My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite

Next up, from the Women’s Prize Longlist came Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer, an interesting parallel to Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater. It is an intriguing little novel – a mere 240 pages, for those for whom that is relevant, not much more than a day or weekend’s read – and remarkably effective in the…

Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Rivers of London series as a fresh urban fantasy – and all the freedoms and inventiveness which comes with that – merged with the familiar structures and language of a police procedural. In the previous book, The Hanging Tree, Aaronovitch finally reveals the identity of The Faceless Man, the antagonist…

Grave Peril, Jim Butcher

It’s a Dresden File. It’s Harry Dresden; it’s Jim Butcher. Even after reading only the previous two novels, I already know what to expect. It’s also a step up from the previous two novels in the series: the prose is still very, well, prosaic; Dresden is still a wise cracking hard boiled detective with magic;…

Fool Moon, Jim Butcher

Book Two of the Dresden Files. Pretty similar to book one, really! Special Investigations, Karrin Murphy, Bob the Skull, potions brewed, magic used. This time around, we have werewolves! Seriously, there’s not much more to say: it’s smart and sassy, it’s got magic and werewolves. It is not high literature! It’s a decently written, fast…

Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson

Opening with a murderous rampage at a party held by a corrupt politician, once again, Sanderson plumbs the possibilities of his Mistborn universe in Scadriel extending the reach of the characters Waxillium Ladrian,  Wayne and Marasi, whom he had introduced in The Alloy Of Law. The feel of this novel is distinctly Industrial Revolutionary with…

Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge 

  This is a remarkable novel. Of the three CILIP Carnegie nominees I’ve read, this is my clear front runner. And I’m saying that having read Patrick Ness! Before I review it, however, I’m going to play a game with my sixteen year-old stepson, whose birthday it is today. Despite his protestations, he is going…

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…

Tsotsi, Athol Fugard

Finished reading this now, waiting for students at school to catch up! If only some damn fool of a teacher just let them read it instead of teaching it and making them do work on it! Oh well! This is an outstanding book! The quality of the writing literally glitters on the page and the…