Difference between revisions of "Forthcoming Publications"

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=='''22 JULY'''==
+
=='''19 OCTOBER'''==
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Claire North
+
|author=Claire McGowan
|title=Notes from the Burning Age
+
|title=I Know You
 
|rating=4
 
|rating=4
|genre=Science Fiction
+
|genre=Thrillers
|summary=At its core ''Notes From the Burning Age'' by Claire North is a spy thriller, with as many double crosses, interrogations and night time escapes as Le Carre or Fleming. However, as with the best novels, it wears many masks and its most affecting one is that of a new and timely genre, cli-fi, or climate change fiction. North's novel tells of a world devastated by climate change where humans have been forced to start anew and live alongside nature without any of the modern and corrupting "luxuries" (read: fossil fuels, weapons of mass destruction, intensive farming). There is a growing unhappiness with this limiting world, and one group, the Brotherhood, aims to master these processes no matter the cost to the Earth.
+
|summary=''Then:'' Casey returns from a walk with the baby, Carson, and comes across three bodies, almost a whole family taken down.
|isbn=0356514757
+
 
 +
''Now:'' Rachel is out for a walk with her dog, Brandy, when she comes across a body in the woods.
 +
 
 +
|isbn=1542019974
 
}}
 
}}
  
=='''3 AUGUST'''==
+
=='''28 OCTOBER'''==
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Darren Shan
+
|author=Antti Tuomainen and David Hackston (translator)
|title=Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell: Archibald Lox series, Volume 2, book 2 of 3
+
|title=The Rabbit Factor
|rating=4.5
+
|rating=3.5
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|genre=Crime
|summary=So. Having done the impossible and unpicked the lock to the Forgotten Crypt, from which the Departed communicate with the Merge, Archie now has ''grop'' to think about. But before that, soirees. Soirees! Archie, much to Inez's amusement, doesn't even know what one of those is. But he manages to come through the fancy party unscathed, even after an uncomfortable encounter with Kurtis, whose fledgling romance with Inez was crushed in the first volume of this series. 
+
|summary=Meet Henri. With a mind so much more focused on maths and calculations than it is other human beings, he's perfect for his job in the insurance company – until they decide he's not a team-member, that they'd prefer everyone to be all open-plan, holistic and keen on stupid-as workshopping. This is when he finds his brother has died, having a heart attack while busy changing his Volvo's radio channel, and has left Henri everything. Unfortunately (or otherwise) that 'everything' is just an adventure park, and nothing else. ''YouMeFun'' is so not what Henri wants to occupy his mind, but he perks up a little when he sees huge holes in the finances – it runs at a steady money-moving pace, despite some desultory staff ideas, but loans have been made out and the amount vanished. Fortunately (or otherwise) some people are quickly on the scene to explain that missing money – it's been turned into a gambling debt that has also now been inherited by Henri, and the activities of these guys are not conducive to getting a cheap life insurance plan...
|isbn=B093J9TF73
+
|isbn=191319387X
 
}}
 
}}
  
=='''5 AUGUST'''==
+
=='''1 NOVEMBER'''==
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=John Boyne
+
|author=Teresa Driscoll
|title=The Echo Chamber
+
|title=Her Perfect Family
 
|rating=5
 
|rating=5
|genre=General Fiction
 
|summary=Meet George Cleverley. He is self-defined as "one of the few television personalities over the age of fifty without a criminal record". He starts this book a bit worried when his mistress tells him she's carrying his child, but then his author wife is getting her kicks with the Ukrainian partner "Strictly Come Dancing" paired her with. They have three children, who are a sad-sack with absolutely no social skills whatsoever, a girl who hangs around with a virtue-signalling, keyboard warrior "wokester" who wants to save the world's homeless with out-of-date food, and a fit young lad doing the gay hustle thing. Add in a few other characters – therapists, lawyers, random transgender types – that all have two very different connections to his life, and you have something that suggests an almost farcical approach to the modern world. What suggests the farcical approach even more, however, is the fact this is bloody funny.
 
|isbn=0857526219
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Louise Candlish
 
|title=The Heights
 
|rating=4.5
 
 
|genre=Thrillers
 
|genre=Thrillers
|summary=Ellen doesn't expect to see Kieran that day. She's on site, visiting a client for a lighting consultation when she spies him in a building across the way. There are lots of things, lots of people, you might see when you look out across London, but this isn't one Ellen expected that day or in fact any other day. Why? Because Kieran has been dead for over two years, and Ellen knows this for a fact, because she had a hand in his murder.
+
|summary=The novel begins by introducing you to Gemma, who at first instance appears to be your average student, faced with the familiar horrifying realisation, at the eleventh hour, that her graduation outfit is all wrong. Suddenly, Gemma receives an eerie message stating ''He is not who he says he is…'', paving the way for the sinister tone that remains throughout the novel. In a twist of events, and after a change of outfit, Gemma is shot in the midst of her graduation ceremony. With Gemma then in a coma, what follows is a complex whodunit with a list of suspects that continues to grow the further you read.
|isbn=1471183483
+
|isbn=1542028752
 
}}
 
}}
  
=='''19 AUGUST'''==
+
=='''4 NOVEMBER'''==
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Doug Johnstone
+
|author=Lucy Hope
|title=The Great Silence
+
|title=Fledgling
|rating=4
 
|genre=Crime
 
|summary=For those who, like me, haven't come across the Skelfs before, I'll risk a quick synopsis of who's who – although Johnstone does a good job of bringing the backstory in without being heavy handed about it. Skelf isn't some fantastic creature, though it sounds as though it ought to be, it is merely the surname of a family of undertakers. Undertakers and private investigators. Dorothy is the matriarch – Californian by birth and instinct, she married a scot and ended up helping to run the Edinburgh undertaking firm that had been in the family for generations. Recently widowed and now involved with a black Swedish police officer. Swedish by nationality. Scottish police. Daughter Jenny, 46, is haunted by her still-living husband – a violent escaped prisoner. And grand-daughter is about to graduate with a first-class physics degree and join the academic staff next term.
 
|isbn=1913193837
 
}}
 
 
 
=='''2 SEPTEMBER'''==
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston
 
|title=Julia and the Shark
 
|rating=4
 
|genre=Confident Readers
 
|summary=Julia, our pre-teen heroine, has been packed off with her parents and their cat from the family home in SW England to be lighthousekeepers for a summer, in the far NE of the Scottish islands.  Here be Vikings, that kind of Scottish island.  Dad is going to be automating the lantern, which is his specialist thing, while mum will be leaving her career in algae behind to hunt the elusive Greenland shark.  And Julia, well, she will be homesick and alone – until she suddenly finds company one night.
 
|isbn=1510107789
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Ian Mark and Louis Ghibault
 
|title=Monster Hunting For Beginners
 
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
 
|genre=Confident Readers
 
|genre=Confident Readers
|summary=Meet Jack. Now Jack knows very little about being fearless and nimble and quick, for he's a slight boy, and although he wants for danger and peril and interesting things his dad refuses to let him out of his sight. That's because Jack's mother knew all about monsters, and look what happened to her – she died. Luckily or unluckily then, depending on your point of view, a giant ogre will threaten his aunt when Jack's father also goes AWOL, Jack will fluke the ogre's death, a dwarfish wizard-type will make him an apprentice monster hunter, and he'll be given a book that tells him all he needs to know about the perils he always wanted closer contact with. The book's name? ''Monster Hunting for Beginners''...
+
|summary=Bavaria, 1900. Our scene is a most peculiar hilltop house, built bit by bit over the decades, and now looking imperiously down on the village and woods below. It's an eccentric house, to host eccentrics, so the library shelving system is not as we'd know it, the roof is retractable, there is a steam-powered, hand-operated lift system cut through it, and so on. At the moment it houses an ex-soldier with PTSD and a passion for the long-standing family hobby of taxidermy, a woman who does nothing but quibble, kvetch and sing opera loudly, and the dying grandma to our heroine, Cassie, a young lass who has to do all the maintenance of this bizarre machine-like abode. Oh but it's also going to house someone or something else, when crashing through Cassie's bedroom window one stormy day is a cherub. And if you think such a heavenly arrival is going to be a completely great and wonderful thing, think again...
|isbn=0755501942
+
|isbn=183994188X
 
}}
 
}}
 +
 +
=='''9 DECEMBER'''==
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Emma Carroll
+
|author=Freya Marske
|title=The Week at World's End
+
|title=A Marvellous Light
 
|rating=4
 
|rating=4
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|genre=Historical Fiction
|summary=First, the title. We're in World's End Close, a mediocre set of houses, where Stevie (Vie to her friends) finds fun only with the family dog and with the boy over the road. But we could also be at World's End, because something taking a great chunk of the fun away is the fact that the Cuban Missile Crisis is kicking off. The Soviet boats are getting blockaded as America tries to reduce the risk of nuclear missiles offshore, and not much else is able to make the news. That said, Vie has news of her own – Anna, a secretive young woman hiding in their coal shed. Anna has, in no short time, taken a strong interest in the American airforce base behind the Close, said she'd locate something she wanted and leave, failed to leave, and implied her life was at risk. But surely this bit of intrigue has got nothing to do with what the Cold War is doing miles away?
+
|summary=Robin Blyth is nudged into a job in the Civil Service, much to his chagrin. There he meets Edwin Courcey and learns that the streets of London are threaded with magic. Desperate to remove a curse that threatens to swallow him, Robin follows Edwin to the countryside, where the hedgegrows bristle with incantations and the people shimmer with power. There they uncover a sinister plot that threatens the lives of all magicians in the British Isles. |isbn=1529080886
|isbn=0571364438
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author= Angharad Walker
 
|title= The Ash House
 
|rating= 5
 
|genre= Confident Readers
 
|summary= A new boy arrives at The Ash House. He doesn't know his name, or why he is there but he is used to the system, used to different places and different faces. He meets Dom who names him Sol and sets out to teach him the rules of The Ash House. These rules centre on a variety of Nicenesses set out by the absent Headmaster. All children must remember their Niceness and complete their chores, working as a hive in the smouldering shadows of The Ash House. But soon their easy peace is shattered by the arrival of the Doctor. By the end of the story, lives will be changed forever and The Ash House will never be the same again.
 
|isbn=1912626977
 
 
}}
 
}}
  
=='''7 OCTOBER'''==
+
=='''3 FEBRUARY 2022'''==
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=John Gwynne
+
|author=Christopher Edge
|title=The Shadow Of The Gods
+
|title=Escape Room
|rating=5
+
|rating=3
|genre=Fantasy
+
|genre=Confident Readers
|summary=The Shadow Of The Gods is the first installment of the Bloodsworn Saga, set in the era of the Vikings in the shadow of Ragnarok, when the Gods have battled and their bones lie scattered for all to see. This story is the ultimate in High Fantasy, and John Gwynne certainly does justice to the genre, with mythical creatures, archaic language and battles galore. This is a thick book, with an intricate plot and fascinating characters that are woven together to create a wonderfully realistic and gritty world in which our heroes must do battle.
+
|summary=I've seen junior variants of the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' format cover escape rooms – the process by which a character or characters start by being trapped in a specific location, and have to solve problems in order to get their way out. What I've not done (alongside experience one for myself – for that would require actual friends) is seen a prose book describing people in such an adventure, with the regular second person narrative replaced by the first. Here, Ami and four other tweenagers, all new to each other and booked into the game without any of their friends, are a team – starting out at the game's main offices, where they're told they and their quest for The Answer are a world-changer. But could watching people engage with such a pastime, despite the ramped-up threat levels, change much in the world of literature?
|isbn=0356514218
+
|isbn=1788007964
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Peter Papathanasiou
 
|title=The Stoning
 
|rating=3.5
 
|genre=Thrillers
 
|summary=In a town sleazy enough to make sh*tholes elsewhere look glamorous in comparison, a teacher has been transported across town at night in a shopping trolley, and she's been taped to a tree and she's had rocks bowled at her as if she were the world's tallest cricket stumps. When she's discovered by the town gossip everyone, including the local cops, are quite confident the culprit has come from the immigrant detention centre the place is reluctantly home to. An arson attack on that shows the feeling – and it's only fair, is the general opinion, for the occupants are often setting their own fires in protest at their conditions. Cue the arrival of George Manolis, a higher rank from the city, to sort everything out. Because such an aggrieved, insular community is really going to welcome a Greek-heritaged city boy laying down the law...
 
|isbn=1529416973
 
 
}}
 
}}
  

Latest revision as of 07:49, 14 October 2021

19 OCTOBER

1542019974.jpg

Review of

I Know You by Claire McGowan

4star.jpg Thrillers

Then: Casey returns from a walk with the baby, Carson, and comes across three bodies, almost a whole family taken down.

Now: Rachel is out for a walk with her dog, Brandy, when she comes across a body in the woods. Full Review

28 OCTOBER

191319387X.jpg

Review of

The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen and David Hackston (translator)

3.5star.jpg Crime

Meet Henri. With a mind so much more focused on maths and calculations than it is other human beings, he's perfect for his job in the insurance company – until they decide he's not a team-member, that they'd prefer everyone to be all open-plan, holistic and keen on stupid-as workshopping. This is when he finds his brother has died, having a heart attack while busy changing his Volvo's radio channel, and has left Henri everything. Unfortunately (or otherwise) that 'everything' is just an adventure park, and nothing else. YouMeFun is so not what Henri wants to occupy his mind, but he perks up a little when he sees huge holes in the finances – it runs at a steady money-moving pace, despite some desultory staff ideas, but loans have been made out and the amount vanished. Fortunately (or otherwise) some people are quickly on the scene to explain that missing money – it's been turned into a gambling debt that has also now been inherited by Henri, and the activities of these guys are not conducive to getting a cheap life insurance plan... Full Review

1 NOVEMBER

1542028752.jpg

Review of

Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll

5star.jpg Thrillers

The novel begins by introducing you to Gemma, who at first instance appears to be your average student, faced with the familiar horrifying realisation, at the eleventh hour, that her graduation outfit is all wrong. Suddenly, Gemma receives an eerie message stating He is not who he says he is…, paving the way for the sinister tone that remains throughout the novel. In a twist of events, and after a change of outfit, Gemma is shot in the midst of her graduation ceremony. With Gemma then in a coma, what follows is a complex whodunit with a list of suspects that continues to grow the further you read. Full Review

4 NOVEMBER

183994188X.jpg

Review of

Fledgling by Lucy Hope

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Bavaria, 1900. Our scene is a most peculiar hilltop house, built bit by bit over the decades, and now looking imperiously down on the village and woods below. It's an eccentric house, to host eccentrics, so the library shelving system is not as we'd know it, the roof is retractable, there is a steam-powered, hand-operated lift system cut through it, and so on. At the moment it houses an ex-soldier with PTSD and a passion for the long-standing family hobby of taxidermy, a woman who does nothing but quibble, kvetch and sing opera loudly, and the dying grandma to our heroine, Cassie, a young lass who has to do all the maintenance of this bizarre machine-like abode. Oh but it's also going to house someone or something else, when crashing through Cassie's bedroom window one stormy day is a cherub. And if you think such a heavenly arrival is going to be a completely great and wonderful thing, think again... Full Review

9 DECEMBER

1529080886.jpg

Review of

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

4star.jpg Historical Fiction

Robin Blyth is nudged into a job in the Civil Service, much to his chagrin. There he meets Edwin Courcey and learns that the streets of London are threaded with magic. Desperate to remove a curse that threatens to swallow him, Robin follows Edwin to the countryside, where the hedgegrows bristle with incantations and the people shimmer with power. There they uncover a sinister plot that threatens the lives of all magicians in the British Isles. Full Review

3 FEBRUARY 2022

1788007964.jpg

Review of

Escape Room by Christopher Edge

3star.jpg Confident Readers

I've seen junior variants of the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' format cover escape rooms – the process by which a character or characters start by being trapped in a specific location, and have to solve problems in order to get their way out. What I've not done (alongside experience one for myself – for that would require actual friends) is seen a prose book describing people in such an adventure, with the regular second person narrative replaced by the first. Here, Ami and four other tweenagers, all new to each other and booked into the game without any of their friends, are a team – starting out at the game's main offices, where they're told they and their quest for The Answer are a world-changer. But could watching people engage with such a pastime, despite the ramped-up threat levels, change much in the world of literature? Full Review

You can work your way through the newest review, category by category, starting here.