The Humans, Matt Haig

There’s nothing new or original in this novel. Touches of Doctor Who, perhaps. Touches of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime. Touches, indeed, of Eleanor Oliphant Is Perfectly Fine. An outsider struggles to fit into humam society and ultimately fights to understand what it is to be human. Wrap that up with…

Railhead, Philip Reeve

  This is a delightfully fun and engaging tale with all the confidence you’d expect of Phillip Reeve, returning to the steampunk genre, if in a very different world, of Mortal Engines. Here, rather than walking cities, we have sentient trains and K-gates – wormholes or portals, taking trains and their passengers instantly to different worlds and different…

The Boy On The Bridge, M. R. Carey

There are times when comfort, familiarity and ease are, actually, exactly what you need; at other times, by all means, challenge me, make me confront my preconceptions, subvert my genres in different ways. When I’m tired, poorly and stressed, however, enfold me in familiar settings, tropes and – hell, yes – even the comfort of…

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017

It being March, the CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist has been announced and I’m embarking on the ritual of trying to read them. This year, the list is:

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

This book – a Booker Prize shortlisted book from a Booker Prize winning novelist – has been sat on my book shelf since forever. I was convinced I’d read it. I am sure I’ve had lengthy and enthusiastic discussions about it. Heated debates. Yet, having downloaded it from Audible as a re-read, expecting something familiar…

The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu

What the hell was that? There is this much fuss over … this? Now, I suppose I should confess: I’m not a great science fiction reader. Especially not hard science fiction. And I’m neither a scientist nor a historian of the Cultural Revolution in China. But this was not a good book. I didn’t dislike…

The Martian, Andy Weir

  This review is going to be controversial. There is a lot of hype about this book with the movie and Matt Damon and the Hollywood machine in overdrive. I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t like it. It wasn’t well written. Clever, credible and smart, yes;…

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Claire North

   “Complexity should be your excuse for inaction.” I was born in 1973 in a village in Kent. So far as I know, only once. I have to say, when I die, if I were to be reborn as myself in the same village in 1973 again, I’d be a tad surprised! I mean 1973….

Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson

  I’ve been considering reading this for a while.  I do like Sanderson’s world building, especially in the Mistborn series; I also have a penchant for superheroes, dating back to a misspent youth. Sanderson’s take on superheroes was appealing and tempting, especially as the sequel to Steelheart, entitled Firefight, came out in January this year.  And…

Embassytown, China Miéville

Hmmm… where to start with this one? It’s a book on which I am still ruminating and which is still rattling away inside my brain after a couple of days. Nagging at me. Gnawing at my consciousness. And Miéville’s writing does that: it dwells and lingers and questions and challenges you. That is why Miéville…