Review Amnesty: YA Edition

reviewamnestyMy second post in my Review Amnesty series is all about YA. What is a review amnesty you might wonder? Well, it is a phrase I coined for the books that stacked up in a review back log when I had my blogging hiatus last year. They became a stumbling block to getting back into the swing of things, so I decided to give myself an out and call a review amnesty, meaning I’d only review the books with the most basic of reviews, so I could share my thoughts without having to reread the books, some of which I’d read over six months ago. So, two down, one to come!  Read More …

Guest Post: Adrian Tchaikovsky – The Beast Within

adriantchaikovsky-tigerandwolfToday’s guest post is one I’m really excited about sharing with all of you. This Thursday February 11 will see the publication of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Tiger and The Wolf, his new epic fantasy standalone. It features shapeshifters, competing tribes and a young heroine torn between them. The hardcover is also extremely pretty in person — never let it be said I can’t be swayed by a lovely cover — and, as I’ve come to expect from Adrian’s books, big enough to thoroughly maim someone if you hit them with it. But please don’t do that, that’s not what books are meant for. Anyway, Adrian was kind enough to send this guest post my way on the shapechangers in this book and the way their natures influenced the shaping of the narrative (pun intended!) Enjoy and do check back for a review in the future as I’ll be starting the book once I’ve finished my current read.   Read More …

Jonathan Moore – The Poison Artist

jonathanmoore-thepoisonartistDr. Caleb Maddox is a crack San Francisco toxicologist leading a ground-breaking study of the human pain threshold based on minute analysis of chemical markers. He has also just broken up with his artist girlfriend after she discovered a shocking family secret in his past. Seeking solace, Caleb finds a dark, old-fashioned saloon called House of Shields, and is mesmerised when a beautiful woman materialises out of the shadows, dressed like a 1940s movie star. The enigmatic Emmeline shares a pouring of absinthe with him, brushes his arm and vanishes. As he pursues her through the brooding, night-time city, desperate to see her again, he simultaneously becomes entangled in a serial murder investigation that has the police stymied – men gone missing, fished out of the bay, with no clue as to how they met their end – until Caleb’s analysis of the chemical markers in their bodies reveals that each one was tortured to death. Also present are some of the key components of absinthe. As Caleb finally looks forward to a night spent alone with Emmeline, part of his mind wonders if behind the seductive vision is something utterly terrifying…

When The Poison Artist arrived, it arrived as mystery and a surprise. Wrapped with a lovely bow in an unmarked black box, I had no idea what to expect. And that is somewhat of a metaphor for the book itself: while the bones of the plot seem to suggest a simple serial murder mystery, Moore presents us with a complicated narrative that twists and turns itself into an unexpected ending. This makes The Poison Artist an intriguing read and one that made me think about the story and analyse the narrative techniques closely. But while the book captivated me, there were some elements that made every effort to throw me out of the narrative.  Read More …

A.C. Wise – The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again

acwise-glittersquadronWhen the world is endangered, there’s no point in sparing the spangles, spilling the drinks, or withholding the glitter. In this collection of whimsical stories of fierce femmes and brave butches, the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron is a phone call away…

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again is a collection of inter-linked short stories featuring the sparkliest, bravest, most bad-ass women you are ever likely to meet. Any old hero can save the world, but these ladies can do it all in glitter and high heels, and still make it home in time for tea (and cocktails, or course).

The collection features two reprints and seven original short stories, plus bonus cocktail recipes.  Read More …

Author Query – Robert Jackson Bennett

robertjacksonbennett-cityofbladesI’m stoked to bring you today’s Author Query. Last year I read and loved Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs and I’m currently in the midst of his City of Blades, which I’m loving just as much. But RJB isn’t just a great author, he also writes interesting articles on his blog and his Twitter feed is always interesting, whether you like witnessing off-the-wall author interactions, political commentary, or the plain weird, Bennett has it all on his feed. I was excited when I got the chance to interview him and he had some interesting answers to my questions.

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Robert Jackson Bennett?

Me, a writer! I’m just some guy who writes books.  Read More …

Editor Query – David Thomas Moore

MONSTROUS LITTLE VOICES - COVERDavid Thomas Moore is the commissioning editor at Abaddon Books, sister imprint to Solaris, and last year I absolutely adored his Sherlockian anthology Two Hundred and Twenty One Baker Streets. When I saw that this year he is publishing an anthology of novellas inspired by Shakespeare’s world, his fictional world that is, I was totally stoked, especially given the line up of writers he presented. But David isn’t only an excellent editor, he’s an allround good egg and funny guy, who often makes me laugh and think deeply with his posts on social media, so I was happy when I got to interview him for the publication of the first of the novellas from Monstrous Little Voices, Coral Bones by Foz Meadows. The stories will be published separately as e-only novellas, with a collected print edition to follow in April. I’ll be reviewing them in the near future, but for now: enjoy the interview!  Read More …

Review Amnesty: Big Fat Fantasy Edition

reviewamnestyAfter the hiatus I took last year, I have a huge backlog of books I’ve read and need to review and now I’m trying to get the blog back up and running they are staring me in the face and taunting me, all nineteen of them. Some of them I read over six months ago and it is hard to write a review for them in the usual way, so I’ve decided to declare a review amnesty. There are two books I’m planning to co-review with Wiebe, since they are two of his favourite books, two novellas that I can quickly reread and review, but the other fifteen will be split up into three posts and I’m going to just quickly run down each of them and give my thoughts. And then I’ll be able to move on and *bursts into song* Let It Go…So here is the first of the three posts, the one I dubbed the Big Fat Fantasy edition.  Read More …

Return of the Librarian

InternetSlowdown_DayHello, is this thing on? Remember me? I’m your resident Fantastical Librarian and I’m back or at least I’m on my way back. Last October live sort of exploded and I had to take a bit of a break. I got burned out due to stuff, mostly my wanting to do three full-time jobs at once — being a mum, my actual job as an information specialist, and a book reviewer — and as it turns out, that isn’t a healthy ambition, for me at least. I had to take a breather and since I can’t stop being a mum  and I can’t just not do my job, the blog became the thing that was put on the back burner for a month or two.  Read More …

Editor Query – Margrét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas

africanmonstersI love history, legends, myths, folklore, and fairy tales. As such I was surprised that I had completely missed the publication of European Monsters by Fox Spirit Books last year, when I learned about the imminent publication of the second book in that series, African Monsters. I was intrigued, so I asked its editors, Margrét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas whether I could interview them about this latest instalment in the Book of Monsters series. Luckily they said yes, so here we are. African Monsters was published earlier this month and can be obtained from various retailers. I do hope you’ll check African Monsters out, because looking at its table of contents it is bound to be a collection well worth your time.  Read More …

Author Query – J.M. Frey

jmfrey-theuntoldtaleNext week sees the publication of J.M. Frey’s latest novel The Untold Tale. It sounds as a great read and very fun and has received some great advance praise. Since I’m still on a review hiatus, I thought I’d ask J.M. if she’s let me interview her and she kindly agreed. I hope you enjoy the interview below in which J.M. tells us about her path to publication and about what exactly a fantropologist is.

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is J.M. Frey? 

It’s a human-shaped creature that identifies cisfemale. It really likes tea, scarves, warm socks, and Marvel films. It is most active during the night, as it prefers to write in the dark, and often sleeps very late during the daylight hours. It’s favorite habitats are hot tubs and beds with far too many pillows on it.  Read More …