oceans front only jpg

“Following on from ‘Toxics’, Isabel Burt offers in ‘Oceans’ another rich and absorbing world that quickly draws you in – great for young fantasy lovers!

In ‘Oceans’ we see 18-year-old Felicity return to the Old World after three years back with her family and friends in the modern world. During that time she has yearned to find her way back to her love, Reuben, from whom she was separated underwater at the end of Toxics.

Given the modern setting and introduction to Felicity’s best friend, Al, in the early chapters I was a little unsure as to whether I would be convinced by the Old World again – but Isabel Burt doesn’t disappoint. Once Felicity finds her way back, we are quickly drawn back into a new part of her fantastical and colourful world whose rich character cast is this time dominated by ocean dwelling creatures incuding Thessalons (giant turtles), The Draar-sil (an army of protective sea lions) and the Humb (ill-meaning giant squids) — as well as the dying-out race of the ‘Meshi’ ocean people whose existence had been hidden from Reuben’s Old World.

Makia, the withering and scheming Meshi medicine woman, is portrayed brilliantly as she scuttles and schemes from her sunken sea cave where she holds not only Reuben, but also a lost Meshi princess captive – playing with potions and allowing for some clever tension at the start of the book between Reuben and Felicity. Makia has a pivotal role as the plot develops and is a joy to encounter on the page (if not for real!).

An ever-present threat comes in the form of the lurking GRAI whose menacing soliloquies from the ocean deep open many of the early chapters, foreshadowing the inevitable climax of the book in which darkness descends (literally) on the Old World. Gradually it becomes clear that Reuben, Felicity and their immediate team have been thrown together to try to understand and save the Old World from this dark force.

Whether they succeed is for you to find out!”   Karen Inglis, author of The Secret Lake

oceans front only jpg Available to order from all good bookshops, or online: Amazon, Kobo, itunes.

on 7 July 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Toxics is a coming of age quest, in an Avatar like ‘Old World.’ The author paints a vivid picture of an eco-paradise with fantastical creatures, plants and rituals, which hapless Felicity (14) falls into. With so many unique characters, the glossary and maps provided in the book were really useful.
The characters all have warmth and I found myself routing for them all as they tried to restore balance and harmony to their world.
I’m probably not the books target audience – I would say it’s for 9 – 12 year old. Its a gentle, beautiful read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A recent review in Today’s Child Magazine (page 21).

“Taking a completely different tack is Isabel Burt’s new novel Toxics, set in a world in which the environmental balance has been altered by the birth of a new species bearing the name in the book’s title. The key characters, teenagers Reuben and Felicity, must embark on a quest to restore the order of the Old World and return its natural harmonies to ensure their survival. This fantasy world will encourage older children (10+) to think more carefully about the environmental issues of their own planet.”


Other snippets of reviews from Amazon and Goodreads:

Avatar meets Lord of the Rings – a highly memorable mystical fantasy – 
   “I have to confess to not being a fan of fantasy but was intrigued to read Toxics having been drawn by the beautiful cover and very positive reviews. [IBurt] writes beautifully (truly beautifully) and the world she creates, and into which we see 14-year-old Felicity thrown, is highly visual – one reads and experiences as if watching a large-screen movie in the style of Avatar….The cast of `plant’ and animal characters is well-rounded and often very amusing… they start to feel like wonderfully familiar friends. The intricate details of Ms Burt’s imaginary world – foods, rituals, character cast, Old World history and origins – leave an indelible impression (I had vivid dreams each night that I was reading it!) and will be relished by fantasy fans…I would agree that this is best suited for fantasy fans from age 11 and beyond, although bookworm accomplished readers from age 9/10 who love fantasy will undoubtedly enjoy it too.Tip – there’s also a Glossary at the end of the book which I wish I’d discovered sooner!”
‘…the Narnia like kingdom, created by the imaginative author,Ms Burt, gently invites you in to the intricacies of a world in which the Toxics look to alter the order…’

…A classic quest interwoven with a coming of age sub-plot…The emerging relationship between Reuben and Felicity is finely drawn…’

‘I bought this book on my kindle for my daughter, she has not been able to put it down!!…’

‘As an 18 year old male, I’m not sure I was the originally intended target audience for this novel. I am however a great lover of fantasy and when I stumbled upon it, it caught my interest. Upon reading, I’m happy to say that I found myself completely absorbed in the brilliantly refreshingly original ideas working wonderfully alongside a few of the classics. Not to mention the very loveable characters which, by the end, I found myself really caring for… In my view this book doesn’t have a true target audience, I would recommend it to anyone.’

‘What an addictive story – not my usual read but it draws you in – I can’t wait for the sequel!’

‘Well written and imaginative, the story was captivating from start to finish.’

‘…the author has avoided the classic trap many fantasy writers fall into of ‘info dumping’. Ms Burt winds the detail into the narrative…’

‘If you liked Narnia, you’ll love this!’


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