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Blog Tour – Alfie Bloom And The Talisman Thief (Alfie Bloom #2) – Gabrielle Kent

Published June 7, 2016 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling and Roald Dahl!

When Alfie Bloom inherited a castle and a centuries-old magic, his dull and lonely life was changed forever. But Alfie’s new life has come with dangers he never could have expected. When Ashford the butler is kidnapped in the middle of the night, the castle comes under threat from a terrifying enemy. Trapped inside with only his twin cousins and best friend Amy, it’s up to Alfie to defend his inheritance and prevent a terrible fate from befalling the whole of England!

What did I think?:

Yesterday, I introduced the first book in a stunning new series by Gabrielle Kent and today I’m delighted to be part of a blog tour celebrating the second book in the Alfie Bloom series, Alfie Bloom And The Talisman Thief. Many thanks to Faye for inviting me to be part of the tour and to Scholastic UK for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait a while to read about the marvellous Alfie and his adventures and this second offering from the author has definitely confirmed that I’ll be watching out for the rest of the books in the series.

After the exciting and dramatic events in the first book (which I’m not going to spoil for anyone who hasn’t started yet) Alfie is still enjoying his new life in the castle where he seems to find somewhere different to explore and new treasures to unearth every day. One very important treasure that Alfie is guarding is a special talisman which he wears around his neck to keep it safe. The talisman has very strange powers, Alfie discovers that he can read some previously indecipherable letters by using the lens part of the talisman and other parts work like a key and open strange new doorways and hidden passages within the castle walls.

This second novel shifts some focus onto Alfie’s butler, Ashford who has always seemed quite mysterious and a man of many secrets. However, it is not until Ashford is kidnapped by some elves and their terrifying Queen that Alfie realises just how secretive and important Ashford really is. The Elven Queen and her minions want the talisman very badly, for reasons I shall not divulge and will stop at nothing to get to it which puts Alfie, his best friend Amy and his cousins in very real jeopardy. Alfie must once again draw on all his inner powers, magical or otherwise to save Ashford, protect his castle and those he loves and prevent the Queen from getting her hands on something that could endanger all their lives.

Alfie Bloom And The Talisman Thief is an excellent follow up novel to the first book in the series and one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I would probably recommend reading the first book before this as although it can be read quite easily as a stand-alone you’d be missing all the great parts like the development of the characters and how Alfie came to the castle in book one! My favourite character, apart from brave Alfie has to be Artan the loveable bear – who is actually a bear rug but makes an excellent flying carpet and has some brilliant jokes. Once again, we have a thrilling plot that is action-packed with little time to draw breath before the author throws in another exciting incident and I’ll certainly be looking out for the third book in the series.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Gabrielle

Gabrielle Kent has worked in and around the video games industry for fifteen years and currently lectures in games art and design at Teeside University. As well as teaching, she directs and presents Animex, the UK’s largest annual games and animation festival, bringing young people together from all over Europe. Gabrielle has written and contributed to a number of articles, papers and broadcasts on gaming and is a regular judge on the Games BAFTA awards. In 2006 she was voted one of the Top 100 most Influential Women in the games industry by US based Next Gen magazine.

Website: http://gabriellekent.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabrielleKent

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hexbridge

A huge thank you to everyone involved in this blog tour, I’ve had a great time doing it. Why not check out the rest of the stops on the tour where you’ll find some fantastic reviews from my fellow bloggers? Alfie Bloom And The Talisman Thief was released by Scholastic Press on 2nd June 2016 and is available from all good bookshops now.

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30070615-alfie-bloom-and-the-talisman-thief

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alfie-Bloom-Talisman-Thief-Gabrielle/dp/1407155806

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Blog Tour – The Inventory: Iron Fist (The Inventory #1) by Andy Briggs

Published May 8, 2016 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

The Rules: if you find a secret inventory of utterly deadly battle tech. 1) Do not try it. 2) Do not tell anyone. 3) Do NOT let thieves in behind you. What’s more secret than top-secret? The Inventory. Home to the deadliest inventions the world isn’t ready for. Invisible camouflage. HoverBoots. Indestructible metals. Plus a giant creature of chaos: war robot Iron Fist. No one has ever broken past the state-of-the-art AI security system. (Seriously, most bad guys have no idea this stuff is even there.) Problem 1: the security robot wasn’t ready for a gang of kids wandering in. Problem 2: they’ve ONLY brought the ruthless Shadow Helix gang in behind them. Seriously dumb, but it’s a bit late for ‘sorry’. Say hello to trouble: the Iron Fist is in the wrong hands!

What did I think?:

First of all, many thanks to the lovely Faye for organising this blog tour and asking me to be part of it and to Scholastic Press for providing me with a copy of The Inventory: Iron Fist in exchange for an honest review. I’m really enjoying the amount of high class middle grade fiction that is out there at the moment and The Inventory is another fine example of an exciting story that will capture the imagination of younger readers all over the world.

Our unlikely hero and main character is Devon (or Dev as he prefers to be known) who hasn’t had the most conventional of upbringings and doesn’t have the most “normal” of homes. As far back as he can remember, Dev has lived with his uncle Charles Parker on a farm where  strict rules and regulations are of the highest importance. You see, it isn’t an ordinary farm that Dev lives on – the sheep that live outside are actually robotic and a necessary cover for a huge underground system, The Inventory that stores the most amazing inventions that the world has ever known.

Imagine things like Hover Boots, black holes (makes escaping from risky situations a lot easier, you know?) x ray glasses, cars that run on air and then your more deadly weapons that have the potential to obliterate your enemy into mere particles. Each invention is placed in a certain zone depending on how dangerous they are, for example, The Red Zone houses the most lethal equipment which also has the maximum security surrounding it. Dev has access to a few zones by means of a special hand scan but even he does not have access to things in The Red Zone. The World Consortium which oversees the top secret Inventory has decided that all of these inventions are things that the world is not ready for or that they could be used for evil/threatening purposes. I mean, can you imagine actual X ray glasses or even worse, a deadly weapon in the wrong hands – it doesn’t bear thinking about?!

Dev’s uncle is the guardian of the Inventory along with his top class security system, a female robot called Eema. However, security can always be breached when you get a persistent individual like The Collector, who is determined to own a very special invention housed in The Red Zone, known only as The Iron Fist. When his ruthless gang of Shadow Helix soldiers manage to penetrate the facility, they are not prepared to face Dev and a couple of his school friends who although trapped there by mistake, will stop at nothing to protect his uncle and the Iron Fist from getting into the wrong and very unpredictable hands.

As I mentioned before, this is a really exciting story and it was a pleasure to read it. It’s a fast-paced adventure that will appeal to a number of children as the vivid imagination of the author and the thrilling nature of the inventions means that there’s never a dull moment. I found it very easy to tear through this story and was pleasantly surprised by the number of twists and turns that the narrative took – I certainly never anticipated that Dev was going to be a character who is so much more than what he originally seems….say no more! I was also happy that the finale of the book was quite open-ended, hopefully that means we are going to hear much more from Dev and The Inventory in future books and I look forward to the next in the series.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

AUTHOR INFORMATION

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Andy Briggs is a screenwriter, producer and author of the Hero.com, Villain.net and Tarzan series. Andy has worked on film development for Paramount and Warner Bros, as well as working with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee and producer Robert Evans. With a strong social media following, Andy tours the UK regularly, doing festival, school and library events.

Website: http://www.andybriggs.co.uk

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/aBriggswriter

A huge thank you to everyone involved in this blog tour, I’ve had a great time doing it. Why not check out the rest of the stops on the tour where you’ll find some fantastic reviews from my fellow bloggers? The Inventory: Iron Fist was released by Scholastic Press on 5th May 2016 and is available from all good bookshops now.

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29919809-the-inventory

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Iron-Fist-Inventory-Andy-Briggs/dp/1407161792

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Blog Tour – Guest Post by Andrew and Chris Judge, authors and illustrators of Create Your Own Spy Mission

Published April 10, 2016 by bibliobeth

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Hello everyone and welcome to a very special guest post on bibliobeth. I was lucky enough to take part in the blog tour for this exciting children’s book – please see my review HERE.

Today I am thrilled to host the authors and illustrators Andrew and Chris Judge where we get a little bit of a nosey into their writing lives. Enjoy!

A Day in the Life of Chris and Andrew Judge 

Andrew (writer): I’m an architect, by day, and a busy dad in the evenings. Most of my day is spent in the office, or on building sites, before racing home to bring the kids to soccer or gaelic games training. So most of my writing is squeezed into odd parts of the day.

I usually go for a walk at lunchtime to think up ideas and jokes for the story I’m working on. Then, on the bus home from work, I write it all down on my phone, tapping away like a crazy Facebook obsessive. When I have a quiet evening I tidy it all up and edit it on the laptop before sending it to Chris and our editor, David.

Writing these books is a great way to switch off from work. The only downside is that I don’t get to watch much TV or Netflix! Breaking Bad? House of Cards? What’s that all about? Busy days, but great fun!

Chris (illustrator): I am wide awake at roughly 7.30 every morning to the sound of Dada! being shouted at me by our 2 year old daughter. After a flurry of breakfast and playtime and getting ready for the day I am out the door at about 9am and go to my studio in Dublin city centre.

Every day is different as I am always working on different projects, generally juggling artwork for a children’s book and a commercial illustration job.

I used to work on my books in the evening but lately they have become a priority and it is a joy to work on this latest series with my brother Andrew as my main job. His writing is hilarious and finely tuned to my sense of humour and drawing style.

After a long day drawing and daydreaming I get home for dinner with my family and then promptly fall asleep in front of the TV.

 

A huge thank you to both Andrew and Chris for giving up their time in writing this guest post for me today. Create Your Own Spy Mission is available from all good bookshops NOW. If you’re interested, why not check out the other stops on the blog tour?

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Blog Tour – Defender Of The Realm (Defender Of The Realm #1) by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler

Published March 6, 2016 by bibliobeth

Defender of the Realm

What’s it all about?:

Super-villains. Hungry monsters. One kid to stop them all. Meet King Alfie: fourteen-year-old British monarch and Defender of the Realm. Alfie never expected to become king so young. He definitely didn’t expect to become a legendary superhero: the Defender. Which means fighting an ancient secret battle against mega-villains and evil monsters. All while grappling with adoring crowds, paparazzi and minders. Now the terrible Black Dragon is rising. Only Alfie can stop him. Think being a king is just about wearing a crown? Wrong.

What did I think?:

First of all, a big thank you to my fellow blogger Faye over at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts who asked me if I would like to be part of this tour and to the team over at Scholastic UK for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review. I can’t remember having read many books in the past, kid-lit or otherwise that were written by two people and I wasn’t quite sure how it would work but the writing team that is Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler is an undeniable force to be reckoned with for creating a story that is packed full of drama, adventure and excitement, a trip into a fantasy world that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Set in contemporary times, Defender Of the Realm is the first in a series that might make you look at the monarchy of the United Kingdom in a whole new light! Our main character and reluctant heir to the throne of Great Britain is Alfie, a fourteen year old boy that just wishes he was “ordinary,” and didn’t have the responsiblity of a kingdom resting on his shoulders. Alfie has a twin brother Richard and a little sister, Ellie but as he was born mere seconds before his twin brother so when his father the King passes away, the throne and all the power that comes with it will automatically revert to him. To make it worse, Alfie has always felt that his brother Richard would make a better king – he is popular, stronger and more sporty but unfortunately, rules are rules and Alfie must accept that one day he will be king.

Tragically, the young royals lose their father much earlier than anticipated from a heart attack (..or was it?) and Alfie must assume his role and lead the country. What Alfie isn’t expecting is the EXTRA roles that come with being King Alfred II, responsibilities that have been passed down from his ancestors and aren’t your run of the mill royal duties. Alfie is pulled into a whole new world of secrets, underground passages, magical powers and monsters that wreak chaos from the Thames right through to Edinburgh Castle. Along with his new friend Hayley, Alfie discovers that there is a lot more to being King and being a hero than he could ever have imagined and they must work together to prevent an malign and deadly force in its attempts to get ultimate power for itself and begin a reign of terror, destroying Great Britain as we know it.

This book was unbelievably exciting and I’m so glad I read it. The characters are wonderfully drawn, from the awkward and loveable Prince Alfie to his brave and intelligent friend Hayley whose efforts are instrumental in helping Alfie defend his country and her adorable Gran, who I had a real soft spot for. The plot is entertaining and action-packed with a monstrous being that children will love to hate and battle sequences that are simply breath-taking. I’m so pleased it’s the first in a series and look forward to reading hopefully many more adventures of our reluctant hero Alfie because believe me, when you get to the ending (and it’s a real humdinger of a cliffhanger!) you’re going to be desperate to read the next installment!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

www.sarahweal.com +07957284588

Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler

Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go!

Website: http://www.ostlerandhuckerby.com

Mark’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/huckywucky

Nick’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/nickostler

A huge thank you to everyone involved in this blog tour, I’ve had a great time doing it. Why not check out the rest of the stops on the tour where you’ll find some fantastic reviews from my fellow bloggers. Defender Of The Realm was released on 3rd March 2016 by Scholastic UK and is available from all good bookshops now.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28956565-defender-of-the-realm

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Defender-Realm-Nick-Ostler/dp/1407164236

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