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Book Review: The Wheel of Osheim (Red Queen's War Book 3) by Mark Lawrence

All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri Ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Ken...

Friday, 23 September 2016

New Notable Releases October 2016 Part 2 of 2

Part 2 of my top picks of October!! As before these books have been chosen on the cover/blurb. 

Ok let's do this!

The Captain of Kinnoull Hill by Jamie Tennant
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 280
Price: £15.31
Pub Date: 15th October 2016

Why I chose this: Unlikable lead, goblin, possible violence, humour. What else do you need?

Dennis Duckworth - widely considered the least-likeable person on the Chicago music scene - is a philanderer and a misanthrope with a history of inflicting pain and suffering on nearly everyone he meets. When a routine flight from New York mysteriously alters its path mid-flight, he finds himself penniless and stranded on a remote hillside in rural Scotland. The hill is home to Eddie the Red Cap - a curmudgeonly, thousand-year-old goblin who secretly loves books and regrets the violent past of his people. Eddie is determined to put his murderous life of mayhem behind him; Dennis merely wants to stop being a jackass. How can it be that Dennis faces the bigger challenge? Filled with absurdity, magic, humour and hope, The Captain of Kinnoull Hill asks what happens when we can no longer abide our own nature. How much can we truly change about ourselves and -- in the end -- is it worth it to try?

Firewalk by Chris Roberson
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 356
Price: £19.10
Pub Date: 18th October 2016

Why I chose this: Dark urban fantasy with a criminal twist? Yes please!

Izzie Lefevre was the newest investigator for the FBI s Behavioral Analysis Unit when she first came to Recondito, a coastal city that s been shrouded in mystery and legend for centuries. Local law enforcement had requested the Bureau s assistance in hunting a sword-wielding serial killer who d left a dozen mutilated bodies in his wake. Patrick Tevake was a local homicide detective assigned to the taskforce, and together he and Izzie managed to track down and stop the killer before he claimed another victim.
Five years later, Izzie and Patrick remain haunted by what the killer said before he fell in a hail of gunfire. Izzie s ancestors were mambos, voodoo priestesses who claimed to communicate with the dead and protect the faithful from evil spirits. Patrick s Polynesian great uncle told stories of Recondito s supernatural menaces that lurk in flame and shadow. The killer s last words have brought up a past both Izzie and Patrick thought they d long since left behind, and neither has been able to shake the feeling that their case was never completely solved.
So when Patrick, now working with the vice squad to investigate a dangerous new street drug, discovers a connection between the street drug and the serial killer s victims, he realizes that their instincts were right: the threat is far from over. Reunited again, he and Izzie will discover that Recondito is a city of dark secrets, and their own pasts may be the key to unlocking them. 

Game of Thrones the Illustrated Edition by GRRM
Format: Kindle
Page Count: Unavailable
Price: £23.49
Pub Date: 18th October 2016

Why I chose this: Its GoT, with art. Duh.

Published in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of George R. R. Martin’s landmark series, this lavishly illustrated special edition of A Game of Thrones—with gorgeous full-page illustrations in every chapter—revitalizes the fantasy masterpiece that became a cultural phenomenon.
In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the North of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall.
At the centre of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a region of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavours to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Only the Dead Know Burbank by Bradford Tatum
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 400
Price: £12.27
Pub Date: 18th October 2016

Why I chose this: I almost excluded this from my list, however it supposedly "introduces readers to one of the most unique, unforgettable characters in fiction" so yeah, I'm interested.

A young girl awakens in a hastily dug grave vague memories of blood and fever, her mother performing a mysterious ceremony before the world went away. Germany has lost the first great war and Europe has lost millions more to the Spanish Flu epidemic. But Maddy has not only survived, she has changed. No longer does she eat, sleep, or age. No longer can she die. After taking up with a pair of street performers, she shocks and fascinates the crowds with her ability to survive outrageous traumas. But at a studio in Berlin, Maddy discovers her true calling: film.
With her intimate knowledge of fear, death, and realms beyond the living, she practically invents the modern horror genre on the spot. Before long, she travels to California and insinuates herself in Hollywood as the genius secretly behind The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, and Frankenstein. And yet she must remain in the shadows a chilling apparition suspended eternally between worlds.

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 368
Price: £12.08
Pub Date: 20th October 2016

Why I chose this: Described as "adult epic fantasy". That's enough to get my attention.

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .
But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.
With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . .  before it’s bathed in blood.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 384
Price: £14.88
Pub Date: 20th October 2016

Why I chose this: I loved A long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. I hoping to be similarly delighted with this one. Also this can be read as a stand alone too!

Lovelace was once merely a ship's artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She's never felt so alone.
But she's not alone, not really. Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.
Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it's anything but empty.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced readers to the incredible imagination of Becky Chambers and has been nominated for any number of awards and accolades, including the Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction, the Tiptree Award, the Kitschies Golden Tentacle and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and is perfect for fans of Firefly, Joss Whedon, Mass Effect and Star Wars.

Honour Under Moonlight: A Tale of the God Fragments by Tom Lloyd
Format: Kindle
Page Count: Unavailible
Price: £1.99
Pub Date: 20th October 2016

Why I chose this: Also can be read as a stand alone, I think this will be a great little intro to The God Fragments.

A new standalone novella set after the traumatic events of STRANGER OF TEMPEST.
Lynx and the rest of the mercenary group he has reluctantly tied himself to find themselves with a little time to kill. Luckily, the city they've ended up in is holding a festival. And nothing spells fun more than a group of bored mercs and a lot of booze.
But Lynx has his own plans. A quiet evening with Toil, a woman he hasn't quite worked out yet. Nothing difficult or serious. No fights. No trouble.
So it's a shame there's a dead body on her floor. And Toil is missing. And the police are on the way up the stairs...
Bridging the gap between novels, but entirely stand-alone, this novella throws Lynx and his companions into a plot which threatens them all.

The Hammer and the Goat by Peter Newman
Format: Kindle
Page Count: 41
Price: £1.99
Pub Date: 20th October 2016

Why I chose this: The Vagrant was one of my favourite reads of 2015, and the Hammer was one of my favourite characters from it. And the goat, so naturally I want to read this!

The first short story set in Peter Newman’s incredible world of THE VAGRANT.

Every Mountain Made Low by Alex White
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Page Count: 416
Price: £6.15
Pub Date: 25th October 2016

Why I chose this: Please don't be lame Please don't be lame Please... I've got an ARC so I'll let you know what I think soon.

Loxley Fiddleback can see the dead, but the problem is... the dead can see her.
Ghosts have always been cruel to Loxley Fiddleback - but none more than the spirit of her only friend, alive only hours earlier. Loxley isn't equipped to solve a murder: she lives near the bottom of a cutthroat, strip-mined metropolis known as The Hole, suffers from crippling anxiety and can't cope with strangers. Worse still, she's haunted.
She inherited her ability to see spirits from the women of her family, but the dead see her, too. Ghosts are drawn to her, and their lightest touch leaves her with painful wounds.
Loxley swears to take blood for blood and find her friend s killer. In doing so, she uncovers a conspiracy that rises all the way to the top of The Hole. As her enemies grow wise to her existence, she becomes the quarry, hunted by a brutal enforcer named Hiram McClintock. In sore need of confederates, Loxley must descend into the strangest depths of the city in order to have the revenge she seeks and, ultimately, her own salvation."

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 320
Price: £19.95
Pub Date: 25th October 2016

Why I chose this: I read the blurb, thought 'ugh, another vampire novel'. But that cover has me excited, also the few reviews out there are positive.

Welcome to Mexico City An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires
Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eeking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.
Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.
Her plan doesn t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm.
And then there s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.
Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?

Faller by Will McIntosh
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 352
Price: £20.12
Pub Date: 25th October 2016

Why I chose this: Post-apocalyptic Earth. Check. Mysterious events. Check. Surviving just with what you have. Check. Sounds like my kind of thing.

I currently have a request pending on NetGalley for this. *fingers crossed. I really want to read this.

Day One: No one can remember anything—who they are, family and friends, or even how to read. Reality has fragmented and Earth consists of an islands of rock floating in an endless sky. Food, water, electricity—gone, except for what people can find, and they can't find much.
Faller's pockets contain tantalizing clues: a photo of himself and a woman he can't remember, a toy solider with a parachute, and a mysterious map drawn in blood. With only these materials as a guide, he makes a leap of faith from the edge of the world to find the woman and set things right.
He encounters other floating islands, impossible replicas of himself and others, and learns that one man hates him enough to take revenge for actions Faller can't even remember.

The Hidden Keys by Andre Alexis
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 232
Price: £11.99
Pub Date: 27th October 2016

Why I chose this: Thieves, druggies, puzzles. Yeah, I want.

Although the Green Dolphin is a bar of ill repute, it is there that Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes, meets Willow Azarian, an aging heroin addict. She reveals to Tancred that her very wealthy father has recently passed away, leaving each of his five children a mysterious object that provides one clue to the whereabouts of a large inheritance. Willow enlists Tancred to steal these objects from her siblings and solve the puzzle.
A Japanese screen, a painting that plays music, an aquavit bottle, a framed poem, and a model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: Tancred is lured in to this beguiling quest, and even though Willow dies before he can begin, he presses on. As he tracks down the treasure, however, he must enlist the help of Alexander von Wurfel, esteemed copyist, and fend off Willow's heroin dealers, a young albino named "Nigger" Colby and his sidekick, Sigismund "Freud" Luxemburg, a club-footed psychopath, both of whom are eager to get their paws on this supposed pot of gold. And he must mislead Detective Daniel Mandelshtam, his most adored friend.Based on a reading of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, The Hidden Keys questions what it means to be honorable and what it means to be faithful. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

New and Notable Releases October 2016 Part 1 of 2

I've been scratching around and picked some of my top picks for the month of October. There's some gems in there! In the interest of simplicity, I have not included books that are continuations of series. Stand alone and the first in a series are all you will find on this list.

I would also like to add that I have only read one of the books on this list - it was awesome - as to the others, I don't know. My decisions to include certain books were based entirely on the cover and blurb.

Acadia by Sterling Nixon
Format: Kindle
Page count: 442
Price: £3.29
Pub date: 1st October 2016 

Why I chose this: It was the cover that drew me, and the blurb sounds interesting. And quite a bargain too!  

Acadia—the last human city, a fact all of its citizens were told from birth. For two hundred years, a countless host of creatures have laid siege to Acadia, leaving the land rough with the bodies of the fallen. For Cojax becoming a Validated, a true defender of the city, is his greatest ambition. That all changes when Jessica appears—a girl from outside the city walls—from a land that supposedly held no life. Her presence threatens to undermine the entire society, putting Cojax in an impossible situation. He now must choose between what is right and the survival of his people.

This Twisted Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Author), Mike Chinn (Author), Jess Nevins (Author), Phil Sloman (Author), Jacob Prytherch (Author), Matt Lewis (Author), Dave de Burgh (Author), Andrew Coulthard (Author), Piotr Sweitlik (Author), Dion Winton-Polak (Editor)
Format: Kindle
Page count: 312
Price: £2.25  
Pub date: 1st October 2016

Why I chose this: I like twisty tales, and I like the title, and I really like the price! 

The Past flows into The Future. The Present is our constant home. But what if all that changed? If Time became tangled, history would be… havoc.

Welcome to This Twisted Earth

a pulp-fuelled, shared-world anthology featuring brand new stories from Adrian Tchaikovsky (Shadows of the Apt), Jess Nevins (Encylopedia of Fantastic Victoriana), Mike Chinn (Swords Against the Millennium / Starblazer), and nine more talented tale-smiths. This volume also features a stash of bonus material from Dion Winton-Polak - the world devisor, editor, and lunatic in charge of this ambitious project. 

The Rise of IO by Wesley Chu
Format: Paperback
Page count: 352
Price: £11.30
Pub date: 4th October 2016

Why I chose this: Sounds fun.
Ella Patel thief, con-artist and smuggler is in the wrong place at the wrong time. One night, on the border of a demilitarized zone run by the body-swapping alien invaders, she happens upon a man and woman being chased by a group of assailants. The man freezes, leaving the woman to fight off five attackers at once, before succumbing. As she dies, to both Ella and the man s surprise, the sparkling light that rises from the woman enters Ella, instead of the man. She soon realizes she s been inhabited by Io, a low-ranking Quasing who was involved in some of the worst decisions in history. Now Ella must now help the alien presence to complete her mission and investigate a rash of murders in the border states that maintain the frail peace.
With the Prophus assigned to help her seemingly wanting to stab her in the back, and the enemy Genjix hunting her, Ella must also deal with Io s annoying inferiority complex. To top it all off, Ella thinks the damn alien voice in her head is trying to get her killed. And if you can t trust the voices in your head, who can you trust?

Viscera by Gabriel Squailia
Format: Paperback
Page count: 304
Price: £12.30
Pub date: 4th October 2016 

Why I chose this: You had me at grimdark. That is all.

A woman with strange abilities travels across a bizarre war-torn land in an inventive and gruesomely comic fantasy tale. Rafe Davin joined the dice-rolling cult of the Assemblage out of desperation, in hopes that his life might be better under their protection. Now, tied helplessly to his Ace and leader, he soon finds himself wandering the perilous woods surrounding the cutthroat city of Eth, plotting unspeakable deeds. Eternal survivor Ashlan Ley is a strange woman navigating a strange land. But when her journey becomes inextricably tangled in the fates of these cultists, Ashlan's only hope is to return to Eth, accompanied by outcasts and addicts, where her darkest secrets lie under the streets. Through Eth's pearly walls, conflict is simmering, egged on by the calcified organs of long-dead gods that radiate eldritch power from subterranean catacombs. And when what's hidden comes to a boil, this band of misfits will fight with everything they've got--guts and all. A darkly comic tale of unforgettable characters, Viscera drags classic swords-and-sorcery through the mire of modern grimdark, taking readers on a journey through a world whose weirdness gleams from every nook and cranny.

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky
Format: Hardcover
Page count: 304
Price: £18.99
Pub date: 6th October 2016

Why I chose this: C'mon you didn't think I'd make this list without a book by Polansky? More info here.
 M is a drifter with a sharp tongue, few scruples, and limited magical ability, who would prefer drinking artisanal beer to involving himself in the politics of the city. Alas, in the infinite nexus of the universe which is New York, trouble is a hard thing to avoid, and now a rivalry between the city's two queens threatens to make the Big Apple go the way of Atlantis. To stop it, M will have to call in every favor, waste every charm, and blow every spell he's ever acquired - he might even have to get out of bed before noon.
Enter a world of wall street wolves, slumming scenesters, desperate artists, drug-induced divinities, pocket steam-punk universes, and hipster zombies. Because the city never sleeps, but is always dreaming.

Zero G by William Shatner and Jeff Rovin
Format: Hardcover
Page count: 368
Price: £16.99
Pub date: 6th October 2016

Why I chose this: Detective novel in space sounds kinda cool, also Moon Base! 

In the year 2050, the United States sends the FBI to govern its space station, the Empyrean. Under the command of former fighter pilot and FBI field agent Samuel Lord, the space based “Zero-G” men are in charge of investigating terrorism, crime, corruption, and espionage beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and of keeping an eye on the rival Chinese and Russian stations.
    During the Zero-G team’s first days in space, a mysterious and beautiful scientist, Dr. May, shows up to the Empyrean claiming that important research has been stolen from her lab on the moon. Her arrival suspiciously coincides with timing of a tsunami that destroys part of the coast of Japan, and her unusual behaviour makes Director Lord think that Dr. May might know more about the disaster than she’s letting on. Meanwhile, the Chinese space station has gone mysteriously silent.
    In this gripping space adventure, Director Lord must connect the dots to discover who or what has caused the tsunami as well as subsequent disasters, and how Dr. May and the Chinese might be involved.

Into the Guns (America Rising) by William C Dietz
Format: Hardcover
Page count: 352
Price: £19.99
Pub date: 6th October 

Why I chose this: I'm getting a CoD feeling from this. That's enough to pique my interest.  

America is rising from the ashes of a global catastrophe, but in the wasteland that was once the USA, only the strong can survive... On May Day, 2018, sixty meteors entered Earth's atmosphere and exploded around the globe with a force greater than a nuclear blast. Earthquakes and tsunamis followed. Then China attacked Europe, Asia, and the United States in the belief the disaster was an act of war. Washington D.C. was a casualty of the meteor onslaught that decimated the nation's leadership and left the surviving elements of the armed forces to try and restore order as American society fell apart. As refugees across America band together and engage in open warfare with the military over scarce resources, a select group of individuals representing the surviving corporate structure makes a power play to rebuild the country in a free market image as The New Confederacy...

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
Format: Paperback
Page count: 300
Price: £ 7.64
Pub Date: 11th October

Why I chose this: I've been hearing quite a lot about this recently so I'm curious.

In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth’s population—killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant—the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power—and the strong who possess it.
A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men’s clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she’ll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence.
After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw
Format: Paperback
Page count: 112
Price: £8.33
Pub date: 11th October 2016

Why I chose this: I'm getting a dark urban fantasy vibe here. Yeah, I'll bite. 

John Persons is a private investigator with a distasteful job from an unlikely client. He s been hired by a ten-year-old to kill the kid s stepdad, McKinsey. The man in question is abusive, abrasive, and abominable.
He s also a monster, which makes Persons the perfect thing to hunt him. Over the course of his ancient, arcane existence, he s hunted gods and demons, and broken them in his teeth.
As Persons investigates the horrible McKinsey, he realizes that he carries something far darker. He s infected with an alien presence, and he s spreading that monstrosity far and wide. Luckily Persons is no stranger to the occult, being an ancient and magical intelligence himself. The question is whether the private dick can take down the abusive stepdad without releasing the holds on his own horrifying potential.

The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts
Format: Paperback
Page count: 384
Price: £14.88
Pub date: 13th October 2016 

Why I chose this: This seems like on of those books that will make you feel smart and cultured for reading it. That's reason enough, isn't it?  

Adam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenters' The Thing.
Two men while away the days in an Antarctic research station. Tensions between them build as they argue over a love-letter one of them has received. One is practical and open. The other surly, superior and obsessed with reading one book - by the philosopher Kant.
As a storm brews and they lose contact with the outside world they debate Kant, reality and the emptiness of the universe. The come to hate each other, and they learn that they are not alone.

Inc. Surrogate Robot by Stephan Bugaj (Author), Neil Blevin (Author, Artist) and Bill Zahn (Author, Artist)
Format: Paperback
Page count: 128
Price: £19.99
Pub date: 15th October

Why I chose this: Just follow this link. Now tell me you aren't interested.

Stranded in a land where water is scarce, Landis ventures across the desolate Coral Barrens with the hopes of reaching the Oasis, where the temple known as the Citadel is located, a sacred place where water flows freely for those inhabitants lucky enough to pass through its doors. The nomad is not alone in his journey, for it is not only himself he must save from thirst, but also his unborn child. With the help of an old, wobbly bot named INC he purchases from a peddler, Landis fights armies of men, pirates, and machines to gain entrance to the Citadel, while uncovering the surprising secret behind the water that flows through it and discovering how one great act could save them all. This is the story of INC: the Robot that gave life to the desert.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilisations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives.

And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them …

Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It’s their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded with layers of protection – and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous.

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore’s crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.

Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future – a tale of space pirates, buried treasure and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism … and of vengeance …

Let me ask you a few questions: Do you like science fiction? Do you long for the days when Firefly was on tv? Are you bored of zombies and werewolves? If answered yes to any of these, then this is the book for you! Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. Well. Mostly. Sometimes.

First of all, I must give kudos to whomever designed the cover! I mean, just look at it. I would have ordinarily probably skipped past this one if it wasn't for that gorgeous artwork. Secondly. I have never read anything by Reynolds before, I was a total virgin. All I can say to that is: shame on me, I've been missing out. 

Now, I have noticed a few reviewers saying this is bordering on YA, not that that is a bad thing, but I did not get that vibe at all. Not that its particularly adult or anything, it just didn't feel like it was aimed at teens. To me, it was aimed at people who have never tried any of Reynolds work or perhaps are new to the science fiction genre. Readers willing to broaden their horizons without being scared off by long sweeping epics and endless scientific facts. Don't get me wrong, I love science, but readers (me included) tend to be put off by anything that might make them feel thick.

The story follows two sisters, on the cusp of adulthood, who join the crew of a spaceship. Both seeking money or 'quoins' as they are referred to in this instance, and adventure. Well, they get more of one than the other...

Told in a diary format from the perspective of Fura Ness, this takes us through the adventures and dangers the crew of said ship face. From the initial 'escape' from their overprotective fathers clutches' to their adjustments to life on a spaceship. And their eventual and inevitable transformations. Fura has to make many sacrifices along the way, and make them she does. Over and over. 

What I truly loved about this book was the stunningly imagined universe in which it is set. From the way the characters interact to the bizarre tech, its all beautifully done. It makes me excited for the future. And then immediately sad as I won't be around to see technological advancements on that scale. 

This has all the right ingredients to be bestseller material. One of my favourites of the year.

Verdict: 8/10

*I received an e-copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Last Kinmark by Josh Brannan

As the twin sons of the Kinmark king, Ahkdo and Kiv have experienced nothing but the best that life has to offer. This privileged upbringing has filled them with great hope for the future, but a dire threat looms in the background of their idyllic world. When this new threat reveals itself, the Kinmarks must take their place as the greatest of the four Tytan families and react accordingly. The events surrounding that reaction will change the lives of the twins and everyone they love as the entire world of Fulorn finds itself headed in a new and dangerous direction.

Sometimes you just find a little gem. 

I've been having a - I hesitate to use the word difficult, awkward? No. *checks thesaurus* Galling? Almost. Aha! Vexing! That's the word I'm looking for. I have been having a vexing (I love that word) time when it comes to books for the past few months. I have read some brilliant works, but I've also read some not-so-brilliant ones. I've abandoned more books in the last few months than I ever thought possible. That's really something for me, I hate to leave them. Really hate it. Sometimes you just have to move on. So I did, often. 

In the summer I had gone on an insane NetGalley requesting spree, and suffice it to say, I had bitten off more than I could chew. I have learned my lesson though. I had been slowly chipping away at the virtual pile, and then I thought 'fuck it, I will read whatever the hell I want'. I decided to give The Last Kinmark a go. I was hooked from the very first chapter! 

The plot revolves around twin brothers, Ahkdo and Kiv. Sons of the King of Kinmark, they lead a safe, privileged life in the palace. Until certain events force the King to make certain choices. Do they ally with the other great houses of the land? Alone they would be weaker, but there would be no chance for betrayal. Do they take the fight to the enemy, or hold back and hope the others weaken them sufficiently to finish them off? Before you say 'this is another military/epic/battle fantasy', I should point out that all this takes place in the first quarter of the book! After that things gets even more interesting.

I'm going to attempt to be as vague as possible from here on in. This particular event came as quite a surprise to me, but when I think on it logically, its the most natural course of action. (Moving swiftly on from dangerous spoiler territory.) We continue following the two brothers as they each choose various paths into adulthood. Their choices will shape their own futures and those of their family and loved ones.

I absolutely loved this from the very start. The fast pace gives the reader the feeling of grand scale, without falling out of touch with the characters. Its expertly done, and above all, exciting. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any fantasy fan!

*I received a copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review. 

Verdict: 8.5/10

So, go get one!

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