Some parts of the coast of England are full of exciting things for divers. Dan Summers is one of those divers, he loves the sport, the thrill of the hunt and right now he he excited for the biggest find of his life. In disturbing what he has found he may have caused greater unrest than he could ever imagine. Dunwich used to be a Viking colony long before it was the modern town that marks the location now. When a body turns up with some of it’s insides on the outside it looks as though someone may have to go to Denmark. Luc and Grace are happy to take that part of the assignment whilst Jud and Bex are in Dunwich. These missions always have an element of danger but none of them could guess at how this mission could change things for them forever.
Jud is in a dark place in this story. His past, which he has so carefully kept hidden is struggling to push to the surface more than it has before and it’s not only Professor Bonati who has noticed. Bex won’t allow Jud to keep her out of what it going on in his mind when it is so obviously starting to affect his work. As if it wasn’t bad enough someone from Jud’s buried past surfaces unexpectedly and looks as though he might try to mess things up for all of CRYPT.
As always the historical aspects of these stories are fascinating. The Vikings were a powerful and gory race and as such their history is custom made for Hammond’s series. The details are gruesome as ever and bound to appeal to those who like the grosser and darker side of things. Hammond creates a detailed setting, full of bleak details that really draw you in, you want to find out what happened, both what stirred the paranormal up but also the darker parts of history that give the story its grounding.
The characters have gone from strength to strength as they have developed throughout the previous three books. It’s been interesting to see their flaws and strengths work in them all to give more detailed and complex relationships. The ending hit me from kind of nowhere and I am really looking forward to see where Hammond takes things.
It seems to start in a hospital with a masked figure moving determinedly towards a quarantined patient. A nurse dies and she is just the beginning. And just what does a new and very exclusive jewellery shop have to do with any of this. CRYPT are busy as it is but with this new outbreak of paranormal activities they are stretched thin. Jud and Bex start in London but the trail eventually leads them to Venice, and the horrible secrets it still keeps about it’s history. The Black Plague is back and these mysterious figures are doing what they have always been tasked to do – deal with it. It is up to Jud and Bex to find the source and figure out a way to give these ghosts rest.
The Black Plague was a dark time in history and some of the things about that time are even more unsavoury than might be expected. Jud is proving to be not just a good agent but also a very instinctive investigator, with Bex to balance him out they make a good team. Jud has his own issues as always to do with his past and he is still managing to keep them close to his chest, though Bex is beginning to notice things. The history of these events is fascinating and Hammond does a credible job of packaging them into a modern context. The story is gruesome in it’s detail and quiet graphic in some of its horror, but that is why we read stories like these. Bex is more level headed than Jud but it is often Jud’s gung-ho nature that pushes things along. The creepy imagery encapsulates the darkness of these moments in time and if you like horror books then I definitely think you should give these a go.
(But shhh don’t tell anyone who reads it that they may learn something.)
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing
Published: 11 December 2012
Format: Paperback 336 pages
Categories: Adventure, Horror, Ghost
ISBN 13: 9780755378234
Purchase:here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page
It is 2073 and journalist, Eric Seven, is visiting the remote and secretive island known as Blessed. Little is known about the island except a few rumours: no-one aging, no children being born and a very rare flower with unusual properties. Here Eric finds things not as they seem and he is inexplicably drawn to a young local woman, Merle. Things spin out of control as they rush to a chilling conclusion, one that echoes a moment 10 centuries earlier when a King and his Queen are torn tragically apart. Through the centuries their souls search for each other, reuniting in various guises – mother and son, artist and child, lovers, and victims. Is there a way for them to be together once and for all.
This is a YA book with a difference. It is like a series of short stories linked together by the thread of Eric and Merle searching for each other. Midwinterblood is a clever story that contains elements of so many things – a little gothic and gruesome, a touch of thriller and a dash of friendship and family. The relationships explored through each of the time frames are unique, no two are the same. Sedgwick has crafted a fascinating tale that goes back through the generations. It draws you in, you want to know, even though knowing takes you to dark places. There is a thread of inevitability and hope through each of the stories. It draws you to an end that is at once sad and hopeful. A different and interesting read.
Publisher: Indigo (an imprint of Orion Children’s)
Published: 06 October 2011
Format: Paperback 272 pages
ISBN 13: 9781780621234
Purchase:here or use Booktopia logo on side of page.
Stephanie knew she would miss her uncle but she hadn’t expected to be left the better part of his estate when he died. His parting words through his lawyer ‘the world is bigger than you know and scarier than you might imagine. The only currency worth anything is being true to yourself and the only goal worth seeking is finding out who you truly are’, turn out to be rather prophetic.
She meets Skulduggery after the funeral but has no idea he is soon to become very involved in her life. He is a private detective; wise-cracking, off-centre, cunning and a powerful magician who mostly plays by his own rules. Through him Stephanie finds a world she never knew existed. Skulduggery is a sworn enemy of evil and Stephanie want to join in the fight. Oh and to make matters even more interesting Skulduggery is dead.
An exciting, fun and highly entertaining read that is liberally laced throughout with dry humour. It keeps you interested until the very end. Skulduggery and Stephanie are an unusual pairing but they really work.
A story is a powerful thing. Once we step inside there are worlds to discover, treasures to find, mysteries to solve, adventures to be had and friends to meet. You can learn, laugh, cry, be amazed and be swept away. Come on a journey with me as I welcome you to