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Ann Halam

Ann Halam(1952- )
Ann Halam is a pseudonym used by English writer Gwyneth Jones. She has won two World Fantasy awards, the Arthur C. Clarke award, the British Science Fiction Association short story award, the Dracula Society’s Children of the Night award, the P.K. Dick award, and the Tiptree award. She lives in Brighton, UK. Learn more at her website.

Dr. Franklin’s Island: A suspenseful story that isn’t preachy

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Dr. Franklin’s Island by Ann Halam

Dr. Franklin’s Island, by Ann Halam (who also writes as Gwyneth Jones), is a YA updating of The Island of Dr. Moreau. In this version, three teenagers survive a plane crash and wash up on a tropical island.

It is not a spoiler to say that the two girls in the story, Miranda and Semirah, or “Semi” as she calls herself, become victims of genetic manipulation. That’s on the back cover of the book. The suspense is not whether they will escape before the evil Dr. Franklin completes his experiments on them; it is whether they will be able to retain their humanity once he is finished.

Dr. Franklin’s Island is a quick read, about two hundred fifty pages. The action starts on Page 8. Semirah, Arnie and Miranda wash up on the beach after the pl... Read More

More books by Ann Halam

Inland (Daymaker) — (1987-1988) Young adult. Publisher: Endowed with mystical powers, young Zanne takes a journey in search of the mysterious “daymaker” in order to become a full-fledged covenor.

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Stand-alone novels

fantasy book reviews Ann HalamThe Haunting of Jessica Raven — (1993) Young adult. Publisher: On holiday in France, Jessica sees ghosts in the dungeons of a chateau — a group of ragged Jewish children who hid there during the World War II. She only discovers their identity when she meets the young man who was their leader — a ghostly presence trapped in time by a terrible betrayal.


fantasy book reviews Ann HalamThe Shadow on the Stairs — (2000) Young adult. Publisher: This book is suitable for reluctant readers of 13-16 with a reading age of eight years. It is printed on cream paper, which is proven to be more restful on the eye. The font is specially designed to encourage a smooth and easy read. There are frequent page breaks, short, headed chapters and illustrations on almost every page. A wide range of specialists, including children themselves, have read and commented on the book prior to publication. YA fantasy book reviews Ann Halam


Don’t Open Your Eyes — (2000) Young adult. Publisher: What lies beyond the grave for Martin, the 15-year-old killed joyriding, and for Diesel, the girl who has befriended him and his brother? This is a horror story that shows Ann Halam at her spine-chilling, challenging best.


YA fantasy book reviews Ann Halam Taylor FiveTaylor Five — (2002) Young adult. Publisher: A gripping, deeply moving adventure raises startling questions about what it means to be human. Taylor Walker seems like any ordinary 14-year-old. Ordinary — if you overlook the fact that she lives on the island of Borneo, on a primate reserve run by her parents, and knows how to survive in the jungle. Obviously, Tay isn’t just like everyone else. But she is like one other person. She’s exactly like one other person. Tay is a clone, one of only five in the world, and her clone mother is Pam Taylor, a brilliant scientist. When rebels attack the reserve, Tay escapes with her younger brother and Uncle, an exceptionally intelligent orangutan. As they flee through the jungle, Tay must look within to find her strength: Pam’s DNA, tempered by Taylor’s extraordinary life. And she looks to Uncle for guidance — for Tay knows that the uncanny bond between Uncle and herself is the key to their survival. YA fantasy book reviews Ann Halam Finders Keepers


Finders Keepers — (2004) Young adult. Publisher: There’s something spooky about the little statue Val found with her dad — with it’s blood red eyes and the voice Val hears in her head, telling her secret things about the future. And the statue is always right. But can a spooky statue tell Val how to get her family out of really bad money trouble? A supernatural thriller from a great storyteller.


YA fantasy book reviews Ann Halam SiberiaSiberia — (2005) Young adult. Publisher: When Sloe was tiny, her Papa disappeared and she and her mama went to live in a prison camp in the snowy north, in a time and place when there are no more wild animals. Mama’s crime: teaching science, and her dedication to the hope that the lost animal species can be reborn. To Sloe, Mama’s secret work is magic, as enchanting as Mama’s tales of a bright city across the ice where they will be free. Years later, Sloe is sent to a prison school, and Mama disappears. At 13, Sloe escapes, pursued by a mysterious man. With only hope to keep her going, Sloe sets out on a solitary 1000-mile journey. But she is not truly alone for Mama left Sloe a gift: the seeds of five missing species and the knowledge to bring them to life.


YA fantasy book reviews Ann Halam The VisitorThe Visitor — (2006) Young adult. Publisher: There’s something going on at Experiment House. Whispers. Flashlights. Secrets. But nobody tells Tom anything. He’s just the fat kid who files stuff, and he’s got nothing to do but eat, and dream about eating. And then something escapes from Experiment House. Something hungry. Something starving. Something that understands Tom… This is a supernatural thriller that crackles with originality. YA fantasy book reviews Ann Halam Snakehead


Snakehead — (2007) Young adult. Publisher: Perseus, the god-touched of Zeus and a mortal princess, takes his easy life on the island of Serifos for granted, but he knows he lives in troubled times. First the gods, now the politicians, send trouble rumbling across land and sea. When a beautiful stranger, a fugitive from another disaster zone, arrives on the island, Perseus is smitten. But Andromeda isn’t all she seems. She must die to save her people, and a stunning, world-changing discovery will die with her unless Perseus abandons everything to confront the Medusa quest.


The Fear Man — (1995) Young adult.

Crying in the Dark — (1998) Young adult.

The Powerhouse: A Horror Story — (1997) Young adult.

fantasy book reviews Ann Halam The Fear Manfantasy book reviews Ann Halamfantasy book reviews Ann Halam The Powerhouse


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