Witches of Lychford

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Paul Cornell is a writer of science fiction and fantasy in prose, comics and TV, one of only two people to be Hugo Award-nominated for all three media. He’s written Doctor Who for the BBC, Action Comics for DC, and Wolverine for Marvel. He’s won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, an Eagle Award for his comics, and shares in a Writer’s Guild Award for his television.

His novella, Witches of Lychford, is entertaining, fun, well-paced and a little bit scary!

Cornell introduces us to Lizzie, the new vicar of Lychford, who has returned to her home town after suffering a bereavement, Autumn her ex best friend, who hides a secret about herself and Judith an elderly witch who is seen as the local crank.

These three women are thrown together to save Lychford from the threat of another world entering their village.

That threat comes from Sovo, a supermarket chain, who wish to build a branch in Lychford bringing with it many more job opportunities. The town are divided on whether to agree to these plans, resulting in Sovo sending the mysterious David Cummings to convince them by any means necessary.

Judith knows that this must be stopped at all costs as construction of the supermarket will open the doors to another world which currently lays trapped behind the walls of Lychford and enlists Lizzie and Autumn to help her.

In just 144 pages Cornell manages to give us characters that we care about, explores the destruction of small towns by corporate giants and examines the themes of faith, loss and death, all with a dose of gentle humour whilst still having time to throw in a twist right at the end!

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the villagers of Lychford and look forward to returning to this setting in The Lost Child of Lychford which is due for release on the 1st November.

 

Witches of Lychford is available from all good bookshops

Fortunately, The Milk

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Neil Gaiman is known for his clever writing and humour, winning awards for both his adult and children’s books.

Fortunately, The Milk is no exception, inventive and funny with wonderful illustrations from Chris Riddell which help bring the story to life for the reader.

With Mum away on business, Dad is left strict instructions to buy more milk which of course he forgets to do and the kids are left without enough for their breakfast.

What should be a simple task of popping to the local shop to buy a pint turns into an adventure as when Dad returns from his trip much later he explains that once he bought the milk he was delayed due to having to deal with aliens, a dinosaur professor in a hot air balloon, a one-eyed volcano god demanding human sacrifice, intergalactic Police and Pirates!

During all of this Dad was fortunately able to hold onto the milk!

For those that look closely at the illustrations they will be able to spot many toys, books and pictures from around the house that have become part of Dad’s explanation for being so late.

This is a very funny and engaging story which though marketed for children (7+) will also be enjoyed in equal measure by Gaiman’s adult fans who will no doubt recognise that Chris Riddell has drawn the Dad as a young version of Neil.

Fortunately, The Milk is available from all good bookshops