A settle down to read delight—just add chocolate.
A disease is affecting the children.
We open with Jannie being tricked into giving up her grackles. She falls sick, and nobody has the answer. Jack doesn’t. He’s just an average lad doing his paper round and navigating a circuitous route around the bullies.
The strange sickness is one more thing to worry about. Jack has a headful of worries, and the author cleverly pulls us into the young lad’s mind as he deals with his life in a colourful and chaotic journey of self-discovery.
We lurk in the shadows with Jack as he’s introduced to Cracklock and the craziness that goes on there. Jack doesn’t know who he is, his people, or where he belongs—and he gets more than he bargained for. Everything he thought was normal is turned on its head in Cracklock.
There are dark, light, and funny elements to the book, and the dark is tense enough to have you turning the pages fast to find out what happens next.
The imagination and characterisation are brilliant, and I’m hooked. New ideas, characters and situations are hard to develop when there are so many books on the market, and this one didn’t disappoint.
My favourite character is the delightful Dorcas. She’s a three foot stick of dynamite and adorable. Her speech pattern is wonderful and you can’t help but love her. The imagination and magic are brilliant. From the Theriomantic Oscillatior that makes calculations based on the decisions of mice, to the thing you press on a door and manipulate to the required size to make a black hole, there is a new surprise on every page.
The building relationship between the two young lads is wholesome, and a buffer for Jack as he meets new members of his strange and extended family. The twins are well-written and developed and there is a sensitively written bullying scene that many a school age child will identify with. All in all, this is a rounded book with a bit of everything. The characters and plots are driven and the pace is rapid.
The author mixes brilliant imagination with folklore, myth and legend and brings to life some endearing—and some not-so-pleasant characters.
A perfect story for Audiobook. I wanted to curl up under a soft throw with coffee and have a deep-toned accent read it to me—with voices!
But what about the sick children?
Well-written and engaging, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
Beware the glamour.
Illustrations used are from the author’s website Cracklock World page where you can read about the facinating characters you’ll meet in these books. Check out CA Deegan’s website and meet the ‘people’ Here
This book is so good that we’ve awarded it one of these–less than 10% of reviewed books get one.
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.