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Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani

 Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani Twelve powerful people are kidnapped and imprisoned in an empty hotel. Each one of them has three choices: Live out the rest of their days peacefully in the hotel, Die by suicide so the rest of their companions can go free, Or murder one of their companions so they alone can go free. The Only Way Out is Death follows the story of these twelve people from the perspective of a young lawyer, Kiriaki, told as the events unfold. She has to forge messy alliances, navigate complex relationships and feuds, and, above all, try to stay alive. Meanwhile, the mastermind of this death game is lurking just out of view, watching them closely, making sure they are primed for murder. Will Kiriaki find the mastermind before it's too late for her? Will she outmanoeuvre the cutthroats before they cut her throat? There are twelve selfish lives in the hotel. Will it end in twelve selfish deaths? The Only Way Out is Death is a fascinating nov

Review - The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher

The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher

1944. London is under attack. 

Young mouse, Pip Hanway's safe and quiet world is turned upside down when her home, James Smith & Sons umbrella shop, is destroyed by a bomb.

Orphaned and alone, she must begin a perilous quest to find a new home. But the only way to get there is by joining Noah's Ark, a secret gang of animals fighting the resistance in France, operating beneath the feet of the human soldiers.

Danger is everywhere and as the enemy closes in, Pip must risk everything to save her new friends.

The Umbrella Mouse an exciting espionage thriller set towards the end of the Second World War, after D Day and during the Blitz. It is a story about a young girl who is orphaned and left homeless and alone after her home and family are destroyed by a German bomb. But she has one destination in mind, somewhere her parents told her about where she has family and could find a new home. Trying to get there across war-torn Europe, she joins a resistance cell working in occupied France and helps them to fight back against the Nazis behind enemy lines, sabotaging supply lines and planning daring escapes. It is packed full of exciting wartime drama, serious peril and a fantastic crew of resistance fighters both in occupied France and back in London. There are creepy villains, sneaky spies and brave heroes. It's everything you would want from a children's book based in this period.

The fact that the girl is a mouse and the resistance is led by a hedgehog, with an array of different birds and beasts just adds another magical layer to a brilliant MG novel, with so much heart and emotion in it.

The animal characters work well though, and each has a unique set of talents and abilities that are used very effectively in the story telling. It also lightens what would otherwise be quite a heavy story.

The illustrations by Sam Usher are quite charming and really fit the feel of the story.

I really enjoyed Pip's adventures, and I'm giving The Umbrella Mouse four and a quarter moons.


The Umbrella Mouse is published by MacMillan and is available now. I was given an e-proof from Netgalley in return for an honest review.


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