Michael (John) Molloy (1940–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1940, in England. Education: Attended art school.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, The Chicken House, 2 Palmer St., Frome, Somerset BA11 1DS, England.
Writer. Worked as a journalist and cartoonist.
The Black Dwarf, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1985.
The Kid from Riga, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1987.
The Harlot of Jericho, Macdonald (London, England), 1989.
The Century, Macdonald (London, England), 1990.
The Gallery, Macdonald (London, England), 1991.
Sweet Sixteen, Sinclair-Stevenson (London, England), 1992.
Cat's Paw, Sinclair-Stevenson (London, England), 1993.
Home before Dark, Heinemann (London, England), 1994.
Dogsbody, Mandarin (London, England), 1995.
The Witch Trade, Scholstic (New York, NY), 2001.
The Time Witches, Chicken House (Frome, England), 2003.
The Wild West Witches, Chicken House (Frome, England), 2004.
The House on Falling Star Hill, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
British author Michael Molloy was always a bit of a dreamer growing up, and planned to make a career out of art, filmmaking, and history, with a little soldiering thrown in as well. Fortunately, his career goals grew more focus as he got older, and after finishing art school Molloy got a job drawing cartoons and writing articles for a local newspaper. From his start as a journalist, he has developed a second career as a children's book author, his books including The House on Falling Star Hill, Home before Dark, and The Time Witches.
The House on Falling Star Hill follows a fantastical voyage into a parallel universe for main character Tim and his less-than-ordinary crew. Visiting his grandparents in their quiet English village of Enton, Tim notices that no one grows flowers, and he also hears of mysterious disappearances, reported from a remote local mansion. When Hunter buys the big house, along with all the flowers he can find, Tim is hired to help the new homeowner, and the two eventually open a portal into Tallis, a parallel world on the brink of war. Called to this alternate world, Tim and Hunter work to end the current reign of an evil duke and his powerful warlock advisor, their goal to return the land of Tallis to its rightful leader, the High King.
While noting that Molloy's inclusion of "extensive, logistical details of battle and rescue will slow the story for some," Gillian Engberg nonetheless wrote in her Booklist review of The House on Falling Star Hill that "Molloy's wild, sweeping adventure will easily transport readers to a richly drawn world filled with fantastical creatures, magic, wondrous inventions, and an appealing cast." A Publishers Weekly critic also had praise for the novel, writing that the author "packs this world-next-door fantasy with ideas and vivid imagery."
The Time Witches, a sequel to Molloy's novel The Witch Trade, once again presents readers with a fantastical voyage through time as well as a classic story of good versus evil. The evil Wolfbane kidnaps Sir Chadwick's fiancée, Hilda, and travels back in time to kill an ancestor of witch-in-training Abby. In response, Sir Chadwick, Abby, and friends join together to try and rescue Hilda from a horrible fate and save Abby's relative from a nasty death. Vonda Martinez, writing in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, commented that the novel "will appeal to anyone who enjoys science fiction or fantasy novels, especially those about magic, wizards, and witches." Anne O'Malley, reviewing the book for Booklist, found that the story's "evil characters are more strongly portrayed than the good Light Witches,
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who tend to be rather prim, but fantasy fans will enjoy the classic good-and-evil romp," which reads well as a standalone novel.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, January 1, 2003, Anne O'Malley, review of The Time Witches, p. 892; April 15, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of The House on Falling Star Hill, p. 1457.
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literature, May, 2003, Vonda Martinez, review of The Time Witches, p. 699.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2001, review of The Witch Trade, p. 1428; March 15, 2004, review of The House on Falling Star Hill, p. 274.
Publishers Weekly, April 12, 2004, review of The House on Falling Star Hill, p. 66.
School Library Journal, August, 2003, John Peters, review of The Time Witches, p. 164; April, 2004, Sharon Rawlins, review of The House on Falling Star Hill, p. 158.
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