James Lovegrove

James Lovegrove portrait image to appear alongside the James Lovegrove biography.

James Lovegrove is the author of several acclaimed novels and books for children. Born on Christmas Eve 1965 a short story of his won a college competition. The prize was £15, and it had cost £18 to get the story professionally typed. This taught him a hard but necessary lesson in the harsh economic realities of a literary career.

Straight after graduating from Oxford with a degree in English Literature, James set himself the goal of getting a novel written and sold within two years. In the event, it took two months. The Hope was completed in six weeks and accepted by Macmillan a fortnight later. The seed for the idea for the novel - a world in microcosm on an ocean liner - was planted during a cross-Channel ferry journey.

James blew his modest advance for The Hope on a round-the-world trip which took him to, among other places, Thailand. His experiences there, particularly what he witnessed of the sex industry in Bangkok, provided much of the inspiration for The Foreigners.

Escardy Gap was co-written with Pete Crowther over a period of a year and a half, the two authors playing a game of creative tag, each completing a section in turn and leaving the other to carry the story on. The result has proved a cult favourite.

Days, a satire on consumerism, was shortlisted for the 1998 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Subsequent works have all been published to great acclaim. These include Untied Kingdom, Worldstorm, Provender Gleed, The Age Of Ra and the back-to-back double-novella Gig.

James has also written for children. Wings, a short novel for reluctant readers, was short-listed for several awards, while his fantasy series for teens, The Clouded World, written under the pseudonym Jay Amory, has been translated into 7 other languages so far.  A five-book series for reluctant readers, The 5 Lords Of Pain, is appearing at two-monthly intervals throughout 2010.

James Lovegrove books reviewed


  • The Hope (1990)
    "The Hope" was a ship - five miles long, and two miles wide and one mile high - the crowning achievement of the industrial era. Now it is a dream turned rancid. She has become an oceangoing ark for her motley cargo of violent lives and vicious passions.
  • Days (1997)
    Days describes one day in the life of the Days gigastore, a massive shop seven storeys high and 2.5 kilometres on a side. Within its walls you can buy anything and everything. But there is a price to be paid.
  • Escardy Gap (with Peter Crowther) (1998)
    Escardy Gap is a small, Midwestern town in the US. When a train pulls in one day, the townspeople expect many things from the company that disembarks - but not death. Only two people understand the true nature of the visitation. Only two people can save the town from the forces of evil.
  • The Foreigners (2000)
    A utopia brought to us by the Foreigners, inscrutable aliens who appeared amongst us from nowhere one day. A utopia that will end when the Foreigners leave which they are bound to id the whoever is killing them cannot be stopped. A utopia that is already fatally flawed.
  • Untied Kingdom (2003)
    After a series of disastrous political decisions the United Kingdom has finally fallen foul of the International Community. Ostracized and bombed at random, the country has fallen apart. With the infrastructure in ruins tiny communities struggle on, relying on ancient traditions and myth for their structure and identity. In the village of Downbourne, the mayor has styled himself the Green Man. But even he is powerless to stop a raid on the village by a London based gang who kidnap a number of the village's women. One of them is the schoolmaster's wife. Their marriage was an arid disaster, but the schoolmaster feels bound to do the right thing and sets off on a journey through an England at once terrifying and magical to get her back. But does this particular damsel even want to be rescued?
  • Worldstorm (2004)
    "When the Worldstorm first stirred in the distant reaches of the earth, the people of the earth were torn asunder and thrown into disarray. For a time, all was panic and terror. But out of this panic and terror and division a new order coalesced, and the four Inclinations were known, and named". Or so at least one of the old stories has it. Elder Ayn doesn't really know why the Worldstorm comes to wreak devastation on the world any more than the next man. But, being a previsionary, he does know the exact time and nature of his death. He will be murdered and he will do nothing to prevent the killing blow. Elder Ayn also knows why he has left the splendid academic isolation of Stonehaven and gone out into the world. He knows where his quest will take him. But he's not about to tell his scribe, Khollo. And meanwhile the world's order is breaking down. War is brewing between the Earth and the Fire Inclined. People who can shake the ground with a fist or pull fire out of the air with a simple thought. A storm is coming. And a girl who fears she is Extraordinary is about to learn the truth…
  • Provender Gleed (2005)
    The Families. Insanely rich and richly insane. With world-spanning business interests, glamour and power, they are monarchs, Mafia and movie stars rolled into one. Since the Borgias and de'Medicis united in the 17th century, the Families have transfixed, transformed, and ruled, the world. Top British Family the Gleeds are hosting the social event of the year, their annual ball. Venice has been reconstructed in all its glory in the grounds of their estate, Dashlands, and should provide the perfect romantic backdrop for Provender - the young, disaffected Gleed heir upon whom the Family line, and status, depends - finally to find a wife. But Provender shows no sign of settling down with any of the social beauties his mother parades before him… and in the moment when love does begin to blossom, Provender is kidnapped by an anti-Familial revolutionary. The future of the Gleeds, and of Europe, depends on the skills of two Anagrammatic Detectives - while Provender's own future depends on the dark eyes and equally dark wit of a girl called Is.
  • The Age Of Ra (2009)
    The Ancient Egyptian gods have defeated all the other pantheons and claimed dominion over the earth, dividing it into warring factions, each under the aegis of a different deity. Lt. David Westwynter, a British soldier, stumbles into Freegypt, the only place to have remained independent of the gods' influence. There, he encounters the followers of a humanist leader known as the Lightbringer, who has vowed to rid mankind of the shackles of divine oppression. As the world heads towards an apocalyptic battle, there is far more to this freedom fighter than it seems...
  • The Age Of Zeus (2010)
    The Olympians appeared a decade ago, living incarnations of the Ancient Greek gods on a mission to bring permanent order and stability to the world. Resistance has proved futile, and now humankind is under the jackboot of divine oppression. Until former London police officer Sam Akehurst receives an invitation too tempting to turn down: the chance to join a small band of guerrilla rebels armed with high-tech weapons and battlesuits. Calling themselves the Titans, they square off against the Olympians and their ferocious mythological monsters in a war of attrition which some will not survive.
  • The Age Of Odin (2011)
    Gideon Dixon was a good solider but bad at everything else. Now the British Army doesn't want him any more. So when he hears about the Valhalla Project it seems like a dream come true. They're recruiting from service personnel for excellent pay with no questions asked to take part in unspecified combat operations. The last thing Gideon expects is to finding himself fighting alongside the gods of the ancient Norse pantheon. The world is in the grip of one of the worst winters it has ever known, and Ragnarok-the fabled final conflict of the Sagas-is looming.
  • Redlaw (2011)
    They live among us, abhorred, marginalised, despised. They are vampires, known politely as Sunless. The job of policing their community falls to the men and women of the Sunless Housing and Disclosure Executive SHADE. Captain John Redlaw is London's most feared and respected SHADE officer. But when the vampires start rioting in their ghettoes, and angry humans respond with violence of their own, even Redlaw may not be able to keep the peace. Especially when political forces are aligning to introduce a radical answer to the Sunless problem, one that will resolve the situation once and for all...
  • Redlaw: Redeye (2012)
    The Eastern Seaboard of the USA is experiencing the worst winter weather in living memory, and John Redlaw is in the cold white thick of it. He's come to America to investigate a series of vicious attacks on vampire immigrants targeted kills that can't simply be the work of amateur vigilantes. Dogging his footsteps is Tina 'Tick' Checkley, a wannabe TV journalist with an eye on the big time. The conspiracy Redlaw uncovers could give Tina the career break she s been looking for. It could also spell death for Redlaw.
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Stuff of Nightmares
    It’s the autumn of 1890, and a spate of bombings has hit London. The newspapers are full of fevered speculation about anarchists, anti-monarchists and Fenians. But one man suspects an even more sinister hand behind the violence. Sherlock Holmes believes Professor Moriarty is orchestrating a nationwide campaign of terror, but to what end? At the same time, a bizarrely garbed figure has been spotted on the rooftops and in the grimy back alleys of the capital. He moves with the extraordinary agility of a latter-day Spring-heeled Jack. He possesses weaponry and armour of unprecedented sophistication. He is known only by the name Baron Cauchemar, and he appears to be a scourge of crime and villainy. But is this masked man truly the force for good that he seems? Is he connected somehow to the bombings? Holmes and his faithful companion Dr Watson are about to embark on one of their strangest and most exhilarating adventures yet.
  • Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War (2014)
    It is 1913. The clouds of war are gathering. The world’s great empires vie for supremacy. Europe is in turmoil, a powder keg awaiting a spark. A body is discovered on the shore below Beachy Head, just a mile from Sherlock Holmes’s retirement cottage. The local police are satisfied that it’s a suicide. The victim, a young man, recently suffered a disappointment in love, and Beachy Head is notorious as a place where the desperate and depressed leap to their deaths. Holmes, however, suspects murder. As he and Watson investigate, they uncover a conspiracy with shocking ramifications. There are some men, it seems, who not only actively welcome the idea of a world war but are seeking divine aid to make war a reality.