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The Guardian: Fresh voices: 50 writers you should read now
Cynical, solitary Stanly Bird used to be a fairly typical teenager – unless you count the fact that his best friend was a talking beagle named Daryl. Then came the superpowers. And the superpowered allies. And the mysterious enemies. And the terrifying monsters. And the stunning revelations. And the apocalypse. Now he’s not sure what he is. Or where he is. Or how exactly one is supposed to proceed after saving the world.
All he knows is that his story isn’t finished.
Not quite yet …
‘★★★★★ I'm not normally one for hyperbole, but I can quite honestly say that Stefan Mohamed has written one of the best Young Adult trilogies out there, and certainly, in my opinion, the best by a British writer. Here's hoping we don't have to wait too much longer for more from this author – you'll find me at the front of the queue!’ —Luke Marlowe, The Bookbag
‘★★★★ This sparky debut puts the classic comic book origin story through the pop-cultural blender by gifting superpowers to a kid who just happens to be a massive sci-fi geek. For Smallville, substitute Tref-y-Celwyn, the mid-Welsh town where vowel-deficient teenage loner Stanly suddenly discovers a talent for flight and telekinesis. Accompanied by a potty-mouthed beagle (just go with it), Stanly up, ups and aways to London, where he throws his lot in with a bunch of Generation X-Men investigating a series of sinister child abductions. Zippy prose keeps the story barrelling along, the genre references come thick and fast (even the dog a Yoda impression does) and, in Stanly, Mohamed has created a hero you’ll really root for. A flying start.’ —Paul Kirkley, SFX Magazine
‘★★★★★ The plot is an absolute page turner – it is hard not to like Stanly, and Daryl (the talking dog) becomes an immediately likeable presence. The plot moves in a way that may seem relatively formulaic for those who have read a lot of Superhero tales, but the twists here are stonkingly big, and always surprising, making this a very fresh and original read. In addition, the villain is truly chilling – and one who I would love to see portrayed on screen.’ —Luke Marlowe, The Book Bag
‘★★★★ If you know your Calrissian from your Kobayashi, then YA novel Bitter Sixteen is the most fun you can have in the superhero genre...’ —Aliya Whiteley, Den of Geek
‘Children’s Book of the Week: Never mind writing about superpowers, debut author Stefan Mohamed clearly has them himself – he’s produced a highly original novel for young adults that is clever and funny, with character you want to ask home afterwards.’ —Alex O’Connell, The Times
‘It’s part superhero fantasy, part comedy, with an underlying love story and a creepy twist in the tail, all served up with panache, pace and punch.’ —Sally Morris, The Daily Mail
‘Mohamed’s first novel is a thoroughly entertaining, charming and witty take on the crowded superhero subgenre.’ —Eric Brown, The Guardian
‘Mohamed does everything right: the realistic tone, leavened by humour, is pitch perfect, as is the portrayal of Stanly as a precocious but vulnerable teenager. The plot careers from one dramatic set-piece to the next, with plenty of clever pop culture references along the way, before closing with a thrilling denouement. And Daryl the talking dog is an inspired creation.’ —Eric Brown, The Guardian
‘★★★★★ The long-awaited follow-up to Stefan Mohamed’s brilliant Bitter Sixteen has arrived. And it’s just as good as its predecessor.’ —If These Books Could Talk
‘★★★★★ Old enemies mix with new enemies mix with Stanly’s own shortcomings and frustrations to create an explosive mix of plot twists and revelations that had me gasping in shock, or running to hide behind the sofa.’ —Jen Gallagher, Medieval Jenga
‘★★★★★ Doing what so many sequels fail to do, Ace of Spiders soars, with a thrilling plot, brilliant character development, and fantastically funny cultural references.’ —Luke Marlowe, The Bookbag
Synopsis The Guardian: Fresh voices: 50 writers you should read now Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize for new writers A Times Children’s Book of the Week A Guardian Top...
Synopsis The Guardian: Fresh voices: 50 writers you should read now Stanly is frustrated. Having set himself up as London’s protector, he’s finding that the everyday practicalities of superheroism are...