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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

In My Mailbox 9

In My Mailbox is a meme run by The Story Siren, in which bloggers can share a peek at the lovely books they've acquired over the past week (or month, as the case may be ...)


In this instalment of IMM, I've received the following lovely books for review:
Don't they look great together?

Hollow Pike by James Dawson is coming out on 2 February and has already caused a lot of online excitement. This is the spookiest book I've received lately: a creepy combo of witches, woods and ominous birds. The trailer is gorgeously chilling (see the end of the post).  James Dawson's website says:

She thought she'd be safe in the country, but you can't escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams that someone is trying to kill her.

Lis thinks she's being paranoid - after all, who would want to murder her? She doesn't believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn't believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you?

Not until you're alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps...

Welcome to Hollow Pike.


See - spooky! I do love witches though, and James Dawson's countdown on his site has been whetting my appetite with hints of historical reference to witch trials and burnings contributing to a local legend.


Opal Moonbaby by Maudie Smith was launched on 5 January and is a fabulous debut novel for the 7+ age group. It features a crazy alien trying to understand Earth, with the help of Martha, who's decided she doesn't need friends anymore, and her brother Robbie. I reviewed this one last week and Maudie Smith stopped in on her blog tour to talk about the fantasy genre and her writing.

Talina in the Tower by Michelle Lovric is coming out on 2 February in gorgeous hardcover and is another supernatural mystery, but with a younger target audience than Hollow Pike. The dustjacket flap tells us:

Magic is attracted to Talina, and Talina is attracted to magic, with startling results. When, in the dead of night, terrifying creatures start to prowl the waterways of Venice snatching men and women, not to mention children, cats and rats, Talina knows desperate measures are needed. But before she can do anything, her parents disappear and she and her loyal cat, Drusilla, are forced to live with her sinister Guardian in his gaunt and lonely twittering tower on the northernmost edge of the city. It's here her adventure begins . . .

I haven't read any of Michelle Lovric's books before (I've got my eye on The Mourning Emporium too, though) but I have high hopes of this historical fantasy set in Venice.

Venus Rocks by Fiona Dunbar was launched on 5 January and is the third Kitty Slade book. The back cover blurb says:

Hey, Kitty Slade here. Just hanging out, doing ordinary things. You know, like seeing ghosts. It's been happening for a while now, but this time - this time is different...

When Kitty sees a ghost ship, she knows her spooky powers are growing stronger. Plunged into a dark mystery from long a go, she soon encounters Beth, a lost soul who drowned on board. Kitty must uncover the secrets buried at the bottom of the sea - before it's too late...


I'm reading this at the moment and loving its great voice. Although Kitty sees ghosts, the tone so far is sassy rather than spooky - a great fun read for younger teens and older kids.

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