The Lie Tree, Francis Hardinge

I am coming to adore Frances Hardinge! I’ve only read this and Cuckoo Song to be fair, but there’s something about her imagination and her writing which chimes with me: dark, intensely personal, yet somehow mythic at the same time. She captures a sense of wonder,  of terror, of awe which is simultaneously so childlike…

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, Mark Hodder

Some books are born great. Some books achieve greatness. Some books have greatness thrust upon them. This book is not one of them. It’s not great. It’s not beautifully written. It’s not literary. But it is immensely fun! Mark Hodder propels us into Victorian London: the search for the source of the Nile, Stanley, Livingstone,…

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

Ah, Doctor Jekyll I presume! This is one of my favourite concepts for a book and, like Dracula and Frankenstein, such a hugely evocative character and concept. It is intuitively resonant that lurking within all of us, behind the mask and veneer of social mores and decency, is a rampaging, amoral, bestial, primitive, reptilian beast….