Tree Magic

Tree Magic was first published in 2017 and is Harriet Springbett’s debut novel. It’s a fantasy coming of age story about a young teen who learns that she has the power to control trees. It’s a stand-alone story, and seems unlikely to form part of any future series.

Rainbow Linnet does not have a particularly great or interesting home life. Her father died when she was little and now her Mum lives with Bob. Well, if you can really call it living. Bob shares her Mum’s love of music but doesn’t have anything good to say about her spiritualism. Most of the time they just argue and Rainbow does her best to stay out of the way.

It’s while she’s hiding out in her tree house that she first discovers her power – a deep connection with trees and the ability to control and shape them to her will. Sharing this discovery only with Michael – an adult who she trusts – she begins to explore her gift and becomes an expert on the different temperaments of trees. That is, until the incident.

All at once, Rainbow realises that her power can be abused. It’s not something that she can necessarily control and it can hurt people. When she reveals her ability to her mother and Bob, things get even worse. Bob is reluctant to believe what he sees and her mother embraces it, determined to find her a guru who can explain her place in the world. Soon, things start to become too much for Rainbow and her future grows increasingly unclear. Is she better off embracing her potentially destructive power, or denying it and leading a normal life?


More Than This

More Than This

This book is another difficult one to review and so apologies if this post is a little shorter than normal. More Than This was written by Patrick Ness and first published in 2013. It’s a philosophical science fiction story about a teenage boy who awakes to find himself in an abandoned town. The novel stands alone and so you don’t have to have read any of Ness’s other novels to fully appreciate it.

Seth remembers drowning: the icy chill of the water and the sensation of his bones breaking as he smashes against the rocks. Yet he somehow doesn’t die. He wakes up in an abandoned English town which he soon recognises as the place where his family lived before moving to America. As he explores the barren streets, he’s forced to relive the worst memories of his childhood. Most specifically, the time a terrible incident befell his brother. One that was entirely Seth’s fault.

Seth also starts to remember the incidents that led up to his death: his romance with another boy, the unexpected outing of his sexuality, and how these events alienated him from his closest friends. He starts to wonder if the town is actually Hell, existing to make him relive the lowest points of his life over and over for all time.

However, he soon starts to realise that may not be the case at all. He is not the only person roaming the wasteland. There are other teenagers who have woken up to find themselves in that lonely world and they are being relentlessly pursued by a mysterious being called the Driver. Together, they try to piece together their broken memories to find out if the town is real, if they are dead, or if something else is happening to them…


Superunknown: Of Fairytales and Grunge


And now for something completely different.

Superunknown: Of Fairytales and Grunge was written by G.C. Huxley and first published in 2014. It is an existentialist, absurdist novella which focuses on a teenage girl searching for meaning in her life. The story stands alone, so you don’t have to read any of Huxley’s other work to fully appreciate it.

Em has recently moved to the sleepy town of Lyra’s Watch and feels like an outsider. No one really makes any effort to make her feel welcome and she just feels as though she’s going through the motions. As one of her friends introduces her to grunge music, she begins to worry that her life will wind up being as meaningless as the song lyrics suggest.

However, it’s not long before Em meets Eido. Initially, she hates him. His arrogance and seeming perfection just rub her up the wrong way. However, she finds herself to drawn to him as she realises that he’s not what he seems. Eido just seems to know things; things that cause the adults that he speaks with to behave very strangely. Em starts to wonder if he has the answers that she seeks.

Things become stranger still as Em is approached by a mysterious old man who claims to be a time traveller. The man claims that he has come in search of Eido who is revered as a messiah in his own time period. Eido is the one person who understands the Idea, the core principal behind time travel. However, all traces of Eido vanished before the end of the 20th Century and the time traveller has come to find out why…


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