Tag Archives: Brian Falkner

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner

Characters in Brian Falkner’s books have saved the world from a deadly virus, discovered the recipe for Coca-Cola, developed super powers, traveled in time, and been chased by black lions.  In Brian’s latest book, Maddy West and the Tongue Taker, an evil witch is stealing people’s ability to talk, and it’s up to Maddy and her friends to stop her.

Maddy West can speak every language in the world. When she is asked to translate some ancient scrolls, Maddy is excited. But the scrolls hide many secrets. Secrets that send Maddy on a wild adventure with a stowaway ninja, a mysterious monkey, a Bulgarian wrestler and a fiendish witch. And soon Maddy finds herself in deadly peril. Does Maddy have what it takes to save herself and her new friends?

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker is an action-packed, magic-filled adventure that has something for everyone.  There’s a girl who can speak every language known to man (some that haven’t been spoken for thousands of years), a very clever monkey, a ninja that can go invisible, a giant Bulgarian wrestler, a witch, ancient scrolls, magic, and lots of spiders and cockroaches. The story is full of twists and turns, so you’re not sure who to trust and whose side of the story to believe.

Maddy is a very cool character.  She has an amazing gift that she uses to help people, especially those who speak another language.  She helps her friend Kazuki and the giant Dimitar by translating for them so that others can understand them or so they can understand the horrible situation that they’re in.  Maddy is also very brave and isn’t afraid to stand up to the dangerous people she meets.  Kazuki is a funny character, who is a loyal friend to Maddy and a ninja who can make himself invisible.  He does his best to protect Maddy, including stowing away on her plane to Bulgaria.  Some of the adults in the story are really annoying, like Maddy’s mum who only seems to be interested in how much money she can make, but there are others, like Dimitar, who are friendly and do all they can to help Maddy.

I love Donovan Bixley’s cover and his illustrations throughout the book.  I’m a huge fan of illustrated novels for children and Donovan’s black and white illustrations add to the excitement and suspense of the story.  I love the way that he has brought Brian’s characters to life, especially Dimitar and Maddy.

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker is a great read for 9+, especially if you liked Brian’s last book, Northwood.  It’s perfect for anyone who likes adventure, mystery and magical stories.  Get it now from your library or bookshop.

4 out of 5 stars

You can enter my competition to win 1 of 3 copies of Maddy West and the Tongue Taker here on the blog.

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Win Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker is the latest action-packed, magic-filled adventure from New Zealand author Brian Falkner.  I’m a huge fan of Brian Falkner and I’ve read nearly all of his books.  Maddy West and the Tongue Taker is a great read, especially for fans of his last book, Northwood.

Thanks to everyone who entered.  This competition is now closed.

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My Most Anticipated October New Releases

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Evening Spiker is recuperating from a freak accident in her mum’s medical facility. She is healing at a remarkable rate, faster than physically possible. As she grows closer to the hot lab assistant Solo, who seems to be hanging around a lot, she realises that things at Spiker Biotech are not quite as they seem. Joining forces, Solo and Eve uncover a secret so huge it could change the world completely. Spiker Biotech is about more than just saving lives. It’s about creating them.

All the Wrong Questions: Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket

Author Lemony Snicket is a broken man, wracked with misery and despair as a result of writing A Series Of Unfortunate Events. He spends his days wandering the countryside weeping and moaning, and his evenings eating hastily-prepared meals. But what was he like when he was thirteen years old? Find out in the brand new series from best-selling author Lemony Snicket!

Zom-B by Darren Shan

When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B Smith’s racist father thinks it’s a joke– but even if it isn’t, he figures, it’s ok to lose a few Irish. B doesn’t fully buy into Dad’s racism, but figures it’s easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. But when zombies attack B’s school, B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors, making allegiances with anyone with enough guts to fight off their pursuers.

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner

Maddy West can speak every language in the world. When she is asked to translate some ancient scrolls, Maddy is excited. But the scrolls hide many secrets. Secrets that send Maddy on a wild adventure with a stowaway ninja, a mysterious monkey, a Bulgarian wrestler and a fiendish witch. And soon Maddy finds herself in deadly peril. Does Maddy have what it takes to save herself and her new friends?

The Crystal Code by Richard Newsome

Gerald, Ruby and Sam are meeting up with Alisha and Gerald’s Australian school friend Ox for two weeks of snowboarding in the mountains of California. It’s a dream vacation.

But soon after they arrive—by helicopter, with Gerald’s butler Mr Fry at the controls, of course—the private chalet is attacked. Gerald and the gang escape through a secret passage, only to be pursued on snowmobiles by men with guns across frozen lakes and into the path of a cascading avalanche.

Could this be the work of Gerald’s nemesis Sir Mason Green, recently escaped from prison? Or is someone else behind the attack? Does the old dry cleaning ticket Gerald found amongst Green’s belongings hold the key? And how does an invitation to join the secretive Billionaire’s Club land Gerald in so much trouble?

Join Gerald and his friends in the USA, the Czech Republic and a tiny island in Sweden for a new thrilling adventure. After all, with all that money, there’s got to be more to the story.

Every Day by David Levithan

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
And then A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Can you love someone who is destined to change each day? YA superstar author David Levithan brings all his trademark insight to a novel that is edgy, romantic and page-turning. Every Day has a touch of the paranormal and a grounding in the real world.

The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi

Perry’s mother and father are busy people … they’re impatient, they’re tired, they get cross easily. And they think that only children, like Perry, should be kept busy. On Saturday mornings Perry and her father visit her gran, Honora Lee, at the Santa Lucia rest home, but Gran never remembers them. ‘Who is that man?’ Honora Lee asks when Perry’s father leaves the room. After movement class is abruptly cancelled, Perry is allowed to go to Santa Lucia on Thursday afternoons. She discovers her Gran has an unconventional interest in the alphabet, so Perry decides to make an alphabet book with the help of Honora and the others. Soon everyone is interested in Perry’s book project.

Spook’s: Slither’s Tale

Far from the Wardstone, a new darkness is rising . . . Slither is a haizda mage who preys upon humans, drinking their blood to feed his dark urges. So when a local farmer dies, it’s only natural that Slither should want to feast on his lovely daughters. But then the farmer offers him a deal, and extracts from Slither a promise that will take him on a journey to the City of the Petrified Tree, to a fallen star-stone that holds great power, and straight into the path of Grimalkin, the Witch Assassin.

The Books of Beginning: The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens

It’s been six months since Kate, Michael, and Emma confronted the Dire Magnus, but the trail to their long-missing parents remains cold. Then Michael and Emma find a man who saw them ten years ago—three days after they disappeared. He knows about a map of a distant land, a place shrouded in mystery that may lead them to their parents. Meanwhile, Kate’s connection to the Book of Time is growing stronger and stronger, until a dangerous trick gets her stuck in the past, searching for a friend to help her. Only a perilous quest and a daring risk will help the children to harness the power of the Books of Beginning. But will it be enough to save them?

Ratburger by David Walliams

Things are not looking good for Zoe. Her stepmother Sheila is so lazy she gets Zoe to pick her nose for her. The school bully Tina Trotts makes her life a misery – mainly by flobbing on her head. And now the evil Burt from Burt’s Burgers is after her pet rat! And guess what he wants to do with it? The clue is in the title.

And these picture books…

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Fast Five with Brian Falkner

1. Why did you want to be a writer?

Don’t know. Just always did. Maybe because I was a keen reader as a child.

2. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Visiting schools and literary festivals and meeting your audience. Without that, it would be quite a solitary vocation.

3. What’s your favourite New Zealand book?

Aarrgh! Don’t make me choose. Too many brilliant books to choose from.

4. What do you love most about New Zealand?

The people. The climate. Rangitoto. The beaches. Lots of other things. I miss NZ!

5. What book changed your life?

Any one of the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton. These were a revelation for me. It was fabulously exciting (with lashings of fun) to find a new Enid Blyton book was in the library when I was young. I am sure that these books are part of the reason that I became a writer.

Brian Falkner is the author of The Tomorrow Code, The Real Thing, Brainjack, Northwood, and his latest book, Team Recon Angel: Assault.  Visit his website – http://www.brianfalkner.com/

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Northwood by Brian Falkner

The best books grip you from the first few sentences and you want to keep reading until you get to the end.  Northwood  by Brian Falkner is one of those books.  Here are the opening sentences:

“This is the strange story of Miss Cecilia Undergarment and the black lions of Northwood.  It is probably not true, but who really knows for sure.”

Straight away, you want to know all about Cecilia Undergarment (like why does she have such a funny name?), why the story is so strange, and what are black lions?  So now you’re sucked into the story and want to find out what happens to Cecilia.

Cecilia Undergarment lives with her extraordinary family in her extraordinary house, which is shaped like a huge bunch of balloons (to find out why you’ll have to read the book).  Wouldn’t it be great to live in a house made of balloons!  One day while looking out her window she sees a sad and neglected dog trying to escape from the house next door.  She rescues the dog, but the dog’s mean owner destroys her home and sends her balloon room floating away, until it lands in the dark forest of  Northwood.  The forest is home to the ferocious black lions and anyone who has entered Northwood has never returned.  Cecilia and the dog, Rocky find refuge in Northwood at Castle Storm, which is ruled by the horrible King Harry.  Cecilia is determined to find a way out of Northwood, but King Harry will do anything to stop the people leaving.

Brian Falkner has created an amazing world.  When I started reading I was transported into the world of Northwood and felt like I was right there with Cecilia on her adventure.  I could picture the dark tarblood trees of the forest and the dusty rooms of Castle Storm, smell the damp forest, and hear the low rumble of the black lions.  Cecilia is a really cool character and someone who you would want to be friends with.   I also really loved Donovan Bixley’s illustrations, especially the way he portrays King Harry, and the cool cover that really stands out.

Recommended for 9+     10 out of 10

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