Category Archives: Book reviews by me

2014 in Reviews

When I created my site I never planned to review books. There are plenty of amazing people around who have greater reviewing talent than me. But, as time passed I found that I wanted to share my thoughts and hopefully gain some followers who would be interested in what I had to say. Now, with another year having flown by I thought it may be a good time to reflect on my 2014 reviews.


JANUARY

HP 3HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (HP3)
by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

Azkaban is one of my favorite HP books. It was so good to get back to Hogwarts, catch up with everyone and learn more (again) about that fateful day in Harry’s life when he first encountered Voldemort.

The full review is here.


Janitors #1JANITORS (JANITORS #1)
by Tyler Whitesides ★★★★

I enjoyed the originality of the story. Never before have I read about (or even contemplated) janitors having such amazing powers. I’ll never look at a janitor in the same way, I’ll always be wondering which side they’re on.

The full review is here.


The Maze RunnerTHE MAZE RUNNER (BOOK #1)
by James Dashner ★★★★★

This book has great mystery, action, and likable characters. I can honestly say that this is a series that I’m keen to keep reading. I’m looking forward to getting into the next book …. and the movie too. FYI – I’d put this book and movie in the YA category rather than MG.

The full review is here.


FEBRUARY

Zoe and Zak 1ZOE & ZAK AND THE GHOST LEOPARD (ZOE & ZAK ADVENTURES #1)
by Lars Guignard  ★★★★

Lars Guignard has done a great job in blending Indian legend and tradition into a modern adventure that kids will love.

The full review is here.

 


MARCH

The Red PyramidTHE RED PYRAMID
(KANE CHRONICLES #1)
by Rick Riordan  ★★★★

I liked that it kept me engaged. Overall I liked the book and will read the others in the series. This book has way more mythology bound into the plot than my books.

The full review is here.


TutankhamenTUTANKHAMEN SPEAKS
by Cheryl Carpinello   ★★★★

I really enjoyed this one and I look forward to the full Tut book in the future.

The full review is here.

 

 


APRIL

Gregor the Overlander - Cover 3GREGOR THE OVERLANDER
(UNDERLAND CHRONICLES 1)
by Suzanne Collins    ★★★★

Gregor the Overlander was an entertaining read, which has hooked me for the rest of the series.
It’s a great debut novel from an author who has gone on to become hugely successful.

The full review is here.


MAY

TROLL MOUNTAIN (EPISODES I, II, III)
by Matthew Reilly ★★★★

Troll Mountain 1Troll Mountain 2Troll Mountain 3

As a loyal and long term Matthew Reilly fan, I was bound to like these books. Although they were quite different to MR’s other books the story kept me enthralled and glued to them until finished. They may not be for everybody, but then again, no books are. Great job MR.

The full reviews are here.


Bully for ThemBULLY FOR THEM  (Outstanding Australians on Hard Lessons Learned at School)
by Fiona Scott-Norman ★★★★★

This started out as a simple book review, but I think it uncovered how much this book impacted me. I’m so glad to have seen it mentioned on The Project (an Aussie TV show), at which time I immediately went online and bought it. I think this is a wonderful book.
The full review is here.


Noah Zarc 1NOAH ZARC: MAMMOTH TROUBLE (Book #1)
By D. Robert Pease ★★★★

This book was choc-full of action. I really enjoyed the story and it kept my interest from the first page.

Great climax too.

The full review is here.

 


JUNE

Fizz and Peppers - newFIZZ AND PEPPERS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD
By M.G. King    ★★★★★

Fizz and Peppers is a great read that as I mentioned before, was a pleasant and action filled surprise.

A recommended read.

The full review is here.

 


Double Vision 1DOUBLE VISION (Double Vision 1)
By F.T. Bradley    ★★★★★

The plot is great. It has a nice mix of action, adventure and a likeable cast. Twists, turns and the suspicion of double agents had me changing my mind along the way as the mystery unfolded. Highly recommended.

The full review is here.


HP 4HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (HP4)
by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

Each time I re-read these books I love them more. The Goblet of Fire is an action packed story that’s full of great moments. The various paths and plots within the story converge into a wonderful and exciting climax.

The full review is here.


The Scorch TrialsTHE SCORCH TRIALS
(Maze Runner 2)
by James Dashner ★★★★★

This book is a full-on action packed thrill ride from cover to cover. It’s got new friends, old friends, new foes, old foes, betrayal, doubt, pain, hope, hopelessness. I could go on, but I think you get the message … it’s got heaps crammed into it. Highly recommended.
The full review is here.


AUGUST

The Son of NeptuneTHE SON OF NEPTUNE (HEROES OF OLYMPUS #2)
by Rick Riordan ★★★★

It’s another cool PJ tale, which was hard for me to initially get into, but once I did, I enjoyed the read.

It’s a no brainer that it will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson.

The full review is here.


SEPTEMBER

The SilkwormTHE SILKWORM (Cormoran Strike #2)
by Robert Galbraith ★★★★★

I really enjoyed this new Cormoran Strike case. The plot had me guessing along the way and changing my mind a heap of times. At first I thought it was (.) then (.) but when I found out it was (.) … I was surprised. Recommended for fans of crime solving, JK and RG.
The full review is here.


Mystery of the Egyptian ScrollMYSTERY OF THE EGYPTIAN SCROLL (Zet Mystery Case #1)
by Scott Peters ★★★★

This was an exciting adventure that will appeal to kids who are fans of mystery, adventure and ancient Egypt.

The full review is here.

 


Frankie DuPontFRANKIE DUPONT AND THE MYSTERY OF ENDERBY MANOR
by Julie Anne Grasso ★★★★★

Frankie is the new sleuth on the block who I’m sure will win fans amongst younger readers. He’s accompanied by a cast of quirky characters who add some fun to the mystery. Recommended for young readers keen to get the inside scoop on how to solve a mystery.
The full review is here.


OCTOBER

Camelot Kids 1THE CAMELOT KIDS (PART 1)
by Ben Zackheim  ★★★★★

This is an original spin on and age-old legend, which has me hooked. I will continue to read this series of four (I think) parts. Great job. Recommended for kids (and adults) who are fans of King Arthur and Camelot with a twist.

The full review is here.


NOVEMBER

ContestCONTEST
by Matthew Reilly ★★★★★

Another great white-knuckle-action-packed-adventure from MR. Let’s hope that he releases some more action novels in the future. I seem to have exhausted his supply of action books now. Maybe a re-read of some of them is in order :)

The full review is here.


Camelot Kids 2THE CAMELOT KIDS (PART 2)
by Ben Zackheim  ★★★★★

This is another great instalment in the series. Part 2 is an entertaining read, which has left me eagerly awaiting Part 3. Be warned, there is an unexpected twist at the end of this one.

The full review is here.


Sons of the SphinxSONS OF THE SPHINX
by Cheryl Carpinello  ★★★★★

This was an entertaining time-travel adventure with a twist. It succeeds with a nice blend of fact and fiction. Recommended for fans of ancient Egypt who like a little magic mixed in. A good story for teens and adults who are young at heart.

 The full review is here.


 DECEMBER

Daisy CooperDAISY COOPER AND THE SISTERS OF THE BLACK NIGHT (DAISY COOPER 1)
by Robert Dee  ★★★★

This was a real surprise package for me, given that I grabbed a copy based on the cool cover. Recommended for readers who love female heroes and action rolled into the one story.
The full review is here.


 

 

 

 

Book Review | Daisy Cooper and the Sisters of the Black Night (Daisy Cooper 1) | Robert Dee

Daisy CooperDAISY COOPER AND THE SISTERS OF THE BLACK NIGHT (DAISY COOPER 1)
by Robert Dee ★★★★
Kindle edition purchased from Amazon

When you’re twelve years old and want to travel the world as a reporter for International Schoolgirl magazine you’d better be able to prove you can find a good story at home first.

Budding reporter Daisy Cooper finds the perfect school when she wins a place at the brilliant but eccentric Darlington School for Girls. With maths classes that involve poker games, science lectures where pupils fire rockets and biology lessons that take place in a real zoo it is everything she could have wished for.

The school is also home to International Schoolgirl, a magazine that sends specially chosen pupils – International Schoolgirls – on adventures across the globe in search of ground-breaking stories. To travel the world as a reporter is something Daisy has always wanted and she dreams of being chosen.

Daisy begins an adventure closer to home, however, when she gets lost in the school maze one evening and stumbles across the mysterious Sisters of the Black Night – a hooded secret society that meets under the cover of darkness. Convinced The Sisters are up to no good Daisy enlists the help of her dorm mates – the 88ers – to get to the bottom of the mystery. It’s an adventure that takes her through ancient pirate diaries, shark infested tunnels, perilous sword fights and on motorcycle chases through the stormy English countryside. When Daisy finally discovers The Sisters’ dark secret she has to make the most difficult choice of her life: having the job she always dreamed of, or doing what’s right. (Goodreads)


My Review

I picked this book up as a freebie after seeing it in a blog post or email, I can’t quite remember which. I have to admit that it was the great cover that hooked me (you have to check out the video about the cover. A link is at the end of this review). I don’t even think I read the blurb.

So, when I sat down to read it I had no idea what to expect, except perhaps that it would be a fun middle grade mystery.  Once I got into it, I realised that it was about a young girl from a background of average means, with above average intelligence and a good heart. When it was revealed that her mother had died of cancer I was sold, and felt a bond with Daisy, given my own young daughter’s recent battle with cancer (which she’s winning). Another issue that sits in this story is bullying … something that doubled my empathy and support for Daisy.

The plot cruised along as she settled into her new school, she made friends, and found enemies. I thought to myself that this was just going to be a cute tale of a new girl in a new school with maybe a little mystery thrown in. It’s not really what I’d normally get into, but I was cool with giving it a go.

Then when chapter 16 arrived, it all went into hyper drive. We were suddenly whisked from the pristine private school to a tale of pirates in a blur. One underlying theme that I noted in this one is definitely strong females – both good and bad. In fact, I think all of the main characters were female (I think it’s refreshing to see), which I’m sure would appeal to many readers bored with the usual male heroes.

As the pirate story progressed, there were some violent facets of the plot, which, based on the beginning of the book were totally unexpected. The change in pace hooked me and I became keen to finish the book and see how it all panned out. The plot was full of surprises and filled  with plenty of action that I didn’t see coming.

Daisy has a big heart and she’s faced with some very troublesome and aggressive opponents. Each page brings more events for her to prove, to make things right and end the reign of the baddies. I won’t go into detail, but I will say that this book had way more action in it than I’d expected. It had a cool back story that linked well into the current day.  Daisy’s story looks set to continue with future books.

In a nutshell

This was a real surprise package for me, given that I grabbed a copy based on the cool cover. Recommended for readers who love female heroes and action rolled into the one story.

 


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.



If you’re keen to know more, then click below to head on over to
Daisy Cooper’s International Schoolgirl website.
 Daidy Cooper site


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure books by clicking the pic below.

4 books

Book Review | Sons of the Sphinx | Cheryl Carpinello

Sons of the SphinxSONS OF THE SPHINX
by Cheryl Carpinello  ★★★★★
Kindle edition supplied by author

The Prophecy: Behold, when the last boy pharaoh is awakened, he will have one chance to right the wrong. United with a spirit vessel from the future, he must seek to find the one robbed of his reign, who will lead the way to the tomb of the boy pharaoh’s lost queen.

There must the confrontation with the usurper be held and the presentation of his confession to the old priests be given. If the usurper holds his tenth Jubilee and is allowed to acknowledge his son as his successor, the wrong will not be righted, and the queen will remain lost to her pharaoh forever.

Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb – who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic – if she is to stay alive to make it back home. (Goodreads)

2014 Literary Classics Seal of Approval
2014 Finalist in Literary Classics Book Award


My Review

I have read and reviewed the prequel to this one, Tutankhamen Speaks, and was pleased to nab a copy from the author to continue the story.  This is an original time travel adventure that gives a fresh new perspective from the view of Tut himself. The main character, Rosa, is a modern-day girl who has a gift that allows her to speak with the dead (a gift that she’s not really too thrilled about). Tut contacts her and convinces her that she has a role to play in reuniting his spirit with that of his great love, Hesena.

After a little convincing and debating within her own mind, Rosa agrees to help him. As they embark through time to find the clues she finds that Tut is at times rather cool towards her, and he never gives her much information. Just enough, but never too much.  As she finds herself falling for him, she fights the feelings as she knows that there is no future for them to be together. The thing is, that she has part of Tut’s great love’s spirit within her, so it’s a battle in her mind to know which feelings are her and which are not. Tut is very guarded and he continually switches between his ruler persona and a more personal one. This becomes quite frustrating for Rosa.

The book effectively compares old to new life, revealing that the underlying needs of the characters are the same, whether ancient or modern. They all want to be with the ones they care for. Tut with Hesena, and Rosa to return home to her family. Rosa has always been a fan of ancient Egypt and had long built up the romance of Tut’s story within her own mind. It was a dream come true for her to actually become part of his story, and to help him reunite with his wife in the afterlife, but in reality it is home she craves for.

It’s obvious that Cheryl Carpinello has great interest in ancient Egypt and a great deal of research is evident. The book contained a lot of information and I probably only picked up half of the details, but enough to follow the story. I enjoyed the plot and the original time-travel angle. The book also gave me a different perspective of a curse, by showing it from the view of the curser (Tut’s spirit in his tomb) and it’s impact on the grave robber victims. Karma comes to mind. It also provoked thoughts as to whether archaeologists are any different to ancient grave robbers. They both disturb sacred sites to fulfil their own goals. The main difference (I hope) is the archaeologist’s ultimate goal is preservation rather than instant wealth.

In a nutshell

This was an entertaining time-travel adventure with a twist. It succeeds with a nice blend of fact and fiction. Recommended for fans of ancient Egypt who like a little magic mixed in. A good story for teens and adults who are young at heart.


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


If you’re keen to know more, then click below to head on over to Cheryl’s website. Carpinello blog

While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure books by clicking the pic below.

4 books

Book Review | The Camelot Kids (Part 2) | Ben Zackheim

Camelot Kids 2THE CAMELOT KIDS (PART 2)
by Ben Zackheim  ★★★★★
Kindle edition purchased from Amazon

Simon Sharp just got kidnapped by a troll on the shore of Scotland’s Loch Duich. But before he can get his head around that incredible fact, he’s saved by a 7-foot tall elderly man who calls himself Merlin. It’s hard to deny that something odd is going on.

But what?

Join Simon as he takes his first steps into New Camelot, a castle city of unparalleled beauty. But his stay won’t always be a pleasant one as he trains to become a warrior side-by-side with 149 other kids… all descendants of the original Knights of the Round Table.

The Camelot Kids: Part Two answers many questions from Part One, and adds a few more that will keep you guessing until the end! (Goodreads)


My Review

Part 2 of this series picks up at the same point part one finished. Simon, Merlin and Maille (carrying an ugly troll on her back) are on their journey to New Camelot, a place where Simon soon learns that has a huge relevance. Apparently, he has some very important and famous family links. This means that it’s impossible for his arrival to go unnoticed and he is completely taken by surprise at the reactions towards him. Think Rock star/Hero/Amazing Person just arrived.

Ben Zackheim has created a wonderful setting known as New Camelot, which I’m sure will build and grow as the story progresses. It’s a setting that’s full of magic, amazing creatures and interesting characters, where Simon learns that he is a descendant of someone very very famous (I won’t let on who), and his arrival at New Camelot is seen as a very significant event.

Enter a rival, who happens to be a long-forgotten apprentice of Merlin. This rivalry will no doubt feature more later in the story.
Simon is guided by Merlin, who is mysterious and moody, and Maille (who is Merlin’s new apprentice). This part of the story is where we follow Simon as he learns his way around his new surroundings, discovering it’s secrets and traditions. Destined to lead, Simon embarks on a training regime with a bunch of descendants of the Knights of the Round Table. I get the feeling that he’s not too thrilled about it either.

The frequently grumpy Merlin seems to be in control and we are teased with glimpses that he has a bigger agenda on the go. It will be interesting to see what eventuates. I really enjoy Ben’s writing. It is clear and easy to follow. He has created a character in Simon that I’m sure readers can relate to and barrack for.

In a nutshell

This is another great instalment in the series. Part 2 is an entertaining read, which has left me eagerly awaiting Part 3. Be warned, there is an unexpected twist at the end of this one.


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


If you’re keen to know more, then click below to head on over to Ben’s website.

Ben Zackheim Blog


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure books by clicking the pic below.

4 books

Double Vision Series | F.T. Bradley

The Double Vision series grabbed my attention the first time I saw the  cover, then when I read the blurb it had me, so I added it to my ever  growing TBR list. Finally, after lingering at the edge of my mind I looked  into grabbing a copy. Unfortunately, the ebook wasn’t available to me in Australia via Amazon, but I wasn’t going to let go. So I tracked down a  paperback version at The Book Depository in the UK and ordered myself a  copy.

The verdict – I loved it (see my review here). Not only is Double Vision a great series full of cool action and characters, but book 1 is set in one of my all time favourite cities, Paris. My plan was to order a copy of book 2 and continue the series, but over time my TBR got the better of me … yes, I have to admit that I lost control. Fast forward to October 2014 and you can imagine how I felt when I heard that book 3 was released. “Doh!” to quote a famous American. Now I not only have to read book 2, but also book 3. Both are still blipping away on my radar, and I know that the next couple of months are already packed full. DING! I’ve just had a great idea! I think I’ll look for them in bookstores during my US travels in November/December, I think they’d be a great souvenir.

Anyway, back on subject … I decided that I wanted to share the series with visitors to my site even before I’ve read them, as I feel they’d be a great idea for Xmas gifts. Given that I won’t post my own reviews for books 2 & 3 for a couple of months, I thought it may be a good idea to create a post with links to some Amazon and Goodreads reviews.


Double Vision 1Buy at AmazonI didn’t read this book, my son did. And he loved it, his nose was glued to it … It really has been, as far as I can tell, the best book he’s read. … Highly recommend, and we’re definitely getting the second as soon as it comes out.”
(See the full GOODREADS review here)

“The other day I came home from work to have my 8-year-old son at the door with this giant smile on his face. He’s reading Double Vision by F.T. Bradley, and he couldn’t wait to tell me about the mess of trouble the main character, Linc, has gotten himself into.”
(See the full GOODREADS review here)


Double Vision 2Buy at Amazon“Bradley weaves history, D.C. landmarks, the Culper Spy ring, puzzles, danger and laughs into another fun and fast thrill ride of a book.”
(See the full GOODREADS review here)

“I think what I like best about F. T. Bradley’s Double Vision series is Linc Baker, the protagonist. He’s just an average 12-year-old with an above average ability to get into trouble.”
(See the full AMAZON review here)


Double Vision 3Buy at Amazon“Double Vision: The Alias Men by F.T. Bradley is probably one of the best spy novels I’ve read, and easily one of my favorite books this year.”
(See the full GOODREADS review here)


Are you keen to see more from Double Vision star, Linc?Click here for a surprise!

Book Review | Contest | Matthew Reilly

ContestCONTEST
by Matthew Reilly ★★★★★
Kindle edition purchased from Amazon

The New York State Library. A brooding labyrinth of towering bookcases, narrow aisles and spiralling staircases. For Doctor Stephen Swain and his daughter, Holly, it is the site of a nightmare. For one night, this historic building is to be the venue for a contest. A contest in which Swain is to compete – whether he likes it or not.

The rules are simple. Seven contestants will enter. Only one will leave. With his daughter in his arms, Swain is plunged into a terrifying fight for survival. He can choose to run, to hide or to fight – but if he wants to live, he has to win. For in this contest, unless you leave as the victor, you do not leave at all. (Goodreads)


My Review

I’ve been a fan of Matthew Reilly for years. I love the high-speed action in his books and the heroes that we follow. I have no idea why this one (which was his first) has never crossed by reading list. I thought it was about time to get down and read it.

Wow. Given that it was his first book (which he released independently before scoring a publisher), it provides a glimpse of where he started. It’s full of the action he’s famous for, the creatures that give another level of terror to the hero, and the exciting climaxes he does so well. His action has definitely influenced my books, which I tend to think of as Matthew Reilly for kids.

In Contest, an unassuming doctor is suddenly whisked away from his normal life into the New York Library (along with his young daughter), and finds himself smack bang in the middle of a deadly contest. A once in a millennium event that is orchestrated by beings from the far reaches of space. There are seven competitors, each from different planets, who must fight to be the sole survivor. The contestants not only have to deal with their competitors, they have some nasty beasts thrown in the mix, as well as an electrified building.

As with all of MR’s books, the hero finds a way out of situations that seem absolutely impossible. Even though it’s often implausible, it’s what I love about MR’s books. I can suspend my belief and just go along for a ride that tackles the extremes of survival. Of course, there is plenty of violence, so it’s not really suited to younger readers, but the fact that it’s aimed mostly at mythical space beasts makes it a little easier to digest.

In a nutshell

Another great white-knuckle-action-packed-adventure from MR. Let’s hope that he releases some more action novels in the future. I seem to have exhausted his supply of action books now. Maybe a re-read of some of them is in order :)


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


If you’re keen to know more, then click below to head on over to Matthew Reilly’s website.

Matthew Reilly site


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure books by clicking the pic below.

4 books

Book Review | The Camelot Kids (Part 1) | Ben Zackheim

Camelot Kids 1THE CAMELOT KIDS (PART 1)
by Ben Zackheim  ★★★★★
Kindle edition purchased from Amazon

If you ask Simon Sharp how his parents died, the 14-year-old New Yorker will tell you King Arthur killed them. Obsessed with Camelot, the two scholars perished in a plane crash en route to an archaeological dig in England.

Simon spends two awful years in an orphanage before his uncle surfaces. He offers Simon residence at a creepy mansion in Scotland where every shadow hides a surprise— including a girl, Maille Rose, who flickers in and out of view like a ghost. Maille warns Simon he’s in danger and, oh yes, he’s a descendant of King Arthur’s powerful knight, Lancelot.

Uh. What?

That’s Simon’s response too.

But she’s right about the danger. Simon’s life becomes a battle for survival when his teacher is killed in front of him. Accused of murder, Simon escapes into the wilderness…

… where he gets kidnapped by a drunk troll. At this point, Simon’s tired of surprises. Which is too bad because then he’s saved by a 7-foot elderly man claiming to be Merlin. Maille Rose, Merlin’s apprentice, arrives swinging her bat-wand and leads them to a hidden castle.

This, she says, is New Camelot.

Which is when the fun begins.

Join The Camelot Kids in Part One of a four-part series. Written by the author of the Shirley Link mystery series, with cover art by Nathan Fox (Batman, Iron Man, Dogs of War). (Goodreads)


 My Review

This is part one of a new series from author Ben Zackheim (author of the Shirley Link series). The first thing that grabbed me was the cover art and illustrations – they are awesome and eye-catching.

Part one does a great job to set up the series and introduce us to the main character, Simon. He’s quite a mischievous kid, who has unfortunately lost his parents to tragedy as they chased their lifelong dream. An underlying challenge for Simon is his sense of belonging. He is pushed from home to home, and his rebellious side surfaces. Being a strong lad, he has made the decision that he can’t rely on anyone else. One day he is plucked from his troubled life by a distant uncle in Scotland, who had never really been in touch before, or approved of his parents’ career. It’s when he arrives at the ‘family’ digs in Scotland that the tale starts to move into an exciting and original setting. We are embarking on his journey to discover his past and his future purpose.

The story describes his difficulties at his new school in Scotland, and of his meeting a mysterious girl, who joins him on his journey of discovery. Simon finds himself struggling with his long-term beliefs and doubts about his parents work, and the reality of his new surroundings. Part one has many interesting characters and ends at a point in Simon’s quest, which teases with the promise of exciting adventures ahead.

In a nutshell

This is an original spin on and age-old legend, which has me hooked. I will continue to read this series of four (I think) parts. Great job. Recommended for kids (and adults) who are fans of King Arthur  and Camelot with a twist.


Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


If you’re keen to know more, then click below to head on over to Ben’s website.

Ben Zackheim Blog


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure books by clicking the pic below.

4 books