I have long admired Catherine Fisher – Incarceron and Sapphique are amazing fantasy novels. Her latest The Obsidian Mirror is another triumph. It promises a whole series to follow – and I can’t wait. Oberon Venn is Jake’s godfather since his own father mysteriously disappeared some time before. But Venn is very obsessive and secretive and Jake is convinced Venn murdered his father. This is the page turning totally gripping First Book of the Chronoptika – an adventure in time and space, with all the elements of a country house mystery and a thriller set in the worst parts of Victorian London. A literary style novel that fully engages the excitement as well as giving food for thought.
Interestingly – as I finished The Obsidian Mirror there arrived a publishers proof of one of my other favourite authors – Eoin Colfer. Warp: Book 1 – The Reluctant Assassin has many similar elements – time travel, Victorian London slums, engaging characters and a ‘thrill a minute’ approach. I imagine the style will appeal to established Colfer fans when it is published later this year – and it is a thoroughly enjoyable, fun, thrilling read.
To make a change from both of those I followed up with the latest Tim Bowler Sea of Whispers. This is an exploration of growing up in a remote community, and of the hostility certain small communities exhibit to change or difference. Hetty has always felt different, and has a sense of otherness that marks her out from her peers and community. The arrival of an old woman washed up on the shore of the remote island in a storm unleashes a series of events and actions that appear to doom all involved. Tim always writes with a style and elegance that makes his novels very readable – well worth trying.