30 October 2016

REVIEW: THE CREEPER MAN

THE CREEPER MAN
by Dawn Kurtagich



Pages: 371 paperback
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Publication Date: 14th July 2016
ISBN: 1510101683


Summary 

When Silla and her little sister, Nori, escape London and their abusive father, Aunt Cath's country house feels like a safe haven. Leaving the smog and fear behind, the girls have the love and freedom they never had in their violent home. But slowly, ever so slowly, things begin to unravel.
Aunt Cath locks herself in the attic and spends day and night pacing; every day the surrounding forest inches slowly towards the house; a mysterious boy appears from the enclosing wood offering friendship, and Nori claims that a man watches them from the dark forest. A man with no eyes who creeps ever closer. 

Review

Dawn Kurtagich is one of my favourite authors at the moment and her debut novel The Dead House still gives me the chills today. So when it came to reading her second book The Creeper Man I had high expectations. I was not disappointed although it was not what I was expecting. However, as always Dawn managed to creep me the fudge out!

Me while reading The Creeper Man... TOTALLY spooked!

The Creeper Man is the haunting story of Silla Daniels as she takes her little sister Nori to a new life at La Baume. La Baume is the manor in which their Aunt Cathy lives, but when they arrive it isn't the fresh new start they were hoping for. The house holds too many secrets and as the woods begin to move closer, trapping them in the house that has driven their Aunt mad, Silla and Nori are left to confront The Creeper Man. A fairy tale gone wrong, the boogie man in the woods, The Creeper Man has no eyes and tall thin limbs like menacing tree roots. He comes when he's called and in 1980 Cath and her two sisters summoned him to La Baume... he never left.

There were moments of pure horrifying genius in this book that will make me fear walking into the woods the rest of my life! The story itself in woven with an unusual writing style that is almost like being inside Silla's deteriorating brain. The text repeats itself, it gets bigger and smaller when appropriate and paints a disturbing picture of what it is like to be haunted by The Creeper Man.

Silla herself is a fascinating character, she is the quintessential YA protagonist in many ways, 17, strong, stubborn and has the weight of the world on her shoulders. However, at the same time she is falling apart, she is scared. Silla wants to keep her family safe but you get the feeling she doesn't know how and from start to finish she is in survival mode. My heart broke for Silla so many times and the disturbing things she had to go through to get to the end of the book gave me shivers.

This is one of those books that twists and turns until it morphs into something you weren't expecting. I don't want too say much as I don't want to give anything away but the ending blew my mind and made me realise I wasn't reading the story I thought I was.

Although just because I can't tell you what happens doesn't mean I cant' show you in gifs....

This isn't happening

OMG it happened

Mind blown

WHAT!?!?!


The Creeper Man left me with a tear in my eye, a slightly broken heart and sleeping with the lights on for the foreseeable future.

Perfect for Halloween Reading!

23 October 2016

BLOG TOUR: Blood Red Snow White


Today is the last day of The Fantastic Flying Book Club's blog tour of Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick. I hope you enjoy and if you want to take a gander at the other post in the tour click on the banner above and  it will take you there.
Enjoy x

BLOOD RED SNOW WHITE
by Marcus Sedgwick


Pages: 320
Publisher: Macmillan Children's 
Publication Date: October 25th (first published July 6th 2007)
ISBN: 1626725470
Received From: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

Summary 

There never was a story that was happy through and through.When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his unhappy marriage in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, he has little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously, romantically entangled with Trotsky's personal secretary.Both sides seek to use Arthur to gather and relay information for their own purposes . . . and both grow to suspect him of being a double agent. Arthur wants only to elope far from conflict with his beloved, but her Russian ties make leaving the country nearly impossible. And the more Arthur resists becoming a pawn, the more entrenched in the game he seems to become.

Review

Blood Red Snow White was not what I was expecting! I feel like I say this a lot about books but this one was understated, effortless and enchanting. From the first page it had me hooked with it's beautifully crafted story telling and I didn't want to put it down. 

It is the story of author and journalist Arthur Ransome, who was a writer during the first world war. It is based around fact with Sedgwick using his artistic licence to interpret it into a story you won't be able to get enough of. It follows Arthur as he embarks on a journey to the heart of the Russian revolution, looking at how he deals with the devastating circumstances surrounding him and the beauty of a breaking country. He is torn between two sides, Red and White, and becomes dangerously entangled to a Bolshevik woman in a time of uncertainty. Can he escape the war without loosing everything he has come to love or will the chaos and destruction of Russia in the early 20th century destroy his chance at happiness? 

"There never was a story that was happy through and through, and this one is no different"

The book is split into three parts, each with a slightly different approach to writing. The first part is told like a fairy tale, it depicts the war in Russia like it is a child's story with a starving bear and an old man and his two grandchildren. It has this magical feel to it which is beautiful and effortless to read. The first part sets the scene for the second, which is all set in a single night in Moscow. To explain what has happened in the country since part one we get flashbacks to key events but the section itself is based around the night Arthurs life takes a dramatic turn, leaving us as the reader wondering if he is truly safe in Russia anymore. The third and final part is quite simply a continuation from that night, it is told like any other story with everything happening in concession. By this point in the book you are hooked and the slight change in writing style sees you through to the very last page seamlessly. I've never read a book that tells one story and in three different ways and it was a refreshing change of pace that I found really enjoyable to read. 

As a character Arthur Ransome is an interesting one. He is both naive and wise. He is a character that has seen the horrors of war but chooses to believe in fairy tales. Arthur sees the world in a different way to how you would expect a man living at the heart of a bloody war and it makes him as a character all the more endearing. Of course he has his moments where the bleakness of his situation starts to take route but he's never down for long. He's a man that will do whatever he needs to do, he learns from his mistakes and he is everything I wanted him to be any more. 

""Oh, Arthur, will you ever live in the real world?"

Overall I adored this book. It is a fairy tale stained in blood. It has you hooked from the first page with a writing style that is one of the most beautiful I have ever read. Even in the darkest moments the love between Arthur and his Bolshevik girl lights up the page with an air of hope. It isn't my usual kind of book but it was so enjoyable to read and I can not recommend it more. 

"Home is where you can be with the one you love."


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is  British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several booksincluding Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Daysboth of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe AwardThe most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Heart of Another" - inspired by Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." Of his storySedgwick says, "This was one of those stories that I thought might be a novel originally but actually was much better suited to the tight form of the short story. I had the initial idea some years ago but was just waiting for the right ingredient to come alongPoe's story, as well as his own fascination with techniqueprovided that final piece of the puzzle." 

He used to play for two bands namely playing the drums for Garrett and as the guitarist in an ABBA tribute group. He has published novels such as Floodland (winner of the Branford Boase Award in 2001) and The Dark Horse (shortlisted for The Guardian Children's Book Award 2002). 





GIVEAWAY: 
Prize: Win a set of Marcus Sedgwick's booksBLOOD RED SNOW WHITETHE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN and MIDWINTERBLOOD (US Only)