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review 2017-05-25 20:05
Review: The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis
The Whitby Witches (Egmont Modern Classics) - Robin Jarvis


I would like to thank Egmont Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

I somehow managed to miss this author's books as they were originally released many years before my own children were of age to read them. Last year I happened across his newer series, The Witching Legacy and have since read both books one and two and loved them. So when I saw this one I was eager to delve into it, especially as it's set in Whitby like the newer books.

 

The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun. It was full of adventure, imagination, and danger. I was completely swept along with the characters and their story. The writing was easy to read and the world was vividly described. It was wonderfully dark and atmospheric and a lot of fun all round. Everything was so easily pictured in my mind as I read. It was like being a child all over again, reliving that wonderful sense of adventure, danger and anticipation.

 

The only negative aspect, and it's not something that's particular to this story alone but something that seems to be a trend across many children's stories and books and something I'm more aware of now as a mother, is the fact that the majority of villains or bad guys in children's stories always seem to have some kind of disfigurement or disability. They are always "ugly" scarred or disfigured in some way. Why are we portraying this kind of message to our children? How a person looks doesn't portray whether they are good or bad. Beauty is only skin deep, the outside does not reflect who a person is on the inside. "Monsters" can look just like everyone else and just because someone isn't what most would class as "normal" it doesn't make them the bad guy to be feared. Perhaps that is too scary of a concept in truth for children but it's reality. Anyway, I realise this is a more general comment and not something particular to this book alone but it's something that I found myself contemplating after finishing this one so I wanted to comment on it.

 

All in all, The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm going to have to get my hands on the rest of the series now.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-04-06 01:31
Review: The Devil's Paintbox by Robin Jarvis
The Devil's Paintbox (The Witching Legacy) - Robin Jarvis

 

I would like to thank Egmont Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

The Devil's Paintbox is the second book in The Witching Legacy trilogy by Robin Jarvis. I previously read the first book The Power of the Dark back in March 2016, you can find my review for that here. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but I have to say, I enjoyed the second book much more than the first.

 

It's been a year since I read the first book and I was surprised by how easily I slipped back into Lil and Verne's world. The writing was wonderfully vivid. The plot was engaging, fast-paced and action packed from beginning to end. It sets the imagination on fire and I could easily see everything clearly in my mind's eye as I read.

 

The Devil's Paintbox is full of colour, adventure, magic, and imagination, but at the same time it's dark, ominous, and creates a feeling of foreboding. This is the kind of book I would have loved to have read as a child, under the covers with a torch. I could almost feel the excitement and anticipation that young me would have felt, along with the need to turn the pages whilst being apprehensive about what's to come.

 

Definitely one I would recommend. I didn't want to put the book down, it was a lot of fun and I read it in one sitting. My niece and the kids in my reading group are going to love it.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

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text 2016-07-30 12:38
July Round Up
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Nathaniel Philbrick
What is Sound Healing? - Lyz Cooper
The Dark Portal - Robin Jarvis
Daughters of the Dragon - Bill Andrews
Healing Berry Cookbook: 50 Wonderful Berries, and How to Use Them in Healthgiving, Immunity-boosting Foods and Drinks - Kirsten Hartvik
The Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine - Damo Mitchell,John Spencer Hill,John Spencer Hill
How My Cat Made Me a Better Man - Jeremy Feig
Dark Spirits: A Man Terrorized by the Supernatural - Stephen Lancaster

Yes there's still another day, but I don't expect to finish anything else by tomorrow.

 

8 books finished, all from Netgalley! These were all good, each in their own way. I'm surrprised by how little fiction there is. Even the historical fiction is based on real events. The children's book is the only outright fiction among them!

 

Not to worry though. I'm still reading Phantom by Susan Kay for my fiction fix. I also have 2 more Netgalley selections in progress at present, both fiction.

 

And Hallelujah, I've reduced my samples collection! I'm no longer fighting to keep it under 100. I had 76 last night when I last looked, though I keep sending for more.

 

I have 7 books on my Netgalley reading list at present, though a few more could get approved. 2 I'm actively reading now, both fiction. 1 is a history book that didn't have a send to Kindle option, so I'm eading it very, very slowly on desktop. The others I will get to soon. Then I'll be clear again and can go back to trying to read books off my Kindle backlog, Yay!

 

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review 2016-07-20 08:24
The Dark Portal
The Dark Portal - Robin Jarvis

by Robin Jarvis

 

This is a whimsical children's story but it's not just a cutsie mouse story, there are elements of Horror for children. The rats peel mice, as in skinning, so probably for slightly older children with the disposition to enjoy things like Goosebumps.

 

It is mostly about a mouse family who travel, one by one, through a grate that they know takes them into the territory of the rats. First the father goes on a whim, then his daughter goes to look for him and soon several mice are where they shouldn't be in a dangerous place.

 

I don't often read stories directed at very young readers, but I liked the tone and the writing in this one. Adventurous mouse stories formed an essential part of my own childhood reading and I think this one could easily sit on a shelf next to The Secret of Nimh.

 

It's a surprisingly multi-layered story with a spiritual element, but mostly adventures of the child mice. Imagine Nancy Drew stories or the Hardy boys in mouse form. The quality of the writing holds up all through and this is a story I would happily buy for my nieces and nephews who are appropriate age for stories that don't write down to a child's level, but concern young characters with whom they could identify. One of the better contributions to children's literature that I've seen for a while.

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text 2016-07-03 08:59
My Netgalley list
How My Cat Made Me a Better Man - Jeremy Feig
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Nathaniel Philbrick
Age of Myth: Book One of The Legends of the First Empire - Michael J. Sullivan
The Museum of Things Left Behind - Seni Glaister
Privateers of the Revolution: War on the New Jersey Coast, 1775-1783 - Donald Grady Shomette
The Light of Paris - Eleanor Brown
Daughters of the Dragon - Bill Andrews
America's Most Haunted Hotels: Checking in with Uninvited Guests - Jamie Davis Whitmer
The Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine - Damo Mitchell,John Spencer Hill,John Spencer Hill
The Dark Portal - Robin Jarvis,Peter Glassman

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had gone a little Taz on Netgalley. I'm slowly working my way through the books, reading them mainly in order of archive date. There's some pretty interesting stuff actually. I didn't just choose them all at random, but carefully considered each one.

 

After today's posted review, I have 13 more to go to clear the list. That is unless I find something and add to it, though I'm trying not to look. I've done the cookbooks first because they don't take as long.

 

I'm looking forward to reading all of these, I just don't like the pressure of feeling I have to get to them soon and review them. This is supposed to be fun!

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