“…pure, unadulterated magical goodness… I have already recommended it to the local primary school. I’ve recommended it to all my adult friends. My family. Everyone I know. I think I should stand in the middle of Leeds and shout it out for everyone to hear.
Clearly, I am a fan.”
Dani Reads | Rise of the Shadow Stealers | July 2017
“I loved this book!… In all honesty, I haven’t wanted to enter another world so much since I first read Harry Potter… Would I recommend ‘The Nemesis Charm’ to a teen? Most definitely. Would I recommend it to an adult? Without a doubt.”
My Little Library In The Attic | The Nemesis Charm | May 2016
“Should You Read It: Yes, you should! …It will be a big hit with kids, and with adults who can appreciate classic literary acknowledgements… If you’ve ever wished you could go on a quest and explore a land of stories, this book is for you.”
That Weird Girl Life Blog | The Nemesis Charm | May 2016
“If you like your stories with a dash of pirates, adventure and just a touch of blood magic (and who doesn’t?) then you should definitely give this a read.”
Wardrobe Spare Oom Blog| The Nemesis Charm | May 2016
“…a fast paced adventure that will whip you up into turning the next page…I liked it so much I lent it to my fantasy junkie friend who was staying with me for the weekend. He disappeared into it immediately and I saw no more of him for the whole visit. It’s generally a good sign!”
Well Written Too Short | The Nemesis Charm | May 2016
This rollicking adventure follows two Apprentice Adventurers, Fletcher and Scoop, as they try to discover why people and objects are mysteriously disappearing from Blotting’s Academy on Fullstop Island, the place where story characters are trained. This complex story is reminiscent in tone of the Harry Potter series and Jeanette Winterson’s Tanglewreck. Packed with literary references and cleverness, it focuses on the age-old conflict between light and dark, good and evil, and on the power of story. An engaging read for 9- to 14-year-olds.
Lucy Pearce on Rise of the Shadow Stealers | Juno Magazine | Autumn 2013
I love the world created for this story. Populating the island are many interesting areas such as the Creativity Craters, Puddles of Plot, the Hills of History, the Tall Tale Tree Forest, and the Fable Fish swimming in the bay. I would have liked to learn more about Blotting’s Academy and the training of storybook characters. Aside from the first day and a First Word Welcome where the students learn about the teacher/mentors, the stories they are to find and sometimes be a part of, and which department they’ve been assigned, that is it. From there the story is about Fletcher and Scoop’s adventure.
The adventure Fletcher and Scoop are on will help them regain their memories but it will also help the Storyteller have a successful wedding banquet. To attend the banquet, the kids need to wear a robe woven with the silver thread of the Storyteller, but the thread become gold. The entire journey is to find the Golden Feather that will turn the silver thread into a gold thread. The journey itself was confusing at times, though the mini-adventures were wonderful.
The writing reminded me of that in a great picture book—the words flow, smooth and easy to read. They are nearly lyrical. The writing is some of the best I have read since becoming a book reviewer five years ago. It was as much fun to read Rise of the Shadow Stealers as it was to read I Hate Picture Books. When the writing is that good, it almost matters none what the story is about, just let me keep enjoying the flow of the words.
Suzanne Morris om Rise of the Shadow Stealers | Kids Lit Reviews | June 2013
RISE OF THE SHADOW STEALERS by Daniel Ingram-Brown is a new and wonderful fantasy book that will keep readers fully engrossed from start to finish.
At Blotting’s Academy on Fullstop Island, book characters are trained before they’re taken by authors into their own stories. You have the Heroes, the Bullies, the Turnarounds, and of course the Adventures, which our two main characters, Scoop and Fletcher, are from!
The Island is slowing being eaten by a mysterious and old force, so our Adventures start their first quest looking for whatever has sent the shadows that seem to be eating the island and unraveling the island’s threads. They travel with only the guide of a message from the mysterious island’s ambassador, and encounter secrets that they never could have dreamed of!
Fletcher and Scoop are some of the most endearing characters that I have met. They fully embrace the clichés common in the Department of Adventures, as well as having their own intricate back-stories to give them a new feel.
The entire Fullstop Island is full of delightful clichés, with all the characters fitting into their own departments, and the objects of the world being literary-themed. The Noveltwist, and the Plot-Jacking Spiders were some of my favorite writing-themed elements to this beautifully built world.
This thrilling quest is a wonderful read for all fantasy junkies and is a great start to the Firebird Chronicles series!
Zyllah on Rise of the Shadow Stealers | Miss Litterati | June 2013
This debut from Yorkshire author Daniel Ingram-Brown is a well-paced, absorbing read that will appeal to many adults as much as it does to children…
The Firebird Chronicles: Rise of the Shadow Stealers sees Fletcher and Scoop about to start their first day as Apprentice Adventurers at Blotting’s Academy on Fullstop Island. With the help of their guide, the Yarnbard, they will study until they are ready to become fully fledged story characters.
There’s just one problem – neither of them can remember who they are or how they got there. The pair join forces to solve the mystery of their own identities, as well as to find out why people are going missing and whether the invisible Shadow Beetles have got anything to do with it.
There’s no time wasted easing the reader into this new world: there’s too much going on for a tour of the island. In the opening pages we’re greeted with a dead body, an enigmatic seer and a creepy ritual on the edge of a murky abyss, and the action continues thick and fast as the perky protagonists embark on a journey to the centre of the shadow stealing across the island. On the way they start to learn a little more about themselves, as the book starts to explore issues such as the purpose of a life, identity, and the role of stories in holding out world together.
Both the premise and the writing are reminiscent of other fantasy authors such as Terry Pratchett and in particular, Jasper Fforde, although this is certainly unique and interesting enough to stand firmly on its own two feet. Confident pre-teen readers will enjoy it as an intriguing adventure story, while older readers will enjoy reading between the lines for a more philosophical experience.
Isobel Jokl on Rise of the Shadow Stealers | Dig Yorkshire | 14th April 2013
After both my children had devoured the book, I finally got to see what all the fuss was about, and I was instantly hooked. Fast paced and gripping, my son compares this to his favourite, Artemis Fowl, whilst my daughter declares it ‘a book you can lose yourself in.
Platform Harrogate on Rise of the Shadow Stealers | Spring 2013