The Aldous Lexicon (Withern Rise Trilogy) by Michael Lawrence | Book Reviews

I first read A Crack in the Line, the first in the Aldous Lexicon series, when I was perhaps ten or eleven years old, and I completely adored it. I recall being totally swept up in the book and unable to put it down, but despite the impression the book left on me I never got around to reading the sequels. Now, nearly two decades later, I’ve finally done it! Continue reading “The Aldous Lexicon (Withern Rise Trilogy) by Michael Lawrence | Book Reviews”

Waxing Lyrical & Tales in Teacups by Vivian Zems | Book Reviews

On New Year’s Day I decided to take the whole day out for a good, long read, and I gobbled up Zems’ debut poetry collection and debut short story collection in one sitting, so here we are with a double bill on the book review front. Continue reading “Waxing Lyrical & Tales in Teacups by Vivian Zems | Book Reviews”

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | Book Review

Waking Gods is the sequel to book one in the Themis Files, Sleeping Giants, which I read, loved and reviewed last year. Second books have a reputation for being not quite as good as the first; they can come off as fillers or as setups for book three, which can leave them a bit slow and dry and disappointing. Waking Gods was not that. I adored it. It was even better than the first. Continue reading “Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | Book Review”

Magician by Raymond E. Feist | Book Review

Feist is one of my husband’s favourite writers. He loves classic high fantasy and he’s banged on to me about the Riftwar Cycle for our entire relationship. That’s five long years of “YOU SHOULD READ THIS,” and me all like “Eh, I dunno, sure, one day I’ll start it, I’ll get around to it soon, it’s on my list…”

High fantasy isn’t my favourite genre, and there are 30 – yes THIRTY – books in the complete Riftwar Cycle series. That’s far too much sword-wielding and arrow-shooting and century-long wars for my liking. I was convinced that I wouldn’t enjoy the books as much as he does, but I promised I’d give the first book a go and try to see what the fuss was all about. So, I cracked on with Magician in the middle of December and here I am now, still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about it. Continue reading “Magician by Raymond E. Feist | Book Review”

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale | Book Review

Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium opens with the first frost of every winter to provide the city’s children with the most magical of toys. From windup, patchwork animals that seem to truly live, to little wooden soldiers who can fight battles like real men, the Emporium offers an enchanting array of toys that fill children and adults alike with wonder. Cathy Wray arrives aged 16, pregnant and homeless, in search of work and board, and there she remains to become a permanent part of the Emporium family. But unending rivalry between Papa Jack’s sons, Kaspar and Emil, pose a threat to the future of the Emporium. Continue reading “The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale | Book Review”

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva | Book Review

Charles Dickens is on top of his game – or so he thinks. He’s recently polished a new manuscript and he’s looking forward to welcoming a new baby into the world just in time for Christmas. But then his publishers burst his bubble. His latest book is a flop and he urgently needs to bring in some cash. They insist he write a new, festive book if his career is set to continue. Continue reading “Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva | Book Review”

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders | Book Review

Lincoln in the Bardo was the 2017 Man Booker Prize winner, and it’s been on my to-read list since then. It tells the story of Abraham Lincoln during the loss of his son, which came at a time when the American Civil War was in full swing. Little Willie Lincoln is just 11 years old when he dies, and he finds himself trapped in a ghostly realm between life and rebirth, along with a bunch of bickering, whinging, whining ghosts. The novel is told through a series of excerpts from newspaper reports, books, journals and diaries, as well as the first-person narration of various ghosts who witness Lincoln entering his son’s crypt and cradling his body. Continue reading “Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders | Book Review”

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review

Alice’s reclusive grandmother is the renowned writer of Tales from the Hinterland, a book of dark fairy tales, but Alice has never really known her. Instead, she has spent most of her life on the road with her mother, running from bad luck which always seems to find them whenever they try to settle down. When her mother is snatched by unsavoury characters from the Hinterland, Alice must delve into the fantastical world of her grandmother’s stories in an attempt to break the curse of bad luck for good. Continue reading “The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review”

Sourdough by Robin Sloan | Book Review

Sourdough tells the story of Lois Clary, an overworked robotics software engineer whose sanity is saved by sourdough and spicy soup provided by a local sandwich shop. When the owners of the sandwich shop decide to leave the country, they offer Lois the starter of their delicious bread so that she can make her own. She soon embarks on a bizarre new career path, blending robotics with baking in a strange new food market, while attempting to understand why the microorganisms in her sourdough starter seem to have a mind of their own. Continue reading “Sourdough by Robin Sloan | Book Review”

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | Book Review

During the middle of an unprecedented snowstorm in 1964, Dr David Henry delivers his wife’s baby with the help of a nurse in his empty clinic. It turns out to be twins. The first baby is a perfect little boy. The second is a girl with Down’s Syndrome. Believing that he is doing the right thing for all involved, David hands the child off to the nurse and asks her to take it to an institution out of town. He tells his wife, Norah, that the baby girl died. The nurse, Caroline, can’t bear to leave the little girl in the cold, clinical institution for the rest of her life. Instead, she goes on the run, starts a new life and raises the child as her own. Continue reading “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | Book Review”