Read tethers the tethers trilogy 1 by Jack Croxall Online


'You can't save someone from their own decisions.'In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings. The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …Karl and Es'You can't save someone from their own decisions.'In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings. The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen years in the quiet market town of Shraye. Stifled by their rural surroundings and frustrated by their unfulfilled ambitions, they find the allure of the journal’s mysterious pages impossible to ignore. The book seems to be beckoning them away from Shraye, away from their homes and towards the coast where an unsolved disappearance has set a dark chain of events in motion.The voyage Karl and Esther soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril. It will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever.Tethers is the first book of the Tethers trilogy....

Title : tethers the tethers trilogy 1
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 17288323
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 228 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

tethers the tethers trilogy 1 Reviews

  • Gary
    2019-05-11 01:21

    An action packed debut novel from Jack Croxall that is fast paced, with a mix of adventure, mystery and fantasy.There is a feeling of the Enid Blyton adventure books but with a lot more besides. The two lead characters are strong and well written featuring great dialogue and humorous banter.It is a well paced novel that develops the characters and leads you through wanting to know more. The story is set in Victorian times and is part of a trilogy. This first novels sets the scene and characters and promises more exciting adventures to come.A very strong debut novel from a talented young writer.

  • Tony Gilbert
    2019-05-15 23:28

    I am always reluctant to give a book five stars as no book is perfect. However, I couldn't not give Tethers five stars, it is just superb. It is a well written book and is so easy to read - I finished it in 2 days, just couldn't put it down! Although Tethers is technically a fantasy, it doesn't always feel like it because the characters are so believeable. I implore you to read this, whether you are a fantasy fan or not, whether you are ten years old or one hundred. Just give it a go.

  • Dan Thompson
    2019-05-03 02:24

    The first time I read the synopsis for Jack Croxall’s Tethers, I instantly knew that it was undoubtedly a book I very much wanted to read. A YA (young adult) novel set in the wake of a Victorian winter, where teenagers Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson stumble upon a journal full of strange passages. Upon reading, Karl soon discovers both Esther and his names on the last page – a possible prediction? Quite abruptly, our lead teenagers soon realise that they have been pulled into a sinister conspiracy surrounding a strange otherworldly stone known as the Viniculum. Where will this bizarre purple stone lead them and what does the pictures Karl sees within in stone truly mean?It’s a very addictive and engaging plot indeed. It moves along at a nice pace, giving you plenty of time to get to know the characters, but also tempting you further along the pages, desperately wanting to know more. At first glance, Tethers seems to be a warming story of adventure gone awry, but as you get sucked into the real conspiracy at its core, the adventure slowly transforms into a complicated thriller. It has got bags of atmosphere and when the science element of the story is slowly revealed, it becomes even more fascinating.What I loved about the story was how it starts off with Karl and Esther sneaking into a house to steal a look at a metal box, which ultimately leads them on a quest to the coast. This section of the novel took me back to my younger days when I use to read Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five stories. It really does feel like a good adventure, but with added danger of a possible murder.Our two main characters, Karl and Esther, really do capture your attention, especially if you love YA novels. The dialogue between the two is perfectly written, with ounces of realism and humour chucked in for good measure. It is in these exchanges where we really get to know the two teenagers; Karl is often the more conservative out of the two, pondering morals and behaviour, whereas Esther is feisty, spunky and full of charming wit. Jack Croxall has provided us with real people whom we can really get behind and root for. And that is no easy feat. It’s a fun male/female dynamic that doesn’t mess around with love or attraction; giving the rapport of friends full centre stage. This is a refreshing idea and makes their bond that much stronger.Jack Croxall also brings this novel to life with some great accents. Not only does it give the characters some locality in the world, but it also makes them more three-dimensional. If all the characters spoke the same, they would immediately become wooden and transparent, but thankfully there’s none of that here.It can easily be compared to Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockheart stories, because of the Victorian time period, but for me, Tethers is a completely different sort of novel altogether. The rural setting of Shraye gives rise to wonderful descriptions and mood; something that is delivered differently in Pullman’s work. Whether it be the rustic feel of dilapidated barns and lovely narratives of the pastoral natural world or the tit-bits of factual detail perfectly hidden within dialogue, you really get a sense of what life was like in the Victorian Countryside. It could be the subtle reference of commercial change (how the railway took away business from the canal boats), the use of specific Victorian illnesses such as ‘consumption’ or the use of archaic terminology that really gives us its Victorian era ambiance.Sometimes, it can be extremely hard to find a voice in writing, but Jack Croxall seems to have found his almost instantly with his first go! His writing is extremely sharp and well-defined. You really get a sense of the author behind the words and he easily uses elevated language to give the reader respect. He uses a fantastic and faultless balance of imagery with vital action orientated sentences and the paragraphs just flow off the page. When you can get lost with the words, you really know that it is a great absorbing read.What I really love about Tethers is the added element of fantasy that just spices things up a little more. With a storyline that revolves around an otherworldly stone, it can be difficult to see where it may lead and that is a good thing. It keeps you guessing. Despite working extremely well as a stand-alone novel, its great (and annoying) to see a huge cliff-hanger at the end. It shows us that there is something even more deeper and ominous at work than what is revealed in here. As with almost every other part of this novel, the fantasy and realism is in perfect balance with each other, making things fantastical believable, yet the realism more harsh and accepted.There really is a great bunch of characters in here, but sometimes you can get the feeling that some of the minor characters should get more involved. There is a character called Vivian, that has a pretty important scene roughly halfway through the novel, but towards the end, she becomes a little redundant; let’s hope she features again in the second novel. But saying that, it never loses its chemistry by having too many characters. I also love how the character of Harland takes our little heroine, Esther, under his wing to teach her the art of swordsmanship; which ultimately leads on to some pretty entertaining sword fights.If I were to pick out a downfall of Tethers, I’m afraid it must be the chapter upon where our protagonists find themselves in Nottingham. Earlier in the book, Jack Croxall gave us wonderful literary imagery, but in Nottingham it is somewhat limited. I would have loved to read about the life and times of this great place. In an era where change was great, full of industrialisation and fantastic discoveries, surely more goings on could have happened. The characters get through Nottingham to their destination just a little too quickly for me. More description of environment would have really set this part of the book alive and given opportunity for the reader to observe the great differences between Victorian life in both the countryside of Shraye and the urban lifestyles of Nottingham.I loved this novel; it simply fulfilled the expectations the blurb promised and introduced us back into a time often forgotten. The heavenly marriage of fantasy and realism heighten the novel’s impression and with a great variety of characters (of all ages) means you can see the faultless chemistry between them all. It’s a novel that has very different levels; starting off as an entertaining adventure story, albeit with a hint of eeriness on the horizon, before exploding into a sword swashing, rifle firing gem of a book that gives you not only original imagination, but also rational science in an era where invention and technology was in a boom. Tethers is an adrenaline fuelled, action packed, smart thinking tale that captures your attention and leaves it aghast that you have to wait until the next story in the series to find out the profound conspiracy at its heart. Jack Croxall is an exciting new author to watch, mark my words.

  • ★Moonrise Books
    2019-05-03 18:25

    In a small, Victorian era English village called Shraye, Esther Emerson and Karl Scheffer have limited opportunities for adventure and even fewer opportunities to explore the world beyond the confines of the only village they have ever known. Karl’s best chance for a successful future appears to rest in the promise of a teaching apprenticeship. Karl’s mother is excited about the possibility of Karl becoming a teacher, and expects Karl to share in her enthusiasm; however, Karl is less than enthused. And for an adolescent girl, Esther’s opportunities are fewer still. The daughter of a local pub owner, Esther accepts that one day she will be expected to work in the family owned pub. Still, she is far from pleased with the prospect. And so, when Karl sneaks into the garden of an old, reclusive villager and spies a most unusual object, a series of events unfold, leading Karl and Esther away from Shraye and on an unexpected journey of magic, mystery, and discovery.An anonymous notebook, inscribed with strange markings and messages, guides Karl and Esther to the discovery of an unusual object with otherworldly powers, offering glimpses into the future and warnings of dangers that lie ahead. They meet Mr. Cauldwell, described by Karl as having a “proud and mutton-chopped face” and others as they engage in gun battles and sword fights, confronting hidden dangers at every turn. As their journey continues over land and sea, and as Karl begins to put the pieces together, he witnesses a young girl in distress, clearly in danger and in need of assistance. More questions arise than are answered, as time and space are altered by the very choices and actions both Karl and Esther are making along the way … choices that have far reaching implications for all those involved. But how much can be altered, and which events are so tightly tethered in time that they are inalterable? These are just some of the questions Karl and Esther must face on their journey in this magical, coming of age tale of adventure and self-discovery.Tethers, the first installment in The Tethers Trilogy, is a fun read and a cleverly crafted tale. Much thought has been given to the development of the book’s characters—fun, spirited individuals with strengths and quirks that make them believable and memorable. A great book! I look forward to the next installment in the series.

  • Zane David
    2019-04-23 20:32

    This is a début novel? WOW...magical and wonderfully written. Jack Croxall has a bright future.I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the journey of Karl and Esther from start to finish, and can't wait for book two. You have me hook, line and sinker Jack,and to end on a cliff hanger? I really shouldn't like you for that...but I just can't help but praise Tethers enough. One of my top books of the year.To me Jack's prose is perfect, not over the top and flowery, or boring and dull, keeping my minds eye in the Victorian era and emotional attached to the characters. I didn't have a favourite one, oddly I enjoyed the entire cast, even our mysterious baddie and his henchmen/woman as they chase after our protagonists and friends as they search for answers. I must also confess, that as I read, I couldn't help reminisce on occasions, to some of Enid Blyton's earlier novels and C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. More on the emotions I felt as a child, than the stories themselves. Memories of sitting down to read these books...and on occasions watch them on TV, imagining my wee little self out there on my own adventure, searching for treasure and or answers. I think Jack plucked a little string hidden inside of me, that I didn't realise I still had...the craving for adventure.Jack Croxall and Tethers is a breath of fresh air into a YA genre, full of winy teenage girls and boys self absorbed with themselves, than to the idea of life as a journey and experience. It isn't all about conflicting inner demons and who kissed who and who is horrible to who...etc, etc. Our children, our future, need to be more aware of what is out there in the world and picking themselves up of their backsides and going out their and grabbing it, like the fearless and inquisitive Karl and Esther. To really LIVE is what really matters,life is an adventure.I am excited to be part of the new age of YA authors, writing intelligent and exciting stories that sparks the imagination, rather than dulling the mind, and spewing out the same cliché, run of the mill bland experience. Jack Croxall is a new author, for a new generation of young readers and it makes me smile.Five out of Five for Tethers!

  • Laura
    2019-05-07 22:33

    I wasn't so sure when I first started reading this book as I thought the accents in the prologue was strange, but then I was introduced to Karl and Esther from that moment I was hooked.Karl and Esther go to Mr Emerson's house to have a snoop around while he is away, only to realise that they are not alone in the house. They quickly make their escape before they are seen and Karl picks up a book hidden beneath the floorboards that he thinks the intruders are looking for. They decide to take it to Mr Caudwells house, a friend of Mr Emerson to tell him that Mr Emerson is in danger. They show him the book to which they discover their names have been quickly scribbled in and the name of a place called Accelesthorpe. This really got my interest- how had their names been put in there and who knew they would find the book?This notebook is what starts Esther and Karl's dangerous journey. Neither have left the small village of Shraye before and their journey takes them to Nottingham. On the way they discover a curious purple stone. They quickly realise that this stone is important and Karl nearly loses his life when they come across two men trying to take it from them. What is it about the stone that it is wanted so badly?The story is told in Karl's voice and I thought he was a great character, both he and Esther were extremely courageous 13 year olds and definitely should be commended for their bravery. I think Esther was my favourite character as she was always right in the thick of the action and it makes a change to have such a fearless girl character, rather than a damsel in distress.I thought Jack set the Victorian scene very well and it was clearly well researched. And I do really like stories set in a certain period as it makes it just that little bit different. I read this really quickly and it was a great debut novel. Jack leaves us in suspense with a big cliffhanger at the end!! I am now eagerly awaiting Tethers part two!!!

  • Emma Adams
    2019-05-09 00:23

    Tethers is an exciting story set in the Victorian era, with a fabulous blend of mystery, adventure and fantasy and an engaging pair of lead characters. We follow thirteen-year-old friends Karl and Esther as they discover a cryptic journal in their neighbour’s house, which leads them into a bigger mystery surrounding a gemstone with strange powers. The plot carries the reader along at a nice pace, and there are plenty of surprises and twists along the way. Karl and Esther are sympathetic protagonists with a great spirit for adventure and a sense of humour.The Victorian setting is well-researched and atmospheric, and the author does a great job of bringing the setting to life whilst also telling a compelling story. I was completely drawn into the book and found it to be refreshingly free of many of the clichés of YA literature. This is an imaginative and strong debut which works both on its own and as the first in a series, and is a must for any fans of Victorian-set YA – or for anyone just looking for a great adventure with a dash of magic.

  • Rebecca Bradley
    2019-05-20 00:40

    A great debut with strong characters. My favourite being the young girl Esther. She was strong and feisty and a really likeable character. She could have done with being more forefront in the story, but she came through well anyway. The point in the story when I found out where Tethers came in was a great point for me. It had a stronger meaning than I imagined and wove its way right through to the ending with significance. Not my usual kind of read, but one I found I enjoyed.

  • Louise K.
    2019-05-15 02:37

    An enjoyable read which is well paced and easy to read. Well worth the money. Just wish it had been a bit longer; I look forward to book 2.

  • Char
    2019-05-04 18:28

    For my pre read thoughts and reasons for my rating, please visit my blogFrom the Shadows I Review I have to say this is another book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The story draws you in with beautiful description and a sidekick that shines so bright that I had to reach for my sunglasses! Did I mention how much I love the Victorian era and that made me love getting to create images of old fashioned scenes (although, I did miss making everyone drive Lamborghinis.). The writing made me want to read as much as possible and I would’ve finished this quicker but I had to turn into a gardening goddess for my mum and do her shopping. (It takes a lot of time being a good daughter you know!) I really did find this to be an enjoyable experience that I think everyone needs to experience.Karl – He’s our main character and while I did like him there were definitely other characters that I liked more *cough* Esther *cough*. A comment about his eyes early on in the book made me think about another book I just read ‘Sky Song’ by Sharon Sant which also features an MC with unusual eyes. (Maybe they were psychically linked while MC planning!) A part of me wanted to see him getting a bit more stuck into the action in ways that weren’t accidental, however I did like that he wasn’t hands on. It set him apart from other heroes.Esther – She’s easily my favourite character, she’s courage and awesomeness all rolled into a Victorian 13 year old! She’s nothing like the damsels in distress that grace far too many book and I appreciated that. More than I can ever tell you. I do wonder what the book would’ve been like from her POV... or maybe a split POV. I think Esther needs to be heard!! Anyway, I loved her fearlessness, it makes me want to be her best friend... actually she’s only 13; I’ll be her big sister instead.Mr Cauldwell – He’s an interesting character it has to be said, but of the characters featured throughout the story he’s my least favourite. I believe that he genuinely cares about Karl and Esther but I feel like I want to know more about him. He’s a character that we never really got to meet even though he’s there a lot.Harland – I adored Harland. He really inspired and helped Esther and a guy that can do that is alright as far as I’m concerned. He had contacts that really helped to push the story forward and make their journey feel like it had an end destination. I appreciated him. Go Harland!!Overall this is a wonderful read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I say this but there are definitely things I’d have done differently but I appreciate what Jack did with the characters and the story and it’s a testament to the quality of the story when you want to change things but still love how they are. The book managed to keep me occupied for long periods, which is a bit of a miracle considering my attention span, and was easy to read and wasn’t littered with the errors that indie authors so often seem to miss. It did exactly what a book is supposed to do and let me tell you it did it well! That ending! Eurgh! I hate cliffhangers! Especially awesome ones!! Gimme Tethers 2!!!

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-05-09 21:25

    So, my latest foray into the world of YA fiction, brought me here, to the Victorian setting of "Tethers", an absolute gem of a tale, not only to read for yourself but as a story to read to others. In it we meet Karl and Esther, two friends who find themselves on a grand adventure having discovered a notebook with strange notations and a mysterious gemstone. Chased by those with nefarious purposes they embark on a journey to find a missing girl, and to discover the true nature of the gem..with some help from a glorious cast of supporting characters. This journey forms the basis for the book. I loved it I have to say - I may have been saying that in a lot of my reviews lately but it just goes to show that I'm picking the right books from the myriad of choice I have open to me. What I loved: Karl and Esther are terrific. Esther is a girl after my own heart with her flashes of temper and great insight. Karl, a little calmer, more likely to look before he leaps, is the perfect counterpart and they compliment each other beautifully. The story itself is well imagined, paced just right and has a real sense of place and time. I can't actually find fault with it..if you want a negative - here's one. It was over too quickly! Hoping the second in the series is not far away. I look forward to meeting Karl and Esther again.

  • Sharon Sant
    2019-04-23 02:27

    As soon as I heard about this book I was desperate for it to be good. The whole idea was one that I loved. I had to wait a while for its release, but when I finally got to read it, I was relieved to find that it was good... not just good, but brilliant. Somewhere between Pullman’s Sally Lockhart mysteries and Moonfleet, this is a rip-roaring debut novel. Sharply written with well observed characters that you can root for, Tethers has you turning pages faster that Ronald MacDonald can throw out burgers. Jack Croxall has a refreshing new voice and offers an alternative YA novel – the rare sort that a boy might actually want to read as well as girls. An imaginative premise, a wonderfully constructed and convincing world that I didn’t want to leave, the final pages of Tethers had me desperate to find out what happens next. Roll on Tethers II!

  • Jem
    2019-05-22 18:21

    Tethers has so many of the elements I enjoy in any book; adventure, mystery, friendship - and all set against the historical backdrop in the Victorian era. Karl and his friend Esther dragged me along in their wake and I found myself pushing aside other things to pick up the Kindle and read another few pages. The banter between the two made me smile; Esther is written as a partner in crime rather than a winsome female archetype and this is what I enjoyed most about Tethers.

  • Erin
    2019-05-06 02:23

    I've given 'Tethers' five stars because I felt it was really exemplary of its genre - all of its genres!! Part fantasy, part sci-fi, a little bit steampunkesque! Full review to come!

  • Laura
    2019-04-27 20:24

    Without sounding hyperbolic, I think this book has changed my life.Fantasy is a genre I've tried time and time again to immerse myself in but I've never succeeded. There seems to be a small part of my brain that refuses to suspend disbelief and constantly goes NO. THAT WOULDN'T HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE. Yes brain, well done: we are reading a fantasy novel, that is why.I've known about Tethers for a long time but I've never really had much of an urge to read it even after Megan protested countless times that I should. But yesterday Tethers turned the grand old age of one and my curiosity got the better of me. I went to Amazon, downloaded the free sample, started reading and couldn't stop. Without a second thought I downloaded the whole book and got lost in Karl and Esther's world.Karl and Esther, two young teenagers, are our main characters. Karl, ever curious, has spent time covertly sneaking into Mr Stratham's garden and surveying the inside of his huge house. A small silver box piques his interest but he's caught before he can explore any further. One morning, promising his mother he will stay away from Mr Stratham's house, Karl informs Esther of what he saw and how desperately he wants to find out what it is. Against his mothers orders, they sneak back into Stratham's garden, only to find the silver box gone and the house ransacked. Before they leave, Karl finds an old journal and the last page of the journal sends them into a whole mess of confusion. For there, on the last page of the journal, the final entry states: Karl and Esther. Their names are in this journal, but why? How? Who is the author?Karl and Esther set out on a journey to discover what this means and soon they are caught up in a dangerous and adrenalin filled adventure that puts friendship, trust and bravery to the test.Let me just set the record straight. This is a fantasy book and I UNDERSTOOD and ENJOYED every last second of it. And no, I don't think I'm ill.Oh my goodness, where to start?Firstly, the characters are incredible. They are so well described that you can't help but form the most beautiful portraits of them as you read about their physical prowess and individual mannerisms. Not only are they richly described, they also develop beautifully over the course of the novel and interact with each other in the most believable of ways. Without a doubt, my favourite character was Esther: she's a feisty one that refuses to adhere to what's expected of a young woman; instead opting to learn how to sword fight. What a girl!Karl was also another favourite, he was bold, brave and extremely intelligent and I found that the two together created the most fantastic team. A whole host of other characters: Harland, Mr Caudwell and Vivian (to name a few) were also so fantastically written about that slipping into their world was effortless.The plot was so cleverly formed that I could not predict where it would go and what challenges the characters would face next. It was perfectly paced and ridiculously addictive which meant I couldn't sleep until I'd finished it. I was so invested in these characters and their world that I didn't want the book to end!Lastly, Jacks writing style. Oh Jack, how you nearly made me weep with pleasure at your command of the English language. Every description was just beautiful and the way you told this story was flawless. Not a single word was out of place and throughout the entirety of the book I would often pause and reread descriptions because they were so tactile and tangible.I really cannot find the words to express how much I enjoyed this book. Not only has Jack introduced me to Esther and Karl's world, he's also made me believe in a genre that I've never believed in before. I cannot wait to start slowly exploring more fantasy titles but I desperately cannot wait for the next book from Jack.Tethers is the first book in a trilogy with UNWOVEN and TORN to follow. I cannot wait to catch up with these characters again and see where they are. My excitement is almost too much to deal with!!So Jack. You now have a massive new fan girl and someone in complete awe of your story telling abilities!I cannot recommend this book enough.A fast paced, action packed adventure filled with lovable characters and unexpected twists that is written so lyrically and beautifully you will want to read it over and over again.

  • Elisa
    2019-04-23 21:38

    *Visit my blog for a chance to win an e-book copy of this book - link at the end of the review*This book was not what I was expecting at all, in a very good way. At first it got me super curious and interested and then it got me surprised at the events that I was presented with.Taking place in the 1800's, Tethers shows us a very different perspective of the Victorian times. Advanced science, seers (sort of) and brave children were not something I was expecting to find in this book. I honestly was completely impressed with Karl and Esther, they showed complete bravery when presented with some tough situations, especially when it came to have some friends die before their eyes.Usually, in books like this - someone gets dragged into a spiral of situations they never thought they would be in - the characters try to adapt to the situations they're in but still show traces of weakness, of uncertainty and they may even end up making the wrong decisions. I didn't find any of this in this book. Taking into account that the main characters were children, this shows a very imaginative vision by the author.Even though, I really liked this book, something that got me very intrigued through out the story was the fact that we never got to know how Karl and Esther's parents felt or how they dealt with the 'disappearance' of their children. Yes, another character (will not spoil who) sends a letter to their parents assuring them of their safety, but still, I would love to know how they felt once the children got home. Maybe on the next book we get to see what happened after their adventure.Having a engaging plot and sometimes fast paced, Tethers allows you to connect with all the characters, to the point that you will suffer when some of them are lost forever. This fact allows the readers to become addicted with this book, not wanting to put it down for very long.Karl and Esther are surprisingly refreshing when it comes to Young Adult characters. They are quite opposite from eachother, for instance, Karl is more conservative while Esther is more outgoing and sort of throws herself into situations without considering morals or even possible consequences. But they are really great friends, they would do anything for eachother and they compliment eachother so well that I feel like I should congratulate the author for not going with the obvious 'characters that are opposite are by definition rivals'. Another factor that made me enjoy this book so much has to do with 'love'. Ninety percent of times, in YA books, when the main characters are from opposite genders they tend to fall with eachother and this did not happen here.When it comes to the writing, it was flawless for me. Even though English is not my first language, this book was easy to understand but still presented a sort of antique way of speaking, characteristic of the Victorian times. The characters had particular accents that made them unique and this again shows how talented Jack Croxall is.Overall I really loved this book. I cannot wait for the next one especially since the ending of this book is pure torture...PURE TORTURE!! It will make you so curious about the next book that you won't know what to do with yourself for a while.Read the review + author's interview on my blog - http://liisadventuresinbookland.blogs...

  • Lena Cox
    2019-05-24 02:35

    I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Can you alter fate? Author Jack Croxall toys with the idea of predestination in his young adult adventure story Tethers. The swiping of a journal from a recluse’s estate launches thirteen-year-olds Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson from their small hamlet of Shraye into the underworld of greed and murder. An entry in the journal describes Karl and Esther being in Acclesthorpe, a town that’s a half-day’s walk from Shraye. Neither Karl nor Esther, though, have ever left Shraye.Restlessness brewed with curiosity creates a stew of adventure for these two. Karl and Esther ditch school and slip out of Shraye with plans to return home that evening. They return weeks later with their innocence banished and several dead left behind.Croxall nails the middle grade to young adult genre. The tale avoids romance and focuses on friendship, making it acceptable advanced-level reading for the ten to thirteen-year-old crowd. The story isn’t just for the young though, I’m years from my adolescence and still enjoyed it. The battle scenes add tension and speed to the story. Croxall gives Karl and Esther distinctly different intelligences showing that every talent has a path to contributing to a team.Esther is portrayed as a hidden talent of bad-ass athleticism and bravery while Karl is fumbling, loyal and compassionate. Esther is quick on her feet, mentally and physically. She springs through windows and off ships while Karl falls out of windows and tumbles off boats. Karl is academically smart; he ponders, compares, and analyzes. He demonstrates loyalty to Shona and Mr. Cauldwell by attempting to save them from the evil Laurent Dufor.Absent, however, are Karl and Esther’s fears, hopes, and transformations. An omission that made connecting with the characters a challenge. At nineteen, I moved from North Carolina to the Netherlands. It was my first time traveling alone, my first time on an airplane, and my first time living outside of North Carolina. That first night in Amsterdam, while other residents celebrated New Year’s Eve, I sobbed, gulping air between weeping jags, as the rawness and exhaustion from the new experiences made me crave home. Contrast my leaving home to Karl and Esther’s. The two trod off from their hometown cradle with nonchalance. Nottingham passes as another place people live, not as a bustling Victorian city so different from their small town. People die in their presence and they react as if a bug was squashed. The characters as they’re written are likeable, yet with more depth they could become identifiable.The theme questions whether our fates are determined or alterable. A question struggled with since Augustine’s days – do we have a predestined future or a free will? I hope Croxall examines the theme further in his next two installments. The dilemma that Karl and Esther face is similar to the time traveler’s Grandfather paradox. If Karl and Esther manipulate the outcome of the predicted events, will the consequences be good or bad?Perhaps what Croxall is conveying with Tethers is to live in the moment. Because if we do that, the future and past don’t matter, right? Read Tethers and let me know your take.~review originally posted at

  • Megan Readinginthesunshine
    2019-05-13 20:37

    I've just finished this book and at the moment my thoughts consist of "Wow that was amazing!" Set in the wake of a Victorian winter, Karl and Esther are two friends who discover a hidden journal filled with strange passages. But what are these passages? And why are their names in one of the entries? Soon the discovery of this journal leads them on a quest into a dark and sinister conspiracy about an artefact that could change everything.Words cannot describe how much I LOVE this book! I actually currently want to scream about it and run and tell everyone to buy it! I liked Karl and Esther straight away, they reminded me a bit of myself when I was younger, wanting fun in life and sometimes being a bit mischievous. Then as soon as they find the journal it was like a huge adventure started and I was thrilled to be on this journey and quest with them. It is on this adventure where their personalities really shine. We see Karl's softer side and his ambitions to be brave and to play a part in unlocking the situations they have found themselves in. And Esther....I absolutely LOVE Esther! She's feisty, she's not afraid to jump into the action and she's fiercely loyal. I know if I were ever in a fight she'd have my back! I'm SO pleased that Jack created someone like Esther, she's my favourite! And now Karl and Esther feel like my best friends! There are a range of characters to meet and each of them come to life in their own way - Mr Cauldwell and Harland especially were fantastically written characters. I also liked Tommy the horse, I know he doesn't play a huge role but I want him to have his own little special mention! Tethers gripped me from the beginning, I always wanted to read on to see where the conspiracy would take Karl and Esther next, and I was constantly rooting for them and cheering them on throughout. I think one of the things I liked most about Tethers is that I never knew where the story would take me next, and so it was a thrilling ride as I was constantly being surprised. I really don't want to give anything away - but please read it - it is a BRILLIANT story that is full of excitement, tension, thrilling moments and characters that will really stand out and stay with you. The best bit is that this is a trilogy and I am SO EXCITED for the next part - Unwoven!

  • Hannah
    2019-05-06 19:22

    Edit: 21.06.2013When I wrote that review, I was going through a bit of a shoddy time and I don't feel like I've done it justice so here we go again.Esther and Karl are the perfect team and it's not often you can say that about 2 13 year old children, they are feisty and determined to get what they want even though what they want probably won't do them any good. The way they avoid the Mistress' attempts to get to them is often impressive, even if they do occasionally need a bit of help from Mr Cauldwell and Harland (my fave <3). Mr Cauldwell and Harland deserve their own mentions as their patience with and trust in children is to be commended,it is not something most grown men would even have entertained, particularly in the Victorian setting.It is the Victorian setting which gives this novel so much of its joy. It is not an era where Karl and Esther can just check on the Internet, or even necessarily in a book for answers to their questions. They can't drive to their many destinations or catch a plane. They have to walk and use a boat. They are truly adventurous and that adds a lot of tension to the plot.I really, really loved this and the second installment is set up impressively, can't wait for it to become available :)Actual rating 4.5I really enjoyed this book! It's wonderfully written to the extent that, at times, I thought something along the lines of 'ooh that's good'. The plot is amazing, seamless and unpredictable, which is as much as anyone can ask for from a mystery.The characters are strong and individual as well as working perfectly together. I particularly loved Esther and Mr Cauldwell. I would like to thank Jack, the author of this novel for helping me escape a hellish few weeks with the help of this truly wonderful story. I look forward to the second installment!

  • Amy
    2019-04-28 01:12

    Sneak preview of a joint-review between Rita @ Weaving Pages & I: Rita: What did you think of accents in Tethers?Amy: I'm not really sure what it added, I thought it was appropriate most of the time but sometimes I just wanted to forget that, it was obvious 'telling'. I like it when I guess the area, and also the time. I am not a history expert so I'm not sure how accurate it was... But for me, it was mainly an asset but I'd understand if it wasn't to everyone's preference (especially international readers!) What was your opinion?Rita: Personally, the accents really got on my nerves. I ended up being a grammar freak and started replacing Nowt with nothing and Summat with something (In my head of course) I understand that it helped with making the characters seem authentic, but I felt that I would rather read without the accents!Amy: Summat annoyed me if I'm honest, it doesn't even seem similar... Then again, I think the only reason 'nowt' does is because it makes more sense than 'owt' for anything. The bottom line is, that added up & I know about it! I'm clearly not from the right place ;) Or maybe it's just the wrong century I'm in! Actually, Tethers was great as it transported you but you didn't really want to be in the Victorian England. In many books it's glamorized, Jack Croxall really didn't do that, he made it clear- and this stuck with me- the struggles people, especially women faced. I felt sorry for Esther as she struggles, even early on, with the sexism of Victorian Society. Why shouldn't she get equality?Coming soon- August 2nd @ Once Upon A Series with GIF's as per usual & the rest of the post there...!

  • Jillyn
    2019-05-22 00:32

    What starts as a mere curiosity soon spirals into a much bigger picture filled with lies, powerful artifacts, and conspiracy. Teenagers Karl and Esther come across a strange journal among their shenanigans, a journal filled with random passages and strange, almost dream-like quotes. It isn't long before they also discover a strange stone. They must together leave their home and figure out what is going on, and more importantly, save their skins.----I am so impressed with this book. I wasn't sure if it'd be something that I would enjoy, but I am so glad that I did.+The writing of this book is pretty smooth and detailed. I was easily able to picture the settings and artifacts in my mind. Dialogue did seem a bit artificial at times, but it wasn't enough of an issue to really bother me while reading.+The characters are well written. Though it was slow for me to get into this book, once I kept to it, it wasn't long before I was cheering the protagonists on and was emotionally attached to the outcome of their adventure. +I am blown away that this is a debut novel. This is a more-than-solid start to a very promising future. I sincerely hope that this isn't the end of Jack Croxall's writings (or the Tethers story!)I recommend this book to fans of fantasy, young adult, and adventure. It might be hard for you to start, as it was for me, but the story is worth the read once you make it past that lull. My copy of Tethers was provided by the author, Jack Croxall, in exchange for an honest review. This review can also be found on my blog, Bitches n Prose.

  • Lloyd Baron
    2019-04-25 21:21

    It's impressive that this is a debut novel. Jack Croxhall has written a great YA book which is compulsively addictive. I only purchased it (Using the word "purchased" lightly) because it was free on Kindle. I saw it on Twitter and thought, "Why not." I wasn't expecting much as I usually only read heavy duty Fantasy or Horror. At first I did think it was too young for me but (as is the same with watching cartoons) the innocent side of me shrugged it off and I began to enjoy the plot.The characters, the story, the setting are original and well thought out. I liked Esther as well as Karl but it was the teen-aged girl who was really the one I was following. Esther is easily my favorite character. She has courage and bravery squished into a 13 year old! I was glad she wasn't a damsels in distress. The Two teens live in one of those small villages where nothing happens. I grew up in one of those villages where nothing happens and as a child I always longed for adventure. Karl is intelligent, Esther is resourceful. After overhearing some threats and finding a strange journal they embark on an adventure. I don't like talking about plot in reviews through fear of spoilers but I will say that after a bit of a slow start, good but slow, it really kicks in.I also liked the Victorian setting, it worked well for this story. It was a different setting to most and was very believably set in that era. Travel taking hours or days because it was far to travel. Whereas in modern setting it would have taken minutes.This is the first of a trilogy and I will look into buying the next two parts.Well Done Jack Croxall

  • Andy Angel
    2019-05-12 23:14

    This YA novel by newcomer Jack Croxall is a wonderful story of adventure set in Victorian London.Two weeks ago 13 year old Karl was caught trespassing in a village neighbours garden but before he is caught he sees, through the window, an engraved silver box which looks out of place among the clutter of the house. Although told by his mother to stay away, he returns with his friend Esther. There is no sign of the box, or Mr. Statham, the neighbour so Karl and Esther break in, only to find out they are not alone! They escape the other intruders, barely, but not before Karl discovers a note book under the floorboards.This notebook is the start of a journey that will lead the two children from their tiny village of Shraye to the by land and by river to Nottingham, with peril at every turn and enemies round every corner Karl and Esther will need all the help they can get from their new friends to stay alive and out of denger.I was quite surprised to find this is Jack Croxall's first book. The characterisation is a joy and the setting is such that rather than reading the story you, at times, feel you are there.As a story it reminded me, as others have noted, of the Sally Lockheart novels of Phillip Pullman, by way of The Famous Five. A wonderful debut and hopefully the story is not over yet.If you have a young adult reader, treat them to this book, if not, treat yourself

  • Jane Yates
    2019-04-25 23:29

    Book Review: Tethers by Jack CroxallThis gripping adventure which starts in a rural village set in the Victorian period will delight steampunk fans.The two main charters; Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson, start the book as good friends but as the tightly knit plot gets underway they have to develop new skills and trust in each other.Karl’s qualities shine though in the story, he starts off as quite meek and mild with little knowledge of travelling and the dangers of the world other than the loss of his father, who died a hero saving a woman. A tall order for Karl to live up to! But in spite of his apparent mild manners, Karl is clearly the leader…Esther on the other hand is introduced to us as a beauiltul but feisty girl on the brink of womanhood, whose fear and courage have no boundaries and her endless energy carries the book. Her skills, swordsmanship and quick thinking grab the attention of the reader and though her you are transported into another world.On their adventure the author uses beautifully descriptive passages to describe every detail of their journey. I especially like the way he describes the boats, one he fondly calls ‘the old lady’.Tethers starts of as a tangled web and Karl and Esther do their best to unravel it facing grave danger and sinister characters along the way.This book has everything that a teenage novel should include and more, from action, adventure and bravery in the face of adversary.Enjoy!

  • Lekeisha The Booknerd
    2019-05-16 19:27

    Thirteen-year-olds Karl and Esther are best friends who discover a mysterious journal in their neighbor’s house. When Karl find his and Esther’s name on the last page of the journal, they soon find themselves in a conspiracy concerning a gem with strange powers.Karl and Esther are very precocious characters. Smart and witty are just two of their likable qualities. These two are always looking for a chance to adventure out of the small village that they’ve only known their whole lives. From the very first page, you are easily pulled in by their friendly banter. As the story unfolds, you can’t help but wonder what will happen next. I found it hard to put down at times when I had to sleep for work.I love all the elements that make up this book. There’s the fantasy side, but with science-fiction trait. Of course there is the historical aspect, as it’s set in the Victorian Era. It’s also very adventurous and thrilling at times, which is what our two main characters long for. A great start to a trilogy in my opinion, and I can’t wait to read Unwoven (The Tethers Trilogy #2). Definitely recommend!!

  • Meghann Doyle
    2019-05-10 00:29

    This story is imaginative yet grounded. Developments take place naturally as you traverse Victorian Britain. You are gently lured in as Croxall exposes the setting in beautiful detail which anchors the direct nature of the action. There's a reluctant hero in the sensitive and observant Karl. He doesn't make decisions lightly, but he's quick to abandon his fears to do the right thing. Eager but naive Esther has a lot of heart, and has a courage beyond her years. The supporting characters are equally as dynamic and enthralling. Three dimensional and proactive, the characters stir up the action as they chase a mystery and defy the risks that surround it to save their friends and themselves.This book carries some mature issues and encourages adult morals while being pure and entertaining. Though there are some dramatic and violent scenes the weight of each event is felt thoroughly by the characters and always accounted for.I've been looking for a book like this since I was a teen. It's a delightful read where the characters choose their path and deal with real consequences. It's sensitive and full of beauty all the while being a raucous adventure.

  • Jess
    2019-05-23 01:37

    This is the first ever review I have written for a book whose author I actually know in real life! So forgive me if I sound insincere - but I genuinely loved this book! Young adult fiction is such an exciting genre - you can do so much with it, and Jack really has. It has a past, a present and a future. I love books where I find myself imagining how I want the story to go, but then as I read on, realising that what is actually happening is far more satisfying than what I imagined, and makes more sense. That feeling of satisfaction is what gives me faith in a writer. A problem I have with young adult fiction these days is that I feel like it is trying to tick all the boxes, and follow quietly and profitably in the footsteps of the big success stories, which affects the writing so horribly, and can turn a great plot into a pile of clichés. Tethers isn't like that - it feels familiar but in a comforting way, not a clichéd way. I loved the hints at romances and conflicts to come, and, as I don't want to give anything away, will just say that I can't wait for the next instalment. Well done Jack!

  • Steve Caddy
    2019-05-02 20:39

    Jack Croxall's first novel is a real page turner. His imagination has created a wonderful plot that leaves you wanting more. The characters are believable, the action is well described, flowing, and easy to read. I really enjoyed following Karl and Esther on their adventure as light bedtime or lunchtime reading.A worthwhile point to remember, is that being a debut novel, it's not as polished as something from a well seasoned author, but please don't let it put you off, because I'm sure we're going to see a lot more from Mr Croxhall as this trilogy, and his writing style develops. I've read far more stilted debut novels than this from authors that have gone on to sell millions of copies.

  • Izzles25
    2019-04-26 18:31

    Now what to say? I always find it difficult to write a good review of a book when I chat to the author lol. The book is well written, especially the characters who are fresh and unique. Esther is a delightful refreshing character who truly defies steroetypes that were viewed during the Victorian period where this book is set. The story is fast paced and clever keeping the reader wanting to know more yet trying to slow down so you can't finish just yet.Brilliant first novel written by a pretty ace author who has put all of the right elements into a story which show he is an avid reader of a variety of genres and he knows what makes a good book and this is defintely a brilliant book.

  • Lisa Veldkamp
    2019-05-12 21:32

    I read this book in the countryside in Sweden and I must say, it was the perfect place to read this book. The little villages, the forest, the seashore all came to life much more as I ran alongside the adventures of Karl and Esther.Croxall has quite the gift for building up the suspense, while making the characters really come to life. References to Enid Blyton are understandable, but I would like to add that Tethers is a nice read for adults as well, like JK Rowling and Philip Pullman are also appealing to both children and adults.Can't wait to read the next one!