Saturday 27 June 2020

The 1,000 Year Old Boy - Book Review

The 1000 Year Old Boy - Book Review

Ross Welford

MG Fantasy

UK Publisher: Harper Collins

Other Books by the Author:

Time Traveling With A Hamster

What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible

The Dog Who Saved The World

The Kid From Space


There are stories about people who want to live forever. 

This is not one of those stories.

Alfie Monk is like any other nearly teenage boy - except he’s 1,000 years old and can remember the last Viking invasion of England.

Obviously no one believes him.

So when everything Alfie knows and loves is destroyed in a fire, and the modern world comes crashing in, Alfie embarks on a mission to find friendship, acceptance, and a different way to live… which means finding a way to make sure he will eventually die.


A thrilling adventure, The 1,000 year old boy examines the brutal reality of what living forever would entail. Everything from watching those you care about die, to the physical complaints of worn down teeth and being stuck in a body that will never grow up.

When a tragic accident strikes Alfie’s life, he suddenly finds himself totally alone, until he meets Aiden and Roxy. But when they uncover the truth - that Alfie is no normal eleven-year-old, but actually over 1,000 years old - they vow to help him find a way to return to normal. But bad people are after the secrets Alfie holds, secrets that might just cost him - and his friends - their mortal lives to protect …

Ross Welford never fails to wow me with his books. Although I always give him extra points since his stories are set within the North-East of England, in and around the area I grew up. I can’t tell you how nice it is to read about places I know and love so well! With that in mind, this books gets an automatic 5 stars for setting.

Told from the POV of two characters, the reader really gets a sharp comparison between the two storytellers. First there is Alfie (the 1000 year old boy) who is lonely, terrified by technology and annoyed by the inaccuracy if history. Then there is Aidan, a modern day pre-teen who soon realizes his own problems really aren’t that big after all.

Through their journey they are accompanied by their friend, Roxy who - despite not getting her own POV -  dazzles upon every page with her strong words and personality. She really was a character I adored!

Together the three of them set out on an incredible adventure that was full of imagination and ingenuity. Like all Ross Welford’s books, this story was set in modern reality, with just enough magic to still remain in the realms of plausibility. It’s a huge “what if…” sort of story and will leave you pondering possibilities long after you turn the last page.

4 Stars!

If you enjoyed this, I would also check out THE DOG WHO SAVED THE WORLD and THE OTHER ALICE for more fun, magic/sci-fi style reads. 

Monday 2 March 2020

A Sprinkle of Sorcery - Book Review

A Sprinkle of Sorcery - Book Review
Michelle Harrison
MG Fantasy
UK Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK

Other Books by Michelle Harrison


The family curse has been lifted and the Widdershin’s sisters: Betty, Fliss and Charlie are free to leave the prison island of Crowstone. But when a mysterious girl arrives at the Poacher’s Pocket with a pocketful of hagstones and accompanied by a will-o-the-wisp, it seems another adventure has landed on their doorstep. And when Charlie goes missing, it’s up to Betty and Fliss to journey through the misty marches, past wisp catchers and on to a secret island that doesn't exist on any map…


Michelle Harrison has long since been an auto-buy author of mine. I have adored all her books to date and A SPRINKLE OF SORCERY was no exception. Fast paced and magical, it dazzled me from start to finish.

When a strange girl appears in their back garden in the dead of night, the Widdershins sisters once again find themselves pulled into a adventure. One that will see them unravelling age old curses, battling pirates and venturing to long lost isles in search of treasure…

This book was so sweet! I adored the bond between the three sisters, and how each of them are brave and cunning in their own unique ways. While once again told from Betty’s (the middle sisters) POV, this book saw Fliss and Charlie get much more page time and we got to know them even better. 

There were also appearances from most of our favourite characters from A PINCH OF MAGIC, including Charlie’s beloved Rat who was very much part of this adventure.

However there were a whole host of fun new characters and villains to meet. Pirates of varying degrees of evilness, ghosts with grudges and a witch with a very dry sense of humour. It was simply impossible to not enjoy this book!

The plot moves at a fast pace and the stakes were always high. The magic and stories inside the story were beautiful and craftily thought out. Much of the book kept me guessing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will meet the Widdershins sisters again in future…

And have you seen the cover? Isn't it just gorgeous! 

All in all, a lovely 5 star read!

Have any of you read this book? If so would love to know your thoughts in the comments :)

Sunday 26 January 2020

The Prisoner of Ice and Snow - Book Review

Prisoner of Ice and Snow - Book Review
Ruth Lauren
UK Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books


Valor is under arrest for the attempted murder of the crown prince. Her parents are outcasts from the royal court, her sister is banished for theft of a national treasure, and now Valor has been sentenced to life imprisonment at Demidova, a prison built from stone and ice.

But that’s exactly where she wants to be. For her sister was sent there too, and Valor embarks on an epic plan to break her out from the inside.

No one has escaped from Demidova in over three hundred years, and if Valor is to succeed she will need all of her strength, courage and love. If the plan fails, she faces a fate worse than any prison . . .


An adventurous middle-grade read, PRISONER OF ICE AND SNOW was fun and action packed. 

When Valor gets herself arrested, it is only the first stage in the plan to break her sister out of jail. Now with both of them condemned to life in an icy fortress, all for crimes they didn't commit, they will need all their cunning and resources if they are to defeat the evil warden, and pull off a jail break in a building that has an unbroken track record of keeping people in.

But knowing they didn't commit the crimes, Valor can’t help but wonder who did? Who is targeting the royal family? And in turn, who is determined to seal Valor lips before she can speak out the truth…

Overall I really liked this book. It’s very action orientated and from the get go Valor is always in motion, plotting and trying new things. The setting of the world is also fantastic, with a big Russian influence draped over an icy backdrop of crisp white snow. 

Valor herself is an excellent main character and one who was both relatable and easy to root for. The other prisoners however I didn't connect with as much. Even though they were all suitably shady, I would have liked a little more backstory and to see them fleshed out more. Of course there is always hope for that in book 2!

The plot was tricky and kept me guessing in places, however the pacing moves up and down and it actually took me a while to read this book. Some nights I sped through the chapters while others I plodded through. All in all though the story was good and I plan to continue the series. I'm very interested to see where Valor’s adventures take her next.

3 stars!

What about you? Have you read this book? Or the sequel? If so would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below :)

Also if you like Middle Grade fantasy I would recommend you also check out THE DOG WHO SAVED THE WORLD or A PINCH OF MAGIC - both are epic page turning reads!

Thursday 23 January 2020

Wendy Darling: Shadow - Book Review

Shadow - Wendy Darling - Book Review
Colleen Oakes
YA Fantasy
Wendy Darling Book #3

Other Books in the Series:


War has come to paradise, and the Neverland you know will never be the same.

Wendy Darling finds herself once again in the arms of Peter Pan, a charming god-child who desires power above all things. Instead of the passion she once had for him, this time Wendy’s heart burns with a secret: with Hook as her ally, she is there to defeat the evil that lies inside of Peter, the darkness that holds all Neverland hostage - the Shadow.

This is a task made nearly impossible by the arrival of Booth, her sweetheart from London and a new pawn in Peter’s manipulative game - a boy whose heart she must break in order to save his life.

As all of Neverland prepares to fight, Wendy races to untangle Peter’s connection to the shadow, a secret long buried in the Forsaken Garden. When the time comes, all of Neverland will rise to fight - but if Wendy can’t call the Shadow, everything she is fighting for will be destroyed. Is Wendy's love for her family enough to save them, or will Peter’s madness consume them all?


This third and final instalment was an epic read that I couldn't put down. A Peter Pan retelling with a dark twist - this is a series that if you haven't read yet - I urge you to do so asap!

Wendy is now back with Peter and plotting to end his evil reign over Neverland. But with the arrival of her love, Booth - Peter’s new hostage and plaything - she must tread carefully if she is to save everyone she loves and cares about. 

Yet as the shadow tightens its hold over Peter, she finds herself befriending a creature long declared her enemy. Tinkerbell. Now Wendy must use all her cunning to get to the truth of Peter’s beginnings, because only by uncovering Peter’s past can she hope to save the boy, and Neverland, from the shadow's nefarious plans. But Wendy will have to sacrifice much if she is to win the day…

I adored this final book so so much. Wendy went through a lot of growth during book two, and now in this story you see her put those hard earned skills to use. She is very different to the girl we met in book one, and at last has found the courage to fight back against Peter Pan.

Yet even now Wendy continues to face difficult choices and grow as a character. She reunited with a lot of the cast we met in previous books, many of whom also needed to overcome their own challenges which made this story quite emotional and I actually teared up in places. 

Neverland was also explored more throughly and overall I just love the vision that Colleen Oakes brought to life. Her Peter Pan retelling throughly captured my imagination and after devouring her Queen of Hearts Series as well, she has now become an auto buy author for me!

I honestly couldn't gush about this series more. This book ended in such a good way and my mind is still spinning from the conclusion.

5 stars!

Thursday 2 January 2020

Viper - Book Review

Viper - Isle of Storm and Sorrow - Book Review
Bex Hogan
YA Fantasy


Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles. But the reigning Viper stands in her way. 

Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake. He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean… and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves - and perhaps even her life?


VIPER was a read packed with adventure and high-sea daring. It follows the story seventeen-year-old Marianne, who after disobeying orders, is forced to flee for her life. Now on the run from her father - the renowned and villainous pirate king - Marianne is pursued across the kingdom as she searches for a way to end her fathers bloody reign. Yet along the way, she uncovers friends and secrets that could change the course of her life - and the fate of the kingdom - forever… 

I really enjoyed the concept of this book, and the world building throughout the story was fantastic. The many islands that make up the kingdom are each singularly unique and serve a specific purpose, and I love the way each place painted itself into my minds eye. 

The fact that Marianne’s father was also a real tried and true villain also helped up the stakes of the story. We see his cruelty and bloodthirstiness from the beginning, which really helped you cheer for Marianne… who I have to admit, was not my most favourite heroine. 

Unfortunately I just couldn’t get along with her. Naive and whinny, she often came across as helpless which rankled me, especially considering the arsenal of badass skills at her disposal. However I liked the clever way she thought (when she remembered to keep a cool head) and despite the issues I had with her character, I still ultimately enjoyed the story and will be curious to pick up the next book.

The story also has a sweet, back burn sort of romance, and handfuls of magic here and there. However I didn’t fully follow the logic behind the magic system, so fingers crossed that it will be explained more in book two.

Overall a nice read. Not mind-blowing, but by no means bad. 3 stars!

Sunday 14 July 2019

The Dog Who Saved The World - Book Review

The Dog Who Saved The World - Book Review

Ross Welford
MG Science-Fiction
UK Publisher: Harper Collin’s Children’s Books.

Other Books by the Author:

The 1000 Year Old Boy


When eleven-year-old Georgie befriends an eccentric retired scientist, she becomes the latest test subject for a thrilling new experiment: a virtual-reality 3D version of the future.

But then a deadly disease threatens the life of every dog in the country and Georgie’s beloved dog, Mr Mash, gets sick. And that’s only the start of her troubles.

Soon, Georgie and Mr Mash must embark on a desperate quest: to save every dog on earth, and maybe even all of humanity… without actually leaving the room.


This book was so brilliant I devoured it in one sitting!

A mix of adventure and science fiction, The Dog Who Saved The World follows eleven-year-old Georgie as she sets off on a quest to save her beloved dog, Mr Mash from a terrible fate. For a deadly disease is sweeping across the world, a danger to dogs and humans alike, and now humanity’s only hopes lies in finding a cure that does not yet exist… unless like Georgie, you happen to know a mad-scientist who has a prototype, glitch-ridden time machine… what could possibly go wrong?

I’m not usually a fan of time travel stories, but I loved everything about this one. With just a pinch of imagination, Ross Welford made the idea of jumping to the future seem very possible, without going into great depth about the actual mechanics of it all. Plus the idea of a future with no dogs in it really tugged at my heartstrings, and with such high stakes I couldn’t stop turning the pages. 

The main characters, Georgie and her best friend, Ramzy are such a fun pair. Their friendship has such solid touchstones of trust and respect, despite the utter difference in their upbringings. Then there is Dr Pretorious, the mad genius behind it all. Her humour really helped level out some of the more serious elements in the story and her personality is so huge it lights up every page. 

However all the secondary characters each have their own zing about them. From crazy aunts, to moody older brothers, sweet vicars and sharp tongued police. I adore that every character (be they two legged or four) gets their own distinct voice. 

When it came to the plot though, Ross Welford is a master story teller. Between the layers of heart pounding, tear spiking and edge-of-your-seat fiction, the author weaves many sensitive issues into his work. However he presents everything in a relatable, child friendly way without pushing any opinions onto the reader. It’s inspiring how he can open your mind to world, making you consider all the people and animals that share this planet with us and the problems others face. Even without the awesome writing I would applaud him for this alone!

All in all, Ross Welford is one on my favourite, auto buy authors for a reason. Not only are his books all stand alone reads, but each one is set in the North-East of England (In and around the towns I was actually born and raised, winning him extra points with me!). 

His latest book, The Dog Who Saved The World was yet another gripping read full of fun, adventure and futuristic spark! An easy 5 Stars!

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Have any of your read this amazing book? If so I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below :)

Monday 6 May 2019

Rumblestar - Book Review

Rumblestar - Book review

Abi Elphinstone
MG Fantasy
UK Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Other Books:

The Night Spinner
Sky Song 
Winter Magic


Eleven-year-old Casper Tock hates risks, is allergic to adventures and shudders at the thought of unpredictable events. So, it comes as a nasty shock to him when he accidentally stumbles into Rumblestar, an Unmapped Kingdom full of magical beasts.

All Casper wants is to find a way home, but Rumblestar is in trouble. An evil harpy called Morg is sending her followers, the Midnights, into the kingdom to wreak havoc and pave the way for her to steal the Unmapped magic for herself. But Casper cannot turn a blind eye because the future of his own world, he discovers, is bound up with that of the Unmapped Kingdoms.

And so, together with Utterly Thankless, a girl who hates rules and is allergic to behaving, and her miniature dragon, Arlo, Casper embarks upon an adventure full of cloud giants, storm ogres and drizzle hags. Can he, Utterly and Arlo, the unlikeliest of heroes, save the Unmapped Kingdoms and our world from the clutches of Morg and her Midnights?


From the beginning I have been a huge fan of Abi Elphinstone’s stories but RUMBLESTAR is her best book yet! … Although I’m sure I said the same thing about her last release, however this authors writing just keeps getting better.

RUMBLESTAR follows Casper, a list-making, time-keeping, rule-obeying boy who suddenly finds him thrust into a magical world where nothing is neat or orderly. All he wants is to return home, and to do that his only hope lies in teaming up with Utterly Thankless, a wilful girl with a penchant for getting into trouble alongside her tiny dragon, Arlo.

Together the trio are forced on an adventure to protect their worlds from an evil harpy and her army of Midnights. Armed with only their wits and a well-stocked canoe, they must face down magical beings, navigate impossible weather and decipher the most-tricksy of riddles if they are to succeed. Yet the Harpy is cunning, and she will do anything to stop Casper and his friends from disrupting her plans!

To say it simply - this book was amazing! Imagination and creativity at its finest, these pages hold a might of magic and brilliance, bringing to life a fantastical world full of unique characters.

I loved both Casper and Utterly who are total opposites in every way. Watching their friendship grow was heartwarming, and I thought they balanced out each other’s strengths and weaknesses perfectly. And for everything else there was Arlo, the cutest, cleverest dragon in all of Rumblestar.  

However all the characters in this book were well thought out and added extra humour or malice to the story. Definite shout out to the trolls, cloud giants and Zip, the best hot air balloon ever made… I hope we see all these characters again soon!

The plot is also very fast paced. Jumping for problem to problem, the author pushes the characters to be brave and find the strength to battle onward. The story is also centred strongly on the bonds of friendship and trust, and overall I thought everything was excellent. I simply cannot praise this book enough. 

Smooth and utterly satisfying! An easy 5 star read!

Chat with me

I'm a huge fan of MG fantasy and am always looking for more books, would love if you could recommend me some in the comments below!