Title: Blackjack

Author: Tom Becker

Pages: 260 Pages

Publisher: Scholastic UK

The Blurb

The final spine-tingling visit to the secret London borough of Darkside…Jonathan’s mother is alive. Jonathan is shocked when he finds out his mother has been locked away in Darkside’s infamous madhouse, The Bedlam, for years – and he’s determined to rescue her. But with the rotten borough’s brutal new leader causing mass chaos, a mysterious stone wreaking havoc on all who possess it, and the wereman Carnegie nowhere to be found, will he be able to save his mum without losing everything else?

The Review

I think it is very rare in a long series of books that the stories continually get better each time. However, that is exactly what you get with the final instalment of the Darkside series by Tom Becker. Blackjack is awesome. It is a book that you cannot put down for more than a few minutes without needing to know more.

The final instalment of the saga finds Jonathan Starling back in Darkside trying to save not only his mother but also Carnegie and the rest of the Darksiders from the tyrannical reign of the latest ripper. It really is a thrilling ride and I know this sounds weird but I wish Darkside was a real place because it sounds like such an adventure could be had there.

What I don’t understand is how this book series hasn’t been made into a film series. It is too good a story not to have done.

If you liked any of the previous Darkside books but have yet to read Blackjack then what are you waiting for. It is brilliant.

Blackside (Darkside, #5) by Tom Becker is available now.

For more information regarding Tom Becker please visit his Twitter page (@Tbeckerlegge).

For more information regarding Scholastic UK (@scholasticuk) please visit www.scholastic.co.uk.

I'll Be Home for ChristmasTitle: I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Author: Various

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Little Tiger Group/Stripes Publishing

The Blurb

The UK’s top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home.

Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon, Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah.

£1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity. To find out more about Crisis, see www.crisis.org.uk

The Review

I love Christmas. It is my favourite time of the year. I love the food, the trimmings, finding the perfect gift for the perfect person. I love wrapping presents. I love being warm inside with the Christmas tree twinkling in the background.

I sometimes forget that for some people Christmas is the worst thing in the world.

In a sense, the purpose of I’ll Be Home for Christmas is to make you remember those that don’t like Christmas or those that don’t have reasons to love Christmas the way others do. I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a collection of anti-Christmas stories. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t negative about Christmas; they highlight the pain, worry and anguish that can come with this time of year for others.

And is that essentially what Christmas is about? Thinking about others?

I implore you to buy and read this book. Not just because it will give you a fresh perspective to think about but because for every copy of this book that is purchased £1 will be donated to Crisis.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Various is available now.

For more information regarding Little Tiger Group (@LittleTigerUK) and Stripes Publishing (@stripesbooks) please visit www.littletiger.co.uk.

For more information regarding Crisis (@crisis_uk) please visit www.crisis.org.uk.

For more information regarding the various authors featured in this book please visit the websites listed below.

Benjamin Zephaniah (@BZephaniah) – www.benjaminzephaniah.com, Non Pratt (@NonPratt) www.nonpratt.com, Marcus Sedgwick (@marcussedgwick) www.marcussedgwick.com, Cat Clarke (@cat_clarke) www.catclarke.com, Holly Bourne (@holly_bourneYA) www.hollybourne.co.uk, Juno Dawson (@junodawson) www.junodawson.com, Sita Brahmachari (@SitaBrahmachari) www.sitabrahmachari.com, Tracy Darnton (@TracyDarnton), Tom Becker (@Tbeckerlegge), Katy Cannon (@KatyJCannon) www.KatyCannon.com, Melvin Burgess (@MelvinBurgess) www.melvinburgess.net, Julie Mayhew (@JulieMayhew) www.juliemayhew.co.uk, Lisa Williamson (@lisa_letters) www.lisawilliamsonauthor.com.

4 Stars