Author: Nick Jones

Jumper - Rebecca Scarberry

Jumper – Rebecca Scarberry

There’s a lot to like about Jumper, the first in a series of children’s picture books by Californian writer Rebecca Scarberry. For starters, its hero is rather different from your typical children’s book character. Instead of focusing events around a child or a personified animal, Scarberry allows us to see the world through the eyes of Jumper, a cute red beach ball who is determined to escape confinement in a toy shop and travel to Carnival Castle – a nearby amusement park that Jumper has overheard kids enthusing about. An inanimate object stuck in an enclosure may not sound like fertile...

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Skin Cage book cover

Skin Cage – Nico Laeser

Nico Laeser’s genre-defying novel Skin Cage deals with one of the cruelest of medical conditions, locked-in syndrome, in which the sufferer is almost completely paralysed but remains conscious. When he was 15 years old, Daniel Stockholm’s brain was infected by a parasite that reduced him to a frozen shell of his former self, and we meet him nine years on, still reliant on machines to keep him alive, and still unable to communicate to his long-time carers, Cassie and Anna. His relationship with these two women is the driving force behind this unsettling, often deeply touching book – but...

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Charlie Robot book cover

Charlie Robot – Benedict J. Martin

One of my favourite comedy moments in a film occurs in Woody Allen’s sci-fi comedy, Sleeper, when his character Miles Monroe has to disguise himself as a robot butler. The image of a silver Allen shuffling around, C-3PO style, trying to serve people at a busy party makes me grin every time I think of it. And it was that scene that popped into my head as I began to read Canadian author Benedict J. Martin’s debut novel, Charlie Robot. The general premise is similar, and while the humour isn’t as physical and slapstick as Allen’s futuristic nod to Groucho...

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