The School for Good and Evil – Soman Chainani

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3.5 out of 5 stars

Spoilers Ahead

The School for Good and Evil is a 2013 children’s fantasy novel by Soman Chainani. His debut novel, TSFGAE went on to become a New York Times best seller and is the first in a trilogy that concludes sometime in 2015. It follows the story of two young girls named Agatha and Sophie who live in a village where it is common every few years for two opposing children to be kidnapped and never seen again – that is until new fairytale novels are released and those children are the main characters. All her life, Sophie has been waiting to be taken – she ritualised her life to become what she thought was a beacon of good. When the day comes for the children to be kidnapped, Sophie has her wish come true – with the unexpected addition of Agatha – but it is short lived when the two girls are sent to two different places. Both of which they were not expecting. Wannabe-princess Sophie finds herself in the School for Evil. Dark and twisted Agatha finds herself in the School for  Good.

This story is all about breaking the conventions of what we perceive to be good and evil, but at times that point gets horribly lost.

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Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud – Andrew Lane

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4 out of 5 stars

Spoilers ahead.

First published in 2010, Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud is the first novel in a (at this point in time) seven book series written by British author Andrew Lane. As the title suggests, it follows the fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes in a time before he met John Watson. The first novel is sees Sherlock’s father sent over to seas to India whilst his mother is ill and his sister is left to care for her. As the oldest male in the house, his brother Mycroft sends Sherlock to spend his summer holidays in a small village near Portsmouth with relatives he can hardly remember. At the same time, a young homeless child named Matty witnesses a dark cloud floating away from a building only to learn that whomever had been inside had been found dead from a mysterious illness. When Sherlock discovers another body under similar circumstances, the two boys team up to discover the truth.

I was left with a fair few questions after reading this book – but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it.

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Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy

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5 out of 5 stars.

Spoilers ahead…

Written by Irish author and playwright, Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant was first published back in 2007 and has become a staple among children’s literature since that point. This novel was the debut of Derek Landy and has spawned countless novellas as well as eight further stories in the series. It follows twelve-year-old Stephanie Edgley, a quirky and almost macabre child who meets the titular character at the wake of her recently deceased uncle. After inheriting her uncle’s mansion, Stephanie soon discovers Skulduggery to be an undead, skeletal sorcerer/detective, her uncle to have actually been murdered, and that he had been involved in many magical misadventures alongside Skulduggery. They are soon in a race against time to stop the forces of evil from collecting the ultimate weapon of mass destruction and save the world.

Though I said that this is a children’s novel, it doesn’t exclude other age groups from reading it also as it is a fantastically well balanced novel that even the eldest of readers can sink their teeth into.

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Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth – Rick Riordan

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5 out of 5 stars

Spoilers below

The Battle of the Labyrinth was first published in 2008 and is the fourth book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series written by American author Rick Riordan. It follows the fourteen-year-old titular character, Percy, as he returns to Camp Half-Blood to discover the secret plans his friend Annabeth had been involved in prior to the events of the previous novel, the discovery of former camper Luke’s plan to use the legendary Labyrinth of Daedalus to invade the camp with Kronos and his army of monsters, and the inevitability he and his friends would have to enter the labyrinth themselves to persuade Daedalus to help them instead of Luke.

I absolutely loved this novel.

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