*Disclaimer: A copy was provided to me by the author in exchange for a honest review*
Book #: 1
Author: Jack Croxall
Release Date: February 5th 2013
Publisher: Amazon (e-book version)
This book was not what I was expecting at all, in a very good way. At first it got me super curious and interested and then it got me surprised at the events that I was presented with.
Taking place in the 1800's, Tethers shows us a very different perspective of the Victorian times. Advanced science, seers (sort of) and brave children were not something I was expecting to find in this book. I honestly was completely impressed with Karl and Esther, they showed complete bravery when presented with some tough situations, especially when it came to have some friends die before their eyes.
Usually, in books like this - someone gets dragged into a spiral of situations they never thought they would be in - the characters try to adapt to the situations they're in but still show traces of weakness, of uncertainty and they may even end up making the wrong decisions. I didn't find any of this in this book. Taking into account that the main characters were children, this shows a very imaginative vision by the author.
Even though, I really liked this book, something that got me very intrigued through out the story was the fact that we never got to know how Karl and Esther's parents felt or how they dealt with the 'disappearance' of their children. Yes, another character (will not spoil who) sends a letter to their parents assuring them of their safety, but still, I would love to know how they felt once the children got home. Maybe on the next book we get to see what happened after their adventure.
Having a engaging plot and sometimes fast paced, Tethers allows you to connect with all the characters, to the point that you will suffer when some of them are lost forever. This fact allows the readers to become addicted with this book, not wanting to put it down for very long.
Karl and Esther are surprisingly refreshing when it comes to Young Adult characters. They are quite opposite from eachother, for instance, Karl is more conservative while Esther is more outgoing and sort of throws herself into situations without considering morals or even possible consequences. But they are really great friends, they would do anything for eachother and they compliment eachother so well that I feel like I should congratulate the author for not going with the obvious 'characters that are opposite are by definition rivals'. Another factor that made me enjoy this book so much has to do with 'love'. Ninety percent of times, in YA books, when the main characters are from opposite genders they tend to fall with eachother and this did not happen here.
When it comes to the writing, it was flawless for me. Even though English is not my first language, this book was easy to understand but still presented a sort of antique way of speaking, characteristic of the Victorian times. The characters had particular accents that made them unique and this again shows how talented Jack Croxall is.
Overall I really loved this book. I cannot wait for the next one especially since the ending of this book is pure torture...PURE TORTURE!! It will make you so curious about the next book that you won't know what to do with yourself for a while.
Meet The Author
According to the "About the author" section in his book, Jack Croxall was born in High Wycombe and currently lives in Nottinghamshire.
He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottinghamshire and while he works on his books he also works as a science writer.
I was granted a small interview from Jack Croxall that will allow us to meet him a little better. So let's get down to it.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
JC: Ooh, good question! I think it must have been at university, I started writing little articles and blogs for student publications and I quickly became hooked. By the time I graduated, I knew it was what I wanted to do!
Did you have any influences?
JC: I honestly feel that I pick things up from everything I read, but to name some specific influences is surprisingly hard. People who have read the book have often said they can see Enid Blyton and Philip Pullman in there though; an unbelievably wonderful compliment!
How did you come up with the idea for Tethers?
JC: Well, early on, I had a picture in my head of a Victorian boy excited by something he had seen in an old man’s house. I started writing with nothing but that in mind because I wanted to know what that something was, and why it intrigued the boy so much. The whole story just sort of escalated from there!
When can we expect the second book from this trilogy?
JC: Hmm, that’s a tough question. I’m currently working away on book two, but it still has a fair way to go. I wouldn’t like to set a date in case I miss it and disappoint people!
Do you think that you may decide to expand the series beyond the three books that you have planned? Or maybe do a spin-off?
JC: I think if I did a spin-off it would be a short story involving a secondary character, perhaps about something that happened to them before the events of Tethers. I’m not sure though, at the moment I have no real plans beyond the third book.
Do you have a special place to write and is there a specific routine that you follow before you start writing?
JC: I do! I like to write at a certain desk in my house by the window. That way, if I get stuck, I can stare out at the trees and the sky hoping for some inspiration!
Since this is your first book, did you find it difficult to get people to notice your work?
JC: Yes, and I still do really. However, the brilliant thing about bookish people is that, if they enjoy something they read, they usually tell one of their fellow bookworms and I’m hugely grateful for that. I’m convinced that word of mouth is still the best mechanism for getting your book noticed.
Do you plan on releasing printed versions of your books?
JC: Yes, the paperback version of Tethers has just come out and half of the profits are going to ME Research UK, a wonderful charity.
Now some off topic questions: What’s your favorite book and why?
JC: I’m constantly raving about His Dark Materials; I just think Lyra is the most marvelous character and the worlds Pullman created for his story are just gorgeous, I want to live in them!
And if you had to choose between a printed book, paperback or hardback, or e-books, which would you choose and why?
JC: I like ebooks for the freedom they provide; you can take any number of them anywhere. But I think paperbacks are my favorite (preferably quite large ones so you don’t have to turn the pages every two seconds!), because they’re just so easy to bend into your perfect reading shape and work so well whilst lying down outside in the sun; the best way to read.
What’s your favorite book that is now a movie?
JC: I think Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was adapted into a movie perfectly. The dementors are terrifying and the time travel aspect of the final act was done exceptionally well. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve watched that film!
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