Sunday, September 06, 2009

Woo hoo!

Top review site The Bookbag have just made my day by awarding X Isle a full five stars! Here's an extract from what they have to say:

'This is a teen read of impeccable depth. The world has been fully realised, and the company of Baz is most welcome for seeing the ordeal everyone is in. While the language is pitched ideally for a 12-16 year old bracket, the book is quite a dark one at times. Nothing is gory or too graphic, but there are deaths, misery, sewage-based revenges, and more. It's not a very cheery book.

In fact I did take some time to get into it. At first it just seemed to be a retread of Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick, but things soon diversified. I sought a bit more sprightliness, before realising that would be counter-productive. And by the end I was most impressed by this author. He has put so much into this world, and as an adult reader I was aware, and waiting for everything to become relevant, and it often did in unexpected ways. There are several instances of him leaving something unsaid for hundreds of pages, then to give us the answer, and never patronise us with a flashback. Ray's mother is just one instance.

It's always up to us to put the pieces together. And that wouldn't work if things were not so memorable from beginning to end. The style is a great, cinematic one, with practically everything clear to the reader, and the plot and mood is brilliantly sustained. This is a title I hold in high regard, and while I have not read any of his other titles, such as Winter Wood, I can say with the highest recommendation that this book will go down exceedingly well with the target audience. It feels more than a little masculine at times, but young ladies - if your brother passes this on to you, you should not hesitate to snap it up.

I can see a flood of awards for X-Isle, and must thank the kind David Fickling Books people for my review copy.'
(John Lloyd.)


Masha said...

Fabulous! I cant wait to read it.
I wonder when I will be able to get hold of it over here.
By the way, I followed your advice about joining a writers forum. I found this one Critique Circle .
It's worked very well for me so far, I'm getting useful suggestions on my writing. I've been posting some of my stories on my blog, which is apparently not such a clever thing to do if you ever want to get them published. Oh well.

Steve Augarde said...

Thanks, Masha. Fingers crossed, we seem to be doing pretty well so far!

I took a quick look at Critique Circle, and I'm sure you'll find it valuable. It's always good to read of other writers' experiences, and to exchange ideas. Good luck with your work.

RobinSlick said...

Hey you! That's awesome! The book sounds amazing, and I've no doubt it is.

How are things in your world, anyway?


Steve Augarde said...

Thanks, Rob. A very trying few months, as you might gather from previous posts, but finally back on track (and online).

I have a signing in Harrods coming up, and a few other encouraging things in the pipeline. But look at you - here there and everywhere. Take a trip to Robin's blog folks, and see how a rock'n'roll Mom lives...

booksrusowenco said...

A friend and co-worker first handed me The Various a couple of months ago....I inhaled it and proceeded to hand it to another friend, or two, then moved on quickly to Celandine....I was so impressed with the originality and wonderful writing, amazing story, and incredible imagery. I cannot wait to read Winter Wood, and cannot believe I haven't done so yet! I hope to someday say I've read everything you have written to date....and recommend your books to as many people as I can. I guess you could say I'm a fan. Thank you, and I apologize for gushing. : )

Steve Augarde said...

Well thank you! I can actually withstand a fair amount of gushing, so no need to apologise.

The trilogy has been a slow burn, but that's preferable by far to a flash in the pan, and there does seem to be a genuine readership out there.

I gather you must work in a bookshop, but when I clicked on your name to see where it might be I couldn't get access. You can't know too many booksellers in my business, so do keep in touch.

Hope you enjoy Winter Wood. I think it's probably the best of the three books, but then I would say that.

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

RE: "booksrusowenco"

So sorry. I actually work in a public library in Indiana....this account is my personal one.

Yes, I would say that Winter Wood was my very favorite of the three. This was one of those books that I read and was sorry to finish, but when I did sighed hugely and said "now THAT is a great book!" Loved it! Definitely in my top favorites....ever.
I have recommended the series over and over, and have no plans to stop this behaviour. Thank you again for such an amazing series. I shall be blogging about it soon....I hope.