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Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more? Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world. Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package. When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral fam

Review - Operation Nativity by Jenny Pearson

Review - Operation Nativity by Jenny Pearson

“You might have heard the story of the nativity a thousand times, but I can guarantee you’ve NEVER heard what REALLY happened . . . So here’s the story of the Christmas we saved Christmas, and found out how much it really meant to us all.”

When Oscar and Molly rush outside to investigate a massive crash in the night, they're not expecting to find a dazed Angel Gabriel wandering around their grandparents' back garden. And they're certainly not expecting to find themselves in a race against time to save Christmas.

But if they don't track down a missing shepherd, wise man, donkey and the actual Mary and Joseph, who've all crash-landed in Chipping Bottom thanks to an angelic mishap, not only will Christmas cease to exist, but they will too. No presents, no crackers, no Christmas dinner - no Oscar and Molly!

Operation Nativity is on.

Operation Nativity is as exhilarating as sliding down a bannister wrapped in holly and as funny as watching someone else slide down a bannister they didn't know was covered in holly!

I was expecting a story about trying to put on a nativity play, and I got that. Oscar's grandmother puts on a very special nativity play every year in her local church, and she is incredibly particular about it. I loved the mother's reactions to being invited to her mother-in-law's house for Christmas because of her past experiences with the play, but also that ironic disappointment at not being given a part! The pregnant aunty not being able to act enough like a pregnant Mary was hilarious too. But it's not so much the play itself as the way people react to it, particularly the grandad sitting watching it, I swear I could see the look in his eye, part nostalgia, part mischievous twinkle. Molly was just brilliant throughout too! I found her sweet and hilarious and loved Oscar's attempts to cover up her blatant and extremely inconvenient honesty.

That's one of the (many) things that make this book so special. It hits that perfect balance between chaos and peace that I'm sure many of us recognise as so intrinsic to Christmas. Families come together and nothing is perfect, and so much may be irritating, but it's family and there's just so much love there when all is said and done.

What I wasn't expecting coming into the book is the totally magical storyline going on at the same time as the nativity rehearsals, and this aspect of it was absolutely hilarious! Poor Oscar and Molly have to traipse around in the early hours of the day looking for time-shifted and lost members of the original Nativity, Mary, Joseph, a wise man, a shepherd and possibly a donkey. Having found some of them, the efforts they had to go to to hide them from the rest of the family had me in hysterics.

There's so much joy in this book, and it is full of all the things that make Christmas special, from family and plays and carol singing to presents and baking biscuits and mince pies together. But there's a sadness too. In particular there's a conversation between a young boy and an angel that had me absolutely weeping. It's approached with tenderness and sensitivity, but this is a story about losing people we love just as much as it is a story about finding lost people.

Sadness and joy in perfect balance with everything that makes Christmas special.


Operation Nativity by Jenny Pearson is out on 13th October from Usborne Publishing.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


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