~ Carnegie 2016 Nominated ~
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The Edge of Me
'He looks at me and bends in to stoke up the dwindling fire and I see the top of a tattoo on his neck – two black pincers curling upwards towards his left ear. Then I realise with horror that it's a scorpion.'
Jane Brittan’s debut novel is a coming of age story with teeth: a gripping story of betrayal, of secrets and lies.
In her search for the truth about her missing parents, heroine Sanda is taken to the very edge of herself where she’s forced to unpick and rework everything she ever thought was true. In doing so she uncovers a story of appalling cruelty, neglect and punishment that goes all the way back to her childhood.
Sanda’s parents don’t want anything to do with her and nor, it seems, does anyone else so when Joe asks her out she doesn’t take him seriously. But she’s wrong.
When she comes home one day to find the house cleared, her parents gone and two men coming for her, it’s Joe who’s there for her. He’s with her when she’s kidnapped, driven across Europe into Serbia where she begins to unravel a complex story of obsession, cruelty and jealousy that has its roots back in the Bosnian War. It’s here she finds that everything she ever thought she knew is wrong and that things are very far from what they seem.
Publication Date - June 2015
Books For Keeps
This book really is an impossible-to-put-down page-turner, just when the pace seems to let up, there's another drama...
School Libraries Association
This is an important book. The plot is fast paced and horribly believable.
Gripping, believable and compelling. A suspenseful, engaging coming-of-age tale
Neil Arksey, YA author
Jane Brittan's YA debut novel The Edge of Me is spellbinding from the get go. With its compelling characters, its gritty twisted plot peppered with surprises, and its heart-rending denouement, her writing sparkles like diamonds in the dirt. I defy you to read it and not be moved.
Mabel, Year Ten
The Edge of Me' is utterly captivating. Gripping, thrilling and unpredictable - it has all the components that make it impossible to put down.
Nayuleska, YA Blogger
A captivating and extremely powerful read. I loved the end.
Bad Blood Part One
All around the walls hang his pictures: a collection of creepy black and white Victorian illustrations. I lean forward and straighten one: a shadowy engraving, heavily cross-hatched and shaded. It shows a man in a long robe turning back to look at me.
This room is still full of him – like spores, like dust, like tiny particles of glass.
I put my hand on the envelope, span it, cover it. Very slowly I open it, sheer along the top with my finger, feel the stiffness, the crackle; pinch out a sheet of paper. It’s folded in four and I open it up on the desk. Three lines, also in green:
TRUST NO ONE.
TELL NO ONE.
FIND THE RED GULL.
Publication Date - September 2016
Caroline Ambrose. Bath Children's Novel Award
This gripping tale constantly builds in suspense until the final shocking twist and an author's after note which made me gasp out loud.
Books For Keeps
Bad Blood is a tense thriller that will keep you turning the page ... Instead of being another copycat thriller hanging off the coattails of the genre's success in the past couple of years, Brittan brings an interesting new twist which will keep you switched on an unable to put the book down ... I can't wait for the release of part two.
School Libraries Association
A roller-coaster of a journey through conspiracy theories, hugely believable characters, and some spine-chilling edge-of-cliff climaxes.
Tony Collins, author of 'Open Verdict'
Bad Blood's twisting plot pivots on the apparent suicide of a scientist - reminder to me that the author's father, Dr John Brittan, a senior defence scientist, died in mysterious circumstances in the 1980s ... Absorbing, enjoyable.
Summer at the Methane Lakes
First thing I saw when I finally staggered out that spacecraft into the arrivals hall at Cassini-Huygens, my tongue thick and my head fuggy from the cocktail of flight meds, was a mass of folk straining against a cordon … men in grey suits and Homburg hats, women in fitted dresses with matching gloves and purses …
second thing … was the backdrop … a rich copper haze, through which you caught glimpses of the surface of the moon: the rubble strewn flood plain on which the spaceport stood, mountains on the horizon, the dark vein of the distant polar sea; those legendary lakes away in the background.
And closer but probably still some miles away, the Titan Biosphere, tethered like an enormous beach house.
The year is 2249. On Earth, a pan-continental Gynocracy is in power. Women are the dominant gender in every sense. But only on Earth. They’ve torn up the Outer Space Treaty and sold their property rights in all the extra-terrestrial colonies to a shadowy far-right group called Dei Consilio whose ultra-conservative and retrogressive ideology is given expression in a societal model, based on 1950s America, known as The Decade. The Decade has been implemented in all the colonies including that on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.
For the past few years, Titan’s Governor has failed to file certain mandatory returns, causing speculation that Titan is going to make a bid for constitutional autonomy, and putting its Governor on Dei Consilio’s watch list. Then, when rumours reach Dei Consilio HQ that young male immigrants to Titan are disappearing without trace, its senior executives decide to send in an undercover agent to find out what’s really going on.
That agent is one Leonard John, a dissolute but charismatic ‘gun for hire’ and general badass, living on Earth, who arrives on Titan, posing as a photojournalist commissioned to produce a brochure celebrating Titan’s centenary the following year. He is embraced by Titanian high society enabling him to peel back the colony’s wholesome old-world veneer and uncover its closely guarded secrets. What he discovers will confound all his expectations and ultimately put his life in jeopardy.
Bad Blood Part Two
'A gritty and thrilling sequel about the fight for survival in the lawless aftermath of a bio-terrorist attack.' Bath Children's Novel Award.
'They’re infected,' he says, 'Late stage. They live on the motorways. That’s what the tank patrols are for.'
The thrilling sequel to Bad Blood is told by both Ben and Sophy, thousands of miles apart. The UK is in the grip of a terrifying epidemic and Ben is stranded half way across the world. Somehow he must make it back to the West, to freedom, to Sophy, and to do what he was made to do.