Author – Peadar O’Guilan
Age – 13+
Nessa may have returned from ‘The Grey Land’, but her battle isn’t over yet. She is instantly under suspicion. How could she survive with her bent and twisted legs? How could someone so weak return unscarred when bigger, stronger, better trained children and teens do not?
She is labelled a traitor – someone who has made a deal with the S’dhe in order to survive. There are now government agents searching for such traitors, and they will find them at any cost.
Something terrible is happening to Ireland. More terrible than The Call itself, with nothing to stop it.
Told in different viewpoints of Nessa, Anto, and others from the survival school Nessa attended, there is action at every turn, choices to make or believe and survival an even thinner thread than before.
Be careful what you promise, and who you promise to, as they are assembling out there, and coming for you….
(Fantasy, Violence, Fairy Folk, Legends, Myths, Ireland, Love, Friendship, Courage, Trust)
Author – Ross Montgomery
Age – 8+
Max doesn’t enjoy being the only orphan at St Goliath’s Boarding school. That and his hearing aids make him different to his classmates. The only person who he feels at ease with is Mr Darrow, the school caretaker. They both love modelling, but Mr Darrow has taken his a huge step further – he has tiny people in his models, and they are alive!
Mr Darrow has gone missing, and Max follows the instructions he was given if that ever happened. Max is shocked and awed by what he finds in Mr Darrow’s room, but in the caretaker’s abscence, his model people have built their own world, at war with itself.
After all his kindness, Max feels he owes Mr Darrow. Can he save the tiny people from war? Can he find out what happened to Mr Darrow? And most of all, can he keep Mr Pitt, the evil headmaster away from Mr Darrow’s room while he does it?
This story was funny, fantasy and full-on action. Fleas, friendship and a gaggle of five-year olds pumped up on birthday candy make this even funnier. The two worlds are connected by Max and a brave prince just trying to save his people. Great read!
(Friendship, Family, Miniature people, War, Secret)
Author – Amie Kaufman
Age – 8+
Twins Anders and Rayna live in a world of dragons and wolves – ice wolves to be exact. These wolves that can morph from human to wolf in a matter of seconds protect their city of Vallen from the dangerous dragons who also morph from human.
With Rayna’s savvy street smarts the twins live on the streets, pick pocketing and stealing to survive. But when something goes wrong they are caught up in a sacred ritual in front of hundreds of people. They find themselves on opposite sides of the age-old conflict, and Anders is alone for the first time in his life.
How will he find Rayna, let alone get her back? Anders has to learn to stand on his own two feet among people he’s not sure are friend or enemy.
This is the first in a new fantasy series by acclaimed author Amie Kaufman. It is chocka full of intrigue, action and wonderful world building.
Author – Melissa Albert
Age – 13+
Alice and her mum have always been on the move. Bad luck seems to plague them wherever they try to settle, and it’s only now that Alice is 17 that she realises there is something eerie about their particular bad luck.
Alice’s grandmother was famous for a book she wrote of very dark fairytales. This book is now impossible to find so she never got to read it. She’d hoped her entire childhood that she would meet her grandmother but it never happened. Her mother was adamant about never returning to The Hazel Wood where her mother lived.
Alice’s mum marries and they seem finally settled – until her mum vanishes. Was she kidnapped? Did she run away from an unhappy marriage? The strange things that have happened through her life manifest into even stranger creatures and events and the only person she can turn to is a boy from her school. Finch is ridiculously wealthy and also a huge fan of her grandmother’s tales.
After avoiding fans for years, Alice has no option but to ask for Finch’s help. He knows the tales inside out and she finds she is connected to one in particular. Despite a warning to the contrary, Alice knows she has to find and then search the elusive Hazel Wood if she is ever to see her mother again.
The writing is superb, the intrigue all encompassing, and the place Alice finds herself in – VERY Alice in Wonderland – but even weirder!
Author – Tomi Adeyemi
Age – 13+
Orisha’s lands are made up of Kosidan (nobles and non-magical people) and Maji (those with powers to heal, bring fire, move water or summon spirits.)
But the Maji with their all-telling white hair and sometimes strange eyes have had their magic taken from them by force with much bloodshed and murder.
Zelie lost her mother in ‘The Raid’ that extinguised Maji magic, leaving her with an intense hatred of King Saran and his regime. But one day she comes closer to his regime than ever before and is drawn into a quest to take three magical objects to an island. This island and these objects have the power to bring magic back to their people. With magic comes power, and a way to strike back at those that have repressed them with tyranny.
With her brother Tzain at her side, she is forced to overcome her prejudice of their enemy and she encounters many unexpected things on their journey – including love. Can she get to the island? Will her own new magic be powerful enough to stir the gods or will Saran defeat them once and for all?
An epic 1st part of a trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone is a gripping African Fantasy. Told in the viewpoints of three strong characters, the story has great pace, power and intrigue as to whether they will achieve their quest. Brutal in parts with much blood spilled, this book captured me right to the last page, which left me wondering and wanting more.
(Fantasy, Series, Africa, Quest, Magic, Siblings, Romance, Power, Kingdom)
Author – Jessica Townsend
Age – 9+
Morrigan Crow has always been told that she is cursed and she won’t live past her 12th birthday. She is blamed for everything from the weather, to a school fire, to the gardener’s heart attack. Of course, none of it was true.
Little does Morrigan know that her entire life is about to change, where she will be a treasured member of a household, a valued friend of other children and a gigantic speaking cat!
She is taken to Nevermoor (a secret magical city by a stranger who tells her she can be one of the privileged of the Wundrous Society. All she has to do is pass four trials they will give her. Although thought to be cursed, Morrigan has led a sheltered wealthy life, and she can’t imagine passing any challenges thrown her way. But the alternative is too awful to contemplate.
Full of magic, strange and wunderful characters, this just may be a ‘Harry Potter’ for a new generation of readers. It has its own ‘Voldemort’, ‘Malfoy’ and the world-building is gloriously imaginative.
(Magic, Tasks, Challenges, Friendship, Nemesis, Bully, Curse, Series)
Author – James Russell
Animations – Courtney White
The Pitbull (menacing leader of the gang that raided Paddy and Flynn’s island in book 1), is waiting for his stolen egg to hatch a dragon. When he discovers the truth, he is enraged and out for revenge!
Returning to the island with many men, weapons, and helicopters, he is keen to achieve what he wanted before, but this time, take the dragons themselves. But first he has a score to settle with the two boys that made him look a fool. Revenge has made him even nastier and Paddy and Flynn are in terrible danger. Now, not only are the island’s dragons under threat, so is their entire family!
A fantastic follow-on to this popular series, once again including a link to the App that brings this book to life digitally. Whether using the App or not, The Pitbull Returns has even more action and thrills than the first book and will be sure to please dragon lovers, and adventure seekers. Great Kiwi Fiction!
(Dragons, Series, Brothers, Siblings, Adventure, Action, Revenge, Island)