Have you ever wanted to be in a movie? Kip gets this chance when he meets the mysterious Mr Lazarus in Philip Caveney’s latest book, Night on Terror Island. Kip’s dad owns the Paramount Theatre, a small movie theatre that is under threat of going out of business because of the big multiplex cinemas that have popped up. Kip loves the Paramount and helps his dad out whenever he can, making the popcorn, selling candy and the tickets. Just when things are really bad and their projectionist decides to retire, the myterious Mr Lazarus appears and offers to take up the job and turn things around. Something isn’t quite right with Mr Lazarus though; he knows things he shouldn’t about Kip and his family and he can make things appear out of thin air.
As Kip gets to know Mr Lazarus he uncovers the truth about this strange man and Mr Lazarus shows Kip his secret invention. The Lazarus Enigma is a special machine that can project people into movies. Kip thinks this sounds amazing, but when you’re in a film, everything is real: real bullets, real swords, real monsters. If you don’t get out by the time the closing credits roll, you’ll be trapped in the film forever! When Kip’s sister gets transported into a horror film called Terror Island, it’s up to Kip to go into the film and get her back.
Night on Terror Island is a gripping, fast-paced story full of action, adventure, magic, hungry saber-toothed tigers and killer Neanderthals. It’s clear that Philip Caveney loves movies and the magic that they bring to children and adults. He’s perfectly captured the desire to want to be inside the world of movies. I’m a bit like Kip because I’d rather be transported into a comedy or a children’s movie, rather than a horror. My favourite thing about Night on Terror Island though has to be the character of Mr Lazarus. He’s such a mysterious character and I’m still not sure whether he is totally good or whether he is a little bit sinister. I feel like Philip didn’t quite tell us everything about Mr Lazarus, which is why I liked him so much. I’d love to read more about Kip and Mr Lazarus’s adventures in the world of the movies so hopefully Philip Caveney writes some more about them.
8.5 out of 10
If you’re a huge fan of Skulduggery Pleasant like me, you’ve been waiting a whole year to find out what happens next to Skulduggery Pleasant and his side-kick Valkyrie Cain. We were left wondering whether Valkyrie’s dark side would show her head and there was a feeling of impending doom. Death Bringer doesn’t disappoint and there are plenty of thrill, chills and surprises to keep you on your toes.
Even before I started the story, Derek’s dedication made me crack up so I knew this book was going to be great. The story starts with you meeting Melancholia St. Clair, a young Necromancer who Craven has chosen to be the Death Bringer. Who and what the Death Bringer is is revealed throughout the book. We’re reunited with Skulduggery and Valkyrie when they question a reporter who has been trying to dig up information about some strange disappearances that have occurred recently. It appears someone is trying to cover up the truth about the Death Bringer and The Passage, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie are determined to get to the bottom of it. When they discover the truth they must do anything they can to capture Melancholia and stop The Passage.
Death Bringer is a huge book with so much packed into it and I didn’t want it to end. Skulduggery and Valkyrie face some terrible truths in this book and the line between good and evil is blurred. You discover more about Skulduggery’s past and get inside Valkyrie’s head. Because we’re getting close to the end of the series (only 3 more books to go), the story is getting darker and there’s less focus on some of the minor characters. There’s still plenty of Derek Landy’s humour shining through though and a couple of parts had me laughing out loud, especially this part when Skulduggery meets a family travelling through Roarhaven.
“Ah,” Skulduggery said, “yes. Very rude man, that shopkeeper. All’s well, though? No harm done? Excellent.” He crouched at the car window and looked in. “What a lovely family you have. What a charming family. They’re all lovely. Except for that one.” His finger jabbed the glass. “That one’s a bit ugly.”
One of my favourite parts has to be the fight between Fletcher and Caelan. It’s shows you exactly what Derek thinks of Twilight and some of the insults they throw at each other are classic. Some of my favourite characters are back too, including Vaurien Scapegrace, the decomposing vampire and his follower, Thrasher. There are also some great new character names including Dexter Vex, Melancholia St Clair and Oblivious. If you’re a fan of Skulduggery Pleasant make sure you reserve your copy of Death Bringer at the library now, or if you haven’t read any of the series make sure you get your hands on the first Skulduggery Pleasant book. Recommended for 9+ 10 out of 10