Today I’m stoked to be able to share the cover for the final book in Kim Curran’s Shifter series, Delete. I loved the first two books in the series, Shift and Control, and I can’t wait to see how Scott’s story ends. To refresh your memories, here are the covers for the first two books:
By 7 March, 2014
Posted in article, science fiction, YA
The Great Spa sits on the edge of London, a structure visible from space. The power of Britain on the world stage rests in its monopoly on ‘The Treatment’, a medical procedure which transforms the richest and most powerful into a state of permanent physical youth. The Great Spa is the place where the newly young immortals go to revitalise their aged souls.
In this most secure of facilities, a murder of one of the guests threatens to destabilise the new order, and DCI Oates of the Metropolitan police is called in to investigate. In a single day, Oates must unravel the secrets behind the Treatment and the long-ago disappearance of its creator, passing through a London riven with disorder and corruption. As a night of widespread rioting takes hold of the city, he moves towards a climax which could lead to the destruction of the Great Spa, his own ruin, and the loss of everything he holds most dear.
A science-fictional crime novel set in a near-future London. I was sold on reading The Happier Dead, novelist and play-wright Ivo Stourton’s first SF novel, by those elements alone. Add some fascinating thought exercises about immortality, memory, and morality to that mix and The Happier Dead was a novel that was equal parts riveting action and thought-provoking ideas. Although the ending bothered me somewhat in its sudden shift away from our protagonist Oates, I very much enjoyed this book, both for its story and its prose. Continue reading
By 25 February, 2014
Posted in review, science fiction
Is the world doomed to an eternity of war and hardship?
Inside the Dome, Partridge has taken his father’s place as leader of the Pures who dwell there. His struggle has led him here, intent upon bringing down the Dome from the inside, with the help of a secret resistance force. But things are not simple from his new position of power and he finds himself tempted by his father’s words: perhaps if the world is to survive it needs the Dome – and Partridge – to rule it…
As Partridge’s resolve weakens, Pressia and Bradwell remain outside the Dome, continuing to piece together the clues left to them from the time before the Detonations. It is their hope that they will be able to heal the Wretches, and free them from their monstrous fusings and the Dome’s oppression once and for all. But everything depends, too, on Partridge. Separated by distance and history, can they still trust their friend and ally? Or is the world doomed to an eternity of war and hardship?
I loved Pure and Fuse, and I was beyond excited to get an ARC for the trilogy’s concluding volume Burn. It is a fitting conclusion to this bleak view of the future and human nature. If Pure and Fuse were bleak and bleaker, then Burn was bleakest and I found myself wondering how on earth Baggott was going to pull off a satisfactory ending, if not a happy one. But Burn provides a fitting conclusion to the tale started in Pure and while it may not be a Disney-style happy ending, it is an ending that leaves us with hope, hope for the characters we’ve become attached to and hope for a better world. Obviously as this is the last book in the series there will be spoilers for the previous books. If you haven’t read those and want to remain unspoilt: Beware, here be spoilers! Continue reading
By 20 February, 2014
Posted in review, science fiction, YA
Seventeen year-old Riven comes from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, a parallel world to Earth. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory. Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier and in a race against time to bring Caden home, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?
The cover for Amalie Howard’s The Almost Girl really caught my attention when it was launched and when I read the blurb I looked forward to the chance of reading this. When I started the book I was a bit disconcerted to get a huge Terminator vibe from the book. Not that the specifics of the two are very similar, apart from Riven being sent from a parallel world that felt very futuristic and where there had been an AI war, but it did remind me of it. However, this vibe quickly faded and then I was just sucked into the story and didn’t emerge, or should I say evert, until I finished the book. Continue reading
By 24 January, 2014
Posted in review, science fiction, YA
Junk’s sister has been stolen. Snatched from her bed in the dead of night, Ambeline doesn’t stand a chance.
No one believes Junk saw a monster take his sister. No one believes he’s not to blame.
So begins Junk’s quest to find Ambeline’s kidnapper. His journey will take him to a future world where animal species have evolved, and where the cult of the League of Sharks – the cult that stole Junk’s sister – is etched into folklore…
The League of Sharks is a fun YA novel about a time-traveling teen. The premise of the book is insane: time-travelling shark men? How on earth was Logan going to make that work? But the book also sounded insanely entertaining and it was. However, no matter how much it entertained me, The League of Sharks is very much the equivalent of a big summer popcorn film. One you enjoy hugely, but you shouldn’t ponder too closely or critically afterwards, otherwise you’ll break its magic. Something that is distinctly difficult if you are to write a review for a book. As such, even if this review might be quite critical in places, one thing that should be remembered at all times, reading this book was just plain fun. Continue reading
Alana Quick is the best damned sky surgeon in Heliodor City, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills. When the desperate crew of a cargo vessel stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away. Maybe her boldness will land her a long-term gig on the crew. But the Tangled Axon proves to be more than star-watching and plasma coils. The chief engineer thinks he’s a wolf. The pilot fades in and out of existence. The captain is all blond hair, boots, and ego . . . and Alana can’t keep her eyes off her. But there’s little time for romance: Nova’s in danger and someone will do anything–even destroying planets–to get their hands on her.
Whenever Jacqueline Koyanagi’s debut Ascension is talked about, the first thing that comes up is the fact that it has lots of elements so sorely lacking from a lot of genre fiction – LGBT people, people of colour, people with disabilities – united in its female protagonist. This raised expectations highs for the story, expectations that the book certainly met. I had a lot of fun with this book. Alana is a great protagonist and I loved the themes of love and acceptance, both of others and yourself that Konayagi wove through the narrative. In addition, there is a seriously steamy romance, which I really loved. Continue reading
By 2 January, 2014
Posted in review, romance, science fiction
UFO2 is the second annual collection of humorous science fiction and fantasy short stories. Inside you’ll find:
- A golem on an interstellar cruise ship
– Dragon-taunting for fun and profit
– Time travel gone really wrong
– Cubicle farm wizardry
– Alien behemoths in Central Park
And much, much more!
Last year I read and enjoyed the first Unidentified Funny Objects anthology. When Alex Shvartsman approached me about reviewing the second volume, I immediately said yes, curious to see what he’d found this year. I wasn’t disappointed. There are fewer stories than last year, though they are longer and there are repeat appearances and new big names. I had a great time with the book, but there were some stories that didn’t work as well for me as others did. Continue reading
By 29 December, 2013
Posted in review, science fiction
This outstanding classic of science fiction, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards when first published, is the story of Winter, an Earth-like planet with two major differences: conditions are semi-arctic even at the warmest time of the year, and the inhabitants are all of the same sex. Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they have no knowledge of space travel or of life beyond their own world. And when a strange envoy from space brings news of a vast coalition of planets which they are invited to join, he is met with fear, mistrust and disbelief. . .
The Left Hand of Darkness is a genuine science fiction classic that, depending on whom you ask, is part of science fiction canon. Being the SF n00b that I am, I hadn’t read any of Le Guin’s books before, other than her Earthsea novels, which are fantasy. But even those took me two tries to read and The Left Hand of Darkness is the sort of old-school SF I’ve never tried, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to get it. However, having discovered that I do enjoy “modern” SF in the last few years, I was hopeful that I’d like this one as well. The Left Hand of Darkness also intrigued me as it’s been referenced again and again in conversations about Ann Leckie’s much praised book Ancillary Justice. So when The Left Hand of Darkness was announced as the next Hodder Review Project title, I was pretty stoked. Continue reading
By 24 December, 2013
Posted in review, science fiction
In the past two and a half weeks I’ve brought you my Anticipated Books for Winter/Spring 2014 and today I bring you the fifteen books I anticipate reading the most in the coming six months. As usual it’s a list of fifteen, as there are just too many good books to choose from and I always have a hard time getting the list down to the more usual ten books. Also as per usual, I’ve excluded many books I’m really looking forward to reading right out of the gate, for example all the new instalments in series I’ve been reading. If I loved the previous book in the series, it’s a good bet I’ll want to read the next one. Some examples of these are Tom Pollock’s final book in The Skyscraper Throne trilogy, Our Lady of the Streets, Douglas Hulick’s long-awaited second book Sworn in Steel and Stephanie Saulter’s Binary, the second book in her ®Evolution series. I also left off repeat offenders who also made the list last time, such as Mark Alder’s Son of the Morning. So below in alphabetical order by author is my list, with a little explanation of why I really can’t wait to read these books. Do you agree or would you have chosen differently from the lists I posted recently? Continue reading
We’re almost there! Welcome to the penultimate post in my Anticipated Books series for the first half of 2014. Today I’m sharing the second half 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