Watch out dragons... Here be Aaron!

Aaron Gray and the Dragon War Is now available as a book and ebook.

Aaron is a brat, which is understandable after everything he's been through. He also sees dragons when he hums, which isn't understandable by anyone, ever. He soon gets sucked into the dragons' dangerous war, where his only defences are his embarrassingly magical fingernails, and a fierce, ten-year-old girl.

Available everywhere across the world! Check out goodreads / amazon uk / amazon us / barnes & noble / book depository or your favourite book or ebook retailer.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Game review: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

I wouldn't usually do this, as this is a book blog, but it's thanks to the Harry Potter books that I had the release date for this game in my calendar, and I've been playing it ever since, so I thought it might be worth a mention.

This is "Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery"

In the game you create your character, and then get your acceptance letter for Hogwarts! You learn spells and make friends and go on zany adventures. But there's a twist. Your brother, Jacob was expelled from Hogwarts for opening the "cursed vaults" and is now missing. Somehow the vaults are causing havoc again and coincidentally it seems to be you that will save the day.

I like it. It's immersive, funny, and obviously written by proper Potter fans. It's also possible to get through the game without spending any money, which these days is an amazing feat in itself. The story is entertaining and you get to make friends with lots of people in the wizarding world (the story is set just before Harry goes to Hogwarts, so you get to be friends with Charlie, Bill, Tonks etc.)

The only downside of the game is that it's not finished yet, so you get so far (Currently part way through year 5) and have to wait to continue the story. Any old school Potter fan will cope with this, and remember the good old days when we had to wait years until the next book, but they do put on a whole load of interesting challenges (with rewards like outfits or pets) to keep you busy while you're waiting.

I'm sure I'll waste many more hours on this!

Current book 2 status: Julia's trying to console a crying naiad.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

This is a nice review on Goodreads

Hi folks, remember me!

Sorry, the choice has been between writing the book or writing the blog, but I'm going to try to update this a bit more often so that people know I exist.

One of the things I should have posted was this wonderful review by Mark!

"I read this to my 9 year-old son and we enjoyed it immensely. The author clearly has a love of fantasy, dragons in particular, and this comes across in every page. Aaron is a troubled child, or at least is seen to be 'different' in the opening pages, but comes to better understand himself and work successfully (although there are lots of amusing encounters) with others on his quest. I very much enjoyed his story arc but there is more to this book than that. It is suffused with gentle humour and characters that charm. I would highly recommend it to adults looking for something funny, dramatic and memorable and is a perfect for middle grade children.

Highly recommended!"

My favourite thing about this review is that it's from a dad  who read the book to his child, and they both enjoyed it! Surely that's the dream?

Right I'd better go. Julia's stuck in a river prison and needs to prove to a Naiad that she didn't kill a dragon.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Proof that I did actual genuine research!

This week the BBC wrote an article on how to survive a parachute failure. Essentially how to fall from a great height and survive.

In chapter three of Aaron Gray and the Dragon War our heroes find themselves in a similar situation, falling through the sky from a huge height. It's not too much of a spoiler to say they survive at this point (I mean there's 39 chapters, they can't die in chapter 3!) but I got soooo many complaints from early readers that there's no way they could survive the fall, and that  I was being unrealistic.

The book's about magical dragons, but this was the bit that was unrealistic. Anyway....

Here's the things the BBC article says you need to do to survive a fall, compared to what Aaron and Julia actually did.

While Falling

Aaron Gray and the Dragon War
“Skydivers adopting the "box position" - lying front-down with legs stretched out and arms and head raised up and forming a "W" shape - are able to move horizontally in the air. They can bank their arms like an aeroplane's wings.”
“He looked to his left and saw Julia falling with him, arms and legs spread out in a star shape.”

The Landing

Aaron Gray and the Dragon War
“Skydivers, when their parachutes actually work, are advised to land on the balls of the feet first, rolling to the side. Another dictum is to keep the legs springy by bending the knees slightly. But any difference this would make to someone going at 200km/h is debatable.”
“Try to land on your feet and then roll,” Julia’s voice shouted from somewhere beside him.

What to land on

Aaron Gray and the Dragon War
“Prof Bj√∂rnstig says someone reaching terminal velocity needs at least half a metre of give - or deceleration distance - in the surface or object they hit to avoid fatal injuries. He recommends "forgiving structures", such as snow, a swamp or the branches of a tree.
“At the last minute, he took a deep breath, stretched out his legs and landed in a large pile of wet mud.” (There's more to this bit, but that would be spoilery, read the book!)

And one more thing....

Oh, and for those who were saying that the fall distance was too high, so none of this applies, the BBC article also says this...

"But after a point, the height from which a person falls won't make a difference to how fast they are going. It's estimated that the human body in freefall reaches 99% of its terminal velocity (full and final speed) after dropping 573m (1,880ft), which usually takes 13 to 14 seconds."

So nahh nah na nahh nahh!