Monday, 30 December 2013

Book Club September 2013

Good morning everyone, 
Sean Cummings and Andy Robb

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I do apologise sincerely for pulling a Sherlock on you; I’ve been completely snowed under with work recently. This is the blog post for our rather fabulous September get together with the fantastical Andy Robb and Sean Cummings. And, no, fantastical may not be a word, but it’s the only way that I could ever try to accurately cram the personalities of those authors into one impossibly tiny word. This is mainly because both of them are charming, funny, polite and immensely talented people that know how to hold a good conversation. Almost more importantly, they can write a good book (or two)!
On that note, we shall sashay onto the reviews…

First up is the truly amazing ‘Poltergeeks’ by Sean Cummings.
The spooky cover for 'Poltergeeks'
Being the daughter of a witch isn’t as dandy as it sounds, something that 15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn the hard way. When Julie and her best friend Marcus watch an elderly lady in their neighbourhood fly out of her front door, Julie is sure that there’s a supernatural origin to the scene. Poltergeist activity is spiking all over town and it’s only a matter of time before it climaxes in a terrifying paranormal assault on Julie high school that leaves her mother a victim of the ‘Endless Night’ spell. With only days to save her mother’s life and untangle a sinister supernatural web, the stakes are high and the consequences are unfathomable.

Where to start? ‘Poltergeeks’ is a book that just feels right, for lack of a more adequate description. I can’t really explain it properly, but it just made me feel warm and fuzzy inside and not in a nauseous way. The plot was explosive and unpredictable, as good plots always are. Each character was unique and well developed, with one of my favourite things about the book being the way in which Julie grew wiser in her decisions over time. But perhaps most important of all was that I simply adore the concept of this book and the way that it turns cheesy stereotypes of the paranormal into something that’s actually extremely enjoyable and at times, granted, quite scary. Overall, I loved ‘Poltergeeks’. Absolutely loved it. All of it, every single bit.

Then we have Andy Robb’s offerings, the marvellous ‘Geekhood’ books.

Here’s a blurby bit from Goodreads for ‘Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girlkind’, because I honestly don’t believe that I could sum it up any better: 

I love the little Archie on the front!
‘If you haven't worked it out yet, girls don't do this. They don't come to the Hovel. They don't like goblins and dragons. They don't paint miniatures. They don't play role playing games or re-enact fictional battles. And they don't talk to Geeks like me especially if they're pretty. And this girl is pretty. What do you do if you're a fourteen-year-old Geek, and a Beautiful Girl has appeared in the midst of your geeky world? And she seems to like you... For Archie, the natural reaction would be to duck and cover ... run for the hills ... buy a new model elf... Anything but risk stepping into the Real World. But even Geeks have to put their heads above the parapet at some point. With his mum barely able to contain her excitement that her son is about to join the human race, and his step-father, Tony the Tosser, offering crass advice, it's time for Archie to embark on a daring Quest to win the Beautiful Girl's heart and shake off his Geekhood for good...’

The ‘Geekhood’ books are amongst my favourites. Archie as a character has a resonance that I think we can all relate to in some way or another due to the experiences he shares with us and it’s nice to know that you’re not alone. As well as that, his inner monologue is absolutely cracking! I was laughing out loud at some points, not even the half-smile and exhalation of air through your nose that happens when something is almost funny, actual rib-tickling laughter. In terms of plot, the book was great and the characters are extremely loveable too. One thing I found particularly interesting about the book was the insight it gave you on the game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’, which I’ve never played myself but now really want to because it sounds awesome. Like, really awesome. Finally, the sequel, ‘Geekhood: Mission Improbable’, is just as good as the first book, if not better.

See you next time,


P.S. There’s no smiley face because if you read ‘Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girlkind’ you will find that Archie/Andy Robb intensely dislikes the misuse of punctuation to create sideways faces. Maybe next time.

Title: Poltergeeks
Author: Sean Cummings
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
ISBN: 9781908844095
Rating out of five stars: ****

Title: Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girlkind
Author: Andy Robb
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
ISBN: 9781847152312
Rating out of five stars: **** and a half


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