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 Trees, Percival Everett

A truly strange and disturbing novel, simultaneously horrific and hilarious, brutal and humane - a coruscating satire of American racial conflict and politics, embedded in both Trump's America and the lynching of Emmett Till in the 1955.

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: Deep Wheel Orcadia, Harry Josephine Giles

An undeniably beautiful and lyrical piece of science fiction poetry but, for me, the beauty of the language and the translation came at the expense of vivid charaterisations; there was an ephemeralness about the characters, a transparency, that was perhaps deliberate - how small we are in the vastness of space and time and Light is, after all, a familiar science-fiction trope - but left me wanting more of the humans.

Book Review: Psalm for the Wild Built, Becky Chambers

A gentle science fiction philosophical amble through the foothills of the world of Panga searching for the comfort of the perfect cup of tea in the company of a sentient robot, this novel never feels saccharine whilst looking at the world and its people with hope and faith and warmth.

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.

Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

For the sisters & the sistas & the sistahs & the sistren & the women & the womxn & the wimmin & the womyn & our brethren & our bredrin & our brothers & our bruvs & our men & our mandem & the LGBTQI+ members of the human family

10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Elif Shafak

I have sat on this book for a while since finishing reading it - partially as a result of workload; mainly because it, like The Heart's Invisible Furies and many others, is a book that deserved some time to settle and be absorbed before launching into a review. The novel revolves around a single character,… Continue reading 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Elif Shafak

The Rosie Result, Graeme Simsion

I’m not a person with autism any more than I’m a person with lesbianism. I’m lesbian. I’m autistic. When I get a cold, I have a cold; I’m a person with a cold and I want to get rid of it. Medical help appreciated. But being autistic and lesbian—that’s who I am, and I’m not interested in anyone trying to cure me of who I am.

Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi

I have lived many lives inside this body. I lived many lives before they put me in this body. I will live many lives when they take me out of it.

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

Oh well, having set down my best intentions earlier, to review Washington Black before finishing Sally Rooney's Normal People, and to complete the 30 Day Book Challenge by Christmas, I have failed on all accounts and now have Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls to review as well! But, I have had a lovely Chrsitmas… Continue reading Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

The Betrayal of Trust and A Question of Identity, Susan Hill

Ahhhh Lafferton. Possibly even more dangerous than Midsomer or a dinner party with Jessica Fletcher and Jane Marple! The serial killer centre of England. I've lost track of the numbers of serial killers in the Simon Serrailler series: they've targetted women for medical reasons, abducted young children; they've targetted weddings and, now, the elderly in… Continue reading The Betrayal of Trust and A Question of Identity, Susan Hill

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… Continue reading Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Jay Fowler

Why are so few book covers yellow? This looks gorgeous! Like a literary bumblebee. I have to confess, the only reason I picked this up was the cover - despite the advice parents give their children the world over. That and Waterstone's promotions. But I'm really glad I did because it's a powerful, haunting, human… Continue reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Jay Fowler

Tsotsi, Athol Fugard Analysis

So these are the ideas which I have been discussing with my class. Tsotsi is set in 1956, give or take, in Sophiatown, a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. It was written by Fugard in the early months of 1960 after Sophiatown had been destroyed by the white community in Johannesburg and,… Continue reading Tsotsi, Athol Fugard Analysis