Thomas Sweterlitsch – Tomorrow and Tomorrow

thomassweterlitsch-tomorrowandtomorrowIt is ten years since the attack that reduced Pittsburgh to ashes. Today all that remains is the Archive: an interactive digital record of the city and its people.

John Dominic Blaxton is a survivor, one of the ‘lucky ones’ who escaped the blast. Crippled by the loss of his wife and unborn daughter, he spends his days immersed in the Archive with the ghosts of yesterday.

It is there he finds the digital record of a body: a woman, lying face down, half buried in mud. Who is she … and why is someone hacking into the system and deleting the record of her seemingly unremarkable life? This question will drag Dominic from the darkest corners of the past into a deadly and very present nightmare.

When I started Tomorrow and Tomorrow, I was a bit unsure as to what to expect. Was it a murder mystery? An SF novel? A dystopia? It turned out the book is all three. Thomas Sweterlitsch delivers an immersive and thrilling tale of a man whose barely patched-together existence comes crumbling down around him when he discovers a murder in the City Archive that its perpetrators would rather stay buried with the city it happened in. The narrative is fascinating, though at times a little hard to follow. But staying on its tracks paid off beautifully in the end.  Continue reading »

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In the news: Cover for Joshua Winning’s Ruins

joshuawinningOne review copy that has been languishing on my digital to read shelf for way too long is Joshua Winning’s Sentinel. One of the reasons I was drawn to accept a review copy of Sentinel was its cover. I love the style of it. And add in the promise of underground societies, evil forces, and a teen trying to figure it all out and I was sold.   Continue reading »

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Kellerman Reread: When the Bough Breaks

kellerman-jonathan-br-when-the-bough-breaks-6830-pSeven-year-old Melody Quinn is the only witness of a horrific double murder but she can’t or won’t talk about what she saw. Child psychologist Alex Delaware is brought in to try and get through to her and to the truth of what happened that night. But it soon becomes clear that Melody isn’t just traumatised by the murders.

Alex is only too aware that LA is a city which spawns ugliness. But is he prepared for the seemingly bottomless pit of perversion and violence that he’s about to uncover?

The first time I read Jonathan Kellerman’s When the Bough Breaks I was probably around fifteen and the last time somewhere around twenty-five. In between I’d reread the series – up to the point it was published at time of reread – several times, but from then till now it has been about a decade. So all in all the timing of this reread seems to be serendipitous to say the least, as I’m now thirty-five. As it’s a reread I’ll be focusing on the experience of rereading the book in addition to the usual review elements such as plot and characters.  Continue reading »

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Guest Post: Jamie Schultz on Premonitions, chronic illness, and the importance of friendship

jamieschultz-premonitionsLast year I read and reviewed Jamie Schultz’s debut urban fantasy Premonitions and really enjoyed it. I was initially drawn to the Hustle and Leverage vibe I got from the blurb, but I was hooked by the characters pretty fast and had a great time with the story. There was one element that had really stuck out to me regarding Karyn’s ability. As I put it in my review: “I liked how Schultz envisioned this power and the way that it debilitated Karyn’s ability to function normally and made her dependent on medicine to cope. It felt like an interesting parallel to having a medical condition that can be managed through drugs, such as epilepsy or diabetes, or perhaps more closely to something like schizophrenia.” So I asked Jamie whether he’d write me a post elaborating on his ideas behind the way he formed Karyn’s abilities. He was kind enough to say yes and sent me the following post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Continue reading »

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Kellerman Reread: An Introduction

jonathankellermanJonathan Kellerman has been publishing books for over three decades. He is best known for his crime series featuring Dr Alex Delaware. Delaware is a child psychologist who is drawn into consulting for the LAPD due to his friendship with Detective Milo Sturgis. Delaware’s chosen profession is one that Kellerman is very familiar with as he himself is also a child psychologist and still holds a chair as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology. The Alex Delaware series is long-running: the first one came out in 1985 – when I was six, people! – and the thirtieth, Motive, will be out later this year. Continue reading »

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Stephanie Saulter – Binary

Stephanie Saulter - BinaryZavcka Klist has reinvented herself: no longer the ruthless gemtech enforcer determined to keep the gems they created enslaved, she’s now all about transparency and sharing the fruits of Bel’Natur’s research to help gems and norms alike.

Neither Aryel Morningstar nor Dr Eli Walker are convinced that Klist or Bel’Natur can have changed so dramatically, but the gems have problems that only a gemtech can solve. In exchange for their help, digital savant Herran agrees to work on Klist’s latest project: reviving the science that drove mankind to the brink of extinction.

Then confiscated genestock disappears from a secure government facility, and the more DI Varsi investigates, the closer she comes to the dark heart of Bel’Natur and what Zavcka Klist is really after – not to mention the secrets of Aryel Morningstar’s own past…

When I received a review copy for Binary I was super stoked as its predecessor Gemsigns topped my 2013 favourite debuts list, by a mile I may add. And then I was hit by a gigantic case of book fear—the fear you get after being swept away by an author’s book that their next book couldn’t possibly live up to your expectations. And thus Binary languished on my to-read-pile, until last Christmas, when I gave you my heart kicked myself in the behind and told myself to get it in gear and pick up this book I’d wanted to read so badly before it was out. Thank you past-me, because I have to admit that Binary was fantastic and every bit as good as I could have wished for.  Continue reading »

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Recaps and Upfronts – December and January

RecapsSo I’m a bit recapped out after the past month, so I’m going to keep this short. December was a manic month on the blog. As the overview below shows. I’m super glad that I got to catch up on my reviews backlog, so I’m once again reading and reviewing in tandem, instead of taking a bit to write them up. December was an all around good month and I had a lovely Christmas break, but I’m also glad to get back into the usual groove of things. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened on the blog last month.  Continue reading »

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Colette McBeth – The Life I Left Behind

colettemcbeth-thelifeileftbehindEveryone tells her she’s a survivor. No-one knows she’s dead inside.

She’s dead but she’s the only one who knows what really happened;

What your friends have said.

What the police missed.

Who attacked you.

So if you want the truth who else are you going to turn to?

Confession time: I’ve had a review copy of Colette McBeth’s Precious Thing sitting in my to read pile for over a year. And every time I picked it up and put it down because there were all of these SFF and historical fiction titles I wanted/needed to review first. However, when I visited Headline in October, they basically told me I had to read The Life I Left Behind, as it was just that good. And since I’d resolved to read more crime books this year – as I loved the ones I read last year so much, I thought McBeth’s second might be a good title to start 2015 with. It was, because The Life I Left Behind was an enthralling read, one I just couldn’t put down and which kept me awake long after I turned off the lights.  Continue reading »

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Upfronts 2015: Bookish Resolutions

2015Happy New Year! I hope your 2015 will be filled with happiness, joy, and good books. As every year, resolutions will be made, even though many of them won’t last beyond next Monday, and I’m once more setting my own bloggy resolutions. Last year I did okay, but I’m hoping to achieve more of my goals this year. To keep me honest, I’m also posting them here, so you guys can kick me in the behind if I fail dramatically. So take a look at my bookish resolutions for 2015.  Continue reading »

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Rebecca Levene – Smiler’s Fair

rebeccalevene-smilersfairYron the moon god died, but now he’s reborn in the false king’s son. His human father wanted to kill him, but his mother sacrificed her life to save him. He’ll return one day to claim his birthright. He’ll change your life.

He’ll change everything.

Smiler’s Fair: the great moving carnival where any pleasure can be had, if you’re willing to pay the price. They say all paths cross at Smiler’s Fair. They say it’ll change your life. For five people, Smiler’s Fair will change everything.

In a land where unimaginable horror lurks in the shadows, where the very sun and moon are at war, five people – Nethmi, the orphaned daughter of a murdered nobleman, who in desperation commits an act that will haunt her forever. Dae Hyo, the skilled warrior, who discovers that a lifetime of bravery cannot make up for a single mistake. Eric, who follows his heart only to find that love exacts a terrible price. Marvan, the master swordsman, who takes more pleasure from killing than he should. And Krish, the humble goatherd, with a destiny he hardly understands and can never accept – will discover just how much Smiler’s Fair changes everything.

In a land where unimaginable horror lurks in the shadows, where the very sun and moon are at war, these five people will discover who they are — and who they’re willing to become.

When Hodder & Stoughton announced their acquisition of the The Hollow Gods trilogy, I thought it sounded amazing and as the first reviews started rolling in I couldn’t wait to actually read it, as some of my favourite reviewers loved it. And once again my trust in them was proven right, because Smiler’s Fair was an amazing book. It is epic, it is grim – the prologue is just brutal – it is complex, it has a fascinating world and slips in elements of diversity almost without calling attention to it.  Continue reading »

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