Review: Mr. Standfast – moved

Mr. Standfast
Mr. Standfast by John Buchan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mr. Standfast concludes the Hannay trilogy, which begins with The Thirty-Nine Steps, and continues through Greenmantle.
In this instalment, Hannay is called in to help discover the identity of a masterspy. There are the usual characters – Blenkiron and Piennar – and the addition of a female character, Mary.

The novel roams all over the British Isles, and onto the continent. There’s goodies and baddies galore, red-herrings, romance, manoeuvres and more. Buchan doesn’t disappoint. This is another cracking read.

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Review: Barnaby Grimes: Phantom of Blood Alley – moved

Barnaby Grimes: Phantom of Blood Alley
Barnaby Grimes: Phantom of Blood Alley by Paul Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Barnaby Grimes is an excellent series. The characters are engaging, the plots intriguing and the world building is great. The whole is enhance by the wonderful illustrations from Chris Riddell.

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Review: Angel Creek – moved

Angel Creek
Angel Creek by Sally Rippin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this family-based fantasy.
Jelly is struggling with moving away from her primary school friends, She is worried about starting high school, doesn’t get along with her cousin, Gino, and there a family undercurrents that are making her very uneasy.
It all adds up to one very unusual Christmas.

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Review: Silvermay – moved

Silvermay
Silvermay by James Moloney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Woah!!!!

James Moloney is back with a bang. This is a sweeping saga of intrigue and the power of fear, but also of courage and the power of love.

Silvermay is young. She lives in the countryside outside the large town of Vonne. She has little understanding of how cities work, but she is a skilled hawker, thanks to her father, and an astute reader of people, thanks to her mother. Silvermay’s parents embody love and rational thought, and Silvermay blossoms under their attentions.

Nerigold and Tamlyn are from Vonne. Nerigold has recently had a child, and she and Tamlyn are travelling hard and fast away from the city. When Nerigold collapses not far from Silvermay’s house after being turned away from the town inn, Silvermay’s family does not hesitate to take them in, baby Lucien included.

So begins this amazing novel, book one of a three part series. Get it, read it, love it!

(Spoiler Alert: don’t read the blurbs for the next two books which are at the end. JUST DON’T!)

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Review: The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher

The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher
The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher by Doug MacLeod
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Doug Macleod is one of Australia’s premier writers – full stop. From Sister Madge’s Book of Nuns, through The Comedy Company and Kath & Kim, and My Incredible Life and Death, to the beautiful Siggy and Amber, Tumble Turn (swoons) and The Clockwork Forest.
The Life of a Teenage Body-snatcher follows young Thomas Timewell, “sixteen and a gentleman”. We meet Thomas as he is attempting to steal the newly-buried body of his grandfather. An unusual pastime for a young gentleman, you might think. And you would be right. But Thomas is just trying to fulfil Grandfather’s dying wish – for his body to be donated to science. Unfortunately, Thomas mother doesn’t think this is a good idea, and so grandfather goes into the ground. And also unfortunately, body-snatching is against the law, and Thomas risks going to jail for the sake of his grandfather.
Fortunately for Thomas (and Grandfather), he meets a resurrectionist named Plenitude. Plenitude is a man of honour, wisdom and care, and is, as it turns out, the perfect person to have caught Thomas digging noisily into Grandfather’s grave.
The Life of a Teenage Body-snatcher is funny, black, thoughtful and moving. It is definitely one of Doug MacLeod’s best books in a long history of excellent writing.

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Review: The Undys: Let the Games Begin

The Undys: Let the Games Begin
The Undys: Let the Games Begin by Michael Wagner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Undys are Josh and Phil. They are two blokes – son and dad – who live in a unit in a block of flats. Josh and Phil are great mates, although it’s not clear who is the youngest of the two! 🙂 They are always making up great games on the spot, like Gut-Barging and Hallway Soccer, and seem to always be having heaps of fun. This really annoys Josh’s aunt, who thinks that they are both very childish – and she is right. There are lots of laughs, and lots of love in this humourous story for younger readers.

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