Review: Doctor Who - Time Trips

I found this book in a second-hand book shop in amongst a lot of other Doctor Who literature. I chose it because a) it was in excellent condition and b) because it had a short story by Joanne Harris inside. 

I like Joanne Harris. If you know of her, you'll know she wrote Chocolat, the book upon which the movie of the same name is based. Her story, and all of the others inside, are unique, fun and rollicking takes on the Doctor Who franchise. There are lots of callbacks to the show, in the form of Fez's, bow-ties and Allons-y. 

The blurb reads, 'Time Trips is a unique collection of Doctor Who adventures from some of the most respected writers in the Universe - short stories that are bigger on the inside...' And then when you take of the dust jacket, it opens up into a big A3 piece of paper with descriptions of all the stories on it. Very witty.

A few stood out for me. Tracy Canavan's short story 'Salt of the Earth' takes the third Doctor and Jo to the Australian Outback in amongst the salt lakes, where unnervingly realistic statues of salt can be found...

'The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller' by Joanne Harris again takes the third doctor to a town were everything is how a child would imagine perfection. There are toys everywhere, a parade every day and all the villagers have their assigned role: there is a Queen, a Grocer, a Baker and a Postman and you must never talk about death...

'Keeping Up With the Joneses' by Nick Harkaway was another of my favourites. The TARDIS is struck by a temporal mine which results in the village of Jonestown sudden appearing inside her, complete with villagers. 

Over all, I would certainly recommend this book. It's a great deal of fun!

 

Book Review

How exciting, a fantastic review of The Bagman from Best Fantasy Book Series!

Here is an excerpt:

The Bagman is a children’s book that we thoroughly enjoyed. It starts with beautiful prose then works its way into a great story for kids. We especially liked the fact that the story is a cautionary tale for children. The moral of the story is that you should be careful in what you believe and the choices you make, because they can have big consequences for you and others in your life.

Rachael McKay does a great job of setting up the story and the mystery slowly within Abigail’s backstory. She mixes the backstory and the present with some nice philosophy to build Abigail’s character. Here’s an example of a few simple sentences that have a large impact on how we view Abigail: The Bagman wasn’t real, and if he was, she didn’t believe in him. Sometimes she didn’t even believe in herself. It made life easier.

The author uses a sassy narrator voice to weave a fun story with immediate risk and future mystery. Add to that a child living in an orphanage with hostile guardians and we have the setup for plenty of conflict and anticipation. 

You can also read the full review here:

http://www.bestfantasybookseries.com/fantasy_books/34/The+Bagman_book_review.jsp

Surprises

It's a new year. The year always goes so quickly and then at the end we're always so surprised. We say to each other in shocked voices, "Didn't the year go by quickly?" And the next year begins and it goes even quicker, but we're still surprised by it. I mean, it's February. Already.

Surprises are a good thing, I think. 

Here are some things which have surprised me of late:

- The Podcast 'Welcome to Nightvale'. At first, I was sure I disliked this podcast. Then by about the fourth episode I realised I actually didn't, which was surprising because usually I believe in first impressions. If you see something, say nothing.

- A Series of Unfortunate events. I watched the entire series in a couple of days. I was surprised how much I had forgotten from the books. My memory is not as good as I thought it was. The series, however, while unfortunate, was visually very beautiful and Count Olaf looked better as a secretary.

- The Throne of Glass Series. I swear, when I was a teenager I wrote the beginnings of a book with the exact same plot. Great minds. They are unabashedly my favourite books at the moment to the extent that I bought the colouring book. Colouring is kind of a 'thing' at the moment, and now I see why. It makes you feel like an artist without actually having to draw anything. I was also elated (a notch higher than surprised) to discover they are also doing a television series. This is excellent news.

~ Rachael M.

Once upon a time

I first met The Bagman on Christmas Eve several years ago. I wrote his story in a rush, using pencil and paper and only the Christmas-tree's lights to see by. Later, I re-wrote it in more detail, and Abigail, the heroine of the piece, introduced herself.

But the story isn't finished yet and the end is in sight. And so, it is with great pleasure that today - Halloween 2016 - I invite you to walk once again in The Bagman's world. Alyssa Crowford, the illustrator, and I have been working hard to bring Abigail and The Bagman back, with all new character illustrations and cover. As an added bonus, the book is also being edited by David Gatewood, who has many prestigious titles to his name, such as Hugh Howey's Wool.

The Bagman will be re-released next year in a Kickstarter campaign, with Kickstarters for the Physician and the long-awaited final book - The Gravedigger - soon to follow.

And this is why we need you.

If you are a long-time reader or if you're new to the series, we need your help to bring Abigail's story to a close. This book wouldn't have gone anywhere without people like you reading it and without people like you spreading the word.

Like the Facebook page for book updates or follow rachalmckay.com via email to receive the edited first chapters, behind-the-scenes footage of the illustration process and promotional giveaways.

And, to all of you who have stayed with Abigail through her adventures or who have just discovered her, Happy Halloween.