Irregularity is about the tension between order and chaos in the 17th and 18th centuries. Men and women from all walks of life dedicated themselves to questioning, investigating, classifying and ordering the natural world. They promoted scientific thought, skepticism and intellectual rigour in the face of superstition, intolerance and abuses of power. These brave thinkers dedicated themselves and their lives to the idea that the world followed rules that human endeavour could uncover… but what if they were wrong?
Irregularity is about the attempts to impose our order on nature’s chaos, the efforts both successful and unsuccessful to better know the world.
From John Harrison to Ada Lovelace, Isaac Newton to Émilie du Châtelet, these stories showcase the Age of Reason in a very different light.
Reading Irregularity, Jurassic London’s sixth full-length anthology and the second edited solo by Jared Shurin, was a strange reading experience, as I’ve read a lot of seventeenth and eighteenth century literature at university. Much of that was in the Penguin Classic editions (the ones with a black spine and a red bar at the top) and while the cover is in no way reminiscent of those, the font used for Irregularity really resembles the look of those editions. Add to that the fact that a lot of the stories are written in the same language and with the same sensibility as those classics and for a moment it seemed as if I’d traveled back in time to my student days. Thankfully, reading Irregularity in no way felt like an essay assignment, in fact it was fantastic fun. Continue reading
By 19 August, 2014
Posted in fantasy, horror, review, science fiction
We’re almost there! Welcome to the penultimate post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2014. Today I’m sharing the third and last part of my picks for books published for the YA crowd. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them! Continue reading
Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2014. YA books have become a big part of my reading diet. Some of my favourite authors are writing for this age group and there are just so many great titles out there. Consequently, I’ve had to spread my YA picks over three posts. This is the second one. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them! Continue reading
Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2014. YA books have become a big part of my reading diet. Some of my favourite authors are writing for this age group and there are just so many great titles out there. Consequently, I’ve had to spread my YA picks over three posts. This is the first one. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them! Continue reading
Welcome to the third post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2014. Today I bring you both my science fiction and my horror picks. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them! Continue reading
By 21 June, 2014
Posted in article, horror, science fiction
London, 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society, and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Unnerved, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a secret world at the margins populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of one of the country’s preeminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the most ambitious, and most dangerous, men in England.
Lauren Owen’s debut The Quick has drawn a lot of comparison to Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. And there is certainly merit to the comparison: both deal with a quest to defeat an ancient evil, both of them are historical thrillers featuring vampires, and both are rather hefty tomes. For me, however, the comparison is most apt as regards my reaction to their respective endings—I felt both endings lessened the impact of their narrative and left me rather bemused and disappointed. That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy The Quick, because I did and there is much to recommend the novel, such as Owen’s prose, the atmosphere the book oozes, and the relationships between several of the main characters. Continue reading
Yesterday I reviewed Alison Littlewood’s excellent The Unquiet House. A deliciously creepy story that has made me want to read her previous books asap. So I’m delighted to be able to share this guest post from Alison with you today. I asked Alison about what she loves about writing horror and who some of her favourite female horror writers are. You can find her response below. Get ready to add books to your wish list, I know I did!
*** Continue reading
By 29 April, 2014
Posted in guest post, horror
Mire House is dreary, dark, cold and infested with midges. But when Emma Dean inherits it from a distant relation, she immediately feels a sense of belonging.
It isn’t long before Charlie Mitchell, grandson of the original owner, appears claiming that he wants to seek out his family. But Emma suspects he’s more interested in the house than his long-lost relations.
And when she starts seeing ghostly figures, Emma begins to wonder: is Charlie trying to scare her away, or are there darker secrets lurking in the corners of Mire House?
I’ve wanted to read Alison Littlewood’s books ever since reading reviews for her debut novel A Cold Season. For some reason or another, I never picked up that one or her second novel A Path of Needles, despite having review copies for both of them. But after meeting Alison at WFC last year and reading the synopsis for The Unquiet House, I was determined to read it come publication time and here we are. What I found inside its pages must be one of the creepiest novels I’ve read in ages, together with Sarah Lotz’s The Three. I read this book with my heart in my throat for large swathes of the story and it even invaded my dreams. So what made this book so successfully creepy? Continue reading
By 28 April, 2014
Posted in horror, review
They’re here … The boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there’s so many … They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us. Pastor Len warn them that the boy he’s not to??–
The last words of Pamela May Donald (1961 – 2012)
Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.
There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged. And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone. A message that will change the world.
The message is a warning.
Sarah Lotz is one half of the writing duo S.L. Grey, whose short fiction I love, and one half of Lily Herne, whose YA fiction I still need to read. But based on her writing as part of S.L. Grey, when I saw the announcement for The Three, her first solo novel, I knew I had to read it. It sounded deliciously creepy and when the book trailer was launched, I was only more excited for the book, something that doesn’t happen very often, as book trailers usually aren’t my thing. But even with those high expectations Lotz managed to surprise and amaze me, not just with the narrative The Three tells, but also with the form she’s chosen and how well everything fits together. Continue reading
By 20 April, 2014
Posted in horror, review, thriller
When Daniel Routh, together with friends Jill and Greg, and little brother Mikey, discover a body washed up on the beach after a storm, it’s one of the most exciting things ever to happen on the island of Shorepoint. And, as the man in question slowly recovers, he befriends the inhabitants of this small fishing community one by one. Only Daniel suspects something might be wrong with the newcomer, who cannot remember who he is, nor how he came to be there. To start with, this John Dee (as they label him, short for Doe) brings prosperity and happiness with him, but it isn’t long before the tide begins to turn. Then John begins to worm his way into Daniel’s own family, trying to take the place of his late father, and the teenager knows something must be done. Little does Daniel realise that he’s now involved in one of the most ancient conflicts of all time; one that might decide the fate not only of Shorepoint, but of the entire world.
This is going to be a shorter than usual review for me since the book is a short one and there are a number of things that I can’t discuss without giving spoilers for the book’s big reveal. P.B. Kane, a pen name for Paul Kane, moves into the YA market for the first time with The Rainbow Man. And it’s an interesting story to make an entrance there, as it’s a slow-building story as mentioned in the introduction by Rachel Caine, in a way I haven’t seen it done very often in YA fiction. Continue reading
By 13 February, 2014
Posted in horror, mystery, review, YA