Monthly Archives: September 2011

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

There once was a young artist called Karou who drew tales of monsters and demons that delighted and enthralled those around her.
But she has a secret, a secret that ties her to a dusty subterranean chamber, where her beloved guardian brokers dark deals in a place that is not here. A place that is Elsewhere.
Living with one foot in each world, Karou has never really known which one is her true home.
Now the doors to Elsewhere closing . . .

I have fallen in love – with a book!

With this book specifically.

I have had a look at some of the notes I had written while I was reading. They are:


Beautifully written

I love this book!
After that there were no more notes because this book demands your full attention.

Set mostly in Prague my favourite city that I have never visited (yet but soon…) Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the story of Karou and the start of her journey of discovering who she is and where she comes from.

Angelic beings, demonic creatures (Chimaera), ex boyfriends and endles errands across the world all vie for her attention as do friends, art classes and the attempt to live as normal life as possible. Daughter of Smoke and NBone is the first book in a trilogy and for this I am so so happy – if i was being melodramatic (and no I am not above that) I would have said that I wept after I finished the book as it truly is a thing of beauty. This is not just Karou’s story although she is the protagonist it is also the story (I hope) of brimstone, Issa, Akiva and the story of a millenia old battle that is being fought in a world that is not our world but that has influenced our myths and beliefs.

I am pretty sure that Daughter of smoke and Bone will draw comparisons to some of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, the multi-layered anrrative, the drawing in of myths and creatures that exist in stories and fable. It is very much its own story and what a story it is!

The story is such that I want to experience it again with no foreknowledge, to have that sense of wonder and delight as my eyes devour each page.

Ultimately this is a novel about love, self-discovery, magic and family wrapped up in adventure, magic and war!

Once you have picked up a copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone you will find it very hard to put down but remember to hurry because the doors to elsewhere are closing!

WIN a copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone with Teen Librarian. To enter leave a comment in the form of rhyming verse as to why you should win in the comments field. Competition will run for a week and is open in the UK & abroad. Winner will be chosen by me (Matt) on basis of humour and ability to rhyme.

CRYPT: The Gallows Curse by Andrew Hammond

When a crime is committed and the police are at a loss, CRYPT is called in to figure out whether something paranormal is at work. Jud is their star agent.
Jud, unwillingly paired with new recruit Bex, has just landed his biggest case yet … people have been disappearing in mysterious circumstances while others are viciously attacked – yet there are no suspects and a complete lack of hard evidence. The only thing that links each attack is the fact that survivors all claim that the culprits were 17th century highwaymen.

This book scared me…

But then that is what you want from a horror novel. In my defence I was on the Central Line when I started reading!

The last time this happened I was about 13 and reading a book called The Fear of Samuel Walton by Roger J. Green, about a standing stone on a farm and a boy called Samuel Walton that was touched by its evil. Good book – if you can still find it!
Anyway, on to CRYPT; they are a secret branch of MI5 tasked with combatting paranormal menaces when everything else has been tried, including closing your eyes and wishing very hard that whatever it is would go away.

Following the tried and tested format of uniting loner (and bit of a loose cannon) Jud, 16 years old, he is bitter and twisted by tragic events in his past that continue to affect his present and Bex (Rebecca) fresh out of training and ready to face whatever the job throws at her. The writing is fantastic, with the players being fully formed with no two dimensional characterisation but the horror scenes are where this book really shines, the writing is visceral and actions of the antagonists brutal and bloody. Every twisted scene is meticulously described in vivid detail.
That said, this is not just a standard slasher gore-fest, this book contains history and true facts – if you pay attention you will learn as you are being traumatised. The nuggets of history and London geography form an integral part of the story and made me want to research some of the history in more detail (I will not mention it as it may spoil the enjoyment of the book).

The Gallows Curse left me wanting to read the follow up Traitor’s Revenge now!

In closing if you enjoy past-paced reads, brimming with science, action, adventure and a massive amount of horror then read this book, share it and remember do not start reading in the Underground!

I have chosen The Gallows Curse to be one of the main titles in the All Hallows Read event that I will be running in my school at the end of October.

Teen Librarian Monthly September 2011

The latest edition of Teen Librarian is now available to download tlmseptember2011

Mark Walden Aftershock blog winners

The three winners of the mark Walden Aftershock blog competition have been chosen by The Randomizer Congratulations go out to:

Anna Barlow (favourite villain Captain Hook)

CazApr1 (Artemis Fowl or Dr John Dee)

Natasha F (favourite villain Thaddeus Valentine)

If you could please e-mail me your addresses your prize packs will be sent out as soon as possible!

Justin Thyme Book Launch & Competition

To celebrate the paperback release of JUSTIN THYME, the
Tartan of Thyme blog is running a competition with signed/doodled copies of both JUSTIN THYME and its forthcoming sequel THYME RUNNING OUT as the prize.

All readers have to do is visit the participating blogs, note down the letters and numbers on the Justin Thyme bookmarks, then rearrange the letters in numerical order. This spells a secret message (Justin’s description of himself). Visit the Tartan of Thyme blog to find links to all participating blogs, and to e-mail your answer. The competition will close on September 7th, when a winner (picked at random from the correct entries) will be announced.
To stand a chance of winning one of the doodled bookmwarks leave a comment on this post to say why you think you should win it!