D - A Tale of Two Worlds is a book it's hard to pigeonhole. Is it a teenage/children's book or is it meant for adults? Well after reading this wonderful book I still can't make up my mind. Instead I'll say the both adults and young adults will enjoy this highly unusual story.

Dhilkilo is a thirteen year old girl from Somaliland now living in Kent. Her adoptive parents are typical middle class and Dhilkilo is happy. Her life is fairly straight forward. That is until the day she wakes up and finds all the D's in the world have disappeared. Yet she seems to be the only one who has noticed.

There are no more ogs, olphins swim in the seas. Arts in the pub are cancelled as they are mistaken for art. Her friends now call her Hilkilo and talk with all their missing D's. The death of a former teacher Professor Dodderfield (or oerfiel as he is now known) dies. This starts her on a quest to find where all the D's have gone and to a strange world.

This book is simply brilliant. It borrows from so many sources, yet manages to integrate them well into a unique story in its own right. There are the obvious Dickensian references. Yet there's a smattering of CS Lewis and others buried within the story line.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. It's a light hearted read, not demanding yet it manages to weave a great story together. There's a great friendship story, coupled with an epic quest. Another story that would be great read out loud to a rapturous audience.

There's a storm brewing over Eerie-on-Sea, and the fisherfolk say a monster is the cause. Someone has woken the ancient Gargantis, who sleeps in the watery caves beneath this spooky seaside town where legends have a habit of coming to life. It seems the Gargantis is looking for something: a treasure stolen from her underwater lair. And it just might be in the Lost-and-Foundery at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, in the care of one Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder. With the help of the daring Violet Parma, ever-reliable Herbie will do his best to figure out what the Gargantis wants and who stole her treasure in the first place. In a town full of suspicious, secretive characters, it could be anyone! 

I have to say that Malamander was my favourite children's book of last year. I recommended it to everyone who'd be interested. I was eagerly looking forward to the release therefore of the sequel, Gargantis. There's a freshness about Thomas Taylor's writing yet it mingles with the past. I guess it's the sort of adventure book that was common years ago, but now given a new life in the modern world.

Gargantis is a wonderfully written. Like a storm, it sucks the reader in at the beginning and spits them out at the end, exhausted and wanting more. The adventure is permeated with humour and cultural references. The Star Wars one had me cackling aloud, as did the flux, sorry flow capacity and reversing the polarity. Eighties cult classic films being placed within the magical weird world of Eerie on Sea.

Eerie on Sea is just the place I'd love to holiday in. To me the Nautilus hotel conjures up the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. It's a wacky, yet magical world that any self-respecting tourist would be happy to visit. No trip of course to Eerie would be complete without visiting the mermonkey and getting him to dispense a book or two.

The story isn't predictable as well. There's enough in here to keep any adventure, fantasy fan happy. Not one but two maps, yes two! Each of them drawn in beautiful detail, they enhance the experience of this book. For someone who's found life a little tough at this moment, it really made me feel happy reading this wonderful book.

So, if you're aged over about eight, then you should buy this book (as well as Malamander). If you have a child, then it's an ideal book to read to them. Gargantis is one hell of a ride.

Rarely there comes a book that makes you go wow. When it does you want to treasure every word, savour the book, never let it end. Feathertide is that book. It’s a wonderful story accompanied by the most wonderful vocabulary that makes you feel you’re experiencing the journey of Marea.

Marea is born into a brothel, a girl different from all the rest. She’s kept away from the world and brought up by her mother, who obviously love her. Marea is different from everyone else as she has feathers on her back. She learns that her father had feathers and sets out to find him.

This is a tale of discovery, of wonderment, of fables. Mermaids live in the oceans, birdmen fill the skies. It mixes Japanese culture with Italian style. Marea’s journey is not an easy one as she heads for the City of Murmurs. It’s a coming of age tale told with the most exquisite language possible.

Each page is full of what I would call prose-poetry. Each scene carefully constructed so that at times you live and breath Marea’s journey. The story is excellent, the world seems far from the one we know, yet it’s rooted in real places that keeps the book from being too fanciful.

As you can see I really enjoyed the book. It had everything I love woven into a story that is timeless. The writer has produced something very rare, a literary work that’s worth the re-read.

Brompton Sawdon

Brompton Sawdon is an aspiring writer who lives in the foothills of the Pennines in the UK. He has various works in progress at this moment of time and hopes to publish some of his stories in the near future.
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