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Book Review: Uncle Digit and the Truth about Magic. By Jeremy Hullah

Today's review is Uncle Digit and the Truth about Magic, written by Jeremy Hullah and illustrated by Zsuzsa. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Jeremy's debut book, The Beastly Baron of Beaux Bottom, which is a very funny fairy tale and beautifully illustrated. I was thrilled when Jeremy asked if I'd be interested in reading his latest work. What follows is a brief author bio on Jeremy Hullah, the book blurb, followed by my honest review, and finally, what I shall be reviewing next.


Jeremy Hullah grew up in the rural Midlands, where he spent a lot of time dreaming about being a pianist or a writer, or something equally unattainable without the required level of effort. After proving beyond all doubt that education was not something that came naturally, he moved to London where he worked on building sites for a few years before retraining in IT. Now, many years later, he works for a bank in the city, writing books on the train to and from his home in East Sussex, where he spends whatever time is left cycling around the countryside, dreaming up ideas for new books to keep his two boys entertained.


Confined to a wheelchair and bullied at school, 11-year-old Finn isn't having an easy time of it. The only things he looks forward to are the visits of his Uncle Henry, a globe-trotting photojournalist, who can be relied upon to arrive with amazing gifts and unbelievable stories of his adventures. But when Henry goes looking for his father's ship, lost in the Arctic forty years ago, the stories he recounts become increasingly fantastical, straining even Finn's desire to believe everything his uncle tells him... until he joins in the adventure himself!


Uncle Digit and the Truth about Magic is a multi-generational fantasy adventure where polar bears sing and lifeforms from another galaxy reveal fascinating secrets. I love timeslips, and in this book, the reader is taken from the present day to forty years ago and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Alfred, grandfather, to the leading character, 11-year-old Finn.

The story is split into five sections and features three leading characters from within the same family: Finn, an 11-year-old boy confined to a wheelchair following a horrific car accident; Uncle Henry—aka Uncle Digit—a globe-trotting photojournalist and Finn’s hero; and Alfred, Uncle Digit’s father and Finn’s grandfather, who disappeared during an expedition to the Arctic.

This story moves at a good pace and is full of mystery and adventure—it is a story that will make one’s imagination soar.  I particularly like the way Jeremy Hullah describes and captures the moment. I love words, and there are times when reading a book, that I love the description and use of words so much that I read it over and over – just because it sounds so nice! Well, this is what I did whilst reading Uncle Digit and the Truth about Magic. Here is just one example of the wonderful way Jeremy crafts his words.

“…hypnotised by the soft murmur of a hundred prayers rising up like the comforting sound of bees smothering lavender.”

Uncle Digit and the Truth about Magic was a joy to read. Although it is aimed at readers aged 12+, it would also be a good read for adults. Thank you, Jeremy, for inviting me to review your latest book and for my ARC. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.


The Latest in the fantastic Castleby series: Sea Rift, by J. M. Simpson.

Join me on 25th April for my spot on the Book Review Tour for Sea Rift. I've read all of the series to date and I absolutely love them so I'm really looking forward to reading this. If you enjoy a good crime series such as Broadchurch, then you'll love the Castleby series.

Here's the bookblurb, this will give you a taster of what's in store.

Old wounds run deep. Revenge has deadly consequences.

A dead body is found hanging in local woods. It contains a sinister message for Mickey Camorra. It seems his dark past is catching up with him. As Detective Steve Miller finds another body, he ties both deaths to the Tao crime family. An old contact betrays them and the Camorra’s face their deadliest threat yet.

Mike Young is pleased to see an old flame return to Castleby. He’s hopeful they might rekindle their romance, but he soon discovers she is not all she seems.

Ex-soldier Foxy tries to move on after the death of his ex-wife. As he explores an unexpected new liaison, a rift with a close friend troubles him deeply, and he wonders about his future happiness.

Former hostage negotiator Nate Bennett moves back to Castleby, hoping the town will help heal his sick wife. When a baby is kidnapped from a cafe and the search intensifies, Nate finds himself face to face with the crazed kidnapper, as he desperately tries to save a baby’s life.

Revenge, betrayal, drama, and suspense continue in the fifth of the Castleby Series.

Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Gillian x

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