Review: The Toymakers, by Robert Dinsdale

Reading this book was like stepping into a magical dream- albeit one from the early 1900s. With patchwork dogs, magical cloud castles, living toy soldiers and more, Robert Dinsdale creates a beautiful, ethereal world, leavened by the drama that takes place between his characters. The end result? Something rather special- and something that I devoured…

Review: Sal, by Mick Kitson

There’s a long tradition of precocious children surviving in the wilderness. From Peter Pan- at a stretch- to Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet novel, I’ve always found them a fascinating read: how would these children survive in a hostile wilderness without any help at all from the adult world? And Sal ties into that tradition: I found…

Review: The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert

So I’ve seen mixed reviews for The Hazel Wood, but I was still super excited to get my hands on an ARC a few weeks ago- and lo and behold, it was worth it, because I actually loved it. The story itself is a rather strange, Maggie Stiefvater-crossed-with-Caraval-ish blend of magic and reality: seventeen-year-old Alice…

Review: The View from Rainshadow Bay, by Colleen Coble

Besides the very lovely front cover, this book ultimately left me pretty disappointed. I’ve not read a Colleen Coble novel before, so I picked it up with curiosity- it’s a romantic suspense novel with some murders thrown in, which promised to make for an exciting read- and indeed, it starts with a bang. Murders start…

Review: Lost for Words, by Stephanie Butland

Straight off the bat, let me just say: I absolutely adored Lost for Words. It’s a book that is, by turns, funny, heartwarming and that tugs at the heartstrings: I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it. Our heroine is Loveday Cardew, who works in the Lost for Words bookshop at York. She’s a…