Today I’m pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Crystal Palace Chronicles: Star of Nimrod, the first in a historical fantasy series which has really been such a brililant read!  You can see more about why I loved this book so much below, but first I’d just like to thank Literally PR for a free copy of this book as well as the chance to be on this tour.  Now let’s find out why this book has me so excited…

Title: The Crystal Palace Chronicles: Star of Nimrod (The Crystal Palace Chronicles #1)
Author: Graham Whitlock
Illustrator: Florian Garbay
Publisher: Grass Roots Productions Ltd
Genre: Older children’s fiction, Youger teen/young adult fiction, Historical fiction, Fantasy, Sci-fi – time travel
Book format: Paperback
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Description:  Join teenager Joe on a rollercoaster adventure travelling back in time to the heyday of Victorian Crystal Palace.
Joe’s world is turned upside down when he discovers a shattered compass among the brambles where the Crystal Palace once stood and travels through time back to 1888.
With help from the teenage H. G. Wells and Samuel Coleridge Taylor, daredevil Iris Blondin, Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of the Gypsies, Joe must foil dangerous diamond thieves to uncover dark secrets about the ‘People’s Palace’. Standing on boundaries between worlds, its mysterious secrets are tied to the fate of his family.
Will Joe be trapped in the past with his new friends, find a way to return to his family or can he somehow have both?

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  Wow, this was such an amazing read I can’t believe how much I have enjoyed this time travelling tale!  Joe is bored, having to spend his summer helping out in his dad’s restaurant.  When he’s not helping out his dad he’s practicing his skateboarding and parkour skills in Crystal Palace Park, but when he gets into trouble with some bullies and they throw his skateboard over a fence, he has to retrieve it by scrambling among some brambles.  While there he finds an old-fashioned compass which he decides to keep, but soon something strange happens to Joe and he finds himself transported back in time, to the Victorian Crystal Palace.

This is such a brilliant time-travelling story and I just love what happens to Joe when he ends up travelling to Victorian times.  While in the past Joe ends up meeting some famous characters and overhears some people talking about stealing a famous diamond.  I won’t go into the details of what happens, but I love how fast-paced this story is and how interesting it is with Joe not only dealing with being in the past but also getting mixed up in the criminal plot to steal a famous gem.

I love all the characters that Joe meets including a teenage H G Wells and a young Dr Doyle, who so far has written only one short story featuring Sherlock Holmes.  Wells, or Bertie, as he’s known in the story, is such a character that I instantly loved the conversations he had with Joe, his manner and speech often making situations more funny.  I also loved Elias’s character, the way he spoke and the adventure he and Joe end up going through.  The descriptions of the place, both present and past do bring the area to life, I was especially thrilled with the descriptions of the Victorian Crystal Palace, the exhibitions it had inside and just how big and busy it was.

As the story progresses more and more happens with Joe and his friends.  A lot happens and there was never a dull moment as the tale moves on from not only being a time-travelling historical story to one featuring some stranger more magical things happening.  I really enjoyed how this story builds up towards the ending too, with so much happening and Joe not only going through his own adventure but growing as a person too.  The ending is really good, I like how everything resolves for the characters and how things end up.  The story ends well as a standalone book, but it also hints at a sequel with the first chapter available at the back of the book to read.  I’m already so eager to read part two of this series, whenever it is published, as this first adventure ‘Star of nimrod; just had me so engrossed!

While there was one part of the story that I did manage to guess before it was revealed, having managed to spot it in the few clues given in the text, I couldn’t have predicted the rest of the story at all and I like how I didn’t know what would happen.  There is one use of the s swear word but nothing else considered offensive and it’s just such a good read!

This book has been such a thrill for me.  Maybe because I know the area of Crystal Palace from my childhood, I have a keener interest than some would in this tale, but this book is so well written and with such an exciting plot and good characters that it would make great reading for anyone regardless of whether you’ve ever been to or heard of Crystal Palace or not.  At the back of the book there is a list of some of the famous people mentioned in the story as well as the author’s notes of where a little creative licence was used to make the story more interesting to read.  I do love how, despite the creative licence, a lot of the characters are actually real life people who had fascinating sounding lives too, and how this book is being released in the same year that marks the sad anniversary of the burning down of the Palace (which is shown briefly in an interesting  first chapter of the book).

Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction or stories featuring time travel.  I adore time travelling stories and can’t wait to read more about Joe’s adventures going back in time to the Victorian Crystal Palace.  And although this book is aimed at young teens/older children, I think this book will appeal to so many, including adults, it’s just so exciting, so well written and such a fun tale!

Buy the book

The Crystal Palace Chronicles Star of nimrod book cover

Buy from Amazon UK    Buy from Author’s website

About the author

Graham Whitlock Author Pic

Graham Whitlock is a writer, walker, local instigator, dad and born-and-bred Norwood boy who is hopelessly in love with London. He helped found and run award-winning charity DreamArts which transforms young lives fusing arts and therapy. Graham edited the Dev and Olli children’s books by Shweta Aggarwal and his professional writing credits include a stage adaptation of the Shane Meadows film 24/7 and the UK’s first immersive musical based on the classic Ealing Studio comedy Passport to Pimlico

Visit author’s website    Visit author on Twitter    Visit author on Instagram

Blog tour banner

I hope you’ve enjoyed my stop on the blog tour today for this amazing book!  I really can’t wait to read the next part of this series, this first book has been just so good. 😀  Mine is the last stop on the blog tour but please do check out the other stops on the tour in the banner below.

The Crystal Palace Chronicles blog tour banner


What do you think of this book?  Do you like books with a time travelling twist?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂