Cogheart – by Peter Bunzl

Cogheart Cover PictureIt was months ago that I first heard of Peter Bunzl and started to look forward to this book .  And it has truly been worth the wait!

When Lily leaves her ghastly boarding school upon learning that her father is missing after his airship has crash-landed, little does she know what lies ahead…. Her mechanical pet fox is also missing and the housekeeper is running their house as if she owns it.

Meanwhile, Malkin the mechanimal fox is desperately trying to avoid gun-toting men in shadows to get back to Lily with an important message.

This is great adventure story set in Victorian times with the daring Lily and her new friend, watch-maker’s son Robert, taking great risks with their own and others’ lives as they try to unravel the mystery of her father’s disappearance and a missing box.

With a cast of humans, mechanicals and hybrids, heroes, traitors and villains, there is someone for everybody to enjoy!  I was really impressed with the way the mechanicals had emotions and could talk and think they would fascinate readers of about 8-12.

The setting and the pace of the book are great and, with its underlying clockwork theme, it had me gripped from start to finish.

For a debut novel, this is astounding.  I can’t wait for Moonlocket – coming in 2017!

Cogheart, by Peter Bunzl, published by Usborne, release date 1st September 2016.

Robyn Silver – The Midnight Chimes

A fun MG adventure – the start of an exciting new series by Paula Harrison

Published by Scholastic UK 01/09/2016

Robyn Silver cover Paula Harrison

The first in an exciting new series by Paula Harrison, this book release coincides with the first day of term at Hogwarts, and features a school of children, 3 of whom discover they have magical powers and abilities.  And it has a fabulously well-read youngster who made me think of Hermione Granger!

Clumsy middle child Robyn is convinced nothing exciting can happen in her life until she sees a mysterious spiny creature and realises that her family can’t see it.  Sharing the news with her best friend Aiden coincides with their realisation that their school has suffered a freak tree-falling incident.

Being moved out to the local creepy mansion, the wonderfully named Grimdean House, is the start of a series of adventures, challenges and revelations for Robyn, Aiden and the very bright Nora from the year below them.  Can Robyn learn to fight with unusual weapons against weird creatures and monsters – and a rival group of youngsters with special powers?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can imagine many 7-11 year-olds being gripped by the adventure and the characters.  I particularly liked the sly and slithery Miss Smiting – and the realisation of what she is!

It’s great to know that this is the start of a new series, with more mysteries and adventure to come next year!