Night Speakers by Ali Sparkes

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Night Speakers by Ali Sparkes

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Judy Davies
Reviewed by Judy Davies
Summary: A most creative and interesting story line, Night Speakers cleverly draws the reader into a long ago world of ley lines, old magic and sleeping giants. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes a surprising plot, a thread of magic, resourceful heroes and unexpected twists. Ali Sparkes writes a spooky tale, with things lurking in the dark and becoming more threatening as the story unfolds. A brilliantly believable 5 star story, hinting at some of the darker fantasy world that lurks at the edges of our ordinary lives.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: March 2018
Publisher: OUP Oxford
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780192749956

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Three young people meet up in unusual circumstances to find that they all share a strange experience: waking at exactly 1.34am, the same time each night. Elena, Matt and Tima try to get back to sleep, but after a few days of broken sleep they are drawn outside into an adventure that tests their ingenuity to the limit. Together and completely sleep deprived, they decide to investigate this strange night waking phenomenon, and their searches take them to a different and scary world where inexplicable things are happening.

Set in a modern town which could be anywhere in the UK, with the recognisable shops, schools, housing estates, offices and factories, Night Speakers has an undercurrent of unknown, ancient hidden things running through the story. Turning their lives upside down and flipping day into night, all the action happens in the dark, early hours of the morning. This gives the story an extra frisson of scariness and is challenging for Elena, Matt and Tima, as they stumble through school each day having had barely any sleep.

Each with a back story of unhappiness, the three young people make an unlikely trio. However, they gel into a strong and resourceful team in their quest to prevent any further disasters in their town, driven on by discovering just what is causing such nightly disturbances. I love their night time bravery, ingenuity and belief that they can do something to make a difference. The contrast with their day time lives is sharp, where each faces their own demons. It feels as if Ali Sparkes has given them courage and confidence under the cover of darkness, to be able to leave their troubled day time selves behind.

The night time world has been so thoroughly investigated by Sparkes, and lets us into the community of nocturnal animals (and humans) who are out and about in the dark. The plot does not unfold too quickly allowing time to sink into the atmosphere of this story and speculate about what might be happening. Ali Sparkes has an easy style and does not overload with description, after all this is a world we would all easily recognise in daylight hours. I am eagerly awaiting books two and three.

Pick up this book if you enjoyed The Shapeshifter series by Ali Sparkes or Eoin Colfer’s excellent Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony.

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Buy Night Speakers by Ali Sparkes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Night Speakers by Ali Sparkes at


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