Sunday 17 November 2013

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ The Child of Denys by Nicole Gillette.

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for The Child of Denys, hosted by The Avid Reader book tours. To follow the rest of the tour, click the banner above to take you to the schedule.

Title: The Child of Denys.
Author: Nicole Gillette.
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction.
Publication Date: October 31, 2012.

Purchase Links: Paperback ; Kindle ; Nook ; Google Books ; iBook

When Katie finds a cat hiding in her mother's garden, she has no idea the kinds of adventure that await her.

A new kid appears in school at the same time Katie's friends and family begin having nightmares, and she begins to have amazingly vivid dreams. In her dreams this new cat speaks to her, telling of darkness that has invaded the Dream Realm and encouraging her to begin a journey to help save not only the Dream Realm but the real world as well.

Max, the new kid in school, has a dog that seemed to adopt him. Just as the cat had claimed Katie. Max's mom recently died in a car accident and his father had a very difficult time dealing with her death. That left Max alone and without any friends other than his new dog.

Katie, her family and her friends learn that a simple, caring gesture is sometimes all it takes to change the course of the world. Join Katie and Max as they learn the true power of our dreams and the importance of our friendships.


Back in the classroom, Mrs. Daily had us work on writing. “I’d like you all to try writing a creative story. We will work on the stories for the next few weeks. Today I’d like you to write down some ideas for your stories.” Mrs. Daily explained. “You don’t have to actually write the story, just jot down some ideas and you can begin to weave the ideas together as your story develops.”As I began to write down ideas, I recalled the dream I had the night before. I wrote about the horses, the palace and the book. I also wrote about Dennis, and how she could talk. Next to me, Max was writing as quickly as I was. I could hear his pencil as he scratched words in dark slashes across his paper. I tried to read what he was writing, but his slouching shoulder blocked my view of his paper.

Later on the bus, Tasha and I talked about the stories we were writing. I told her about the dream I had the night before, about the cat I had found and about how my dad was making me look for her owner. “Maybe he is right.” Tasha said. “If she is that special of a cat she probably does have someone looking for her.” Frustrated with Tasha, I asked “Didn’t you hear what I was telling you? She TALKS to me. She told me she doesn’t have an owner.” Tasha didn’t believe me.


Almost as if she was reading my mind, Phoebe said “Go child, eat this and nothing will harm you.” She handed me what looked like a small stone.“This is just a rock!” I argued. “We do not have time for arguing.” Phoebe said impatiently. “Eat and you will be fine.” Fine? How could I be fine? Feeling like I had no other choice I began to wade into the water. As I entered the water I put the small stone in my mouth. On first taste it was as sour as a lemon. I felt my tongue dry in response to the acidic flavor.

I began to chew the stone, and the sour taste began to change into a delicate, fruity flavor. It was a flavor I had never tasted before, yet seemed so familiar. It was like everything good I had ever eaten was combined into one momentary taste. As I swallowed the last bit of the stone I felt an odd warm sensation in my head. I braced myself for the cold I expected, but found the water was actually warm. Not quite as warm as the water I run for my bath, but certainly not cold.

Wading deeper into the water I felt strange creatures brushing up against my legs. “Do not fear, Child.” Phoebe yelled from the shore. “If you are not afraid they will not harm you.” ‘Don’t be afraid’ I thought, ‘Yeah right; they aren’t the ones in the water.’


The Child of Denys was a fun book, leading younger readers into an enchanting world where your cat actually talks to you (and let’s face it, what cat-owner hasn’t imagined what it would be like if their cat actually spoke to them!?).

The premise of this book was good. Nicole Gillette wrote a short, fast paced story with an interesting fantasy element as the main character Katie is The Child needed to save the Dream Realm.

My issue with The Child of Denys wasn’t really related to the actual story itself. I thought the book was very enjoyable, and the story was a fresh idea which would appeal to the young people it’s aimed at.

However, there were a lot of problems with grammar and the odd spelling that affected the flow of the book for me. Had this had a bit of a rework, I feel it would have strengthened the book in what was an entertaining story formatted not very well.

Also, for me personally, I was a little bit torn on the length of the book. Whilst I did love that the pacing was fast, as the anticipation and adventure was made all the more entertaining, I felt it was harder to connect with characters like Katie’s family and her best friend because we find out so little about them.

Despite this, these are probably only the type of things someone a little older than the targeted readership would pick up on. The Child of Denys, overall, was a sweet book with likeable characters. The fantasy element added some intrigue to the plot and the main themes presented, trust and friendship, resulted in a book which Nicole Gillette has made worthwhile and inspiring for young readers.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon

About the Author:

Nicole Gillette (or Nikki to her friends and family) describes herself as a wife, mother, crafter, gardener, chef and whatever else is needed. She stays busy following her two children around to sporting events, creating amazing art pieces, writing, and running her online business "Creating Amidst Chaos".

Growing up in Northern Michigan Nikki learned to appreciate spending time outdoors. She enjoys camping, hiking and fishing and collects memories and mementos on her trips to use in scrapbooks, crafts, art projects and writing. Nothing is off limits to use!

As she began to explore different art techniques her friends and family encouraged her to teach lessons on scrapbooking and mixed media art. As a result she developed a series of written tutorials that are now available in e-book format.

In addition to the crafting tutorials she has written children's books that are engaging and entertaining for children and adults as well. Most of the inspiration for her writing come from the wonder she sees in the eyes of her children as they explore our world.

Nikki ensures us that as a 'Jack-of-all-Trades' you can be sure of only one thing. As time goes by she will develop and change so you can expect her projects and writings to do the same.


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