Reviews of Toby's debut dark fantasy novel Aimee and the Bear.
"Absolutely brilliant! I'm not usually a fan of 'magic realism', but this really works. I think that's because the realism is very real (this is not a book for kids, despite the cuddly toy element) and the magic is serious, funny and dark. Stone is a superb writer - intelligent, stylish and quirky - who creates very rounded characters. As an evocation of the childhood mind, it's the most convincing thing I've read since Alice in Wonderland."
" This is a brilliant debut novel from Toby Stone. The combination of modern contemporary fiction and fantasy is finely balanced. You are never quite sure if she is imagining the events or they are actually happening, so there is great psychology that keeps you guessing all the way. She is Amy when she is the world inhabited by her cruel mother, and Aimee when she goes to the other place. The ending is fantastic. I would recommend this book even if this is not the genre you normally read. There are some very clever crafted parts to this book that will make you nod your head in appreciation."
"This book, be warned, is in no way a pleasant read. But then again, I don't suppose it was ever intended to be one. It is, nevertheless, gripping, and once you start reading, you will hardly be able to put it down...Absolutely recommended."
"In some ways, this is as realistic as fiction can get in its portrayal of a young girl who escapes into her own mind because she can't deal with the horrible reality of her day to day life. It's also a classic 'hero's journey' story (or in this case, heroine's journey) as Amy/Aimee struggles to save her little brother from the life they have been unfortunate enough to be born into. With elements of horror and dark fairytale, Stone's novel takes us with Amy/Aimee and her bear as she struggles to defeat the evil in her 'real' and 'imaginary' lives...Dark, strange, confronting and thoughtful, this is a book that deserves a wide readership. Highly recommended."
"This is a very unusual book, a contemporary modern day novel with a twist...It is enchanting and pulls you along. This is Toby Stone's first book according to the blurb, and for a debut novel it is stunning, he has massive potential. I would recommend this book."
Angels in the Underworld
"What a fascinating read!! This is, hands down, one of the better books I’ve found in years. Like I said, Wow. No matter what I render as a review, there is nothing left more important than WOW."