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Alice-Miranda In Paris

9781742752884By: Jacqueline Harvey

Alice-Miranda and her friends are in Paris, they have been asked to sing at several events for Fashion Week and they are tres excited. There is more going on than work for them, it is a great opportunity for them to explore the fabulous city. What is fashion week though without some corporate espionage. A couple of designers have big secrets and somehow Alice-Miranda and friends find themselves involved in ways that don’t involve singing. Will Christian Fontaine get his stolen fabric back and will the children be able to help the strange boy who lives across from their hotel?

This is a light, fun, fantastic read and it totally doesn’t matter if you have an interest in fashion. Fashion is the setting, a convenient backdrop for the wealthy but the story is more about the children and their interactions. Alice-Miranda is infectious, her openness and niceness are quite simply contagious. The mystery at the heart of the story drags you in and you really want to know how it all plays out. Each of the children has a unique personality and you can’t help but feel like an observer of a small school excursion, the sort of one I would never even thought to dream about.

There is a wonderful ambience around Alice-Miranda that is engaging and makes you want to seek out other stories about her. Harvey has wonderfully bought the Parisian scene to the page and it begs you to make the journey.

Recommended.

Publisher: Random House Australia Children’s Books

Published: 01 March 2013

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Friendship, Fashion, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781742752884

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

 

The Skeleton Key

I received this as an ARC from the publisher.By : Tara Moss

A Pandora English book.

Friday the 13th is coming, a day for all things supernatural. Even though she knows there will be a time for the dead will rise she has other things on her mind – a date with Lieutenant Luke, Pandora believes they can have a night together where Luke is once again a flesh and blood man. It doesn’t go to plan and Luke mysteriously disappears. Pandora must figure out how to unlock the secrets of the mansion. That means delving into the past to figure out what the builder of the mansion, Dr Edmund Barrett was up to when he died and exactly what happened to him. There is a powerful force in the house, something terrible is happening and if Pandora is going to defeat it she will have to face it head on and use all those powers that are hers to command as the Seventh.

This is the third instalment of the Pandora English series. Pandora still comes across as very shallow and insipid as she stumbles through her days as fashion assistant and nights dealing with the supernatural (though much of that is her running away). This plot line is more interesting that the previous one, the threat is much bigger and somewhat more interesting.

Great Aunt Celia is becoming more and more interesting and part of me would like to know more about her. Deus also plays a bigger part and the dynamics of how he fits in are interesting. I think if you like fashion and the supernatural, you may like this book, this series, there are plenty of fashion descriptions for the fashionistas out there.

When the first book came out it was one whose place on the shelf was uncertain as it was considered a crossover title (YA or adult). Something about it’s style means it fits better in the YA category for me, though with Pandora being 19 it could be argued that the book may fit better in adult. I will leave that to your discretion. One for those interested in clothes and the like.

Publisher: Macmillan Australia

Published: 01 December 2012

Format: Paperback 304 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Supernatural, Fashion

ISBN 13: 9781742611631

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

The Spider Goddess

by: Tara Moss

A Pandora English novel

Pandora English is slowly adapting to life in Manhattan. Her life though is different to most. She has two very different parts to live – that of fledgling employee at Pandora Fashion magazine and being the Seventh, whatever that means. her great Aunt Celia and ghostly Lieutenant Luke try to help her but there are just some things she has to do on her own. Not for the first time her two worlds collide, when fashion designers mysteriously disappear. is this in some way tied to the spider Pandora caught at a fashion shoot, or to the new designer no-one has really seen?

This is the second of the Pandora English books and wasn’t as frustrating a read as the first one proved to be. To me Pandora seems a bit weak, no where near as strong or determined as I’d expect of someone who has recently discovered they have supernatural gifts. In some ways it seems as though Pandora falls from event to event with no real control. So much of the story seems thinly constructed, a lot of surface but no real depth of characters. I will say this though, if you have an interest in fashion and the paranormal this is probably right up your alley, so give it a shot.

Publisher: Macmillan Australia

Published: 01 December 2011

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781742610030

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

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