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Showing posts from April, 2013

The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

The Wardstone Chronicles Challenge

Empire State by Adam Christopher

Fancy a bit of scifi noir, superhero time travel, alternative history thriller? Then you are in luck. Empire State is a very satisfying genre-mixing novel that kept me thoroughly entertained and frequently baffled. I love novels that play with genre, and this one does it with much skill and great aplomb.

I'm not going to try and straighten the story out for you, that pleasure is yours as you read the book. But, the Empire State is a parallel New York City. They exist pretty much next door to each other, but only a handful of people know of the existence of both. The story starts in Prohibition-era New York with Rex, a bootlegger in the middle of a heavy car chase that ends in an inevitable crash. As he extricates himself from the wreckage he sees police and crowds of people, but it's not his little incident that has caught their eye. No, it's the two superheroes slugging it out over the unfinished Empire State Building. This abrupt shift from mobsters to superheroes, just…

Supernatural: Carved in Flesh by Tim Waggoner

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson

The Paris Winter is a wonderfully atmospheric tale, conjuring up Parisian city life in the early 20th century. The story takes in the poorest, meanest bars and the most fashionable and glittering soirees. Opium dens and fancy restaurants rub along cheek by jowl, with Maud Heighton doing her best to maintain her genteel if impoverished status somewhere in the middle of it all. And what begins as a tale about trying to become a self-sufficient artist, a pioneering woman, becomes something much darker and very sinister indeed.

Maud is studying at Lafond's Academy, supporting herself with her meagre inheritance. Her home town of Darlington holds little attraction for her anymore, and it is her intention to study well and improve her art. Her boldness of spirit shines through, even though she is a quiet and self-contained young woman. It's a struggle to make ends meet, and with winter approaching she is resigned to being cold and hungry. Her plight is noticed by one of the regular …

The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross

The Rapture of the Nerds is a tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations. So obviously there was going to be a lot going on between the covers of this book. I'm not convinced I got every joke or all the science, but I really enjoyed hurtling along with Huw as he fell into one disastrous situation after another.

At the end of the 21st century Huw is one of the relatively few humans still living on Earth. He's a self-confessed, and proud, technophobe, happiest throwing pots the old-fashioned way in his 19th century terraced house. He's gone so far as to eschew electricity, although his push bike has a few more features than perhaps strictly necessary. His parents have long uploaded themselves to the cloud, along with most everyone else. Huw's determined to stay where he is, avoiding unnecessary technology as much as possible. He's thrilled to have been selected for tech jury service; not only can he fend off some useless innovation but he al…

Zenn Scarlett Blog Tour

Welcome to the Zenn-a-Palooza!
You may know that Strange Chemistry are one of my favourite publishers; their YA list is very hard to beat. Next month they are publishing Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon, much to my excitement. I am very honoured to be part of the Blog Tour for this gorgeous book, and Christian has been kind enough to tell us a little about his impressive menagerie and how the animals have inspired his writing. Over to Christian...