Newest first

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.

20th March 2012

Enjoyable story, bad science.

I really, really wanted to like this book.

I did find the story, characters and writing engaging and the story well paced. It was a enjoyable and the characters realistic.

Like most juvenile fiction it fails on several points.

Like the vast majority of new SF it fails it's reality check.

The story itself, is a coming-of-age story, but it's more fantasy than SF. This isn't unusual for juvenile fiction, since young adults (heck, even mature adults,) seldom find themselves in position to influence major events. It's a good story of dealing with loss, change and responsibility.

I enjoyed the story despite it's factual problems.

I'm a 'hard science' SF fan, and prefer the physical and social universe to be as accurate as possible (though I'm willing to let things wiggle a bit if it is necessary for the story.) Unfortunately, the inaccuracies were not necessary to the story.

But in juvenile fiction I especially dislike to see misinformation distributed as fact.

Thus the small technology introduced in the story is refreshingly accurate; fire-starters, compasses, signal towers (though why one would use a lodestone rather than a compass for navigation...and I would have gone with the cylinder/piston fire-starter rather than flint &'s far less well known, and much easier to fabricate in areas with little metal and rock.)

Hard science errors are mostly really large background assumptions. This is especially tacky when Internet research is so effortless. The errors cover the gamut from geology, to hydrology to biology and psychology/sociology.

The biggest background errors relate to a poor understanding of the physics of water--a far from intuitive substance! First is the concept of the planetary ice all melting, and then refreezing thousands of meters thick, in particular while maintaining a surface over thousands of miles which would be suitable for ice boats. The amount of energy retained in liquid sea water, even at freezing, is difficult to imagine. The air could freeze and there would still be miles of liquid water under the ice.

([...]) tells you the requirements of weather to create ice suitable for boating. Deep water tends to freeze slowly, and generates pressure ridges as the expanding ice buckles. Any pictures of the Arctic ice sheet will show you that it is far to rugged to ice-boat. Ice-boating also requires moderate temperatures--below freezing, but above -10, both to ensure the survival of exposed crew skin and to permit runners to function. physics of ice skating

Still, such a surface COULD develop, it would require a major energy input after the freeze to remelt the air and top few meters of ice, A period of substantial solar radiation increase following a period of very low solar activity might cause such melt--which would then have to be followed by a quick freeze and then more moderate temperatures. Still, the story implies thousands of miles in all directions of near-perfect ice--unlikely. (An ice boat has no trouble reaching speeds of over 60mph, and with sustained winds as described, this would be easily maintained for 8-10 hours per day. 20 days * 10hr/day * 60/mph = 12,000 miles!)

Another 'freaky' ice fact which causes problems is the fact that water with the greatest density is a few degrees warmer than freezing. This means that the water in a puddle formed on an ice surface is warmer at the bottom than the top, since water absorbs sunlight better than ice, this means that such puddles tend to grow deeper over time. It's a major factor in glacial melt and movement. (Density is also a factor in skating.)

While it is certainly possible to have huge areas covered with water & ice (most of the planetary surface is already,) even melting ALL ice won't raise the oceans a huge amount (of course, if you happen to be inundated, any amount is probably more than you'd like.)

Most ice on land (the only melt which can affect sea levels,) is in Antarctica, with a substantially lessor amount in Greenland.

Total ice melt in Greenland would raise sea levels ~15m.

Antarctica is much larger and has thicker ice, but maximum total sea level rise predictions are under 200m, which leaves substantial land above water. (Actual levels are harder to predict because while rising, the seas also widen, covering a larger area...Google Maps has a layer available to show various sea level changes. Sea levels today are substantially higher than during the peaks of the ice ages.)

Geologically, geothermal energy melts the ice in contact with the earth, leading to, at the least, shoreline effects.

Wind and sun degrade the edges of any crevasses as substantial as described. Ice particles in wind will sculpt just as sand will...which also implies possible odd shapes in the rock.

Light towers using fire or mirrors have a limited range of under 100 miles.

At one point the runners are described as 'frozen into the ice due to the cabin heat.' More likely, they would settle in due to the weight on the runners.

There is a lot of concern shown about freezing to death, but people are extremely resilient, and assuming temperatures below freezing and above 0F it's not particularly difficult to stay warm enough to live. In fact, people lived naked in Tierra del Fuego at temperatures hovering around freezing. Oddly, there's little concern about frostbite, which is far more common. (A person who spent years of ice-sailing daily, would be likely to be missing some facial parts (ears, nose tip,) and possibly some's very easy to freeze moving at 60mph with even a slight bit of skin exposed.)

Most people who freeze die because they were unable to achieve any sort of shelter--most are drunk, most of the rest are simply ignorant of survival methods for the climate. The easiest way is to fall through ice into water and not have both shelter and fire available if you get out.

Biologically, there seems insufficient area and life to support the numbers of people and animals...but that's difficult to tell.

Sociologically, as is typical in juveniles, authorities are too readily persuaded by logic and obvious best interests--people are largely driven by emotions, and seldom act in their own best interests--especially long term. People generally go for the apparent short-term benefits. Few in authority will take an action unless they are convinced that it is their own idea--regardless of how good the plan may think otherwise is to be overly hopeful and dreaming...but it is fantasy....

It is very unlikely that people living in the world described would not have established. navigational markers on the ice; and they would certainly have established warnings around such a dangerous crevasse--in particular if they were ignorant of compasses. Not to mention that sailing quite far from landmarks becomes fairly easy if one builds a line of marker cairns, each within the sight of two others.

Any such problems as raiders and the Horde would have, at the least, have been tracked down and their general if not specific hiding areas known--they do leave tracks, and at some point it's economically worth the time and risk.

On a smaller level, like most juvenile fiction this book almost totally avoids the aspect of life which occupies the vast majority of teenagers and young adults--sexuality. This is not 'part' of a teen's world--it's the center, from 13-14 to mid-20's it's difficult to get them to think about much of anything other than food & sex.

The idea that a pair of teens 15-18, in a society which considers them adults at 16 would live in a small ship's cabin for days on end together and not at some point get physical (if only sharing a bunk for warmth,) flies in the face of experience.

I enjoyed the book, and despite it's factual flaws, I recommend it solely because the story itself is good.

As a story it rates ***** but as SF it rates **

Charles Barnard

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.