Who is Charlie Keeper? by Marcus Alexander

9/10 Just buy the god damn book!

‘Who is Charlie Keeper?’ is the shockingly paced fantasy novel that tells the tale of Charlie, an iron-willed, twelve year old girl suffering an unjust and unhappy fate. Forced to flee her home in the gloomy, rain-drenched landscape of London by a bloodthirsty and terrifying new foe, she escapes to the vibrant, parallel land of Bellania with nothing more than her common sense and razor-sharp wits to keep her safe. Bellania, a land of myth, magic and marauding giants with bad attitude and poor anger management.

With the fate of a world resting squarely upon her shoulders Charlie must learn about her destiny in order to defeat Bane, the Stoman Lord. And even with all the unspeakable betrayals, vicious enemies and terrible odds that are against her, Charlie could probably succeed… …if only she could learn to keep her big mouth shut and her opinions to herself.

A female hero... A villain that comes from THE WEST! Surely Marcus Alexander will be forced to fall on a magically imbued sword as penance for this outrageous break with fantasy genre tradition? Luckily the answer is no, Alexander exhales a well-aimed breath of fresh air into the stuffy, often male dominated format that has held the fantasy genre back for so many years. JK Rowling picked up the genre and took it into a wide new world with the phenomenon that was Harry Potter; books such as Who is Charlie Keeper? will keep the momentum going as fantasy literature becomes a form that can be read and enjoyed by both sexes, regardless of age.

And I haven’t even mentioned the artwork... The illustrations featured within the book are stunning, adding the perfect visual imagery to accompany the pulsating storyline. All the major characters are shown in their full glory, except Charlie herself, who is shown only in silhouette on the front cover. The only complaint about the illustrations is that there are not enough, one every two pages would have been better.

Who is Charlie Keeper? is strongly character-driven; both the goodies and the baddies are larger than life. In the naughty corner we have Bane and Mr Crow, the quite surprisingly cruel and frightening characters that give this tale its undeniable dark-edge. In the good as gold corner we have the fantastic companions that make the narrative so enjoyable and memorable. We have Jensen and Kelko, the steadfast friends; Azariah, her lion-hearted mentor and lastly but certainly not least, Nibbler. Nibbler is a wonderful dragon (winged-one) that provides the most moments of humour:

“Nibbler? Why Nibbler? That’s not very dragony!”
“For the last time, I am not a Dragon! I’m a Winged One.” Harrumphed the dragon as he woefully shook his head at her stubbornness, “And I think you should call me Nibbler because whenever I dream it’s always about eating and chewing and munching and scrunching. I always have this same dream, see? Its about big fat juicy haunches of meat that just float and dance right in front of my nose.”
Who is Charlie Keeper?: The Pendant, the Penance and a New Companion

This book is a must read, the perfect mixture of a cracking story and beautiful illustrations. The best news of all is that it is only the first book in a proposed trilogy. If my glowing review is not enough for you then go to Amazon and read what others have to say – here are just a few examples - “very much alive”, “adorably feisty heroine”, “couldn't read it quick enough, unbelievably good”, “a serious A-list book”, “beautifully conceived characters and charm”. In fact I will re-use an Amazon reviewer’s simple, yet effective opening sentence to close this review – “Just buy the god damn book!”

Marcus Alexander has a fondness for causing mischief, knows how to run really, really fast when he's in trouble and knows how to duck out of sight when someone points the long, bony finger of blame.

The official site for Who is Charlie Keeper? is

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15 positive reader review(s) for Who is Charlie Keeper?

Our interview with Marcus Alexander

After several incident-filled years of travelling the armpits of the world Marcus Alexander decided to pack in all serious attempts at reaching maturity and instead embraced the much more suitable world of parchment scribblin [...]

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Who is Charlie Keeper? reader reviews

from Canada

Awesome book :)

from Australia

Jack from UK hasn't got a clue, this book was brilliant. I do book reviews for YA books for a school library supply company, and this is one of the better books I've read in the past eighteen months. The story is great, the main characters are engaging and the villains are really villainous - everything you could want in an adventure story. Stop taking your grumpy pills Jack and lighten up; this is a fantasy, not a book on grammar.

from London

I've met the author Marcus at freerunning class with parkour generations!! K'Changa is delicious, if I get better at PK I think I'm going to do it! He's cute too you know hehe :) Lyria xx

from Streatham

What is Jack going on about? Some people are ridiculous, this was an awesome story. How could someone give it one star? I wish there were more stories like this, it feels real and isn't condescending to teenagers like some other books can be. Goooooooooo Charlie Keeper!!!!!!!!!!!!!

from London

I believe Dan-i was spot on with her review as I thought the book was a great read and one which I recommend people to read. The book kept me on my toes from beginning to end and I only wish the author will make another book as soon as possible. I believe this book was a magnificant adventure book, one which I hold highly amongst the Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings books. In addition the art work was absolutely excellent.

from London

Fantastic book!! I can't wait for the sequel. I love the idea of how the author draws your attention with a female-hero destined to save the world. Love the special art-work, magical themes and characters like Mr Crow & Bane. Definately a must-read, fantastic book.

from London

It was a brilliant book!! Hard to put down... absolutely loved it!!!

from Pasquale

Illustrations are amazing and very well drawn!!! Best read I have had in a long time... better than most books.

from London

I think this is a cult classic... although when the auther explains how green something is he really goes into one and over-explains but apart from that the book is great; well written. I got my copy as I saw a video reveiw on YouTube... amazing art work... I hear you can get a poster from Amazon as well...

from UK

I found this a very original and entertaining read, the artwork is beautiful and would appeal to all from young to old!! I can't wait for the next one!!

from West Drayton

Lovely book, I found it really captivating.

from England

What! Are you crazy? This is a 10 out of 10!!!!

from Northfields

I gotta agree with Dan-I, the LOTR movie rocked but the book wasn't so ez an enjoyable. Charlie Keeper was one killa hero an this is one stylie book an its floetry in motion!!!! Also for those that havnt read it yet u should know that Mr Crow is one naaaasty nasty man an I didnt like the wyrms either. Spooky but real. Wait can I add that I liked the idea of will instead of normal magic? Its good to have a modern twist on the normal dragons an sorcery theme. More up to date.

from Kensington

This is partly in response to Jack's review and also my own thoughts on Who is Charlie Keeper. Firstly let me just say that I thought WhoisCK? was a brilliant story, I study at Kensington & Chelsea College and as a student I might not be the richest person and cannot always afford to buy books direct from the web more often than not having to buy mine second hand so when I say that I treasure and value my copy of WhoisCK? know that I genuinely mean it. I have never read Ursula LeGuin but I have read Tolkien and even had to study part of it in my Eng. Lit. classes as secondry school, I do think WhoisCK? is a better and more entertaining story particularly in its written form. True, Tolkien makes an awesome storyteller and the films were out of the world and I would never, ever say otherwise. However the truth of the matter is that Tolkien was an author who was heavy handed with his writing, let us be honest his method of writing prose isn't always the most exciting and I think can get carried away with descriptions, detouring away from the main thread of the story. The point that I am trying to make in my convoluted way is I think the writing style of WhoisCK? is easier to lose yourself in than Tolkiens. As for whether or not the story itself is better or not is I think entirely up to the individual to decide. Also of note Tolkien initially received terrible and mocking reviews when his work was first published in 1954, it was only after time that people became more accepting of the genre and his books grew to find acclaim. Again I'm not so ignorant as to say that WhoisCK? is a legendary book but I do think that it is very attuned to today's culture. I love the way the characters speak, I greatly admire how Charlie Keeper tackles the obstacles placed in front of her and I appreciate how quickly the book moves forward. Everyone is entitled to there own views, everyone should be allowed to approach subjects as individuals. These are my mine. I am tempted to give WhoisCK? 10 out of 10 to balance Jack's 1 out of 10 as I think that he has acted far too harshly however I shall go with honesty and give WhoisCK? a 8.5 out of 10.

from London

I loved this, I really rated the sport 'K'Changa' and couldn't get enough of Nibbler the Dragon. When is the sequel coming out?

9.2/10 from 16 reviews

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