Book Review: The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, Shehan Karunatilaka

A kaleidoscopic performance: a colourful, dizzying and disorientating exploration of the turmoil in Sri Lanka in the 1980s and 1990s, and our host for this exploration is the recently deceased Maali Almeida, "Photographer. Gambler. Slut."

Book Review: The Library of the Dead, T. L. Huchu

A gripping and fast-moving young adult alternative-reality fantasy novel with really effective world building, a (somewhat precocious) thoroughly engaging protagonist and a well-crafted plot. Comparisons with the Rivers of London series are both inevitable and, in general terms, justified.

Book Review: The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, Janice Hallett

Another slippery little thriller with everything you would expect from Janice Hallett: an epistolary format using messages, emails, transcripts and, here, extracts from fictionalised accounts of events; vivid characters brought to life through their own (unreliable) voices, a twisty plot. A great, fun read to see the new year in with.

Book Review: When We Were Orphans, Kazuo Ishiguro

Occasionally brilliant, but somehow less satisfying than I would expect from an Ishiguro novel, When We Were Orphans explores familiar themes and characters but feels perhaps shackled by the weight of its own detective fiction baggage.

Book Review: The Bullet That Missed, Richard Osman

A cosy series that just seems to get cosier and more tightly plotted with each entry: the warm and close world of Cooper's Chase and its inhabitants is as charming as ever; the vagaries of old age and dementia is explored with tenderness and insight; the decade old murder that propels this novel and the underworld that complicates it are all well balanced, and charming.

Book Review: Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan

A technically fascinating account as Burnet adopts the different voices of his two protagonists as they invent and reinvent and lose their own identities; the reading experience was rather let down but how unlikeable those characters were.

Book Review: Nevermoor, The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend

A fantastic romp with a vibrant protagonist who possesses real heart through a charming world, complete with portals, magical knacks, umbrellas, a sentient hotel and a genuinely sinister antagonist.

Book Review: Woman Eating, Claire Kohda

A fresh and compelling vampire narrative with an incredibly compelling vampire protagonist: this is a novel about people caught between cultures, caught between self-loathing and self-respect; caught between a domineering mother and her own life.

Book Review: Case Study, Graeme Macrae Burnet

A technically fascinating account as Burnet adopts the different voices of his two protagonists as they invent and reinvent and lose their own identities; the reading experience was rather let down but how unlikeable those characters were.

Book Review: Oh William! Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband - and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters,… Continue reading Book Review: Oh William! Elizabeth Strout

Book Review: Unraveller, Frances Hardinge

In a world where anyone can cast a life-destroying curse, only one person has the power to unravel them. Kellen does not fully understand his unique gift, but helps those who are cursed, like his friend Nettle who was trapped in the body of a bird for years. She is now Kellen's constant companion and… Continue reading Book Review: Unraveller, Frances Hardinge

Book Review: The Paper Palace, Miranda Cowley Helller

On a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the pond below 'The Paper Palace'—her family's holiday home in Cape Cod. As she dives beneath the water she relives the passionate encounter she had the night before, against the side of the house that knows all her darkest secrets, while her… Continue reading Book Review: The Paper Palace, Miranda Cowley Helller

Book Review: A Kind of Spark, Elle McNicholl

Ever since Ms. Murphy told us about the witch trials that happened centuries ago right here in Juniper, I can't stop thinking about them. Those people weren't magic. They were like me. Different like me.I'm autistic. I see things that others do not. I hear sounds that they can ignore. And sometimes I feel things… Continue reading Book Review: A Kind of Spark, Elle McNicholl

Book Review: Big Sky, Kate Atkinson

Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia. It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband… Continue reading Book Review: Big Sky, Kate Atkinson

Book Review: Real Tigers, Mick Herron

Slough House is the Intelligence Service outpost for failed spies called the 'slow horses'. One of them, Catherine Standish, knows that chance encounters never happen to spooks.She's worked in the Intelligence Service long enough to understand treachery, double-dealing and stabbing in the back. What she doesn't know is why anyone would target her: a recovering… Continue reading Book Review: Real Tigers, Mick Herron

Book Review: Shards of Earth, Adrian Tchaikovsky

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans ­such… Continue reading Book Review: Shards of Earth, Adrian Tchaikovsky

Book Review: The Half-Life of Valery K, Natasha Pulley

In 1963, in a Siberian prison, former nuclear specialist Valery Kolkhanov has mastered what it takes to survive: the right connections to the guards for access to food and cigarettes, the right pair of warm boots, and the right attitude toward the small pleasures of life so he won't go insane. But one day, all… Continue reading Book Review: The Half-Life of Valery K, Natasha Pulley

Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could… Continue reading Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Book Review: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith

1986: The teenage daughter of a wealthy Vietnamese family gets lost in an abandoned rubber plantation while fleeing her angry father, and is forever changed by the experience. 2011: Twenty-five years later, a young, unhappy Vietnamese-American disappears from her new home in Saigon without a trace.The fates of both women are inescapably linked, bound together by past generations, by ghosts and ancestors, by the history of possessed bodies and… Continue reading Book Review: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith

Book Review: Careless, Kirsty Capes

At 3.04 p.m. on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out she's pregnant.She could tell her social worker Henry, but he's useless.She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won't understand.She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn't spoken to him in weeks.Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn't come… Continue reading Book Review: Careless, Kirsty Capes

Book Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi

Jamie’s dream was to hit the big time at a New York tech start-up. Jamie’s reality was a humiliating lay-off. Things look beyond grim, until a chance delivery to an old acquaintance. Tom has an urgent vacancy on his team: the pay is great and Jamie has debts – it’s a no-brainer choice. Yet, once… Continue reading Book Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi

Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the… Continue reading Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

Book Review: Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

After Oliver Twist asks nasty Mr Bumble for more food, he has to flee the workhouse for the streets of London. Here he meets the Artful Dodger, who leads him to Fagin and his gang of pickpockets. When a thieving mission goes wrong, Oliver narrowly avoids prison and finds himself in the care of kind… Continue reading Book Review: Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

Book Review: Mrs Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

Dorothy is a grieving housewife in the Californian suburbs; her husband is unfaithful, but they are too unhappy to get a divorce. One day, she is doing chores when she hears strange voices on the radio announcing that a green-skinned sea monster has escaped from the Institute for Oceanographic Research - but little does she… Continue reading Book Review: Mrs Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

Book Review: Hare House, Sally Hinchcliffe

In the first brisk days of autumn, a woman arrives in Scotland having left her job at an all-girls school in London in mysterious circumstances. Moving into a cottage on the remote estate of Hare House, she begins to explore her new home – a patchwork of hills, moorland and forest. But among the tiny… Continue reading Book Review: Hare House, Sally Hinchcliffe