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Book Review

The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

This Christmas a member of the family introduced me to NCIS. For those who have yet to discover this long-running US-based TV show it's a police-procedural series that follows the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. Until this time I hadn't even known such an organisation existed, not to mention the fact that most of the show seems to be based on land, not sea.

Why do I mention this? Coincidentally one of the first books I pick up after watching this show is The Gone World...

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review written by Ant on Tuesday 6th February 2018
Book Review

After Atlas by Emma Newman

After Atlas by Emma Newman

After Atlas is Newman’s follow up to her science fiction debut, Planetfall. This story is not a sequel, instead it focuses on our future Earth, that has been left behind by the colonists on the Atlas mission.

This aftermath is the setting for a murder mystery plot involving a selection of those left behind by their relatives who went into space. Our narrator is Carlos Moreno, son of one of the colonists, who was left behind as a child with his father, while his mother disappeared ...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Sunday 4th February 2018
Book Review

Salems Lot by Stephen King

Salems Lot by Stephen King

Salem's Lot was Kings second published novel, following on from his success with Carrie. Written shortly after King moved to Maine (the bulk of the story was actually written before Carrie), it follows the writer Ben Mears as he moves back to the small town of Jerusalem's Lot (known locally as Salem's Lot, a fictional small town in Maine). Ben spent part of his Childhood in Salem's Lot and from the outside, little seems to have changed.

That includes the derelict pro...

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review written by Ant on Monday 29th January 2018
Book Review

Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds

Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds

Elysium Fire is the sequel to Aurora Rising (also known as The Prefect), set in Reynold's Revelation Space universe but before events of his previous novels. Like Aurora Rising, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

It's the 25th century (with no Buck Rogers in sight) and humanity has, in many ways, moved on significantly from the Trumpocalypse / raging commercialism of the 21st century. The Glitter Band is a collection of ten-thousand habitats orbiting the planet Yellowsto...

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review written by Ant on Wednesday 24th January 2018
Book Review

Aurora Rising by Alastair Reynolds

Aurora Rising by Alastair Reynolds

Aurora Rising is a stand-alone novel written within the authors Revelation Space universe, set before other novels and before the cataclysmic event of the Melding Plague.

It's worth noting that Aurora Rising was published in 2007 as The Prefect. Reynolds fan's who are looking for a new book will need to wait for the sequel, Elysium Fire which is out in a few days. Aurora Rising was nominated for the Locus Award and BSFA for Best Novel back in 2007. In my opinion only loosing...

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review written by Ant on Monday 22nd January 2018
Book Review

The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

On the surface, this post-apocalyptic tale of infection, nuclear fallout and scattered, savage humanity is no different from the many others that have gone before it. But what saves it from being just another drop in the great maelstrom of dystopian novels is the author’s taught and affecting story-telling of one girl’s struggle to come to terms with her place in an uncertain new world.

Told vividly through flashbacks, Johnson’s set-up is unveiled through the story’s narrato...

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review written by Alice Wybrew on Sunday 21st January 2018
Book Review

Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis by Andy Weir

The global success of The Martian and its subsequent film adaptation, catapulted Andy Weir into the public eye. Whatever he chose to write next was always going to draw attention.

Set in our near future, Artemis is the story of Jazz Bashara, a young girl living on the moon. Struggling to make a life for herself, Jazz becomes embroiled in a criminal sabotage operation, placing herself, her friends and the whole colony in peril. Her experiences teach her more than she might ever want ...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 17th January 2018
Book Review

Blackbird by ND Gomes

Blackbird by ND Gomes

It’s New Year’s Eve when the beloved and popular Olivia goes missing on the Orkney island that was her home. Of all her friends and family, it’s her little sister Alex, who takes it the hardest.

Blackbird is the claustrophobic account of Alex’s life immediately following her sister’s disappearance. Her search for answers, the reasons behind those she finds and her journey at the hands of grief are all depicted in excruciating first–person detail.

It’s an imp...

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review written by Alice Wybrew on Sunday 31st December 2017
Book Review

Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Blade Bound is the final instalment of Chloe Neill’s urban fantasy Chicagoland Vampire series.  It can be read as a standalone novel, but I recommend you start earlier in the series to get full enjoyment, reading them in reverse order will result in significant plot spoilers. 

The protagonist, Merit, is the Sentinel and protector of Cadogan House, a house of Vampires, perhaps reminiscent of a college in the UK or fraternity house in the US, but with daylight shutters and bags of...

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review written by Karen Fishwick on Saturday 16th December 2017
Book Review

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

Zoe’s Tale is one of the Old Man War series of books by John Scalzi and covers the same time period and events as The Last Colony, (the previous book in the series) but from a different character’s perspective.  Despite this, it can be read as a standalone novel. 

Zoe is moving to a new colony with her adopted family. She’s not an ordinary girl by our standards or by those of her peers.Zoe’s unique circumstances mean that she takes with her two alien bodyguards and the ho...

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review written by Karen Fishwick on Wednesday 13th December 2017
Book Review

Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

In short, this is a story set in a fantasy version of European renaissance including trade, religion and politics. You can draw parallels between different countries and religions in the book to real world versions of the same. 

But simply describing a book in this way is somewhat lazy and misses the author’s intention. 

The story is grounded in and inspired by real world history and culture, which gives colour to the story, so places and people seem familiar to the re...

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review written by Karen Fishwick on Sunday 10th December 2017
Book Review

Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium by Paul Kidby

Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium by Paul Kidby

Paul Kidby was Pratchett's artist of choice and once described his lively, colourful illustrations as:

The closest anyone's got to how I see the characters

He's been drawing Discworld for over fifteen years, including the superbly illustrated Last Hero, not to mention The Art of Discworld and Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book. Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium collects the finest of his discworld illustrations, including 40 pieces tha...

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review written by Ant on Friday 8th December 2017
Book Review

And I Darken by Kiersten White

And I Darken by Kiersten White

This book, by Kiersten White, is a gender flipped historically based story of the early life of Vlad the Impaler or in this case, Lada  Dracul.

White takes the bones of the historical accounts and layers it with a rich imaginings of characters and quirks, to give the reader some insight into a belivable character that could have inspired the stories that followed. 

The gender flip is imbedded from the start, the character has all the nuances of a little girl, with many o...

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review written by Karen Fishwick on Thursday 7th December 2017
Book Review

The Bastard Legion by Gavin Smith

The Bastard Legion by Gavin Smith

The Bastard Legion is the latest Military Science Fiction from Gavin Smith, very much in the style of his earlier book Veteran and its sequel War in Heaven, although not connected in terms of plot or characters. 

Smith’s hard hitting protagonist is Miska Corbin, a thief and hacker who steals a prison ship full of dangerous criminals to facilitate her new commercial concept or perhaps to fill the aching void in her life left by the her father’s death. 

Needless to say...

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review written by Karen Fishwick on Wednesday 29th November 2017

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