Monthly Archives: May 2021
About the Book
This high-stakes space-based adventure will be perfect for those who loved Children of Time, also by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans such as Idris – who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared and Idris and his kind became obsolete.
Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.
Praise for Adrian Tchaikovsky:
‘Brilliant science fiction’ – James McAvoy on Children of Time
‘Full of sparkling, speculative invention’ – Stephen Baxter on The Doors of Eden
Shards of Earth is the first thrilling instalment in the Final Architecture trilogy – by the Arthur C. Clarke award-winning novelist Adrian Tchaikovsky.
About the Author
Adrian Tchaikovsky is the author of the acclaimed Shadows of the Apt fantasy series, from the first bbq volume, Empire In Black and Gold in 2008 to the final book, Seal of the Worm, in 2014, with a new series and a standalone science fiction novel scheduled for 2015. He has been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award and a British Fantasy Society Award. In civilian life he is a lawyer, gamer and amateur entomologist.
What I Thought
This is the first book by this author I’ve read. When I read the synopsis one aspect of it put me in mind of Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward which I loved.
The cast of characters and interaction between them is the strength of this and I got Becky Chambers/Firefly/Six of Crows vibes with the ragtag crew. And please tell me I can’t have been the only one picturing King Rollo with the character Rollo!
The mix of human and alien characters working and living together was enjoyable and I love that we had non humanoid characters such as:
“Medvig didn’t dress up. They were a three-legged armless frame, with a head purely for the convenience of dealing with humans.”
There is quite a lot of world building information given up front and what I will say is that the book takes more concentration than I currently possess to get the most out of, so it’s definitely one I’m planning to re-read – I might even get the audiobook.
The language used is rich and detailed and I can see the line ‘a swarm of pinpricks’ as an new insult – a la Shakespeare.
As with all science fiction there is commentary and relevance to our current lives and this line in the Prologue felt very topical “ Useless, surely. Might as well rely on thoughts and prayers.”
I liked the back history between the warrior woman Solace and enhanced human Idris and the uncertainty of rekindling a past relationship.
It’s a pacy read, with a satisfying ending and a perfect set up for book two.
I’ll definitely be reading more by this author, so until the next book is released which of his other books do you recommend I start with.
Thank you to Dave at The Write Reads, Black Crow PR and Tor for the gifted e copy for the purposes of an honest review.
Things to Do Before the End of the World by Emily Barr – #TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour Book Review
About the book
A timely and powerful coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks.
What would you do when you hear the news that humans have done such damage to the earth that there might only be a limited amount of safe air left – a year’s worth at most?
You’d work through your bucket list, heal rifts, do everything you’ve never been brave enough to do before?
Olivia is struggling to do any of this. What it is she truly wants to do? Who does she want to be?
Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for a long, hot last summer, Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having an effect on her.
But Natasha definitely isn’t everything she first appears to be.
About the author
“I started out working as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. I managed, somehow, to get commissioned to go travelling for a year, and came home with the beginnings of a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, a thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and I have since written eleven more novels for adults, one novella, and three book for Young Adults, published in the UK and around the world. I live in Cornwall with my husband Craig and our children.”
What I thought
This book is a bit of an enigma, a little like the character that bursts into Olivia’s world; Natasha. It seems to be about one thing – the end of the world – but ends up being about something different. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it depends what you are expecting. Go into this book with an open mind and you will find a classic YA tale of finding yourself and your place in the world.
The two main characters, Olivia (Libby) and Natasha are well rounded and the fledgling relationship between them is at once transforming and unsettling.
There is a mystery within a mystery here with wondering what Natasha wants to the mention of a name that makes Olivia’s mother uncomfortable and trust definitely plays an important role in the plot.
Each chapter title is a thing to do before the world ends and at the start Natasha challenges Libby to do ten things, however that device became a bit throwaway at the end.
I loved the street magic/physic hustling they did and could picture those scenes vividly. And the middle portion does feel like a more classic road trip adventure.
There is also a f/f love story as a sub plot. The only thing I’d have maybe liked to see was Libby be more active in that relationship – and perhaps in the story overall, although the conclusion she comes to about herself was satisfying and it was nice to see acceptance of self over a complete transformation.
The ending felt a little rushed and the mystery reveal was quite telling – a little like the investigator announcing to the room who’d done it and why.
Overall strong characterisation with a mixed plot; the end of the world aspect was more of a backdrop although I found the prospect of how the world was to end, identified in the first chapter, pretty horrifying, and that gave the entire book a fraught tone.
Thanks to Dave at The Write Reads and the publisher for the e-arc for the purposes of an honest review. The book publishes on 13th May 2021. Do check out what the other bloggers thought too.
Publishing October 7th 2021 from Firefly Press is Josie Williams debut YA romance The Wanderer. With an added hint of the paranormal this is one I am definitely keen to read.
And here it is. The glorious cover🎆
About the Book
Nothing can stand in the way of love, not even death.
Alone in the world, Maggie only has her visits to her nan to look forward to. When the most popular boy in school saves her life she has no idea why he is suddenly acting like a different person.
Stuck between life and death, Ryder spends his days wandering around unseen by the living. When the girl he loves walks into danger, Ryder breaks the number one Wanderer’s rule: he saves her life.
But how can a Wanderer and a living girl ever reach their happily ever after?
For those who enjoy heart-wrenching teenage romance with a touch of the paranormal, The Wanderer is a moving and compelling YA romance dealing with first love and growing up.
Will this book be wandering onto your TBR?