It’s time to meet your new roomie.
When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl’s summer — and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.
As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they’ve never met.
I downloaded Roomies from Netgalley on a whim. It was a Read Now offer and it sounded fun and I thought “Why not?” And I’m so glad I did because I had an absolute blast with it. The book had a light and easy tone, even while dealing with some pretty fundamental questions everyone goes through when transitioning from secondary school to beyond. It tackles several big issues: interracial dating, losing your virginity, under-age drinking – in perhaps a slightly too casual manner – and letting go and growing up. It generally did so in quite a graceful manner and I was sorry to finish the story. Continue reading
She was taught to obey. Now she has learned to rebel.
12 year old Isabella, a French princess marries the King of England – only to discover he has a terrible secret. Ten long years later she is in utter despair – does she submit to a lifetime of solitude and a spiritual death – or seize her destiny and take the throne of England for herself?
This is the story of Isabella, the only woman ever to invade England – and win.
My predilection for historical fiction about royals is well-documented, so when I was approached about reviewing Colin Falconer’s Isabella: Braveheart of France I was easily convinced, especially as I had just watched the episode of the BBC4 series She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens about Isabella. And while Falconer’s novel covers all the pertinent information of Isabella’s life and gives us some inkling of what may have driven her to take over the English throne, I had a hard time connecting or staying connected to the main players in the novel, largely due to the stylistic choices made by the author. Continue reading
Telepath Den Harper did the dirty work for the authoritarian Expansion, reading the minds of criminals, spies and undesirables. Unable to take the strain, he stole a starship and headed into the unknown, a sector of lawless space known as Satan’s Reach. For five years he worked as a trader among the stars – then discovered that the Expansion had set a bounty hunter on his trail.
But what does the Expansion want with a lowly telepath like Harper? Is there validity in the rumours that human space is being invaded by aliens from another realm? Harper finds out the answer to both these questions when he rescues an orphan girl from certain death – and comes face to face with the dreaded aliens known as the Weird.
Satan’s Reach is the second volume in the Weird Space series, a fast-paced action-adventure that pits humanity against the unimaginable Terror from Beyond.
Satan’s Reach is the second book set in the shared world of the Weird Space, a property developed by Eric Brown for Abaddon Books. Being rather unfamiliar with shared worlds, especially in book form, I was curious to see what it would be like to move away from that first story told in The Devil’s Nebula and start all over with new characters in a new place. Would we see more of the protagonists in the first book? Would what happened there impact the story much? The answers to both questions would be yes and no. We do see Carew and crew and the events from The Devil’s Nebula certainly impact Den Harper’s story in Satan’s Reach, but we don’t meet up with Carew until almost at the end of the book and the influence on Harper’s story is indirect at best. But knowing the events from the first book makes for a richer reading experience, plus it is fun to spot things we know the background for. Continue reading
November started out with a bang as Wiebe and I travelled to Brighton for WFC. I was supposed to take lots of pictures, but I took hardly any. I didn’t even take a picture of myself with any authors. I guess I always forget in the heat of the moment, but I had a wonderful time thanks to all the people I met. Other than that November was a month of recuperation, trying to get rested from the move and WFC. I didn’t get to read and review all I’d wanted to, but then again, my schedule might have been a little ambitious with a review scheduled almost daily so I could catch up my review copies. That didn’t happen but I did make a decent dent in Mount To Be Read this month. November also started on a high as I got shortlisted for the Angry Robot Team Robot Blogger Award, which was a lovely surprise and which I commemorated by doing a Round Up post of all my Angry Robot, Strange Chemistry, and Exhibit A reviews. Continue reading
Last Thursday was Thanksgiving in the States and the lovely team at Angry Robot and their various imprints surprised us with their Team Robot Blogger Award. I was really flattered to have been shortlisted and while the ultimate win went to the wonderful Kristin at My Bookish Ways and to Josh from Just A Guy That Likes To Read, it really is true what they always say in these situations, it was an honour to be nominated. One of my fellow nominees, Ellie from Curiosity Killed the Bookworm created a post with covers of all the Angry Robot, Strange Chemistry, and Exhibit A titles she’s reviewed on her blog, in honour of her shortlisting and to say thanks. I thought this was a really cool idea, so with Ellie’s blessing I nicked it and today I bring you my own cover post of all the AR titles I’ve reviewed to date here on the blog. Hopefully there will be many more to come. Continue reading
Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…
She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.
But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.
Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?
And what happens if she starts to fall for him?
The ability to see or hear the dead and helping them move on, is of course not a new concept, just look at Ghost Whisperer or Tru Calling, which I still feel was cancelled before its time. However, the concept of ‘help a murder victim catch their killer or die’ was a version I hadn’t heard before. And while the story is a little more complicated than that concept makes it seem, it does sum up the reason that tension builds the further we get into the novel, as Taylor literally races against time to solve Justin’s murder before the Darkness get her. It makes The Weight of Souls an exciting read and one I enjoyed quite a lot. Continue reading
Today I’m happy to be part of Strange Chemistry’s book blast in honour of the cover reveal for Rachel Neumeier’s new paranormal YA Black Dog. Having heard a lot of praise for her previous books, much of it from the Book Smugglers, I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to get acquainted with her writing once the book is released in February. Continue reading
The Book of the Dead addresses the most fascinating of all the undead: the mummy. The mummy can be a figure of imperial dignity or one of shambling terror, at home in pulp adventure, contemporary drama, or apocalyptic horror. The anthology will be published in collaboration with the Egypt Exploration Society, the UK’s oldest independent funder of archaeological fieldwork and research in Egypt, dedicated to the promotion and understanding of ancient Egyptian history and culture.
This anthology includes nineteen original stories of revenge, romance, monsters and mayhem, ranging freely across time periods, genres and styles. The stories are illustrated by Garen Ewing, creator of The Adventures of Julius Chancer and introduced by John J. Johnston, Vice Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society.
Simone has been raised as a dancer, but she hates performing. Hannah loves nothing more than dance, but her parents see it as just a hobby. When the two girls meet for the first time at age fifteen, they choreograph a plan to switch places and change the role that dance plays in their lives. Yet fooling their friends and family is more challenging than either girl expected. And when someone threatens to reveal the truth, it could cost the sisters everything.
In this clever twist on the twin-swap story, Robyn Bavati delivers a poignant tale about changing your fate—one step at a time.
One of my (not so) guilty pleasures is watching dance shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and films such as Step Up and Honey. So when Robyn Bavati’s Pirouette came across my radar during my prep for last summer’s anticipated books posts, unsurprisingly it set off all kinds of “you have to read this”-alerts. And well it should have, because it was just as entertaining as the best episodes of SYTYCD, those where there are choreographies that make you cry they’re so beautiful and emotional and choreographies that just make you grin like mad at their tricks and entertainment value. Continue reading
Today’s post is part of a book blitz organised by Lola’s Blog Tours to celebrate the first anniversary of the release of Ghost Hand, the first book in Ripley Patton’s PSS Chronicles. I first encountered Ripley’s writing in the anthology Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear, where her story about a girl and her drug-sniffing unicorn really caught my attention. Her debut novel Ghost Hand made for surprisingly addictive reading and I’m looking forward to digging into the recently published sequel Ghost Hold before the end of the year. Continue reading