Sunday, 23 April 2017

Blog Tour: Black Knight [The Inventory #3] by Andy Briggs [Review + Guest Post]

Today I am excited to be a host for the Black Knight blog tour by Andy Briggs. I've got my review for the book, as well as a guest post from the author, Andy Briggs, to tell us what inspires his writing.




Title: Black Knight
Author: Andy Briggs
Author Info: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram
Genre: Young Adult, Action
Series: The Inventory #3
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 6th April 2017
Rating: 4 stars

Tell Me About It
Dev and his friends are back with more mind-bending tech in this third installment of the Inventory series.
The World Consortium is recruiting more agents to defend the most advanced technology the world isn't ready for, and it's up to Dev, Lottie and Mase to train them up for action. But will they be ready before Shadow Helix's next strike? And has Dev uncovered all the secrets of his past, or is there more to know about his special abilities?
My Thoughts
Going into Black Knight I was eager to find out what invention would be used next, and how the team are going to find it, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the recruitment of three new members, to help Dev, Lot, and Mase do thier job with less damage. The recruitment process was very sneaky, but it also shows us the new skill sets that the new members will be bringing into the team, rather than the surprise of the initial forming of the team.

Black Knight is just as gripping as the previous books, but we are introduced to a third agency trying to find the items, the Company of Merchant Adventurers are set to steal the Antikythera Mechanisim in an attempt to find a way to the Black Knight. Dev and the team must stop Shadow Helix, and CMA from destroying the world, and thier journey takes them to some unexpected places.

One thing I love about this series is that each book brings with it a lot of new inventions and gadgets that the team use to aid thier missions. I liked getting to see a few old favourites, but some of the new technology sounds amazing....but also somewhat scary if it was a real object. As per usual, the path to retrieving the missing items isn't an easy one, and this one is a very bumpy ride with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. I love how Black Knight takes the team out of thier comfort zone, and takes us along for the ride, but this mission has the added complication of a mole in thier midst and I honestly didn't see this one coming.

The last few chapters of Dark Knight will leave you wanting to throw your book across the room. We discover a few secrets and are finally told the answer to a mystery that plays throughout the book, to have it taken away from us on the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. Why are we left in torture and suspense, wondering what is going to happen next......I'm hoping the next book will be out very very soon.

Final Verdict
Black Knight is another great installment to this series so far, and I'm already wishing the days away needing the next book in my hands.



What inspires my writing?

Inspiration is the intangible beast all writers chase and, from speaking with fellow authors, we all seem to have different strategies to rely on. I’ve been asked to share mine here – it may work for some or be a complete waste of time for others. All I can say is, good luck on finding yours!

For my Inventory series, I was seeking inspiration for the inventions that populate the shelves of the super-secret underground bunker. On one level, it’s easy enough – I looked around to see what problems need to be solved, then created the best (or wackiest) solution I could think of to achieve it. That helped for some of the incidental ideas, but for the bigger gadgets that propel the plot forward, I had to start thinking like a Bond villain. What lethal weapon would a mastermind create to rule the world? Inevitably that led to binge watching lots of movies…

But then something struck. And it wasn’t the inspiration I had been looking for, it was inspiration’s twin: revelation. A world-class galaxy destroying invention is, at the end of the day, rather pointless. I needed a different way of thinking about my problem. What wonderful gadget could be created to make the world a better place, then be inadvertently used for sinister means? I was reminded that the Wright Brothers never, for a moment, thought the aircraft could be a weapon. Imagine that…

For the first book, Iron Fist was pretty straight forward, it was always a battle machine. For Gravity, imagine the ability to effortlessly lift heavy loads and move goods around the world, what harm could there be in that? And for Black Knight… well, I’ll let you read it. But they, like many of the gadgets my heroes use, are primarily created for much more noble purposes than death and destruction – and that makes them interesting and fun.

It helps that I’m a geek, so my regular breakfast internet trawl covers a range of technology sites. What rapidly became apparent was that, no matter how wild the gadget, somebody has probably already tried to make it – or is looking at ways of making it a reality: from flying saucers to invisibility cloaks. Because of that, I decided that the tech in the Inventory series would have a basis in the real world (no matter how tenuous!). I had a comment from one reader complaining that the technology was too sci-fi and would have preferred it to be more grounded, they obviously didn’t know about Avro-cars, ionocraft and Black Knight…
However, sitting in front of a computer is quite possibly the worst place for me to be struck by inspiration. In my mind, the computer is my workspace, my office. Not a place for fun. So I tend to travel as much as possible, that’s where inspiration strikes me. I can’t work in a coffee shop or any other noisy place, but visiting cities, different cultures, or just out in the depths of the wildness, provides a terrific environment for new ideas to form.

But when it comes to writing I have my office at home, but the problem is I tend to use that less and less. If it’s a nice day I’ll sit in the garden, otherwise I often park myself in my library (pictured below), gazing into the fish tank and dreaming of new adventures…

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Andy has extensive experience working on multinational co-productions and has worked in comics, books, TV, film and trans-media projects.

Andy wrote and Executive Produced Legendary, currently the most successful independent UK/Chinese co-production. Released in China and grossing $5 million in the first week, with a theatric US release in 2014. With his brother he worked on Hollywood features such as Judge Dredd and Freddy vs. Jason and TV shows for the SyFy Channel and Netflix.

He wrote and co-created Secret Agents, a trans-media interactive spy experience for children, currently on at the Discover Centre, Stratford. He has 16 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world.

He has written 20 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world. In 2016 his latest feature, Crowhurst, will be released.

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