hannah Kaner
  • Hanging with Vampires by Insha Fitzpatrick

Approved Requests

  • The October Witches by Jennifer Claessen
  • The Tarot Spellbook by Sam Magdaleno
  • The Witches of World War II by Paul Cornell, Valeria Burzo
  • Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes
  • Into Goblyn Wood by Anna Kemp

Denied Requests

  • The Twig Man by Sana Rasoul

Reviews Outstanding

Nothing finished to review as yet.


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.

Slow Blogging

Slow Blogging

Slow Blogging

I was again starting to plan out an aggressive timetable of blog and social media posts to help me become a ‘successful’ blogger with a ‘successful’ blog. Filling all the metrics of hits, likes and client interactions.

These are the things the Internet and ‘people’ tell you are required to be a good and successful blogger.

I then suddenly realised that the only person I’m really blogging for is myself, and if others like or get some pleasure/use from what I wrote or post that is a wonderful bonus.

Even though there has been at least one post a day for most of the last couple of months on one platform or another, I don’t expect to make a daily post, they will come when I have something to say or show, and hopefully will be all the better for it.

I have a lot of content and reviews to put on the blog but there may also be times when RealLife™ intrudes as I have to work a lot of hours to make ends meet.

I’m consolidating my blogs, going back to blogging for fun and slowing down. Hopefully this will have me reading for fun again as well.


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.