Raising Hell

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Pub Date 3 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 3 Jun 2021

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Description

Meet Ivy Elisabeth Mann - I know what you are thinking, but I’m not half faery, or demon, or angel or anything like that. Mum’s a Body Shop consultant living in a bungalow in Birmingham and Dad enters crosswords. Once upon a time, Ivy and her friends did a very stupid thing and now there’s a rift letting dark matter into the world. Dark matter that manifests as black magic which actually works. Now every teenager with access to the Internet is raising hell. Literally.

Ivy’s doing her best to stem the tide, but her new job working school security barely pays the bills and there’s only so much one girl with a machete (and a cat possessed by her own dead grandmother) can do against the forces of evil.

Now, she’s facing a teenage goth with an attitude, her ruthless but frustratingly handsome brother, a dark cabal with a terrifying agenda and a potential zombie apocalypse. Ivy losing her job might be the best thing to happen to the world …

Raising Hell is the first in a dark and funny urban fantasy series from award-winning YA author Bryony Pearce, whose novels include Angel’s Fury, The Weight of Souls and Savage Island.

Meet Ivy Elisabeth Mann - I know what you are thinking, but I’m not half faery, or demon, or angel or anything like that. Mum’s a Body Shop consultant living in a bungalow in Birmingham and Dad...


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EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781912979547
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 78 members


Featured Reviews

Bryony Pearce's "Raising Hell" feels a bit like the natural progression for anyone who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Not the same mythical world but similar, more grown up and very much set in the UK.

I really enjoyed it and galloped through the book in just two sittings, frequently tutting at my wife whenever she interrupted me. It throws you straight into the action and the world, so you have to rely on the narrator, Ivy, to orientate you. It's a great way to build affinity for a protagonist. I've not read anything else by Pearce but I find her tone and characterisation very appealing, so I'll definitely be grabbing more of her work.

Whilst Pearce delves into magic, zombies, spell-casting and dead things, she really uses these to tackle a wide range of bigger issues like grief, responsibility, guilt and consequences. Choices aren't straight forward and the wrong-doers aren't always in the wrong: that complexity adds to the narrative.

Ivy's world is our world but different; I do wish there was a little more world-building. I can absolutely see how politics would have changed when magic appeared (particularly in the hands of teenagers) but I'd like to linger with that idea for longer and learn more about it. Within a fantastical setting, it could provide YA readers an insight into how political landscapes can shift and how national crises can be hijacked for political power. Given that Pearce has potentially left the rift* open for a sequel, I'm hoping we get to see more of this.

What I have relished the most is the carefully balanced combination of action, gore and humour. In the same chapter, the narrator explains she "had less sense than a Year Seven in the last week before Christmas" and a few lines later describes "a bubbling hiss from the woman as air rasped in and out of her mangled throat." This isn't the goriest moment by a mile but I don't want to spoil any delights for future readers of the book.

And if you need another reason to pick up a copy, there's a talking cat.

*It's an in-joke... you'll get it when you've read the book!

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I loved this book and for the first time in ages, I sat and read a book in one sitting.

The action starts in this book straight away. Ivy is a security guard at a high school in England - yes, England. How thrilled I was to read a decent book set here, I cannot tell you.

Once upon a time, Ivy and her friends did a very stupid thing and now there's a rift letting dark matter into the world. Dark matter that manifests as black magic which actually works. Now every teenager with access to the Internet is raising hell. Literally.

There is plenty of sass from Ivy, a bit of gore throughout the book (but nothing particularly harrowing) and some truly fantastic supporting characters. Especially, Ivy's Gran.

I really hope that this book flies off the shelves but more than that, I hope to God that the author is planning many more books featuring Ivy Elizabeth Mann.

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A fun story that rolls along at a cracking pace.
Ivy is at the centre of a sudden upsurge in magic, as hellhounds threaten the children at the school she protects.
When one of her wards becomes the sole target of a hellhound, she is forced into an escalating cycle of magic in which nothing is as it first appears.
I really enjoyed this book, although it is aimed at teens, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes action novels, or those who like to look at the world through different lenses.

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