James P Smythe – Way Down Dark

jamespsmythe-waydowndarkImagine a nightmare from which there is no escape.

Seventeen-year-old Chan’s ancestors left a dying Earth hundreds of years ago, in search of a new home. They never found one. 

This is a hell where no one can hide.

The only life that Chan’s ever known is one of violence, of fighting. Of trying to survive. 

This is a ship of death, of murderers and cults and gangs.

But there might be a way to escape. In order to find it, Chan must head way down into the darkness – a place of buried secrets, long-forgotten lies, and the abandoned bodies of the dead. 

This is Australia.

James P. Smythe is award-winning SF author, whose previous works came highly recommended by many of my SFF blogging friends. And while I always meant to read his books, I never got around to it, as I so often don’t these days. But with his first YA novel I decided I had to get in on the action and see whether I’d love his writing as much as so many of my friends do. After reading Way Down Dark the answer is a resounding yes. Chan’s tale is brilliant and the setting of the Australia was breathtaking. There is a huge twist in the second half of the book. It is hard to talk too much about the plot without giving spoilers so I will focus on the characters and the setting.  Read More …

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Recaps and Upfronts – July and August

RecapsEven though July was an excellent reading month, it has been a dismal reviewing month. Due to real life catching me out I had a lot of trouble with getting reviews written, posts prepared and interviews and guest posts scheduled. In fact, it was so bad that after the blog’s birthday, I had to take a break so I could make it to my holiday with my sanity intact. Happily, said holiday has now arrived and I’ve managed to remain sane—or at least as sane as I ever am. So let’s just take a look at what I managed to post on the blog and hope I’ll do better next month.  Read More …

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Blog Break

keyboardpauseIt feels a bit weird to post this right after the post celebrating A Fantastical Librarian’s 5th birthday, but it kind of just fell out that way. Life has been rather stressful here at Casa Librarian in the past few months and I’m feeling the strain somewhat. Add to that a week of broken nights due to a Noro-virused 5yo and the fact that our cat Mara managed to disappear and I’ve not felt very much like writing up reviews or work up interviews. I’m just that tired and wiped out. Thankfully it is only four more days before my holidays start and I get to rest up and relax for a bit. So with that I’ve decided to take a bit of a break till the end of the month and get through this last week of work without feeling I also have to work on the blog at night.

I just thought I’d give you a heads-up on why the silence in the past week and the coming one. See you next month!

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A Fantastical Librarian turns 5!

birthdayHalf a decade… It’s been half a decade since I started A Fantastical Librarian and I can’t believe I’m still here. Who would have thought I’d have so much to say about the books I’ve read? I certainly didn’t! A Fantastical Librarian has been a constant factor in my life through some hectic times, including having my second child, unexpectedly losing my father-in-law, which resulted in an unexpected house move with all the accompanying rigmarole. Having the blog to focus on at times was the best way to set all of the chaos aside.  Read More …

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Anticipated Reads (Summer-Autumn) 2015

2015In the past week and a half I’ve brought you my Anticipated Books for Summer/Autumn 2015 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 Claire McGowan’s The Silent Dead, Edward Cox’s second book The Cathedral of Known Things, Stephanie Saulter’s Regeneration, Rebecca Levene’s The Hunter’s Kind, and the final book in Snorri Kristjansson’s Valhalla series Path of Gods.

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?  Read More …

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Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: YA October-December

2015Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. YA books have become a steady 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 last 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!  Read More …

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David Hair – The Pyre

davidhair-thepyreMandore, Rajasthan, 769 AD: Ravindra-Raj, the evil sorcerer-king, devises a deadly secret ritual, where he and his seven queens will burn on his pyre, and he will rise again with the powers of Ravana, demon-king of the epic Ramayana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of Aram Dhoop, the court poet.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 2010: At the site of ancient Mandore, teenagers Vikram, Amanjit, Deepika and Rasita meet and realize that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries, and fight an ancient battle . . . one more time.

I missed out on reading David Hair’s previous series The Moontide Quartet and I was determined to get in on his next series. The Return of Ravana sounded amazing; the mix of mythical retelling and modern-day setting really appealed to me. The Return of Ravana isn’t actually a new series, the series was previously published by Penguin India. Jo Fletcher Books is rereleasing it with new covers, new titles and in the case of The Pyre a slightly tweaked text. The Pyre is the first book in the quartet and I was stoked to get the chance to read it. And after all the good things I’d heart about Hair’s writing, The Pyre definitely didn’t disappoint.  Read More …

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Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: YA September

2015Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. YA books have become a steady 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. September is such a huge month, it got an entire post to itself! 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!  Read More …

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Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: YA July-August

2015Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. YA books have become a permanent 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!  Read More …

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Author Query – Stephanie Saulter

stephaniesaulter-regenerationOne of my favourite series of the past few years, Stephanie Saulter’s ®evolution series, is concluding next month with the release of its final instalment Regeneration. Saulter’s debut, Gemsigns, blew me away two years ago and earlier this year I was kicking myself for not reading the second book, Binary, sooner. I won’t be making the same mistake with Regeneration, so look for a review for it soon. Meanwhile I wanted to take this opportunity to ask Stephanie some questions about her experiences writing the ®evolution series and what’s next on her docket. I hope you’ll find her answers as interesting as I did. And if you haven’t checked out Stephanie’s books before, you’ve been missing out. Now’s the chance to catch up on Gemsigns and Binary, before Regeneration hits the shelves.  Read More …

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