The Bewitching of Aveline Jones

Phil Hicks, Keith Robinson. Usborne Publishing, (256p) ISBN 9781474972154

The Bewitching of Aveline Jones

The Bewitching of Aveline Jones

I absolutely loved The Haunting of Aveline Jones and had to get this as soon as I’d finished that, and I had read this pretty much straight away, and then forgot to write my review…

The hardship was that I had to suffer reading it once more to remind me of what went on, oh the hardship.

In this adventure Aveline is thrilled find herself in a cottage that’s right beside a stone circle, absolutely right up her street. As Aveline explores she meets another young girl who she starts to see more and more of, but who feels strange but so familiar as well.

But nothing is at it seems.

Harold, Mr Lieberman, and Aunt Lilian join them in their holiday cottage, and with Harold’s help and the books he brought from the bookshop they start to unravel the mystery, though this isn’t without its trials and tribulations.

Will they get to the truth in time? I had a great time finding out!

Quirky vicars, strange bottles, standing stones, and secrets from the past entwine in another wonderful story from Phil Hickes beautifully illustrated once more by Keith Robinson.


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Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep

Philip Reeve. David Fickling Books. (288p) ISBN 9781788452373

Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep

Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep

A book I’d requested through work as I’m a huge fan of Mortal Engines (plus Philip Reeve’s other works).

This latest book is a magnificent middle grade fantasy adventure following Utterly Dark, the ward of The Watcher of Wildsea.

When her ward drowns it sets a chain of events off that has this adventure crack along at a really fast pace and has you chewing your nails to the finale.

This speed doesn’t stop the story from building up some solid characters throughout. There are the Skraevelings who are the housekeepers of Sundown Watch, Will Dark is Utterly’s scientifically sceptical uncle, Thurza Froy the sea witch, Egg the boy who got kicked in the goolies, and Aish who is brilliant.

Then there is Utterly, the young girl swept up from the sea and cared for by Andrew Dark, her mystery is at the core of this book.

The interaction between these characters and the building of a solid mythology for the island helped me to invest heavily in the story of myths and magics.

Utterly engrossing and captivating story which will be out in the first week of September (2021).


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.

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The Time of Green Magic

Hilary McKay. Pan Macmillan. (224p) ISBN 9781529019247

The Time of Green Magic

The Time of Green Magic

I was really lucky to get a proof copy of The Time of Green Magic from Macmillan as I really loved The Skylarks’ War and was looking forward to this.

When Theo and Polly met Abi’s life went through some big changes, two families blended, and she didn’t have her dad Theo all to herself anymore. More than that though she also had Max and Louis, two new stepbrothers to share everything with.

When they move into a mysterious ivy-clad new house for the extra space, mysterious happenings start to haunt them.

Shadows throughout the house and a mysterious visitor makes for a magical mysterious adventure with a real hint of danger.

Themes of change, growth, and familial love give this book a wonderful magical depth that needed a couple of read throughs to get everything out of it.


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.

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The Last Spell Breather

Julie Pike. Oxford University Press. (304p) ISBN 9780192771605

The Last Spell Breather

The Last Spell Breather

I picked The Last Spell Breather up in a pack of proofs from OUP Childrens that had been in the staff room for a while.

Wow!

From the first page this was a non-stop adventure with an intriguingly original magical system, cracking cast of characters, and a pace that pulled you through to the last paragraph.

Rayne really, really doesn’t want to be a Spell Breather, but her Mam is the last one in a world ravaged by magic and if she doesn’t become one the village will be lost.

When Mam leaves Rayne has to find out why and along the way collects a bunch of companions to help her get through all the adventures.

A great fantasy adventure with an unexpected ending, Frank the Fox, and a beguiling magical system.

Julie has made a world I want to go back to again and again as has many people I’ve introduced to this book since reading it.


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.