Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson – Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Tade Thompson makes a triumphant return to science fiction with this unforgettable vision of humanity’s future in the chilling emptiness of space.

The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having travelled light years from home to bring one thousand sleeping souls to safety among the stars.

Some of the sleepers, however, will never wake – and a profound and sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel. Its skeleton crew are forced to make decisions that will have repercussions for all of humanity’s settlements – from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet of Bloodroot, to other far flung systems and indeed Earth itself.

About the Author

Tade Thompson is the author of Rosewater, which was the winner of the 2019 Arthur C. Clarke Award, the inaugural winner of the Nommo Award and a John W. Campbell finalist. His Shirley Jackson Award-shortlisted novella The Murders of Molly Southbourne has recently been optioned for screen adaptation. Born in London to Yoruba parents, he lives and works on the south coast of England.

Author Image from Goodreads

Praise for Tade Thompson

            ‘Readers looking for a smart sci-fi mystery should snap this up’ – Publishers Weekly on Far from the Light of Heaven

‘This series is going to be addictive. See you on the other side’ – Stylist on Rosewater

            ‘Hard-edged and utterly compelling’ – i newspaper on Rosewater

‘Exciting new SF is everywhere, with writers of Nigerian heritage making a particular splash: most notably Deji Bryce Olukotun and Hugo-winner Nnedi Okorafor. With this stellar debut, Thompson takes his rightful place in this company’ – Guardian on Rosewater

‘Hugely satisfying . . . a darkly beautiful gem’ – SFX on Rosewater

‘Smart. Gripping. Fabulous!’ – Ann Leckie on Rosewater

‘Mesmerising. There are echoes of Neuromancer and Arrival in here, but this astonishing debut is beholden to no-one’ – M. R. Carey on Rosewater

What I Thought

For fans of the Illuminae Files, Skyward, Aurora Cycle, The Martian, Firefly, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and Locked Door Mysteries.

We join the story with First mate Captain Michelle “Shell” Campion pre-mission, stuck in quarantine and saying goodbye to family. She lives in a time where human pilots are pretty much defunct and on board as a tick box exercise. The real Pilots are the AIs and they never go wrong – until they do! I loved the initial exchange between her and AI Ragtime and their discussion of poetry.

Woken from Dreamstate, Shell comes across a disturbing scene – one which when reading actually gave me the shivers – and she sends a distress call which investigator Fin is sent to respond to, despite us learning he’s been on gardening leave from work.

Already we know much about our two protagonists and their lives but also have many questions yet to answer – what made Shell volunteer to give up 20 years of her life? What trouble did Fin get in at work?

Some of the other point of view characters are introduced here too – only by name to start. One of them we are told we won’t be meeting but the ship’s AI – Ragtime – describes her as intense, yet another character refers to her as Odiferous so you just know she’ll make an appearance. But will she live up to her introduction?

Although it starts as a Locked Door as we get introduced more to the different characters and the universe the story becomes much more sprawling. With potential for more in this world though I’m unclear if this will be part of a series.

I found the author’s writing really accessible and engaging and how immediately real he made all of the characters feel – even the artificial ones. I will definitely be checking out his other work now.

If you liked any of the books/films/shows I mention above then I really recommend checking this one out.

Thanks to Tracey at Compulsive Readers and Orbit books for the gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review. Check out the rest of the tour here.

The Book of Uriel by Elyse Hoffman – The Write Reads Blog Tour – Book Review


About the Book

In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness…

Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real.

In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil.

With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death…even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger.

The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.


About the Author

Elyse Hoffman strives to tell historical tales with new twists: she loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written six works of Holocaust historical fiction: the five books of The Barracks of the Holocaust and The Book of Uriel.

Stay up to date with: FacebookTwitterBookBub, and Goodreads.

(From: https://project613publishing.com/)


What I Thought


This historical fantasy is set in Poland. It opens with pretty distressing scenes and moves on to meld the trauma of the Holocaust with Jewish folklore and fantasy and explores questions of humanity and righteousness.

The main characters Uriel and Uwe and Major Brandt are all fully realised, the two adults being suitably conflicted. The prose is beautiful and the plot is intriguing.

A couple of slight issues that may be because I read an Advanced and unedited copy. The chapters were really long and there was some head hopping in some of the scenes, switching back and forth between character POV.

But to me this was reminiscent of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, the Diary of Anne Frank, Pan’s Labyrinth and another film I can’t mention because it would be a spoiler. The blend of stark reality and fantasy adventure works well. Given the subject matter this is a fairly heavy read at times but the focus on the stories and mythology in The Book of Uriel adds a different layer of complexity.


Thanks to Dave at The Write Reads and the author for a gifted eARC for the purposes of an honest review. Do follow the rest of the tour using #TheBookOfUriel on Twitter/Instagram.

The Wanderer by Josie Williams – Blog Tour Character Q&A and Mini Review


Happy Publication Day to Josie Williams on The Wanderer out now from Firefly. Here’s my spot on the blog tour kicking things off with a character Q&A and a mini review.

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?

About the Author


Josie Williams is the pseudonym of bestselling author Kirsty Moseley, whose New Adult romances have sold over 860,000 copies in English, and whose first novel, the YA romance The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window, was an international bestseller translated into many languages. Josie has a large and loyal YA fanbase. She lives in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. @xJosieWilliamsx

Character Q&A


I wanted to find out more about Ryder and Maggie before the story starts so here are their answers at the age of 15


1. Do you believe in ghosts?

MAGGIE: I’m not sure. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it much. I guess, I would say there probably is some sort of afterlife, but what that is or if it’s ghosts or Heaven or reincarnation or what I don’t know.

RYDER: Nah, ghosts are made up to sell movies and books. Have you seen that programme Ghost Hunters? Man, people believe any old crap if they put it on TV.

2. What do you find attractive in someone?

MAGGIE: Um… there is this one boy that I find attractive. I guess it was his looks that first attracted me to him, but he’s also really funny, I like a good sense of humour. And, like, I want to be able to talk to them easily and it not be awkward. I guess it also helps if they have eyes you want to drown in.

RYDER: A type you mean? I don’t really have a type. I guess my last girlfriend had brown hair and eyes, tanned skin, you know the usual stuff, but I’m not really fussy. I just like someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, someone who can fit in with my friends and who likes me for me.

3. Tell us about your family.

MAGGIE: Well, it’s just me and my nan. I lost my mum a few years ago so Nan is all I have left now. She’s amazing, funny, kind, she supports and encourages me in everything I do. Though I don’t have the conventional family that others do, I count myself as lucky to have her.

RYDER: I actually have a big family. I’m one of three boys so it’s pretty hectic in my house—never a dull moment. My parents are great, my dad has never missed a rugby match of mine and is like a big kid half the time. My mum is a ride or die mum, she’s always in your corner. If I was in a fight, she’d be the one I’d call. Out of all of them, I’m probably closest to my eldest brother though. He just started Uni this year so I miss him now that he’s not home. He’s wicked smart and wants to be a doctor. He’s got his life all planned out, he’s an inspiration and my hero, though I’d never tell him or he’d get a big head about it. We’re all just pretty normal, to be honest,


4. What would you do to be noticed?

MAGGIE: Why would I want to be noticed? I’m happy just trudging along with my book in hand. The people that notice me are the ones I want in my life, I don’t want to have to do something out of the ordinary or force people to pay attention to me, those people aren’t really worth having notice you anyway.

RYDER: Noticed? Why wouldn’t I be noticed? I don’t understand the question.

5. Where would you like to be in 5 years?

MAGGIE: I guess I would still be at university by then? I want to do a degree in English and/or business. My ultimate goal is to own my own independent bookshop where people can come in and browse and there’s recommendations on each shelf, maybe a corner where kids can come and sit and find their love of reading. So I guess in five years I hope to be working towards that.

RYDER: Down the seafront drawing people for five quid a pop. Perfect.

What I Thought

I loved this. The characters of Maggie and Ryder are so compelling and it makes you really root for them. Maggie has certainly been through a lot in life and Ryder hasn’t had the easiest ride in the afterlife.

Giving me echoes of films Casper, Ghost and Everyday (by David Levithan) this book is perfect for this time of year and I challenge you not to fall for Maggie as hard as Ryder does.

I liked that the ethics of lots of aspects were explored too – stalking, body snatching, consent and so on – That’s not to say our two lovebirds act perfectly- they are teens falling in first love after all but there is a real humanity to both of them.

The side characters also feel super real and part of me hopes we might get more in this ‘world’ from author Josie Williams. 

Dealing with love, loss, grief and ghosts this is a perfect read for the season and now I want to go and watch a whole load of spooky films. I can’t believe I don’t own Casper in proper DVD so will be rectifying that asap! If you want to know why I picked Die Hard for the background and see if Maggie and Ryder’s 5 year plan comes true then you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

A huge thanks to Karen, Firefly and the author for the gifted book for the purposes of an honest review. Do check out the other spots on the tour – some fab fellow bloggers and superb humans taking part in this one.

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