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Home > Hugh T McCracken

Recent Reviews for Hugh T McCracken

Heads up for Harry (Book) - 8/25/2010 12:21:03 PM
this sounds a fabulous read,and coming from one glaswegian to another can i not read it ...eliza keating

Heads up for Harry (Book) - 11/1/2008 7:26:49 AM
thanks for all of your work

The Time Drum (Book) - 12/17/2005 12:16:52 PM
Judging from the blurb and review, sounds like a good 'coming-of-age' story for teens and pre-teens...

Ring of Stone (Book) - 9/22/2003 7:59:26 AM
Ring of Stone by Hugh McCracken Bewrite Books, 426 pages, ISBN 1-904224-61-X Two groups of teenagers – one middle-class students struggling for social justice, the other bar room toughs out for a brawl to right their own perceived wrongs – are thrust through a twist in the loop of time to the violent days of Medieval England. Trapped in a dark era where human life is cheaper than bread and horrific torture is a popular entertainment, they find they must join forces or die. Dogged by death every step of the way, each finds that experience of modern life has provided a skill that might – just might – save the band from an excruciating fate. And one of the group – having lost a brother to the barbaric torture death of impaling – hides a very special secret. But as well as their own struggle for survival, the youngsters – each a convinced protestor – find themselves in a moral dilemma … how to save their own skins whilst also fighting against the inhuman brutality and injustice suffered by new friends in a time where they don't belong. In the latest in his popular Time Shift series, Hugh McCracken transports his readers into the harsh realities of days gone by with a unique talent for interweaving breathtaking adventure and fine historical detail. These utterly believable pages turn faster and faster to reach an unforgettable climax as McCracken casts his spell. Excitingly illustrated throughout by Alan Geldard. Synopsis version of: Review by Steve Mazey, Editor of Eternal Night, -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ring of Stone by Hugh McCracken Bewrite Books, 426 pages, ISBN 1-904224-61-X A group of University students following the demands of their consciences by protesting, and a group of ‘Bar Room Toughs’, more out to cause mayhem than seriously protesting, get transported through time into the brutal world of Medieval England. They are soon confronted by Master Gerald, the brother of the local Lord, who promptly arrests them and has one of their number executed in a most gruesome manner (reminiscent of Vlad the Impaler at his best). Upon being taken to the castle of this Lord (Sir Harold) the party are freed by the Lord, much to the embarrassment of Master Gerald who is forced to make penance for his treatment of the group and the killing of one their number in particular. And so they find themselves in the midst of a power struggle between Harold and his younger half brother Gerald. One of the students (Malcolm) demonstrates his medical knowledge and assumes the role of physician in Harold's court, whilst other members of the group utilise skills they have from their own time to assume roles in this society. But their position remains tenuous, dependent entirely upon the favour of the Harold Fitzwilliam, Lord of the manor. Should anything happen to him and his half-brother Gerald assume his position, they would be instantly at risk of his wrath. This book is aimed at a slightly older readership than Rules of the Hunt, which has a similar time travel plot device. The characters are older, at around twenty years old, and the time-displaced party being a more uneven, ill-matched grouping than in ‘Rules’, made up of a mix of University Students and Local "Bar Room Toughs". This imbalance makes for more complex character interaction even before their change in circumstance is accounted for. And as for Master Gerald, he is an extremely sadistic individual, capable of some of the most horrific gruesome acts, and does not seem to have a single redeeming feature to his personality— a wonderful character to read. These gruesome acts are presented in sufficient detail to fully illustrate the horrors of the time the party find themselves in without going over the top with excessive detail. This lack of explicit detail should also serve to make this book suitable for a teenage readership. In my years as a teenager (remembered from a distance and through a haze) this inclusion of the violence of days gone past would have been fascinating and would have served to increase my attention to the book. But that they are not described in too gory a manner should mean they would not offend the parents of the potential readers. Especially when you consider the enormous amount of historical information Hugh McCracken has included in this book. This is a richly detailed world, but written in such a way as to not obscure the plot with minutiae. And any reader of this book will take away a much greater familiarity with life in Medieval Feudal society. When I first started to read this book I was a little concerned it might not have a readily definable audience. Having read it though I have realised because this book has a wide appeal, I can see this appealing to fantasy fans (for the detail of life in a medieval setting), to history fans (for the same reasons) and to sf fans (as time travel is involved). I can also see it appealing to teenage and older readers alike. The plot is solid, the storytelling smooth, flowing with a steady pace, the characters well formed and their interactions thoroughly understandable. Detail version of: Review by Steve Mazey, Editor of Eternal Night, --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Grandfather & The Ghost (Book) - 9/22/2003 7:56:29 AM
Grandfather & The Ghost Grandfather and The Ghost are two novellas bound within the same book. Both revolve around central characters who are young schoolboys, around thirteen years of age, who experience the usual trials and tribulations of school life; bullying, loneliness and being an outsider in a new school. The stories are extremely easy to read and proceed at a reasonably rapid pace. At no point during either story did I feel that the writing faltered. In fact, quite the opposite. I think Hugh McCracken has an excellent sense of proportion with his writing making the storyline spread evenly across the length of each novella. The writing style, subject matter and language used makes Grandfather and The Ghost ideal ‘post-Hogwarts’ reading material. Not having children I wouldn't like to hazard a guess as to the age-range that would enjoy these stories but having read the Harry Potter books I believe that McCracken's stories would appeal to a similar group of young readers. Parents can also be confident that there is nothing in these stories that could offend anyone. Indeed, the subject matter (bullying) could encourage the reader to express his/her own experiences. Good stories that are perfect for young adult readers without treating them like children!!! Exerpt from a Review by Lesley Mazey, of Eternal Night, -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Grandfather & The Ghost I've read Grandfather & the Ghost. I was hooked and very surprised that a young adult could sustain my attention (with characters of such young age). I hated the grandfather right from the start. You do a good villain! I suspected there was another man usurping the real grandfather's place when extended family members mentioned: “He was never like that.” As for the ghost story, little Jamie was so sweet. I was sad to see that his self-imposed exile to that claustrophobic secret hiding place caused his death. But, while he caused mischief, I felt he was priceless. Bullies are everywhere. But at least he got some kind or revenge. Right? Review by Carole Spenser -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Grandfather & The Ghost Grandfather and The Ghost are two amazing stories that pre-teens and young teenagers can enjoy. Full of mystery and suspense, the readers will be taken on a journey in which every corner reveals a new question and a surprising answer. While at parts there are some details that some might find “creepy” (when they find Jamie’s skeleton in The Ghost) both stories are quite well done and I recommend the book to all pre-teens and teens who enjoy a good mystery. Review by Shane Johnstone, Kanata – Age 13

Return from the Hunt (Book) - 9/22/2003 7:50:01 AM
See my web page for several reviews

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