H. J. (Holly) Harper : Five Fiction Favourites for 2011

by |November 22, 2011

H. J. (Holly) Harper

author of the Star League series


The 5 best novels I read this year are…

The Fear

By Charlie Higson

Holly Harper: The third in Charlie Higson’s The Enemy series, this is the zombie apocalypse at its best. A huge cast of characters means you never know who’s safe and who isn’t.

The Blurb:


The sickness struck everyone over the age of fourteen.

Mothers and fathers, older brothers, sisters and best friends. No one escaped its touch. And now children across London are being hunted by ferocious grown-ups . . .


DogNut and the rest of his crew want to find their lost friends, on a deadly mission from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace and beyond, as the sickos lie in wait.

But who are their friends and who are the enemy in this changed world?




Burn Bright

by Marianne de Pierres

Holly Harper: I’ve never read a book quite like this first in the Night Creatures series – the lush, ever-night world of Ixion is one you’ll want to get lost in, and the mystery behind the shadowy Ripers will have you engrossed until the end.

The Blurb:

Into a world of wild pleasures and deadly secrets comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength . . .

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure like all the others. But her brother left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him.

Braving the pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures – but its secrets are deadly.


SPOOK’S : I Am Grimalkin

by Joseph Delaney

Holly Harper: The Wardstone Chronicles just keep getting better and better, and the latest is all about my favourite character, Grimalkin, the scissor-wielding witch assassin. Can’t recommend this brilliant dark fantasy series highly enough!

The Blurb:

The ninth chilling tale in the Wardstone Chronicles series. This story follows Grimalkin, the terrifying witch assassin. She is out for revenge, do not stand in her way . . .

‘I am Grimalkin, and I have already chosen those I will kill . . .’

Grimalkin has made it her lifetime ambition to destroy the Fiend, avenging the brutal murder of her son.

Having grudgingly joined forces with the Spook and his apprentice, Tom, and assisted them in the binding of the Fiend, she is now on the run. And her mission is deadly.

She has to help them bind the Fiend’s spirit for ever no matter who u or what u comes after it . . .


Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones

by Derek Landy

Holly Harper: I’ve only just discovered the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and now I’m making up for lost time. These books are both action-packed and hilarious. Plus, how could you not want to read something about a wise-cracking, magic-using skeleton detective?

The Blurb:

If you’ve read the previous Skulduggery books then you know what the Faceless Ones are – and if you know what the Faceless Ones are, then you can probably take a wild guess that things in this book are going to get AWFULLY sticky for our skeletal hero and his young sidekick.

If you haven’t read the previous Skulduggery books then what are you doing reading this? Go and read them right now, so that you know what all that stuff in the previous paragraph was about.

Done? Good. So now you’re on tenterhooks too, desperately awaiting the answers to all your questions, and instead you?re going to have to wait to read the book. Sorry about that.


A Monster Calls

by Patrick Ness

Holly Harper: After writing the phenomenal Chaos Walking series, Ness took over the writing of Siobhan Dowd’s A Monster Calls when she sadly passed away in 2007. The result is an absolutely stunning look into the world of a boy whose life is falling apart as his mother succumbs to cancer. A devastating but ultimately uplifting read.

The Blurb:

An extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss.

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.


Thanks to H.J. Harper for sharing her Five Fiction Favourites

H.J. Harper is a children’s author who lives in Melbourne. By day she works in a bookstore, spruiking her favourite wares; by night she writes stories about zombies, movie stars, ninjas and robots. Her first series of books, STAR LEAGUE, was published in 2011.

Lights, Camera, Action Hero!

Star League Series : Book 1

Jay Casey stars in . . . LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION HERO!

When Jay is invited to audition for his favourite director, he is overjoyed. But things are not as they seem.

Could director Ben Beaumont really be asking Jay to lead a team of kids in a battle against evil?

Jay has his doubts, but when someone close to him is kidnapped, Jay knows he has no choice. He must step up to head the team.

Illustrated throughout by Nahum Ziersch.


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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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