Garth Nix

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Books I Want My Hypothetical Future Children to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. This week the topic is all about the books we want our future hypothetical kids to read – or if we have any young children in our lives like nieces and nephews, what books we’d love them to read. I don’t know if I’ll have children, but there are definitely some books that I feel young kids should read, and books that shaped me and I’d love to share.

The Magician’s House Quartet by William Corlet
This series was one of the first to make me cry and I was less than ten years old. I’m not saying I want to make my hypothetical children cry but I’d like to see if it affects them as much as it did me.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This whole series is magical but The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the most magical and I think it’s one of the most accessible for younger readers.

The Animal Ark series by Lucy Daniels
I actually gave all my Animal Ark books, all 70+ of them, to my Godmothers daughter years ago, from what I heard she did enjoy them and I hope now she’s a teenager that she’s either got them in a safe place or has passed them on to someone else to love. (more…)

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REVIEW: Goldenhand by Garth Nix

goldenhandLirael is no longer a shy Second Assistant Librarian. She is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, and she has the Dead to battle and Free Magic creatures to bind. When Lirael saves Nicholas Sayre from an attack by a Free Magic creature she finds he is tainted with Free Magic and she must return to her childhood home at the Clayr’s Glacier for guidance. But Lireal is unaware that a great danger threatens the Old Kingdom. A messenger from the North is trying to reach to give her a warning about the Witch With No Face, but who is the Witch and what is her plan? This time the fight may rage both in the living world and in the remorseless river of Death.

As this is a sequel, there may be some vague spoilers for the rest of the Old Kingdom series, Abhorsen especially, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum.

Goldenhand is brilliant. It continues a few months after the events of Abhorsen and while it is mostly Lirael’s story, it’s great to see how she is fitting in with her new found family and what they are all up to now as well. Sam continues to be slightly oblivious to things that aren’t to do with inventing things but he’s still very smart and capable. In Goldenhand you really see how much Lirael has grown and become more confident but she still gets scared and she’s still mourning her oldest friend which I’m pleased was not something that was easily pushed aside.

The story alternates between what Lirael is doing and what Ferin, the messenger from the North is going through. Ferin is a wonderful new character who is strong and resourceful and never gives up. She is a fighter who doesn’t mince her words and she’s nothing like any of the other female characters that have appeared in this series so far.

It was nice to have Nicholas return, especially as he is a bit of a fish out of water in the Old Kingdom. If you’ve read the series, you as the reader are quite familiar with the world and its ways so it’s nice to see an outsiders’ perspective. Also his and Lirael’s relationship was lovely as the hesitantly try to figure out where they stand and Lirael tries to figure out her feelings in general because even having a friend is something she’s very much not used to.

Goldenhand is a fast-paced book, full of action and suspense and there’s the kind of scary moments when it comes to the Dead. In this book there’s Free Magic creatures you’ve never seen before and shows a whole part of the world that hasn’t really been explored before either. While the majority of the characters, and the stakes, are familiar that doesn’t really matter as Goldenhand is such an enjoyable thrill-ride and it even makes the bad guys interesting.

Goldenhand is a perfect addition to the Old Kingdom series and is a super fast-paced read with some wonderful character moments. 5/5.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Creepy Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. In honour of Halloween, which I don’t really do anything for, here are some creepy books you might want to check out if you’re in the mood for a scare.

poePoe by J. Lincoln Fenn
There’s supernatural elements in Poe as well as the standard stuff of having a creepy old house full of secrets, a séance and a possible psychotic murderer. Poe may be creepy but it also does a great job in adding humour to make the creepiness bearable.

The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro
If you’ve seen the TV show, you’ll know what The Strain is about. The thing about the book is it starts with this plane that’s completely silent and the atmosphere in the airport is suffocating. From there it never really lets up, there’s the vampire like creature, the graphic description of peoples bodies changing – the whole thing really sets your teeth on edge.

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan HarstadFullSizeRender (48)
I don’t want to say too much about it because it’s one of those books that’s best to go in blind but it was another creepy book that gave me goosebumps. I liked the tension and sense of foreboding throughout the novel and when the weirdness starts to happen, you don’t know what to believe. (more…)

REVIEW: Clariel by Garth Nix

IMG_1973Clariel is not adjusting well to life in the city of Belisaere after moving there with her parents for her mothers work and she dreams of returning to the forests of Estwael. In the city she feels trapped and confined by the politics of society but that’s the least of her problems when a Free Magic creature is spotted around the city. It is her chance to prove herself, to escape from the city and make her own path but things don’t always turn out the way she wished for.

It was great to return to the Old Kingdom series as Clariel is a prequel to the original trilogy set 600 years before Sabriel. It’s was great to see the connections between the books and how the Old Kingdom as a country has changed in the time inbetween the two books. This Old Kingdom doesn’t have respect for the royal family or for the power of the Charter and the Abhorsen meaning that many people don’t believe in it and think of the Charter as something unseemly and something not to be used by respected citizens.

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Books from my childhood: Sabriel – Garth Nix

photo (9)I remember where I was and how old I was when I first read Sabriel. I bought Sabriel from the airport as I was on the way to my dad’s in Spain, I was eleven years old. I’ve reread Sabriel (and other books in the series) twice before but it has been at least six years since I’ve read them all. Since Clariel (the prequel to the series) is being released next month I thought it was time for a reread.

Sabriel is a fantasy novel full of mystery, suspense and some scary bits too. The novel follows Sabriel, the daughter of the Abhorsen – a necromancer who sends the dead back into death with the help of seven bells, a sword and Charter magic – who must step into her father’s shoes when her father disappears. With the help of Mogget, a cat who isn’t exactly normal, Sabriel must find her father and stop one of the Greater Dead returning to the world.

Sabriel is scary. It takes you into death and has monsters like a Mordicant, a dead creature, which are very creepy and unsettling. Rereading Sabriel at almost 23 years old I was struck how certain chases and monsters still put me one edge. I think that’s a sign of a good book and good writing – a book that can scare a child and someone who likes to think she’s an adult. There’s a scene in Lirael (the sequel to Sabriel) that I always say is the scariest thing I’ve ever read and while I may have forgotten most of what happens in the book I always remember that bit. The bit in question involves a glass coffin and a statue of a dog.

My favourite character in Sabriel is Mogget – a white cat who is really an ancient free magic creature bound by Charter magic. He is clever and is bound to serve Sabriel and her father but that doesn’t mean he is always happy about it. I think liking Mogget when I was so young paved the way for the type of characters I’d always end up liking. I always like secondary characters, I like mysterious characters that you never really know everything about, and I like characters that are a bit sarcastic.

Sabriel is one of my favourite books from my childhood and rereading it over ten years later it is still one of my favourite books. It’s set in a world far different from our own with magic (both good and bad) and has a fascinating take on death. Sabriel is a fast-paced adventure that is sometimes a bit scary but is also fun and has great characters and a rich world. I’m so glad this book has been a part of my childhood. 5/5.

Clariel & getting excited for a books release

Bh7JLrwCUAA7uIg.jpg largeIt’s been a while since I’ve been excited for a book to be released many, many months before the release date – mainly this is because I don’t really keep up with what’s coming out when. However, I follow author Garth Nix on twitter and a few days ago the US cover of Clariel was released along with a rough release date of October for the UK (yes!), US, Australia and New Zealand.

The UK cover may be slightly different but even if it’s not I don’t mind placing Clariel next to my copies of Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen. I do have my fingers crossed for a nice simplistic cover like the ones in the original trilogy but I somehow doubt that since my books are the hardback first editions and since then I’ve seen various covers here in the UK, some quite similar to the US cover for Clariel.

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