The Nest, by Kenneth Oppel, David Fickling Books, RRP£10.99/ Simon & Schuster, RRP$16.99
A boy with potentially fatal allergies battles the gigantic wasp-queen of the hive in the loft for the soul of his disabled baby brother. A creepy fable about sibling jealousy and parental neglect that turns out to be unexpectedly touching.
The Monstrous Child, by Francesca Simon, Profile/Faber, RRP£9.99
Horrid Henry Simon’s debut for older children takes inspiration from bleak Norse myth. Sulky Hel — half-girl, half-rotting corpse — rules the infernal realm but has a crush on beautiful god Baldr. A twisted, poetic take on unruly adolescent emotions.
The King’s Revenge, by Philip Womack, Troika, RRP£6.99
The Elaborate Darkening Path trilogy closes with many an echo of Tolkien and CS Lewis as Simon, Anna, Flora and Johnny voyage across the Silver Kingdom to save the Threefold Goddess — and the universe. A spectacular mash-up of knights, Roman legionaries and magical animals.