Review: Me, My Brother And The Monster Meltdown, by Rob Lloyd Jones, Illustrated by Alex Patrick

Information about the Book
Title: Me, My Brother and the Monster Meltdown
Author: Rob Lloyd Jones
Illustrator: Alex Patrick
Publisher:  Walker Books
Release Date: 7th July 2022
Genre: MG

All the adults are freaking out. Giant monsters are smashing up supermarkets across the country. The army can’t stop them and the prime minister is hiding in panic. A colossal six-headed gingerbread man, a massive emoji poo, a gigantic bouncing bum… Top scientists have no idea where they come from – or why they seem to hate supermarkets so much. But nine-year-old Otis has an idea. The creatures are exactly the same as drawings by his five-year-old brother, Jago: what if Jago brought his crazy creations to life with a magic pen? But their parents won’t listen, so it’s up to Otis and his pals to sort this monster mess out!

My Review

Thanks to Bee at Kaleidoscopic Tours for organising this tour, and the author and publisher for sending me a copy of this book. I was a little worried it wouldn’t arrive on time but it did on Thursday. I think I read it Thursday evening.

Monsters are attacking Rottingdean, and all the adults are going a bit mad. It’s up to Otis, Jago and their friends to find out where the monsters are coming from and stop them. Their adventures are hilarious as they dodge monsters, soldiers and their Dad, who keeps running into walls. They outwit the adults, defeat the monsters and get covered in chocolate.

At 157 pages with illustrations and a couple of paragraphs a page, it’s not a long read, but for a young child it would be a good starter book, once they’ve moved beyond picture books. Six to nine year olds will love this book. They will also learn about the damage our government has done to libraries. The book was written during lockdown to help Lloyd Jones’ sons cope with the pandemic through humour. The illustrations of the increasingly frantic prime minister in his bunker were particularly pointed.

The group of friends are a balanced group, characters who bounce off each others’ silliness and manage to work well together to solve a problem. I liked the depiction of the people at the care home having lives beyond their status as old people waiting for their family to visit or to die of boredom in their care home. I giggled quite a lot reading the book.

The illustrations are really good, very humorous. It’s a familiar style in books for the age group.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially for kids struggling to cope with the pandemic and lockdowns of the last couple of years.

Author Information

Rob Lloyd Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed middle-grade novels Wild Boy and Wild Boy and the Black Terror, as well as the Jake Atlas adventure series.

Created with his sons, Otis (9) and Jago (5), during home-schooling, Me, My Brother and the Monster Meltdown is his first funny fiction for younger readers. In Rob’s words, “it celebrates the power of children’s imaginations and their strength in adversity and adventure…and a monster apocalypse.”

Rob lives in East Sussex with his wife, and monster-mad Otis and Jago.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RLloydJones

Review: The Blood Trials, by N.E. Davenport

│14 APRIL 2022│
PB £8.99│EB £5.49│EA £12.99

Blending fantasy and science fiction, N.E. Davenport’s fast-paced, action-packed debut kicks off a duology on loyalty and rebellion, in which a young Black woman must survive deadly trials in a racist and misogynistic society to become an elite warrior.

It’s all about blood.

Blood spilled long ago between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor, ending all blood magic.

Now there is peace in the Republic – but there is also a strict class system, misogyny, and racism. Her world is not perfect, but Ikenna survived in it.

Until now.

With the murder of her grandfather, Ikenna spirals out of control. Though she is an initiate for the Republic’s deadly elite military force, Ikenna has a secret only her grandfather knew: she possesses the blood magic of the Republic’s enemies.

Ikenna throws herself into the gladiatorial war games at the heart of her martial world: trials that will lead her closer to his killers. Under the spotlight, she subjects herself to abuse from a society that does not value her, that cherishes lineage over talent – all while hiding gifts that, if revealed, would lead to execution or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all to find out who killed her grandfather…

So she can end them.

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TBR Pile/Audiobook Review: Amongst Our Weapons, by Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Audible Audio
First published April 7, 2022

The ninth novel of the bestselling Rivers of London urban fantasy series returns to the adventures of Peter Grant, detective and apprentice wizard, as he solves magical crimes in the city of London.

There is a world hidden underneath this great city.

The London Silver Vaults–for well over a century, the largest collection of silver for sale in the world. It has more locks than the Bank of England and more cameras than a celebrity punch-up. Not somewhere you can murder someone and vanish without a trace–only that’s what happened.

The disappearing act, the reports of a blinding flash of light and memory loss amongst the witnesses all make this a case for Detective Constable Peter Grant and the Special Assessment Unit.

Alongside their boss DCI Thomas Nightingale, the SAU find themselves embroiled in a mystery that encompasses London’s tangled history, foreign lands and, most terrifying of all, the North!

And Peter must solve this case soon because back home his partner Beverley is expecting twins any day now. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s about to encounter something–and somebody–that nobody ever expects…

Effortlessly original, endlessly inventive and hugely entertaining–step into the world of the much-loved, number one bestselling Rivers of London series.

Continue reading “TBR Pile/Audiobook Review: Amongst Our Weapons, by Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith”

TBR Pile Review: The Rabbit Factor, by Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston

Hardcover, 300 pages
Published October 28th 2021 by Orenda Books (first published August 19th 2020)
Original Title: Jäniskerroin
ISBN:191319387X (ISBN13: 9781913193874)

An insurance mathematician’s carefully ordered life is turned on its head when he unexpectedly loses his job and inherits an adventure park … with a whole host of problems. A quirky, tense and warmly funny thriller from award-winning Finnish author Antti Tuomainen.

What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.

And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.

But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…

Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.

Continue reading “TBR Pile Review: The Rabbit Factor, by Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston”

Pen & Sword Review: Not So Virtuous Victorians, by Michelle Rosenberg & Sonia D. Picker

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Paperback, 80 pages
Published July 30th 2018 by Pen & Sword Books
ISBN:1526700913 (ISBN13: 9781526700919)

Blurb

What springs to mind when you think of British Victorian men and women? Manners, manners and more manners. Behaviour that was as rigid and constricted as the corsets women wore. From iron-knicker sexual prudery to men so uptight they furtively released their pent up emotions in opium dens and prostitute hot spots. All, of course, exaggerated clichés worthy of a Victorian melodrama. Each generation loves to think it is better than the last and loves to look aghast at the horrifying trends of their ancestors. But are we really any different?

This glimpse at life for Victorian men and women might make millennials think again. Men and women were expected to live very differently from one another with clearly defined roles regardless of class. However, lift the skirts a little and not only will you see that they didn’t wear knickers but they were far less repressed than the persistent stereotypes would have us believe. The Victorians were as weird and wonderful as we are today. From fatal beauty tips to truly hysterical cures for hysteria to grave robbers playing skittles with human bones, we have cherry picked some of the more entertaining glimpses into the lives led by our Victorian brothers and sisters.

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Review: The Island of Animaux, by Milo McGivern

Blurb 

Imagine an island that shouldn’t exist. A very strange place that has never been discovered by humans and that is populated only by speaking animals, very few of whom know about the bigger world beyond. An island that somehow changes its position on the planet each day, to prevent it from being found. Welcome to the Island of Animaux!

And welcome to five different but connected tales of Aubrey the Turkey and his pals. Stories of all shapes and sizes, with large slices of fun and even bigger portions of naughtiness. See Aubrey get his comeuppance at the fair, have a disaster when he tries to open a zoo, visit a vampire and stumble across Clifford Platypus, try to win a singing competition and then fall madly in love, at least until Walli Hog arrives. See Georgina the Goat despair at Aubrey’s behaviour. Watch as Wesley the Weasel makes the turkey an offer he shouldn’t refuse. See Clifford have fun in making Aubrey do terrible things. And join in with Aubrey and Clifford as they are mesmerised by Walli’s tale of her lucky escape.

Please enjoy the stories. And don’t be afraid to laugh, particularly at Aubrey’s expense. But please, please, please – remember to keep the latest position of the island top secret!

Author Bio


Milo McGivern is the writing name for Steve Humphries. Steve has spent many years working in finance. He has travelled extensively although is most happy when he is at home in Berkshire. Steve enjoys casual story writing and the Aubrey the Turkey tales were first imagined over 30 years ago. ‘The Island of Animaux’ is the first book in the ‘Tales from Animaux’ series.  It was followed by ‘Monsieur Le Chef’ and ‘A Surprise Party’.

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Promo Post: A Mother’s Story, by Maggie Christensen

A Mother’s Story

A lost child. A mother’s grief. A daughter’s journey.

In Scotland, in1941, as WW2 increases in ferocity, Rhona Begg goes against her parents’ wishes and enlists in the ATS—a decision that brings with it heart-breaking consequences. After the war, weighed down with regret and grief, Rhona receives news that has the power to change her life.

Across the ocean in Australia, Nell Duncan worries about her husband who is fighting in the Far East. When she receives the dreaded news that he is missing in action, her world collapses. The end of the war brings changes to Nell’s life, but her dream of bearing a child is no longer possible and she grieves for what might have been.

In 1971, when Joy Baker gives birth to her daughter, she begins the journey to discover her ancestry. What she finds shocks her to the core and propels her on a journey to the land of her birth.

Three women. Three mothers. Three astonishing stories.

From wartime Scotland to present day Australia. A Mother’s Story is an emotion-filled sweeping family saga.

Purchase Link – getbook.at/AMothersStory

Author Bio –

After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations, and historical fiction set in her native Scotland. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her trips to visit family in Scotland, in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them. Her writing has been described by one reviewer as like a nice warm cup of tea. It is warm, nourishing, comforting and embracing.

From the small town in Scotland where she grew up Scotland, Maggie was lured to Australia by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’. Once there, she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!

Social Media Links –

Facebook            https://www.facebook.com/maggiechristensenauthor
Twitter                 https://twitter.com/MaggieChriste33
Goodreads          https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8120020.Maggie_Christensen

Instagram            https://www.instagram.com/maggiechriste33/

Bookbub              https://www.bookbub.com/profile/maggie-christensen

Website               https://maggiechristensenauthor.com/

Review: SWOP The Satsuma-Sized Secret, by Lucy Noguera


Age: 7-9 years
 
Themes
Friendship
Adventure
Family
Deaf sibling
Sign Language 
Acceptance

Blurb 

What would you do if you found the world’s smallest dog?

When Ernie and his family leave the countryside to move to the city. Ernie feels like he’ll never settle into their new home.

Yet on his very first night, a surprising new friend introduces himself – Swop is a very tiny dog. A dog that just happens to be the size of a satsuma.

Ernie vows to keep Swop a secret, but Swop has other ideas and he’s determined to make Ernie’s first day at his new school a memorable one!

Continue reading “Review: SWOP The Satsuma-Sized Secret, by Lucy Noguera”

Review: Fireborn, by Aisling Fowler


Publisher: Harper Collins
Length: 384 Pages
Publishing: 30th September 2021
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fireborn-1-Aisling-Fowler/dp/0062996711/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56554614-fireborn
 

Blurb

Lyra. Lucy. Percy. Once in a generation, a hero emerges whose story enthralls readers worldwide.

Fireborn is an epic quest, perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials and The School for Good and Evil series, that will spin readers into a magical world like no other–and introduce them to an unforgettable new heroine named Twelve.

Ember is full of monsters.

Twelve gave up her name and identity to train in the art of hunting them–so she says. The truth is much more deadly: she trains to take revenge on those who took her family from her.

But when Twelve’s new home is attacked, she’ll find herself on an unexpected journey, where her hidden past is inescapably intertwined with her destiny–and the very fate of her world.

Continue reading “Review: Fireborn, by Aisling Fowler”