Gleanings

Neal Shusterman. Walker Books. (432p) ISBN 9781529509540

Gleanings

Gleanings

I absolutely loved the Scythe series by Neal Shusterman and was sad to leave it at the end, when I heard that there was going to be a collection of short stories set in the same universe I kept an eye out for its release. Amazingly I was approved for this on NetGalley and had to wait no longer.

And what a collection this is, if you’re a lover of the Scythe universe you will love this addition, and if you’ve not read the original trilogy I would advise you to read it first as there are some spoilers in here.

The collection has a real mix of tone throughout, from the darkly humorous to more serious additions, though I would say that the humorous stories really add to the flavour of Scythe, and would probably have to admit that two of the humorous shorts were my favourites but not my top story.

Meet Cute and Die Is hilarious, the fluffiest story in the collection but also one of the best, got to love Scythe Boudica’s preferred method of Gleaning.

The Persistence of Memory is a hilarious look at two Scythes of different temperaments in Barcelona, Dali and Gaudi… It is a look at the perceived competition between the two in Dali’s eyes, how one wishes to be flamboyant and the other more peaceful, absolutely loved the ending of this, and the theatricality of Scythe Dali.

Never Work with Animals who doesn’t like a shaggy dog story with a happy ending, maybe not the ending you would expect but hilarious especially with the bits of the Sythe’s past that are brought into the story.

The Mortal Canvas this for me though was the strongest story of the collection, looking at what could be lost with the onset of immortality and lack of challenge that only having one lifetime brings.

A great collection of short stories for lovers of Scythe and for all others as you don’t need to know the universe to appreciate great storytelling.


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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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Mountainfell

Katharine Orton. Walker Books. (320p) ISBN 9781529503296

Mountainfell

Mountainfell

This was such a brilliant book I finished it in a day, not even eating until I’d found out what happened to everyone.

It has everything! Dragons, adventure, family, friendship, discovered magic, dastardly villains, ecological crisis, and much more.

At it’s heart there is a tale of Erskin searching for her sister who has been taken by the cloud dragon after an earthquake disturbs the equilibrium between the village and the monsters beyond the wall.

But as we and Erskin find out there is far more to the story than that simple sentence.

In the end Erskine and her friends not only find her sister but find out a lot more secrets about the world they inhabit and the peril that they all face.

Written with a pace that pulls you through this gripping adventure whilst also describing the wonder in enough detail that you are amazed by the animals and scenery that you travel through, this is a book I really couldn’t put down.

There is also a deep story of what people can do to nature in the name of profit and progress and the ruin it can cause.

I really didn’t want this story to end and would love to see a return to this world in the future.

I especially loved the fish…


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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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