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Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

Blog Tour - Dread Wood by Jennifer Killick

Blog Tour Review: Dread Wood by Jennifer Killick

Welcome back to another blog tour book review! This tour is being organised by The Write Reads and is for one of my absolute favourite authors, the wonderful 
Jennifer Killick.

It's basically the worst school detention ever. When classmates (but not mate-mates) Hallie, Angelo, 
Gustav and Naira are forced to come to school on a SATURDAY, they think things can’t get much worse. But they’re wrong. Things are about to get seriously scary.

What has dragged their teacher underground? Why do the creepy caretakers keeping humming the tune to Itsy Bitsy Spider? And what horrors lurk in the shadows, getting stronger and meaner every minute . . .? 
Cut off from help and in danger each time they touch the ground, the gang’s only hope is to work together. But it’s no coincidence that they're all there on detention. Someone has been watching and plotting and is out for revenge . . .

Dread Wood by is brilliant!

It's very spooky, scary fun, with the atmosphere starting to build from the very first page, giving us a sense of ominous unease that only increases. After a short period of anticipation, we're thrust into a non-stop, pulse racing adventure as the dangers the children face around their school are revealed. It's done deftly, with the horror just increasing chapter by chapter as they try to escape, and we see more and more about what they're up against. There's an added scariness to the school setting too, an environment where children should feel safe, with adults who should be looking out for them, and suddenly everything is against them! This subverting of safe spaces gives the book a very real edge of horror that I just know children are going to love! This isn't a creepy woods at night, this is your own school!

It's not all scares though. This is a Jennifer Killick book, and like all Jennifer Killick books it comes with a beautiful mix of humour and heart. The humour is more toned down than the rather comic Alex Sparrow books, more mature, though it still has a cheeky tendency towards toilet humour jokes that still work so well. 

It also deals with very real issues, and it does so sensitively and with obvious care. Each of our four child protagonists has a secret, at least one, and a reason why they're in Saturday detention. Those secrets are slowly revealed over the course of the novel. They're surprising, but they also feel so very real. Dread Wood deals with issues like child food-poverty and disabilities, but it never feels like a cheap shot. I'm sure there will be children who recognise themselves and what they're going through in these characters, and others who will maybe learn some empathy for the people sitting in class around them. There's a strong message here that you can't always judge someone from what they look like, or how they act, and you just don't know what people are going through in secret, how hard that can be and how it can change people. 

At its heart, Dread Wood is a book about friendship, repentence, and giant spiders. It's beautiful, scary and so much fun!

Dread Wood gets a spooky five webs!

I was given a review copy of Dread Wood by The Write Reads in return for an honest review and participation in this blog tour. 

Dread Wood is by Jennifer Killick, published by Farshore and is available now in all good bookshops.

And be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour!


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