All posts by Mieneke

Guest Post: Kameron Hurley On Making People Care

kameronhurley-themirrorempireKameron Hurley doesn’t really need an introduction anymore. She’s a two time Hugo winner, author of what are currently the only three novels in the subgenre of bug punk, and not just an amazing fiction writer, but a brilliant essayist as well. And she’s currently on the last leg of a five-week long whirlwind tour of the internet to promote her latest novel, the epic fantasy Mirror Empire. I’m currently in the midst of reading Mirror Empire and thus far it is awesome. Ambitious, challenging, and giving us characters to love and characters to love to hate. I’m very honoured to welcome Kameron to the blog today with a guest post all about storytelling.

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Author Query – William Ritter

williamritter-jackabyEarlier this month I reviewed the highly entertaining and very atmospheric Jackaby. I had a great time with the story and its characters and I hope to read more about them in the future. I was also able to put Will to the question and have him as an Author Query guest. He sent over the following answers including some of his own art! I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did. Jackaby is out today, so go check it out!

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is William Ritter?

William Ritter is a husband and a father who teaches High School Language Arts and likes to write stories. His debut novel, JACKABY, is published by Algonquin Young Readers, and will be available Sept 16th.   Continue reading »

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Spotty Service Due to Brain Melt

photo credit: :: gw1 :: via photopin cc

photo credit: :: gw1 :: via photopin cc

Just a quick post to say that reviews might be spotty the next week or two (and have been for the past week) as I’m having trouble finding the mental bandwidth to actually write the reviews. With work being busier than usual, Cat deciding to not sleep through the night for the past month, and having had extremely busy weekends the last two weeks, I haven’t really written up much of my reading as I generally feel like my brain’s melted by the end of the work day. Add in the additional curve ball or getting a call this week that Emma can transfer to a school closer to home and having to do all the arranging for that as well and… you get the picture. But as we’ll be adjusting to a new situation and dependent on how Emma copes, I might be a bit scarce for a week or two longer.

The good news is I have interviews and guest posts lined-up and I have been reading loads. So once I get back up to speed, there will be ALL THE REVIEWS!

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Author Query – Tom Pollock

tompollock-ourladyofthestreetsLast month I reviewed Our Lady of the Streets, the final book in Tom Pollock’s the Skyscraper Throne series. It’s no secret its one of my favourite series of the past few years and I was both excited to learn how the story was going to end and sad that I would be saying goodbye to Beth and Pen. After I finished the book I had questions and Tom was lovely enough to answer them. The resulting interview is below. Be warned though, it is a spoiler-heavy interview, so if you haven’t read the series – and if not, why on earth not? – and want to remain unspoiled, best not read on!   Continue reading »

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Guy Adams – The Rain-Soaked Bride

guyadams-therainsoakedbrideHow do you stop an assassin that can’t be killed? 

When several members of the diplomatic service die in seemingly innocent, yet strangely similar circumstances, it seems a unique form of murder is being used. 

Toby Greene is part of Section 37, known as The Clown Service, a mostly forgotten branch of British Intelligence tasked with fighting exactly this kind of threat. 

However, the Rain-Soaked Bride is no ordinary assassin. Relentless, inexorable and part of a larger game, merely stopping this impossible killer may not be enough to save the day…

The first book in this series, The Clown Service, took me by surprise earlier this summer. While the concept and its bright cover intrigued me sufficiently to pick it up, I hadn’t expected to enjoy it as much as I did. I was utterly charmed by Toby, his supervisor August Shining, Shining’s sister April and their neighbour Tamar. The Rain-Soaked Bride was already on my TBR-pile and I started it as soon as I could, because I couldn’t wait to get back to Toby and friends.   Continue reading »

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William Ritter – Jackaby

williamritter-jackabyNewly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane—deny.

Billed as Sherlock meets Dr Who and provided with a gorgeous cover, Jackaby first caught my eye when I saw it on one of the Book Smugglers Radar posts. And despite having watched neither show, only being aware of them through my twitter timeline, I was intrigued. With good reason as it turns out, because William Ritter’s debut is a delightful read.  Continue reading »

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Author Query – Sebastien de Castell

sebastiendecastell-traitorsblade

UK Cover

Earlier this year I reviewed Sebastien de Castell’s debut novel Traitor’s Blade. I really enjoyed this fun, adventure romp-style fantasy story. Today sees the release of the paperback of Traitor’s Blade and to celebrate that I asked Sebastien whether he’d be willing to do an interview. Lucky for me he said yes. So enjoy his answers and if you haven’t read it yet, afterwards go and get yourself a copy of Traitor’s Blade because it is immensely entertaining.

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Quick ‘n Dirty: Mark Charan Newton – The Messenger

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

markcharannewton-themessengerAs an Officer of the Sun Chamber, Lucan Drakenfeld must uphold the two-hundred-year-old laws of the Vispasian Royal Union, whatever the cost. While stationed in the ancient city of Venyn, a metropolis notorious for its lawless nature, Drakenfeld receives a series of mysterious letters, written in blood, that warn of an imminent assassination attempt on the life of the city’s young Prince Bassim. Supported by his fiery colleague Leana, Drakenfeld’s investigation leads him down the city’s corridors of power. But nothing is as it seems. Who is behind the conspiracy that threatens the young prince, and will the duo be able to unearth the perpetrator before the prince’s time is up?

The Messenger is a short story set in the world of Mark Charan Newton’s Drakenfeld series. Set before the events related in the first book in the series, the eponymous Drakenfeld, it serves as a great introduction to Vispasia and Lucan Drakenfeld for those unfamiliar with the series. For those who have read the previous book The Messenger is a nice appetiser before the publication of the second book Retribution in October.  Continue reading »

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Recaps and Upfronts – August and September

RecapsAugust was holiday month, as I had the first two weeks off from work. We were supposed to go away for about a week, but due to getting rained out and not coping very well with cramped quarters, we came home after two days. Which was sad, but also meant more reading. We did visit the Arnhem zoo and visited Paleis het Loo, one of the royal palaces, when they had a special Princess day. The girls got to wear princess dresses, make their own crown, and ride in a carriage and had a total blast. But after a rainy two weeks I went back to work and since the school and academic year starts today, everything is back to its usual routine, which is nice in its own way.  Continue reading »

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Scott K. Andrews – TimeBomb

scottkandrews-timebombNew York City, 2141: Yojana Patel throws herself off a skyscraper, but never hits the ground.

Cornwall, 1640: gentle young Dora Predennick, newly come to Sweetclover Hall to work, discovers a badly-burnt woman at the bottom of a flight of stairs. When she reaches out to comfort the dying woman, she’s knocked unconscious, only to wake, centuries later, in empty laboratory room.

On a rainy night in present-day Cornwall, seventeen-year-old Kaz Cecka sneaks into the long-abandoned Sweetclover Hall, determined to secure a dry place to sleep. Instead he finds a frightened housemaid who believes Charles I is king and an angry girl who claims to come from the future.

Thrust into the centre of an adventure that spans millennia, Dora, Kaz and Jana must learn to harness powers they barely understand to escape not only villainous Lord Sweetclover but the forces of a fanatical army… all the while staying one step ahead of a mysterious woman known only as Quil.

When I first learned of TimeBomb, I thought it sounded really interesting, which meant I was stoked to have won an ARC via Twitter. Described as a YA trilogy featuring time travel and Roundheads and Cavaliers, it sounded like it should be a tremendous amount of fun and that is exactly what it was. TimeBomb was a page turner of a story, with a cool premise and fabulous characters.   Continue reading »

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