Reviews

PRAISE FOR JAGO

ELLEN WELDEN, aged 11, reviewed it thus for her school library: “I found this book one of the best books I have EVER read (it’s quite hard to be that.) The author Keith Austin gave me clear pictures in my mind of every setting and was begging me to turn the page.

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“Now the ending is quite weird but the book in a whole was AMAZING. I recommend this book for children who like historical crossed with fantasy books (like me) and years 5-7.”

OZBOOKS4TEACHERS said: “Set in the world of Victorian England Jago tells the story of 11 year old Demelza Cotton and Jago Quinn, a pair of street urchins who roam the streets of London’s Old Nichol slum.

“I was impressed by this book on many levels, not least because this work is self-published … with richly drawn characters in an unforgettable landscape, Austin takes his readers on a memorable and faced paced journey into a slightly steampunk and Dickensesque world.  A must-have title for every school library.”

WHATSGOODTODO said: “I loved this story, I loved how real it felt as they search for their beloved creature that is stolen from them whilst trying to outwit the vicious Cray Twins, you find yourself really rooting for them to win!

“You will be both terrified and aching for more as you read this story, willing our characters on and wishing for a happy ever after, it makes you feel like you are in the heart of the East End even if you have never visited or experienced it, it takes you back to a time of dirt and grit and love.

“My favourite character was Adamina Wollondily, I don’t want to say much about her but she isn’t all that meets the eye and as she seems, this book is beautifully written and heart stopping at times, the ending is remarkable.

“This book is aimed at young adults but I am way past this targeted age range and I found it compelling and much more engaging then a lot of adult books I have read.”

 

PRAISE FOR SNOW, WHITE

EDUCATION UMBRELLA said: “The writing is very atmospheric and the simplicity of some of the description is beautiful. When describing the snow covered view… “All the edges had been taken off the world.” The author adds some fantastic little touches that feel like they’re almost hidden and some large twists that make your jaw drop. The relationship between John and Fyre is a very sweet, and mutually beneficial one. Both scared of others finding out their secrets they are guarded until their lives entwine and they realise their destinies are closer than they realise.fyre

“I don’t think I’ve read a book that ended quite like this one. It left me greatly satisfied with the story and intrigued about some leading last words. This was a great find and I really had to force myself to put it down. When you read the blurb on a book you come to your own conclusions about what you’re going to find, the description of this book intrigues but I don’t think it the end result was what I expected, it was so much better. With a lot of fairy tale themed books coming out for adults and YA, this section has become saturated with so many to choose from you run the risk of missing some excellent pieces of writing… this one is a must read for any teens out there.”

THE GUARDIAN said: “I would have never described myself as a fan of horror fiction before picking up this book, but I have been converted. Austin’s vivid and descriptive narrative sends the reader tumbling into a world of heroes, villains and blood-curdling horror. I was hooked from the first page through to the very last.

“Snow White is one book you won’t ever regret picking up, and despite Austin’s use of sophisticated language, this is a must read for both older readers of the horror or fantasy genre, or for those who just simply love to read a variety of fiction. Fans of Austin’s Grymm will particularly enjoy his second horror novel. Just make sure the lights are turned on and the windows and doors are firmly locked!”

THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST said: “[Keith] Austin’s take on a fairytale you thought you knew is a chilling and involving read. The story is heartbreaking and sad in places, and horrific in others, making it a hard book to pigeonhole … John Creed is one of the most interesting characters to appear in YA fiction for a long time.”

WE LOVE THIS BOOK said: Snow, White is a different and disturbing read. Packed full of truly psychotic characters, grisly beasts and gruesome battles, this novel has the feel of a very, very bad dream. Definitely worth a look for fans of the morbid and macabre.SWcrowposter

On ABC VICTORIA children’s and young adult book expert Sarah Mayor Cox said: This is fantastic … this will get boys sucked in to fairytales … gripping, fabulous, really scary characters, plot twists I didn’t see coming. (To listen to the podcast click here.)

FANTASY BOOK REVIEW said: It took a book like Snow, White to remind me just how good young adult fiction can be … If you are looking for a horror/fantasy book that blows all those Twilight clones out of the water then Snow, White is a book you should try.

WHAT”S GOOD TO DO gave it 5/5 and wrote: The story is cleverly written and brings a fairy tale element into it but also a very dark side with blizzards, wolves, murder and sparrows (yes sparrows)! The story is very easy to follow and really does draw the reader in and leaves you wanting more and more! Keith Austin has really done his readers proud with Snow White and is a fantastic author!

And FAIRFAX MEDIA had this to say: This modern fractured fairy tale is original and enticing in its own right. It’s loaded with action and suspense, monsters and mayhem, unexpected twists and turns, and plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Austin studies the age-old concepts of good versus evil, reluctant heroes … and the idea that monsters lurk within us all, just beneath our so-called civilised surface. The tension extends throughout the entire novel, which is gripping and well-paced, and culminates in a dramatic and explosive climax.

PRAISE FOR GRYMM

anhangaposter“I was blown away. Honestly, I didn’t think, when receiving this book in the mail, that it would be so … wow … I’m still recoiling from the ending … the best of its kind. Keith Austin deserves to take his place, up there with Stephen King and Neil Gaiman.” THE GUARDIAN

“Grymm is wonderfully entertaining, superbly imaginative and perfectly paced … but it is the larger-than-life characters which make this book a delight. They are the timeless, instinctive horror of fairy tales made flesh in a modern day setting, and they make for a genuinely scary story. David Lynch meets Brothers Grimm, and highly recommended.” INIS, the Children’s Books Magazine, Ireland

“This is unlike pretty much any other book I have read … I guess I will start off my saying that I absolutely loved it … if you like your stories to be darker than a city banker’s soul then GRYMM is for you. This book is one of those that really does need to be read to be believed, and I only wish I could come up with a more coherent way of describing it. Dark, macabre, bizarre, hilarious, chilling – none of those words are really enough …” THE BOOK ZONE FOR BOYS

“Grymm is a very original tale peppered with the blackest of humour and some truly disturbing characters. Readers will identify with bickering teenagers Mina and Jacob as they try to make sense of the bizarre and frightening world they find themselves in. An entertaining and unusual horror story.” THE BOOK TRUST

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