I have published several works to date. Firstly is 'Grey Neighbours', a magical realism novel set in the Peak District, that incorporates a lot of classical fairytale elements into a current, technological world. In 2020 I published the first of the Ordinary Wizards series. It's called Ordinary Miracles and has been well received. The next book in the series, Other Heroes, is due to be published in the spring of 2021.
As part of a small organisation called Grimalkin Books, I have contributed short stories to a collection called Stealing the Dark, and published two of my own, which are entitled Snow and Broken House.
When a train crashes at Paddington Station, Mike Frost uses all his magical talent to try to help. But as he's trying to dig someone out of the rubble, the train disappears. And, sadly, this isn't the first or the last magical disaster to occur.
When Frost's magical powers seem to increase suddenly, he is sent away with friends to train. But, as the disasters continue , it becomes clear that people like him, those with more than one magical talent are somehow linked, whether voluntarily or against their will or knowledge, to the disasters and, with one exception, him, have died as a result. Soon, it becomes clear that, not only is there a dangerous magical presence at work, but Mike and his friends may be their next target.
I was looking forward to reading Ordinary Miracles, a YA fantasy by Martyn Carey, when I saw it on Netgalley and, for the most part, I did. Comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable but this definitely is its own book. It is well-written and the story showed great potential if it didn't always hit its stride. This is Carey's debut novel and it shows. It drags at times but, in fairness, there was a lot of character and world building to get through. Still, it felt that much of this was unnecessary to the book and just added more unwieldy weight to a story already seemingly over the limit, unless this is the first in a series.
And here is why I'm giving it more than three stars. If I did, at times, find it a bit of a slog, I did enjoy it and, if it wasn't always a page turner, I also never had an impulse to abandon it. If there are more books in the series, I wouldn't hesitate to read them and suspect and hope that the reason for much of what seems like unnecessary waste here will become clear in future books.
Overall, I recommend it to fans of YA fantasy with the proviso that this is a debut novel and, as such, could have used some more editing but there is actually quite a good story here if you have the patience to wait for it.
by NetGalley reviews
This book was not exactly what I expected. It is a more mature take on a magical world than I had anticipated but was an interesting read nonetheless. The description really drew me in and I love the simplistic but effective cover.
I enjoyed the main characters dry wit and sense of humour as it made them an interesting character to follow. The magical world and system was something I found to be quite unique which was refreshing to see in use.
However, as I continued reading the book I found there was a lot of info-dumping in relation to the world-building. New magical terms kept being introduced and explained but it ended up feeling a bit like reading a dictionary, I would have preferred the author to show us rather than just tell.
The start of the book was very fast-paced, jumping right into the action of a train crash, but after that, it seemed to slow down considerably. Nevertheless, I would recommend people to try it for yourself and take a look at the interesting world Martyn Carey creates.
by NetGalley review
Very enjoyable book. Great characters and a very readable plot. I am looking forward to the next book in what I hope will be a new fantasy series.
by NetGalley review
I have, at one time or another, been an archaeologist, a dresser in a fashion show, an archery coach, a creative writing teacher, an observer for the Met Office, a business manager and a glass blower.
I have been writing since forever, both as a commercial copywriter and fiction. I have written prize-winning short stories and novels that have been well received, if not heavily purchased. These days I live in a village in Leicestershire where I watch clouds and bake cakes as an alternative to doing any work.