I enjoyed the fast-paced science fiction by A G Riddle- here is my review of Quantum Radio.
Dr. Tyson Klein is a quantum physicist who has dedicated his entire life to his research. At CERN, he analyses data generated by the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest and most powerful particle accelerator. Now, Ty believes he’s found a pattern in its output. It looks like an organised data stream, being broadcast over what he calls a quantum radio.Could it be a signal from another universe? A message sent from the future? Or something else entirely?As Ty peels back the layers of his discovery, he learns that what he’s found isn’t what he thought it was. The encoded message is far more profound. It may alter our understanding of human existence and the universe.But Ty is not the only one looking for it. Someone has been following his research for a long time. And they’ll do anything to prevent him from unravelling what is being broadcast by the quantum radio…Because the first one to discover the truth may well control the future.
I enjoyed Quantum Radio- a fast paced science fiction thriller by A G Riddle.
Here is my review of Atlas Six by Olivie Blake- a book that has been on my TBR for ages
So in Atlas Six by Olivie Blake, six young magically talented people are chosen to spend a year in a closed house full of knowledge but only some will make it to a secret society.
I’ve had this book on my TBR for ages and honestly, this was because of all the hype and praise on social media. But I have to admit that for me it didn’t live up to the hype.
There are some well-written and thrilling action scenes in the book but not enough of them . I found some of her writing strangely poetic ( I don’t like romance but there is a strange romantic tryst between three of the students that I couldn’t help but read), The actual plot didn’t seem to start until three-quarters of the book with an interesting twist but it was a slog to get there.
The concept is familiar and the whole magical society, bonding, and coming of age with action was my kind of thing but I didn’t warm to any of the characters ( who didn’t seem to show any meaningful change by the end) and I did struggle to tell them apart after a while. The characters spend a lot of time talking at each other ( yes at) but still I felt I still didn’t really have any empathy for them.
Despite that twist, I did feel a little disappointed BUT this book has been and will be perfect for so many readers.
Perfect for Fans of
The Magicians ( review here), The Shadow and Bone Trilogy.
A story of family, obsession, and treasure hunts. Here is my review of The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly
Summer, 2021. Nell has come home at her family’s insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden. The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse. But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.
The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly is complicated blend of a thriller, historical fiction, family drama and murder mystery.
Nell is the first person narrator in the present but the book slowly explores the past from the points of view of The Churchers and friends of the family the Lallys.
The plot is complicated and covers several strands including the complicated and symbiotic relationship between Frank and Lal, the impact of her parent’s fame on Nell, a murder mystery and complicated family dramas that come together in the end.
I found the murder mystery the most interesting part of the book as well as random people’s obsession with the treasure hunt, I felt sometimes the family drama slowed down the pace and not in a good way.
I didn’t warm to any of the characters (except for Billie the unofficially adopted daughter of Nell) and all of them were horrible without exception but Nell does eventually grow as a person breaking free from her toxic family.
This book will appeal to anyone who loves thickly plotted and complex books
It’s been a while since I’ve done a series review, but The Amberlough Dossier Series by Lara Elena Donnelly is definitely one that left an impression.
Amberlough: In Lara Elena Donnelly’s glam spy thriller debut, a Nebula finalist for Best Novel, a double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city. Armistice: In a tropical country where shadowy political affairs lurk behind the scenes of its glamorous film industry, three people maneuver inside a high stakes game of statecraft and espionage. Each one harbors dangerous knowledge that can upturn a nation. Everything is barreling towards an international revolt…and only the wiliest ones will be prepared for what comes next. Amnesty: In Amberlough City, out of the ashes of revolution, a traitor returns, a political campaign comes to a roaring head, and the people demand justice for crimes past. As a nation struggles to rebuild, who can escape retribution?
The Amberlough Dossiers by Lara Elena Donnelly is set in an alternate world but feels on a good day very close to 1930’s Europe but on a bad news day something that is happening now.
The books follow the stories of Cyril De Paul, a spy, his lover Aristide- a smuggler and performer at a risqué club, and Cordelia a dancer and one of Aristide runners. Cyril’s sister, a politician struggling to survive under a dangerous regime, feature in the other books.
Cyril’s and Aristide’s complicated relationship plays out on a background of increasing intolerance of anyone who doesn’t fit the New Regime’s ideal an that includes Aristide. The books conveys the creeping erosion of a tolerant society by fascism and the people who facilitate this as well as the people who fight back.
The characters are vivid, well rounded and realistic- the lead characters are selfish and put their own needs first except for Cordelia’s arc from dancer to rebel which was my favourite.
I have to admit sometimes reading the book was hard especially given some of the political events happening across the world but it did and still leaves an impression on me.
I would recommend this book who likes a degree of realism in their fantasy and complex, morally grey characters.
Here is my review of Blake Lake Manor by Guy Morpuss- a twisty time bending murder mystery
In the former mining town of Black Lake, there is a story about a shipwreck. All those aboard died, except an unnamed man who staggered ashore. His descendants have a unique ability: once in their lives they can unwind the events of the previous six hours. More than two hundred years later, Ella Manning, marine biologist and part-time police constable, is attending a party at Black Lake Manor, the cliff-top mansion of the town’s divisive local billionaire. With a raging storm coming in from the Pacific, she and several other guests find themselves trapped. And when their host is discovered brutally murdered in a locked room, they turn to her to solve the crime. Ella is sure she has identified the killer… but then time is unwound. With no memory of what she discovered before, her investigation begins again, with very different results. Someone is willing to use their gift to protect a killer, and everyone is a suspect.
Source: My own
The Black Lake Manor by Guy Morpuss is locked room murder mystery with a difference- one of the suspects can turn back time. But all the classic elements remain- a troubled detective, a despised victim, a locked and isolated manor, range of suspects with a range of motives.
I enjoyed diving back into the mad world of time travelling historians and time police with Saving Time by Jodi Taylor
Life is good for Team Weird, now heroes and fully fledged Time Police officers. Luke can’t wait to bear arms. Jane has a date. And Matthew still hasn’t had his hair cut. But Time waits for no one and neither do criminal masterminds. A major threat to the Timeline is looming, one far deadlier than mere idiots who want to change history. And when a familiar face becomes a Very Important Lead, will conflicting family loyalties spell trouble for Team Weird? One missing. One guilt-ridden. And one facing the end of their Time Police career before it’s even begun. Not so good then, after all.
Source :My own
Series: Time Police Series
I enjoyed diving back into the mad world of time travelling historians and time police in Saving Time by Jodi Taylor, the third book in the Time Police series.
Even though there are two books ahead in the series, you can just dive in with this book- in fact I haven’t read the second book but was able to keep track of the completed plots and relationships.
Here is my review of prequel novella to The Throne of Glass books by Sarah J Maas.
The twist of a knife. The birth of a legend.
Step into the world of the #1 bestselling Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas with this collection of prequel novellas.Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful Assassin’s Guild and its scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, she yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. But when Arobynn dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, Celaena finds herself acting independently of his wishes and questioning her own allegiance.If she hopes to escape Arobynn’s clutches, Celaena will have to put her faith in her wits and her blade … knowing that if she fails, she’ll lose not just a chance at freedom but her life.A prequel to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas explores the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling — and deadly — world.
The first three books of The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas are some of my favourite fantasy books and I was pleased to read the prequel novella, The Assasin’s Blade features connected short stories showing us how Calena ended up from assassin to prisoner.
Here is my review of this Gin Palace ( Book 2 In The Accidental Medium) by Tracy Whitwell -urban fantasy set in my favourite ‘toon’ Newcastle and Gateshead.
Ever since Tanz discovered she could speak with the dead, life has become a whole lot more interesting. But after putting herself in grave danger helping to solve a grisly murder, she’s now determined to ignore the voices and put all that nasty business behind her. So when she’s offered another acting gig in her hometown of Newcastle, it feels like a perfect opportunity to spend some time with family and have a laugh with old friends. But the dead won’t stay quiet for long. Soon Tanz is being drawn back into their world, and this time, the danger is much closer to home.
I was excited to read Gin Palace by Tracy Whitwell, the second book in The Accidental Medium especially as it was set in Newcastle and Gateshead, in the lovely Northeast of England.
I loved The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan, Empire of the Wolf, book 2, . Here is my review of this epic fantasy.
A Justice’s work is never done. The Battle of Galen’s Vale is over, but the war for the Empire’s future has just begun. Concerned by rumours that the Magistratum’s authority is waning, Sir Konrad Vonvalt returns to Sova to find the capital city gripped by intrigue and whispers of rebellion. In the Senate, patricians speak openly against the Emperor, while fanatics preach holy vengeance on the streets. Yet facing down these threats to the throne will have to wait, for the Emperor’s grandson has been kidnapped – and Vonvalt is charged with rescuing the missing prince. His quest will lead Vonvalt – and his allies Helena, Bressinger and Sir Radomir – to the Empire’s southern frontier, where they will once again face the puritanical fury of Bartholomew Claver and his templar knights . . . and a dark power far more terrifying than they could have imagined.
The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan, the follow-up to The Justice of King ( review here) by Richard Swan was everything I hoped it would be and Empire of the wolf is shaping up to be one of my favourite fantasy series.
I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.
The book continues to tell the story of Justice Vonvalt through the eyes of his apprentice Helena including his slow descent into the morally grey and the consequences of his single-minded pursuit of Claver, the villain of the first book.
This isn’t a book you can just jump into without having read the first book.
Vonvalt continues to be just a complex as his was in the first book and I love how the author doesn’t sugar coat his flaws but despite this we can still understand why he does what he does.
Helena grows into her own both emotionally and in her own magically abilities- the complicated relationship between Vonvalt and her becomes more complicated in this book but without overwhelming the story and without too much angst (although I would have preferred no angst at all) The friendship between Dubine, Sir Randomir and Helena faces several challenges with a heart-breaking conclusion.
The plot and story races along with action-filled scenes, magic, complicated politics, and betrayals- sometimes I found it hard to keep track of what was happening.
I cant wait to see how Vonvalt’s character continues to develop- will he completely turn to the dark side and can Helena stop him?
This book proves that dark, epic fantasy can be great without women being subjected to graphic violence