HOORAY! The official title and book cover for Jonathan Auxier’s new book has been released. The title is: The Night Gardener and it’s scheduled for a Spring 2014 release.
From the jacket flap:
A Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.
You can learn more about Jonathan Auxier at his website: www.thescop.com
My Review of Jonathan’s first book, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes:
I was drawn into the novel before I opened it by the cover illustration and design. Much of the mystery, adventure and theme of the story is represented in the cover illustration.,from a barefoot, blindfolded boy with a sack slung over his shoulder, to a string of ravens cawing over mountains and a deserted landscape. The book includes several text and chapter illustrations throughout which were all drawn by the author.
The writing style harkens back to Norman Juster’s ,The Phantom Tollbooth, with well thought out descriptions and carefully chosen language.
“To his right was the Haberdasher, who smelled of wet wool mixed with a tinge of regret.”
By choosing underused, colorful words, Auxier transports us to an otherworldly time and encourages us to dive into the fantasy of the story. Once landing in the story his maintenance of pace and language throughout makes us want to float there for a long, long time.
With an unusual host of characters including zebras, talking ravens and sparrows, Peter seeks to answer the riddle of a mysterious poem which was found in a bottle. Peter’s closest companion is Sir Tode. A knight who is under a hex which has turned him into a creature who is part man, part cat and part horse with long ears, tail and hooves. He is encouraged by his friends Mr. Pound and Mr. Cake to solve the riddle;
“All I know is that the author of this message needs someone to seek them out and save them. I think that person is you.”
Thus begins an epic journey which s both original and homespun, dipped in aged language and ageless. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is a thoroughly charming book that isn’t afraid to scratch at the dark side of things, while ultimately telling an uplifting modern folk tale.