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Light up your imagination


Dan Walker has already had success with his Sky Thieves and Desert Thieves which I am so looking forward to reading soon.
But, I am amongst the lucky ones, I work in publishing, albeit less so than when I ran a real shop, but still I am involved.

Hazel, Debbie and the team at UCLan publishing are doing something special, they are tireless in their quest to bring books and access to them to the North West and the North in general, in just 2 years they've won awards, run festivals and launched and toured some sensational authors.

In 2020 they will be unstoppable, this is their first book of the year and many more equally superb ones are due, I am so looking forward to the new Philip Caveney in April, he's long overdue massive success, I met him 15 years ago when he started with Sebastian Darke and he has always delivered superb action, adventure, comedy, horror and ghost stories with aplomb. Inchtinn under his alter ego Danny Weston is already up for awards and I feel this is going to be his year and  deservedly so.

But...we are here to talk about The Light Hunters, just look at that glowing cover alone and once you see the lovely little monograms and flourishes that adorn the inside of the book you'll be swept away in this rollicking, rip-snorting adventure.

Dan has obviously worked out that the simplest way to make a book grip you is to start and not stop, there is action on every page, but plenty of depth, humour and fab characters too. A superb world is imagined and becomes real instantly and you are desperate for more adventures as this one breathlessly ends.

There has been a spate of Monster attacks, big mythical nasties that are rather vile and almost unstoppable, weirdly some areas that have succumbed to these attacks seem to back away from having the support of the Light Hunters, those with the ability to use the fabric and magic of light in mysterious but beneficial ways,  after all we are all of Light really, but we are tempered with shade and dark. Touching on shade, that is the clever antithesis at play here, moulded by Deimos a fallen Hunter and now hellbent on harnessing the power of Lux our hero for his nefarious means.

We are rapidly propelled on fantastical journeys with lightships, breathtaking sights and endless peril. Dan has a real wit and charm in his writing, he has captured something in his dialogue that is rare, instant empathy for all characters, usually some gel and some don't, but he has made everyone equal and that is a real treat.

We pick up so much information with ease and learn as we read, just as Lux learns as he tries to find out as much about his ability, one he didn't know he had in double quick time, he can use light to heal, this is a good thing, but what good can it do in the face of battle against huge lethal monsters, a Cerberus demolished his home and killed his family and indeed most of the community, he lives with his ailing grandpa and has an orphan who is only into tech as his best pal  and she, Maya is a treat from page one.

I hate giving much plot away as the book is out on 23/1/20 and is being launched at Waterstones in Nottingham near where Dan lives on Sat 18th Jan 2pm and we do hope some of you come... Dan is then with us on tour for 3 days in the NW and then in the Midlands in Feb.

The chapters are beautifully constructed, you can read short chunks or as much as you want, if you get en-rapt as I did you'll not stop, I read all 300 pages in 3 hours and wanted more. But, it's a great book for class readers and bed time reads as you can structure how much you read as each chapter is about 4 pages and that means you can slow down or speed up at will.

There is so much detail in the structure of the belief and use of this magic system and yet, you know there is so much more to come.

This is a superb book, easily as good as the 'others you like' and I do hope you all read it and recommend it and do come to meet Dan too.

There are so many superb books for children/YA and indeed us adults who also read them, we should be thankful, especially to those that create and curate them, try and stay away from amazon, order from UCLan publishing direct or any Indie or Waterstones, make a little effort and then we all have a better chance of much more for a better book world.

The names and places in the book are great too, there is enough distancing from normality to make it totally believable in it's own world.