Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Review - Tethers by Jack Croxall

Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy #1)

In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings.

The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …

Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen years in the quiet market town of Shraye. Stifled by their rural surroundings and frustrated by their unfulfilled ambitions, they find the allure of the journal’s mysterious pages impossible to ignore. The book seems to be beckoning them away from Shraye, away from their homes and towards the coast where an unsolved disappearance has set in motion a dark chain of events.

The voyage the teenagers soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril; it will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever.

Tethers is an exciting story set in the Victorian era, with a fabulous blend of mystery, adventure and fantasy and an engaging pair of lead characters. We follow thirteen-year-old friends Karl and Esther as they discover a cryptic journal in their neighbour’s house, which leads them into a bigger mystery surrounding a gemstone with strange powers. The plot carries the reader along at a nice pace, and there are plenty of surprises and twists along the way. Karl and Esther are sympathetic protagonists with a great spirit for adventure and a sense of humour.

The Victorian setting is well-researched and atmospheric, and the author does a great job of bringing the setting to life whilst also telling a compelling story. I was completely drawn into the book and found it to be refreshingly free of many of the clich├ęs of YA literature. This is an imaginative and strong debut which works both on its own and as the first in a series, and is a must for any fans of Victorian-set YA – or for anyone just looking for a great adventure with a dash of magic. 

Rating: ****1/2*


  1. I'm always SO impressed with authors who can write historical novels -- like writing a regular one isn't hard enough! lol
    This book sounds fun and adventurous with plenty of room for sequels. Thanks for the review! :-)

    1. Thanks Lexa! I've cheated slightly as it's set around areas I've lived, so I already knew the history pretty well! :P

  2. Fun-sounding premise. Historicals can be so fun and, if you're not careful, done so wrong.

    1. Thanks muchly, Donna! Fingers crossed I got away with it!! :D