My side of the Diamond

Author – Sally Gardner35698616

Illustrator – Nat Barlex

Age – 13+

Jazmin’s best friend Becky has gone. She jumped off a building with her boyfriend. But moments after they jumped they vanished, leaving Jaz with the fallout, a devastating court trial, and her life shattered.

No-one believed her testimony at the trial. No-one would listen to her. But now, a man called Mr Jones has come to interview her. She can finally tell someone what really happened.

A line on the cover gives a clue to the reader that this is a story that contains something not of this world ‘They came to Earth to find love‘. And indeed it does include alien beings. But the entire story is still set on Earth as we know it today, through a series of interviews. This style and structure was intriguing and had to be followed closely as each person recounted what happened before Becky disappeared.

Something different from a multi-award winning author.

(Aliens, Friendship, Friends, Love, Romance, Sci-Fi, Action, Fear)



Aliens vs Bad Guys – The Bad Guys (6)

Author / Illustrator – Aaron Blabey36127504

Age – 6+

They’re back in a new adventure! These bad guys are now The Good Guys Club – and they’ve just saved the world from the evil Dr Rupert Marmalade. The world is celebrating!

Meanwhile, in deep space….
These good guys are hiding from an alien with multiple bums. Legs has found a way to escape, but then he’s taken by the alien! Snake is keen to leave NOW, but the others won’t leave Legs behind. One by one they are taken by the alien, leaving Snake all alone.

Will he save his own skin and leave, or will he finally understand what Wolf has been trying to tell him. Be a Good Guy for a change!

Another hilarious book in this series, with a few hints of an ALIEN movie we might know.

(Funny, Humour, Action, Courage, Brave, Friendship, Spaceship, Space)

Space Jackers (1)

Author – Huw PowellSpacejackers (#1)

Age – 8+

Jake Cutler was just a baby when he was left at a cyber-monk monastery by a strange injured man. The only clue to Jake’s past is an amulet encrusted with 3 crystals which hangs around his neck.

On his 11th birthday, his past finds him in a fiery attack on the monks. He flees to the nearest space port and with the help of an infamous fortune seeker he escapes the planet he grew up on. But little do they know, the cargo ship they’ve hidden on is a pirate ship – the Captain, Granny Leatherhead – an eye-patched, no-nonsense woman, is the leader of the Space Dogs.

Instantly locked up, Jake and his new acquaintances wonder what will happen to them. They are about to embark on the adventure of their lives. Space monsters, black holes, the evil Intergalactic Army and even other pirates are part of their adventure, not to mention a purple skinned alien and their search for a hidden planet with more wealth than all the other planets together!

Fantastic! Pumped with action, adventure, an orphan (or is he?), aliens and a family betrayal, this first book in the Space Jackers series is perfect for thrill seekers.

(Pirates, Space, Aliens, Friendship, Adventure, Action, Humour, Series)



TEEN – KAU29236299

Authors – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Age – 13+

Gemina is the 2nd part in the bestselling Illuminae series. A new heroine is the key character – at first just preparing for a party onboard her father’s ship the Heimdall – then attacked by Beitech Industries from the inside. Beitech is the company that attacked the Kerenza colony (in the first story).

This story was told in transcripts of ship chat rooms, analyst reports of ship’s surveillance camera’s, a journal, and secret personal palm pad conversations, (all collected by a tribunal afterwards).

This brings immediacy to the story, pulling the reader right in among the action, determination, pain, and highs and lows of the characters.

It’s part love story, part invasion, rebellion and alien attack, all while a countdown is marked through the book of drone ships on their way to wipe them from existence.

(Science Fiction, Wormhole, Series, Relationships, Drugs, Murder, Attack)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files_01)

TEEN – KAU23395680

Authors – Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Age – 13+

This novel is entirely made up of military type transcripts of interviews, emails, surveillance footage summaries between all of the characters including AIDAN (The AI – Artificial Intelligence that runs the Battleship Alexander)

The year is 2575 and this story is set on the far-flung ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe called Kerenza. This settlement had sprung up illegally to mine Hermium.

Kady and Ezra have just had a huge argument causing a breakup after a year of being together. Suddenly Kerenza is attacked and there is panic on the colony.

Ezra and Kady are thrown together by chance as they scramble for the escape ships, then torn apart again when Ezra is injured.

Ezra is on the Alexander and Kady on the Hypatia. Kady is an expert hacker and they find each other through the separate ships’ computer systems.

They slowly repair their relationship as their world falls apart around them. The computers are their link but also their worst enemy. And what is the virus on the Alexander?

This novel was stunning! Not only told in a different way, it drew me in until I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough. Full of extras like ship schematics, computer screen images, and diagrams Illuminae puts the reader right inside the story.

Packed with incredible dialogue, gasps (from me), and blood-pumping action, I can’t wait for the next book in this trilogy. Simply excellent!

(Science Fiction, Series, Love, Friendship, Action, Virus, Artificial Intelligence, Computers)


TEEN KIE25014998

Author – Celine Kiernan

Age – 15+

This book was one of the strangest but most compelling stories I have ever read.

Three characters (teens) from Victorian Ireland, Matina (Tina), Joseph (Joe) and Harry (a young Houdini), come together by chance. Harry has arrived to find the promised job as a magician’s assistant gone after the theatre he was to work in has had a fire. Tina and Harry are kind to him and they become friends.

Two strange men – Vincent and Cornelius (Lord Wolcroft) are in Dublin, looking for performing artists for an extravaganza they want to put on at their estate miles away. But they have very strange reasons for doing so.

This story was deliciously creepy, a touch of Adams Family but without the comedy, and a lot strange. Gothic love story mixed with horror and sci fi? Weird.

(Love, Dublin, Friendship, Horror, Evil, Sci Fi, Secrets, Gothic, Victorian, Creepy, Control)


ER HOW18770571

Author – M J Howes

Age – 12+

Lola and Patrick are best friends and hang out together trying to forget for a while what is happening around them. They live in a time of invasion – alien invasion. The ground shakes and hovering machines tear buildings, homes and businesses apart, sometimes sucking up the inhabitants.

When Lola is with Patrick instead of going home after school, her father goes looking for her. He is taken by the machines and Lola can’t forgive herself. After her dad’s workshop is damaged by an attack, she sorts through his papers and she and Patrick read about what he was working on. What she finds, helps her decision to be taken herself. She needs to find her dad. But what she discovers inside the ships is more shocking than she ever dreamed of.

A bit sci-fi, a bit horror, tons of action and and a bit love-story. Great!

(Action, Sci Fi, Romance, Friendship, Future, Aliens, Family, Courage, Abduction, Perseverance, Escape)