Newest first

21st March 2013


I received the product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Hexult by Perry Aylen is marketed as a young adult book, but don't be fooled. While it took some time to orient myself in this new and chilly world, the world has much potential. Reading this book is like browsing in a foreign market; colorful and filled with a variety of remarkable people. When a boat crash kills their father, Elya and Jacob, 15-year-old twins, are stranded in Hexult, a loose federation of island city-states on the brink of civil war. The twins know "advanced technology" and many citizens of Hexult consider them wizards. The two of them try better communication and new devices to reduce tensions between the islands. The part I liked best in this book was the ice itself. Hexult is unique from other worlds; a series of islands set in oceans of ice. While there are many things that the reader is expected to take on faith (for instance, all he islands are heated from below) it has beautiful descriptions of the terrain. Moreover, the place has a personality, a "soul", some of the characters considered it to have a name: Vajra.

I thought the ending was abrupt, perhaps not a cliffhanger, but certainly didn't wrap up the problems completely. Perhaps this is to leave room for a sequel. Alternatively, like in real life, there always will be another adventure waiting. People who like the realms of Diana Wynne Jones and enjoy reading about enterprising young people taking on the problems of their world would certainly find Hexult a good read.
music mama

16th March 2013

Great Read!

I loved the story and characters in this book. It is quite an interesting idea of an ice world where science is forgotten and even simple things can make people's lives so much better. I am looking forward to sharing this with my nieces and nephew as they may learn from the themes and topics covered within the storyline of book. The only problem is I was left wanting more and cannot wait for a sequel.

14th March 2013

Good Read

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. I think a sequel is in order, and I would definitely recommend this book to others. I was reading it to my 5 year old and he enjoyed it as well. Great young adult story!

9th March 2013


I am a soon to be great grandmother and I loved this book. It is about living in an ice world instead of a water world. It is far in the future and much of what mankind knew has been forgotten. Travel is by boat on ice. Twins are found on a boat that has crashed. They are found by local people who are delivering the local mail. They are a little different in their outward aspects and the locals are suspicious of them. They also have some scientific knowledge which makes the locals mistrust them even more. Just because someone is different doesn't make them bad. This story is quite exciting and keeps your interest all the way through. You care about the people and wish you knew them yourself. I would recommend this to anyone, not just teens and young adults. I will be looking for the sequel to this and also other works by this author. I received this free as an ebook through Library Thing. Five star plus!!
Sandra Lynne Padgett

7th March 2013

A different world - magically created

Perry Aylen has succeeded in creating a world that is very different and, at the same time, strangely familiar. The main protagonists, a brother/sister couple, Jacob and Elya are rescued from the ice and the circumstances of their rescue, plus the fact that they have simple devices that allow them to easily create fire and navigate the featureless ice, make them the object of both wonder and jealousy.

Aylen spins this masterly beginning into a wonderful web of storytelling which gripped me, even though I am far from the market for which it is intended.

I cannot imagine a young person from ten to fifteen that is enthralled by this story. So much so I shall give it to my Australian grandsons.

For a great story, clever characterisation as will as vivd imagination, I am giving this 5 stars.

1st March 2013

Amazing adventure

This was a great and enjoyable science fiction read, this adventure takes you on a thrilling journey through a fantasy world set in future. I gave this book as a gift to my 11 year old daughter and she just loved it. The society depicted in this story inhabits a fascinating world made of ice and rock. There is a high attention to details throughout the book and you can tell by the portrayal of characters and the subtleties of the plot that this is a excellent and well thought out story. Great for both teens and adults, I recommend reading it!

10th February 2013


Hexult is a story of adventure in a world of ice, where much of science and technology has been forgotten. This perhaps looms in our future. The characterization reflects many all-too-human foibles as the four main characters Ingar and Aulf and the twins Jacob and Elya take on the always formidable task of overcoming evil with good intentions, youthful enthusiasm and creativity. Jacob and Elya's arrival in the islands brings change and challenge. There is underlying curiousity to be satisfied as we are prompted to think about geothermal activity, the making of steel, how flint and steel works, how compasses work and how Morse Code and other symbolic systems form the basis of communication. This is a good read for young readers and adults can be well entertained. The world Aylen has created is interesting and engaging. The society that inhabits it is simple with room for more development as the different islands of Hexult navigate the rocky waters of a new treaty and try to track down proof of evil doing. I, for one, look forward to further books in this series. It does us no harm to be reminded of a world where it is hard to start fires and where there is excitement in the creation of a small case for our flint and steel. There is room for further character development and a number of dramatic tensions to be resolved. While I don't think this will turn into an epic we must remember the initial shallowness of Robert Jordan's Conan and the ultimate complexity of the Wheel of Time. I truly appreciate an author creative enough to create a new world without internal inconsistencies.

The story may well be post-apocalyptic if you choose to view it that way but I certainly didn't find it dystopian nor did I think it should be categorized as fantasy, at least to this point. There is no evidence of magic, just superstition ns a little basic science. It is quite well written and I found very few editorial errors. Suitable to its target audience. A good read without disconcerting sensationalism, sex and ugliness. Commendable!

Authors note:
This was given 5 stars on Amazon UK and 4 stars on Amazon USA so I've filed it as 5 stars. (Well I would, wouldn't I)
Time and chance

2nd November 2012

Interesting world of mystery

I liked this book a lot. Set in a world that may be fantasy or may be a distopian future (you never really know WHERE or WHEN on earth this is), the story moves at a fairly rapid pace as you follow the adventures of two teens orphaned in a society different and less technologically advanced than their own. The society and living conditions of the people stuck on a world of mostly ice and rock is interesting and internally consistant. The characters are well-portrayed and their reactions to the newcomers are very real: interest, superstitious dread, attempts to exploit them. I'm looking forward to the sequel explaining more about the world and what happens to the various characters.
Lynne Wilson "mamabear98"

20th August 2012

When is the sequel out?

Perry Aylen visited the school where I work as part of our Literature Festival a few weeks ago; so I'd experienced and investigated some of the scientific concepts he has used in the book before I'd read it!

I enjoyed reading the book, although it's hard to visualise the geography of the area when reading this on Kindle without paging back to the beginning - perhaps the map could be used as a title page for each chapter?

The plot is believable, the characters are mostly well-drawn, and (a huge relief on Kindle!) the grammar and proof-reading are excellent. I don't want to give any spoilers here; but young teenagers who enjoy finding inventive solutions to problems and reading a good adventure story should give 'Hexult' a try.
PJ Preston

11th July 2012

Thawing relations

A well-written rather pedestrian (considering the possibilities in the scenario) romp over the ice. The characters are well drawn and youngsters should find them endearing. Nice to find a book where science rather than pure fantasy or magic takes centre stage. Not sure about some of the cold world science but it is easy enough to suspend disbelief for it to work okay.
Seems as if the reason the ice tower was built, as look-out post for raiders, somehow got forgotten since it failed in this role.
There's Goodies and Baddies, prejudice, injustice etc. to keep YA interest and it rolls along at a decent pace. A touch of young romance might have added a dimension. The clean, clear writing is good enough to make it worth recommending to young teens.
Antony "Gloster"

15th May 2012

I heartily recommend this book

Great plot
Original premise
Endearing Characters
Wonderful setting
Well written
-What's not to like.
Hexult transports you to a different world, but a simple world, a 'real' world, not the normal dystopian worlds of science fiction.

1st April 2012

What a wonderful surprise!

What a wonderful surprise! I thoroughly enjoyed venturing into this new, exciting, and dangerous world. The characters are well thought out and just downright likeable. You can't help but be swept away by the action and the emotion of this story. I will admit I am a bit above the target age range of 12-15, but found the book both held my attention and made me wish the sequel was ready to read. I will be eagerly awaiting Hexult 2 and praise the author for creating a world that is fun to get lost in. Give it a try, you'll be glad you did.

15th March 2012

Top class SF

This is one of the best new SF stories I have read in a long time. I hope the couple who collaborated to create it continue this standard of writing. A real pleasure after seeing some of the rubbish e-books which are supposed to be in the english language. A well thought out story line with plenty of possible questions unanswered for the future volumes. Thank you.
Mr. M. Watts "Mikwatts"

12th February 2012

Review by Madame Diotte

An original premise, good character development, and lots of action make this a truly enjoyable read! You will love getting to know Aulf, Ingar, Jacob, and Elya in this unusual adventure! Great for teens and adults alike!

4th January 2012

Review by killie81

"Hexult" by Perry Aylen is an enjoyable adventure story with the shadings of a post-apocalyptic and dystopian tone. It is firmly aimed at the earlier end of the young adults market although I believe that even younger children will also enjoy having this light and easy going story read to them. The genre of this story was am interesting aspect as I had to decide on if I would call this Science-Fiction or Fantasy. However, as the premise appears to imply the story is set in the Earth at an undefined future date I decided just to lean towards classing this as a Science-Fiction novel.

The story is set on a world where the temperature has dropped substantially and is now mainly covered in ice and people now use boats adapted to slide across the ice rather than sail upon water. On this world there is the land of Hexult which is a collection of islands that poke out of the ice, the islands are kept habitable thanks to the heating effects of various elements of geothermal activity.

When, Aulf a mailman and his crew member, Ingar discover a wreck on the ice they find two survivors, mysterious twins named Jacob and Elya who claim to have come from a land far across the frozen wasteland. These two youngsters have an understanding of science far beyond that of those on the islands and this science is soon mistaken for magic by a people who have forgotten much of the knowledge that may have been known in the past. Very soon, the twins find themselves the centre of fearsome prophecy and their attempts to save both their lives and reputation leads them on an adventure across the frozen wastes to all corners of the Hexult island chain.

I have to admit that I am well past the target age group for this novel but I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it as the plot was engaging and moved at a decent rate. The world that has been created by the author is imaginative and exciting although I will say that it was a shame that it felt like the surface has only just been scratched. I now hope that in the proposed sequel we get to uncover even more about this interesting place and the people who live there.

One element I really appreciated was the various utilisations of knowledge and technology thrown into the book regarding things such as compasses, steel, ice lenses, mirrors, etc. I can actually envision children reading this novel and then asking their parents or teachers more about the interesting elements contained. I myself actually went and read up a little bit more on steel production and its history after reading "Hexult". Any book that can inspire the search for more information and knowledge in either me or others is a great thing in my opinion.

I found the main characters to all be rather endearing and there was an innocence present that was quite nice to behold. It really helps to draws you in so that you actually care about them and wish them on to succeed in their various endeavours. However, it did feel like there was something lacking a little in the characters to make them feel fully rounded. Basically, the large amount of innocence present within the various people in the story meant that it was hard to see any other elements personality, especially in regards to charisma. Even some of the various leaders in the isles just seemed to be missing a spark that I would have expected to see. It doesn't spoil the story but it just meant that the characters feel slightly unreal to me.

Overall, this was an enjoyable and interesting adventure story that should appeal to most young readers. I fully intend to read it with my own children when they are old enough to understand it and hopefully it will inspire some interest in the science and technology utilised in the novel. If you are a younger reader who wants to read something different form the current trend in vampires, zombies, etc. then you should give this a try.

15th November 2011

A Great Adventure - Highly Recommended

I bought this based on the interesting premise (plus I fancied a rest from Jack Reacher so guess I am not the target audience for this book)and was not disappointed in the slightest. Read from start to finish in a couple of days which is a first for me since I bought the Kindle back in February. Hexult has a great plot and spirit of adventure with just enough threads dangling at the end to leave me waiting eagerly for the next book. Well done!

4th November 2011

There are several great descriptions of the story on here. I will add that it is a lovely epic for early teens. I have to add that I really enjoyed the story and it would make a good "chapter" book, as each chapter added something to the story. I look forward to seeing more written in the Hexult world.
Cindy Spangler

22nd October 2011

Earlier reviews give a good plot summary. I will simply add that I would be very happy for my tween children to read Hexult. It would capture their imaginations without leaning toward inappropriate topics. A great read!

John Hutchinson

21st October 2011


This was an enjoyable read. The genre is only very loosely science fiction (I would hesitate to even call it as loosely). I would describe this as a YA fantasy adventure with suggestions of post apocalyptic and dystopian tones. Even though it wasn't the genre I was expecting, I enjoyed the story very much. I think this would be a great read for children as it should keep their attention but would also provide some very important lessons.

I was happy about the message but also pleased that the author created believable characters that were fairly well developed. It was also nice that the ending wasn't wrapped up in a nice tidy bow- yes the story took care of the bulk of loose ends but not specifically with an unrealistic "happy ever after".

How was this relatively short book able to encompass tones of dealing with politics, superstition, irrationality, science and prejudice all wrapped up in an adventure story? Well- to find out that I would recommend reading it.

Carol Brannigan

14th October 2011

Book Review: Hexult by Perry Aylen

Genre: Young Adult (Adventure)

Hexult is the first book written by UK author, Perry Aylen. Hexult world frozen over with ice. Much knowledge has been lost over time. When Aulf and Ingar rescue two shipwrecked twins who look very different from anyone they know, but have a surprising resemblance to a prophesy that threatens the icy land, people fear them. The twins, Jacob and Elya, possess knowledge and items that are unheard of and seemingly magical to these people putting them in danger for their lives.

"When the seas rose and the Earth froze much knowledge was lost. And in this world of ice a little knowledge goes a long way." This quote from the summary of Hexult was all it too to peak my interest in this book. Hexult is a highly original story of adventure. It shows us a World where ignorance is not always bliss. With the loss of common knowledge among the people, it reminded me of our own histories where innocent people were falsely accused of witchcraft because they were a little different from the rest. A simple compass is seen as something magical.

Hexult was an enjoyable story. This is the type of book I would have loved to read in Elementary or Middle School and is highly appropriate for that age group.

What's Beyond Forks

8th October 2011


Hexult is a good book. I particularly like Isambard because he comes and saves the ice fair.
This book is exciting and has some cliff hangers.
When Jacob and Elya were ship wrecked and their dad had died, Aulf took them on board. Jacob and Elya turned out to have some weird skills......

saul, age 10

7th October 2011

Sample only - Extensive and atmospheric

I didn't know what I expected from the title and the cover (which, by the way, looks very good on the Kindle, as does the 'Part 1' image page), but it wasn't really this. The story is like an icy mixture of Mad Max, Waterworld, The Postman, Icelandic sagas and a few of Jules Verne's old Winter Amid the Ice type tales, but not really like any of them and better than most. It started off a little slowly, but by the time I finished the sample, I really wanted to read on, despite this not really being my favourite genre. I think kids aged 10-15 would love it, and many adults would give this 5 stars too. Very good.

Andrew Ives (Atur, France)

6th October 2011

when's the sequel out?

This story is great and I like the characters; Grim, the blacksmith, is my favourite and I also really like Elya and Isambard. The story is exciting with the raiders and interesting. Sailing on ice sounds cool. I like books that have more in a series too. E.E.M. age 10


3rd October 2011

Action, adventure and fantasy all rolled into one!

I love a good fantasty novel, especially as I'm one of those people who can imagine themselves in the places described in a book and I had no problems in doing so with this one. The text is so richly descriptive and highly imaginative that I found I could picture everything with clarity, from the Varja Crevasse and on to the wonderfully named Islands of Orking Do, Quayven and Pelago (among others!). With regards to this, perhaps the only issue I had with this novel was that there was a lot of new terms and places to absorb and at first I found myself struggling to take it all in, but by the time I was further into the novel and place names and people had been repeated I found that it had all sunk in, so much so that even with the huge gap in reading this book due to my broken kindle, I was able to remember names of places and people with ease when I went to finish it.

For those who love your adventure and magic (erm science, I mean) this is also an adventure story with a twist and I found myself laughing on occasion at the citizens of Hexult who, in the bigger part, drove me nuts with their superstitions, and I found myself wanting to yell at them all. One of the things that I quickly came to wonder was if the seas did rise and the world froze over and people forgot about science and common sense, would we go back to believing such things as magic, prophecy and judging people on such things? Or would we at least retain some of our knowledge? To me it would feel like a step backwards, but reading this book, it makes complete sense, because it would be quite easy in the absence of knowledge to revert to a very medieval attitude.

All that aside, the trips across the ice coupled with the fights, the raiding and the fantastical buildings that are created captured my imagination with ease and had my heart racing in some instances and I was left fascinated by some of the ideas and by the simple thought that it only takes a small group of people to change the world, even in the face of so much adversity and superstition. Character wise I loved the twins and how they dealt with the situation they were dropped into despite everything that was against them and I got rather attached to Aulf and Ingar too so I will definitely be reading the sequel to this to find out what happens next.

If your looking for something different to read give this a go, you won't be disappointed.

Magic of Reading (Canterbury)

24th September 2011

Are You Looking for a Book for Your Tween?

What a exciting change from the vampires and werewolves I have been reading lately. This book was a wonderful and entertaining adventure. Hexult is the story of two teens who are shipwrecked and saved. They are brought to a land where they are very different from the people around them. They are attacked verbally and physically due to fear and ignorance. The teens bring with them knowledge and information on how to build helpful items that are considered "magic".

I am always looking for a lesson learned and this story has a few. Perry expertly weaves in a lesson about predjudice. We learn along with the characters that just because someone or something is different doesn't make it "bad". Secondly, there were bits of science woven throughout the story. I found myself wanting to build an ice tower!

This story is aimed at ages 12-15 but I believe that it can be read aloud to younger children. Even adults will like it. Although it took me a chapter or two before I "got into" the story once I was in I didn't go to bed until I finished the book!

Wild About Reading

6th September 2011

After several weeks of giving books less than stellar reviews, it was a refreshing and welcomed change to read Hexult. It is an adventure story aimed at tweens and while it will certainly appeal to middle grade and young adult readers, it is an enjoyable read for adults too; 5 out of 5 stars.

The author sets the drama of the shipwreck quickly and maintains a high level of adventure throughout the story in the form of raiders, an ill-tempered wizard, and islanders hardened by death and war. I liked how the unlikely, yet very strong, friendship between mailman Aulf and runaway/fighter/outcast Ingar was established from the start; it made me invested in them as characters and also in their relationship.

The other two main characters, twins Jacob and Elya, are equally as endearing and effective at capturing the reader. Their knowledge of science, or magic to the islanders, was very entertaining and drew some interesting parallels to mankinds continuing fear of things we cannot understand.

The writing style of Hexult is very clear and concise and a great level for a book aimed at tweens; it will sharpen a younger reader's vocabulary but is not too inaccessible.

I have no real criticisms of Hexult. It has a real childlike innocence and sense of wonder about it that make it a great book, especially for its younger target audience.

Hexult is an exciting tale of adventure from beginning to end and leaves the reader knowing that good trumps evil anyday.

Sift Book Reviews

24th August 2011

A Great Read

A great book. We really enjoyed reading it to our children.

"A brilliant story, full of adventure and science. Different to other books as the whole world is frozen and the facts helped me easily picture the ice world. I wanted to carry on reading and not stop. I liked Ingar because she was always really wild and free and I liked Elya because she had loads of brilliant ideas." Lauren (age 11)

"It gets into the exciting bit very quickly. I liked Gabriel as he's mysterious. Hector and Ivor made it more exciting but they are just bullies. I can't wait for book 2." Sam (age 9)

A. Mackenzie

11th August 2011

This book has a very unique plot. I really liked this new world that the author created. The characters were also very unique and interesting.

At some points throughout the story, though, it was kind of hard to tell where the story was heading and what the purpose was, but the ending was great. I really hope this is part of a series.


24th July 2011

Ice ships

Written for beings the age of my grandchildren, but I stayed with it and enjoyed the images that rose up in my mind. Images of ice-ships sliding beneath wind-filled sails between islands heated by the Earth's thermals. A volcanic fissure in the ice-field, known as the Vajra - an interesting name (Sanskrit for diamond thunderbolt). The author has a gifted imagination.

Glaciologists might have a question about the height of sea-level - but never mind that. It is a thoroughly good tale of the coming-of-age of youngsters who must needs fend for themselves.

Harry Nicholson

21st July 2011

Beautiful tale

What a refreshing idea! Literally, refreshing. With the heat tormenting me, reading about a world of ice made it all better, at least for my mind. I'll be honest, I'm quite torn between a 3 and 4 butterflies rating. I'd give it a 4 for originality, age-appropriate tale-like structure, content and characters, but a 3 for the chemistry I had with said characters. Admittedly, I am well above it's target; so, to make up my mind what rating I'd give it, I thought, if I had a kid, would I give him/her this book to read? And it's a definite "YES", something I wouldn't quite say for some titles out there. But my reading experience does point more to the 3 segment, therefore, I rate Hexult a 3 (and a half) out of 5.

The atmosphere is very much tale-like, if a bit...chilling. A world engulfed in ice, where some knowledge truly does set you apart - that setting got my full attention right from the beginning. I loved the description of the environment, it is both built and presented beautifully.

The characters are interesting, especially the twins. As I kept reading, I had these flashbacks of an animated series I used to watch when I was younger, I'm not sure I remember the name, but it was about these twins traveling together, and when they'd hold hands they did some sort of Magic thing; anyway, I really loved the series, and I've been since a big fan of twins. It was a great pleasure for me to follow twin adventures, if I may call them so.

The plot itself is quite engaging, and I could definitely see a successful movie made based on Perry Aylen's work, I believe it would translate into a big time success. If I could have had something different about it, I think I would have liked the characters to be a bit more...charismatic? There's something endearing about some of them, the twins especially, but maybe someone could have been just a tad more edgy perhaps, but that's a very personal aspect of course.

As usual, I can't keep from commenting about the cover. I love the cover, I mean, just looks at it; it's beautiful!

All thing considered, I find Hexult to be a very charming tale, that I do recommend with a dear heart. It has that sprinkle of fairytale charm that we find so little of lately.


17th July 2011

My Thoughts

First off, Hexult is not at my reading level or my particular taste in books. This book is more geared toward children and the middle school age group. With that information out of the way, I do find the world of Hexult to be imaginative and enticing. Although, it did take me quite a few chapters before I was able to get the gist of the story and indulge in the characters. As the story went on and the more interesting Hexult started to become, the easier it was to lose myself in Perry Aylen's words. But, I think that the world of Hexult could have been deeper, more exciting.

Aulf, one of the main characters is sweet and energetic. He captivates the audience with his never-ending generosity and love for Hexult. Ingar was just as equally interesting.

All in all, Hexult was an okay read. But, do not hesitate to pick this one up for your children. They adventure and the magic of an unknown world will be sure to captivate a young person's mind.


9th July 2011

Great adventure for adults and children alike!!

In the land of Hexult, Aulf delivers the mail between a set of islands aboard the sailboat known as the Aurora. With his crew of one, a small waif of a girl named Ingar, they fly with the wind aboard the Aurora, no one around with a vessel fast enough to catch her. But in this land a boat doesn't fly over the smooth surface of water. Instead they slide across a frozen sea of ice, a white wonderland very different from the one you and I know.

One day while delivering the mail, Aulf and Ingar come across a wrecked vessel and find two young teenagers inside, barely alive, almost frozen to death. Their father was killed with the destruction of their boat, leaving the twins, Elya and Jacob, with no family. But Jacob and Elya have a lot to offer the people of Hexult, if only everyone was as willing to listen to them as Aulf and Ingar, because the people from the land of ice have never seen a lodestone, or witnessed a blacksmith heat and pound out steel, and they've never watched anyone carve out a lens of clear ice and use it to trap the rays of the sun, enabling the user to build a fire. Fire could be the difference between life and death if caught out on the ice during the night.

Reliable communication is a big dilemma between the islands and the twins have suggested the building of light towers may just be the answer to their problem. In the top of the towers would be mirrors and these could be used to flash messages between the islands, doing away with the need for a carrier. No one would have to worry anymore about a message getting confiscated by raiders-whose numbers grow daily, raising the level of fear and conflict among the people. But not everyone is pleased with the idea. There is one in particular who is afraid the twins might undermine his authority and destroy the respect he has created through superstitious fear in the people. He'd like to take credit for the idea of the light towers himself and does what he can to bring the twins down.

I'm far past the age for target readers of Hexult, but I enjoyed every last page of this wonderful adventure. I can just imagine kids going to their parents after reading, curious about the workings of a compass, or trying to build a magnifying glass from a chunk of clear ice. Any novel that can raise a child's curiosity about nature and science, and inspire the need to learn, is a wonderful deal in my eyes. And if an adventure can be gained with Aulf, Ingar, Jacob and Alya in their imaginations while they do so, then so much the better. I loved the novel and plan to purchase a copy for my eleven-year-old niece. I'm afraid she can't have mine. That one is reserved for my own adventure. :) You might have to get two, like I did-one copy for you, one for the kids. I'm sure you'll enjoy this novel as much as I did.

Denna Holm

21st June 2011

A must for every 7 to 14 year old's bedroom bookshelf!

I've done some digging and this is the first book of a new UK author. Well hats off to the guy. This is a highly original piece. Set in a future ice-age where technology is thrown back so that even a compass is considered magic, the adventure unfolds around a group of youngsters who bring 'magic' to the isolated islands of Hexult that are seperated by vast sheets of ice. Trouble ensures for them as those with power vie to gain the advantage that the group can provide, and are willing to undertake 'dirty tactics' to get it.

I can easily see this book being read by parents to their children who will be eagerly awaiting bedtime (why wasn't it published a few years ago when my kids were small!). A must for every child and young adult's bookshelf. Good job and looking forward to the sequel.

C. Hollingworth

31st May 2011

A Cold World

Not normally my type of book, but I'm so glad I tried it. I was totally immersed in the world to the extent I'd be feeling cold just reading it. It seemed like it was the start of an epic set of adventures, I hope so.


25th May 2011

Narnia for grown-ups!

If you loved the C.S. Lewis Narnia books as a child, you will almost certainly enjoy this. It's a proper adventure story, which grabs your attention from the beginning, and continues to be a page-turner throughout. The characters are engaging, but somewhat mysterious; and the world within which the story is set is fascinating. Highly recommended!

K. Young

17th May 2011

Wonderful Imagination

Loved the setting of this book. The frozen world of Hexult is brought vividly to life , along with a civilisation that is an intriguing mix of past and present. I love the notion of a postman hero speeding over the ice between islands, delivering the mail. This story is an enjoyable mix of drama and good old-fashioned adventure, with likeable and believable heroes/heroines, which also deals with the more serious issue of prejudice and how we react to people who are different to ourselves.

Best of all, it has pirates!

Bertie Dawson

16th May 2011

What a refreshing read!

I was drawn into the story straight away, the writing is very accessible. It starts with Aulf and Ingar sailing across the ice and coming across a wreck. It throws up many questions which, I'm pleased to say, are answered throughout the story. The characters are well defined and the story is nicely paced, not action-packed, but never slow.

I think science-fiction is a misleading genre and would simply call it 'adventure' as although it is in a future world, there is nothing there that differs from the technology we have today. I particularly like the fact that although there obviously needs to be many explanations of the world and their society, there are no 'info-dumps' but rather the information is woven seamlessly into the story.

I would thoroughly recommend Hexult to any adult who would like something simple, yet different, and to any teenager who wants a change from vampires and Angst.

Anne Shmitt

Reviews from here down, are just on the first six chapters of Hexult

22nd Jul 2010

Thought the writing in this was accomplished - it is of the sort that just draws you in and makes you want to carry on reading, but you don't really know why (damn, wish I had the secret of that!).

Loved the beginning as well - it was exciting, and the great thing about it was that you just feel you have been dropped right into the action - actually so good was this effect that it felt like being dropped into the middle of a book that had already been written.

Also there was no info dump about the world - the settings were just presented naturally as they arose, and you had some great ideas there with the sailing over the ice, and could easily visualise the dragon's teeth etc.

The characters were great - well described but not overdone with the descriptions - just enough. Also totally seemed as though they came out of that environment.

So overall, thought this was a great start to a fantasy novel - the world you are describing seems feasible and also you have some original ideas. Also so well-written that it seemed effortless and enjoyable to read.


10th Jul 2010

I really thought that this is an exceptionally fine piece of writing. There was just nothing that could be better. I'm not really a sci-fi fan and yet by the end of the excerpt, I felt I would like to know what happened to all these characters.

You have created a fascinating world and your characters are all very strong with believable dialogue. Your descriptions of settings are beautiful and I am transported into your wonderful imaginary world. It was actually a great read for a drastically hot day here; cooled me right down.

I particularly noticed your beautiful sentence structures such as 'Jacob surfaced slowly into consciousness' and 'the two of them stared at each other in troubled silence for several moments, each of them aware of the echo of their own doubts in the other's mind.'

I honest can't see why this is not yet published. I wish you all the best with this book.

Betty K

10th Jul 2010

Chapter one is a great introduction to the book. I felt caught up in the story immediately.The sense of place feels very real. The speed and excitement of being on the skiff gives a good pace to the chapter, there is a sense of urgency that climaxes on the discovery of the wreck.

The characters of Ingar and Aulf are quickly established. The only this that I can think of saying, that might be of help, is that I was left wondering about the ages of Ingar and Aulf.I have it in my mind that there would be in their mid-twenties, but I'm not sure. Ah, just read the sentence 'The young man helped raise his head from the pillow and held a steaming cup to his lips.', that's cleared it up for me.

The reference to Aulf being a young man sorted out the issue I had with his age, and is repeated in the next paragraph. I felt the second reference could be dropped in favour of Aulf's name. I understand that at this point Jacob doesn't know Aulfs name, but as I did know it felt uncomfortable to have him repeatedly called 'the young man', maybe you could weave in Ingar saying him his name, and Jacob picking it up?

I've just read Aulf introducing himself and Ingar, so it's probably best if you ignore my previous comment. I'm not going to remove it as I want to give you my impressions and thoughts, as I read through.

I've now read and had confirmation that Aulf is in fact 22yrs old.

You give an excellent and easily understood description of the navigation device, the lodestone.

The pace slowed nicely in chapter three, giving a pause for breath before chapter four whirled me back into the action and excitement. The balance of action and rest is very well done.

You have established the differences in the to cultures well. Small details, like the description of the hat, and the reactions of Aulf to the new technology, and Jacob's puzzlement at it not being the norm for everyone, the way all this important information is woven, so expertly, into the narrative is seamless.

I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed reading this, apart from the obvious quality of the writing, is that it felt new and fresh. I didn't get the feeling it was a rehash of popular themes, it was different and as such kept me wanting to read on.

Best wishes and thanks for an excellent read.


3rd Jul 2010

I liked this story very much. It starts with two youngsters finding a wrecked boat and a dead man. They find two live children, and then rescue them. We have excitement when the raiders approach and they escape, then the discovery that the rescued children are more advanced scientifically, with their knowledge of a rudimentary compass and how to start a fire. The story is written in clear simple language, and all four characters are sympathetic. The physical descriptions are good. I particularly like the repetition of the green eyes characteristic. This is a book which I imagine would appeal to a lot of children.It has well drawn characters and adventure.


6th Jun 2010

I enjoyed this, Perry - pacey stuff; felt very filmic to me. I liked the immediacy of the story-telling and your characters were warm (and your world cold and beautiful). The technology of the twins hints at a much wider world and you described them in a nicely ethereal way; in my head I was seeing the gelflings from The Dark Crystal. I wonder if you needed to elaborate a little more on the world of your tale, as the action does seem cut off from time and place (though I hesitate to suggest this because part of me liked the ice-bound isolationism of your setting - it lends your writing a mythical quality) - I'm sure however, that as your story progresses, the reader learns more and more about the universe of your narrative. Anyway, I don't have much nit-pickery to offer you - so good luck with it.


14th May 2010

The opening of Hexult gets off to a flying start and delivers the reader immediately into this world of ice-bound islands. You introduce your characters well, showing them to us in the thick of the action.

Chapter two establishes that the newcomers have superior knowledge about navigation. The reader becomes curious to know more about where they have come from and why they were driven out.

Chapters are short, ideal, I think for children's fiction. I can imagine classes in school using a story like this. I also like the fact that you have given your chapters sub-headings.

Further revelations about the twins advanced knowledge come in the next chapters and I particularly like how you describe Aulf's willingness to listen to the youngsters.

Perry, this is a wonderful story. There is so much for young readers to wonder about and I can see how easily a book like this could be used to motivate pupils to produce their own work.
There's a good balance between dialogue and narrative, and your descriptions of the sailing craft and ice-world are excellent.
I think that you should continue to develop these characters further. And I'd expect a particularly evil villain to come along soon. He'll be the jealous resident wizard, no doubt.

Top marks from me, Perry.
I wish you huge success with this fascinating story.


11th May 2010

I really enjoyed reading this piece. The setting was wonderfully portrayed and the characters had such a strong presence, they were easy to imagine.

The writer obviously has a lot of knowledge about boats and when there was detailed descriptions about them, it slowed down the pace for me. I know nothing about boats, so other readers may not have the same problems.

When the twins called their compass a lodestone I did get a bit confused because I thought they were supposed to be modern civilisation. Is lodestone a term used in the past? Again, perhaps people with some knowledge of boating would know this.

Overall, I thought this was a great piece with a beautiful setting, perfectly described characters and a wonderful idea about how modern knowledge could be construed as magic. The piece ran in my head like a film and I could easily see it being adapted to the big screen.

Lots of luck with this one.