Tag Archives: Will Hill

Some more Edinburgh author photos

As promised – threatened – here are more authors from that one, lone day in Charlotte Square.

First out is Frances Hardinge, who is the kind of person who gets away with dressing dramatically. In fact, she’s wearing the kind of outfit a witch might try if she thought it would work.

Frances Hardinge

And with Frances was China Miéville who looks very… very… Do I mean dashing?

China Miéville

I have actually met Emily Gravett, though I doubt she remembers. I love her books.

Emily Gravett

I promised you a second Jon Mayhew pic, and even without our magic photo tree he’s looking happy enough. Could be all the colours.

Jon Mayhew

Will Hill is only last because he was, event wise. I gather the photographer even had a book that got signed. All those authors, and just the one book…

Will Hill

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Monsters, Mayhew, Melvin, Morgan

When Daughter sat down to hear what Jon Mayhew had to say about his Monster Odyssey on Saturday afternoon, my only option was open up the book and start reading. Admittedly, that’s a pretty good thing to do as well. But it’s not exactly the EIBF, is it?

I encouraged Daughter to go for the day, since it might be fun, and it would mean that at least one of us managed a few hours of the 2013 bookfest. I even – sneakily – hoped there might be the odd photo I would be allowed to use. (I only emailed her a long wishlist of who to stalk round Charlotte Square…)

Odd is not the word for Nicola Morgan. But I had heard a rumour that she had been given the Chris Close photographic treatment and I wanted to see what he had done to her. That, too, required someone to go and find Nicola and take a picture of the findings.

Nicola Morgan by Chris Close

Will Hill did an evening event for slightly older children (like mine, or thereabouts). I always reckon they offer something for young readers to go to while their parents do something more mature, like an event for the elderly or a visit to the bar. Or something. Daughter has liked Will’s books ever since one caught her in a bookshop a couple of years ago. Dangerous places, bookshops.

Melvin Burgess is doing a YA event in Charlotte Square today, and did an adult one on Saturday evening, complete with photocall and everything. His two Wagnerian novels, Bloodtide and Bloodsong have just been reissued, and very good they look too. I mean the covers. I read the blood books when they first came out, and they are fantastic.

Some of Melvin’s other oldies are also out again, including my personal favourites The Cry of the Wolf and An Angel for May, as well as The Baby and Flypie and Burning Izzy. So, lots of topnotch books to read for those who didn’t last time round. (The best excuse is to have been too young then.)

And let’s face it; by not travelling to Edinburgh we have more time for reading, don’t we?

Department 19: The Rising

Books which (almost) prevent Offspring from going to lectures, thereby (almost) ruining their education, and after that, their whole future, can’t be all bad. The failed education obviously is, but seeing how eagerly Daughter tackled the second Department 19 book, I didn’t have it in me to refuse her review of it here. (She’ll say I forced her. Would I do a thing like that?)

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read Book 1 (and want to) don’t read ahead! You know what? I hate Will Hill. He is the master of cliffhangers, meaning I now have to wait until the next book comes out. Department 19: The Rising is the second instalment of five (!) and it is easily as good as the first.

It’s been three months since Lindisfarne and Jamie, Larissa and Kate have been brought together into a team working for Department 19, to kill vampires and ensure that they remain a secret. But ever since Count Dracula was resurrected by Valeri Rusmanov, they need to start catching the vampires for the Lazarus Project, an assignment so secret that only the top levels of the department know what goes on behind the door on the deepest level of the Loop. They know that any second all hell could break loose. The messages left for them at every location they’re called out to couldn’t be clearer. ‘He Rises.’

But Jamie doesn’t only have to worry about Dracula and Valeri, but about his mother, his team and the fact that he feels responsible for Frankenstein’s death. But he is quickly distracted as he is assigned to join the Zero Hour Task Force, to track down and destroy the oldest vampire in the world. At the same time, a man is travelling across America to find an answer, only to be constantly directed somewhere else.

I think what I love most about this book is the amount of twists and turns. Will Hill surprises us with discoveries, intrigues us with secrets and makes us, the readers, keep wanting to turn that page over. Even if there is only one minute to go before your lecture starts.

And another thing, you can literally see and smell the blood. Though I wish you couldn’t, but that’s just me.  I can see how kids will love this, especially since there are no glittering, romantic, pale guys to ruin this vampire adventure.

Hmmm. I wonder if holding a wooden stake to his heart would make Will write faster..?”

I see that as a threat. So that didn’t happen on here. I think.

Bookwitch bites #60

Today bookwitch bites brings you the letter B. (Well, a witch needs something to hold a blog post together.)

Billy is getting fatter. Deeper, rather. And that’s good. Deep is good, yes? That’s Billy as in those bookcases you all have somewhere, into which you stash your books. Except now you don’t. The latest fad is to have no books, but to put ornaments in Billy instead. That’s why he’s got so deep. (I prefer fat.)

One day I might tell you about me and my Billy, back in 1977. That didn’t go too well.

Bzrk. Sorry. It was certainly not my idea. I’m currently reading Michael Grant’s fourth book in the Gone series. It’s creepy enough. I’m feeling constantly uneasy. But as Michael was telling me last year, he has something new and weird coming. The weird bit of it is here now. That’s BZRK.

It is transmedia. It is something adults aren’t supposed to get, and I’m obliging by not getting it. I think it is creepyness online and ‘games’ and stuff. It will lead up to a real book some time in the winter. I gather one can do both, or either.

Bloody Scotland. It’s what it’s called; the Scottish crime festival that was launched last week and that will happen for real next September. I can’t wait. I wish I’d known about the launch, which took place in Stirling and featured lots of big names, with that Rankin chap in the lead. Lin Anderson was also in on it, along with countless others. All of whom I missed.

Sob. I’m packing my bags to be ready for next year.

Boo! Here is a sample video to scare you. It’s part of a competition and you can make your own (Can you really? I couldn’t.) and you might win unimaginably wonderful stuff like iPads and iTunes vouchers and even an invite to a special secret event. This is all to celebrate the (I presume equally bloody) paperback of Department 19 by Will Hill.

Book. I believe I am allowed to tempt you with winning a signed copy of this book. To tell me why you deserve to win, please use the contact form at the top of this page (NOT the comments…). Shall we say by the 3rd October?

Bye for now.

Department 19

I didn’t exactly bring Offspring up to swear on blogs, but then life offers a few surprises. I apologise for the first word my guest reviewer has used.

“Bloody is one word that can be used to describe Will Hill’s book Department 19. There certainly is no shortage of it in this book. And there is a constant supply of gory visions that I had hoped to never imagine, but ones that many will hopefully find disgustingly and excitingly entertaining.

Picking up this book whilst sitting in Waterstone’s, I wasn’t expecting much (based on the cover); weapons, knives, grenades and a skull-like helmet. But reading the teaser, ‘Department 6 is the Army. Department 13 is MI5. Department 19 is the reason you’re alive.’, and the blurb, convinced me to give the book a chance. Halfway through chapter one I was hooked. I then had to de-hook myself as I was in Waterstone’s for an event, but made a mental note to get hold of this book, by any means. And when I finally read past chapter one, I was not disappointed.

Will Hill, Department 19

Jamie is a 16 year old boy who has experienced things that no 16 year old should. His father has been labelled a traitor, and bullies make life a battle. Jamie is suddenly thrown into a world that he thought only existed in books (this is a book…) when his mother is kidnapped by the vicious psychopath Alexandru Rusmanov and the girl Larissa attempts to kill him. But he is intent on rescuing her, with the help from some unlikely allies that he encounters on the way.

Department 19 is a top secret government institution, founded by the men made famous through the novel by Bram Stoker, who himself makes an appearance. An agency to fight against the supernatural, and primarily, vampires. ‘Oh no, not another vampire book,’ I hear you cry. Don’t be disheartened, this has no romantic vampires who you want to fall in love with. Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ also turns up. Adam, the body brought to life by Frankenstein, is one of the main characters, and he’s a nice guy really!

Some things that did strike me were similarities with other things. Mostly with Torchwood. Department 19 was formed under the threat of vampires, and with the blessing of William Gladstone. Torchwood was formed after Queen Victoria had faced the supernatural. And the fact that over the last 100 years both these agencies have managed to develop some pretty awesome technologies.

Throughout the book, the chapters move between different characters and different places. Whilst this at first was a little confusing, it’s a brilliant way to keep the reader going, as there were cliffhangers after each section. But I did identify the baddie quite early on.

I particularly enjoyed the reference to RAF Fylingdales in Yorkshire. Though, since I have been there, I know Will Hill’s building doesn’t exist. And I love all the references to places in real life and the detailed way he uses them for the story.

I can see how this book would make a good film, but if it is made into a film, please don’t cast Alex Pettyfer as Jamie or Dakota Blue Richards as Larissa. They might be perfect for the parts, but trust me, we don’t want them!

I loved the small teaser for the next book, which makes me want to read it when it’s out! I had got about two thirds of the way through and realised I wouldn’t be able to sleep till I had finished it.

So, this a book I would recommend to basically anyone. It is action-packed. It has great characters and a plot that means you just have to know what’s going to happen next. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t need anything else from a book. Apart from maybe a cover that doesn’t scare off potential readers.”

Review by Photowitch, because in these parts nepotism is rife. And I was threatened… And I was told it wasn’t suitable for me. So that’s anyone but me, then.