Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

Review: Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl is a steampunk adventure featuring a clockwork fox; Lily, a less-than-demure Victorian schoolgirl whose absent father is hiding an awful secret; Robert, the clockmaker’s son, who is plunged into danger whether he likes it or not; nasty teachers, cruel housekeepers, mirror-eyed thugs; airship chases… OK, stop. You had me at “clockwork… Read More

Review: A Ghost Called Dog by Gavin Neale

A Ghost Called Dog, by Gavin Neale, is a magical fantasy adventure. Seven-year-old Abby and eleven-year-old Chris move with their parents to a new home, and before long strange things start to happen. Abby starts talking to imaginary animals – first a rabbit, then a cat. Or are they imaginary? If they are, little Abby… Read More

Review: Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent

I’m a bit late to the party with Gabrielle Kent’s debut novel. Alfie Bloom’s second adventure, Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief, was released just recently, so I thought it was about time I got on board. There’s a pattern to books of this type – a young protagonist with an old-fashioned British first name… Read More

Review: Phoenix by SF Said

Phoenix, by SF Said, with illustrations by Dave McKean, is a science-fiction adventure of galactic scale. When I was a kid, more decades ago now than I care to remember, science fiction made up a significant proportion of my reading. Eleanor Cameron’s The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet was my comfort re-read – I read… Read More

Talk of the Toun

Review: Talk of the Toun by Helen MacKinven

Talk of the Toun, by Helen MacKinven, is a raw, dark, hilarious coming-of-age tale set in 1980s Falkirk. Disclosure: I know Helen through our publisher Cranachan. This hasn’t affected the review in any way – if I hadn’t liked the book, I’d wouldn’t have reviewed it! If you’ve been reading my reviews over the past years, you’ll… Read More

Review: To Wee or Not to Wee by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham

They always say that Shakespeare, despite being from four centuries ago, is still relevant, and To Wee or Not to Wee by Pamela Butchart is the book that proves it – in hilarious style. Sitting in the same series as My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat and Attack of the Demon Dinner Ladies, To Wee or… Read More

Review: The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford

The Case of the Missing Moonstone, by Jordan Stratford, is the first case for the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, the detectives of which are Mary Godwin and Ada Byron – better known to posterity as Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, and Ada Lovelace, daughter of the poet Byron, mathematical genius, and the world’s first computer programmer…. Read More

Review: The Great Chocoplot by Chris Callaghan

The end of the world is a common theme in books, films, and TV. Zombie outbreaks. Alien invasions. Meteor strikes. Virus epidemics. Nuclear war. But in The Great Chocoplot, Chris Callaghan has come up with the most chilling apocalypse yet: the end of chocolate. Jelly (real name Jennifer, but if your name’s Jennifer Wellington you’re… Read More

Review: Hell’s Belles (The D’Evil Diaries 2) by Tatum Flynn

Hell’s Belles is the sequel to The D’Evil Diaries, which I reviewed last year and thoroughly enjoyed. Fans of the original will be glad to know that Hell’s Belles is more of the same, with an extra twist – this time, the main character is Tommy, the only human child in the underworld, and Jinx’s… Read More