Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Back for Good (the good of books)

Dear all,
Faithful followers I know you have missed this Blog and I have missed making my contributions to it but I do hope in the interim you have been enjoying the magazine.

I have not been idle these last few months and this may be part of the reason that you have not seen me here, but I have plenty of posts to contribute and will be updating this Blog every Wednesday from now on, so please, as they say, watch this space, come back into the fold and enjoy some great Blogs on some even greater books!

To begin ... an explosion for an explosive day ... (contributed by Simon Barrett)

Itchingham Lofte: the explosive adventures of an element hunter

Itchingham Lofte is an element hunter.  He collects the elements on the periodic table, possessing a totally obsessive and near encyclopedic knowledge of them.  Impossibly Itch finds a new element, number 126.  It is hot, radioactively hot.  Suddenly Itch attracts a lot of unwelcomed attention.

So far there are three adventures in the element hunter series: Itch, Itch Rocks and Itch Craft.  It seems impossible that the story can continue and the stakes can get any higher.  Bruised, battered and near to death on more than one occasion, Itch and his cousin Jack, manage to keep outwitting rogue corporations and corrupt governments.  As Kirsten, an assigned M15 operative says, ‘I’m glad the kid is on our side’.  Inevitably his family and friends get dragged into a spiraling deadly situation, fuelled by Itch’s commitment to do the right thing and his enemies desire for revenge.

Itch’s nemesis is his old science teacher Dr Flowerdew.  Flowerdew’s menace extends out of the classroom and goes global as he uses his contacts and money in the oil business to try and steal element 126 and in villainous Bond-style exact a suitable death upon Itch and his friends.  In turn Itch must use his knowledge of science to escape and finally bring Flowerdew down.  Flowerdew however is ruthless and simply refuses to die.

Above all Simon Mayo is a terrific storyteller.  The adventures are impossible to put down as each chapter spurns you into reading the next.  Each book is packed with action as Itch travels around the world hounded by the mafia, corporate goons, government secret agents and outlaws.  There is suspense and hints surreptitiously placed in the book, teasing the reader to pre-empt what will happen next.  Itch, his family and friends are great characters, showing great grit and courage.  Sadly not all of them will survive.

Moreover the books have a really cool marketing concept.  If you download the app and point your device to the front cover of each book, the front cover comes to life and starts a book trailer.

The element hunter adventures have been the hit books of the summer for me.  I’m glad I could review the books after the final adventure, Itch Craft, had been released as I don’t think I would have had the patience to wait for them to be published.  If you haven’t done so already, start reading about the discovery of Lofteium, element 126.

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