Monday 31 December 2018

The best of 2018 and what's to come in 19

So, 2018 draws to a close and, as usual, it is time to look back at books I've enjoyed and forward to what's up and coming. 

This year has been a good one with new books in KT Davies' Breed series (Dangerous To Know, Tooth and Claw, Something Wicked) with a promise of more to come. Also, good to see that Jen Williams, Anna Smith Spark and Anna Stephens all managed to pull off the tricksy middle book of the trilogy. Looking forward to all 3 finishing in 2019 with The Poison Song (J Williams), The House of Sacrifice (A Smith Spark) and Bloodchild (A Stephens).

Two book series that have finished this year and are both really good are Adrian Tchaikovsky's Echoes of the Fall and RJ Barker's Wounded Kingdom- of you haven't tried these yet do yourself a favour.

Anyhoo, here's my 3 choices for 2018. First off, Newcomer of the Year is Alicia Wanstall-Burke. I've been watching her posts about Blood of Heirs for a good while on fb and am happy to say that when it finally landed it more than held up to expectations. Alicia is certainly one to keep an eye on.
Next up is Novel of the Year which (after much contemplation) goes to Miles Cameron's Cold Iron (review on the blog). This starts what promises to be a really interesting series. I'll admit I do already have a copy of book 2 from NetGalley and it's even better so far.

Finally, Best Compilation - and this one really was a no-brainer for me. I'm a big fan of Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series and with The Scent of Tears (Newcon Press) Adrian has invited other authors to write in his world - and each and every one of them steps up to the plate. An absolute delight.
And on that point I'll wish you a Happy New Year

Friday 7 December 2018

The Sky Woman by J D Moyer

Welcome to Day 4 of the Blog Tour for J D Moyer's 'The Sky Woman' (Flame Tree Press).

Set on and above a future Earth that has been ravaged by various factors (population decline, volcanic eruption etc) this has a cast of both primitive (ish( and scientific people. The main lead is Car-En, an anthropologist from the Ringstation circling the Earth. She is on her first field assignment and is watching a viking-like village (especially a handsome hunter). When the sister of Esper (he's the hunky hunter) is abducted by someone who shouldn't be there she decides to take an active role instead of the passive observing role she should, cuts off all contact and sets off to follow and hopefully rescue the sister. This may have dire consequences for her career but I'm thinking you've guessed that already.

To be honest, on finishing this book I still don't know whether I enjoyed it or not. It wasn't a bad story although it did feel a bit 'flabby' in places. The mix of Sci-Fi and fantasyesque settings and characters felt a bit of a mish mash in places but the ideas weren't as bad as I thought they would be.

I guess the best I can say is that I'm sure many will Enjoy it but this story just wasn't for me which is a shame.


Thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the tour and for providing a copy of the book. And please, if you get the opportunity to have a look at the blogs from the other reviewers on the tour please do

Monday 3 December 2018

Kosmos by Adrian Laing

 Welcome to Day 2 of the blog tour for Adrian Laing's novel Kosmos (Flame Tree Press)

I really liked the premise of this one;

An old man is found sleeping on Hampstead Heath by two dog patrolers. They try to wake him by prodding him with his staff. In the ensuing kerfuffle one of them is injured and later dies. The old man is arrested and sent for trial. Right from the off the old man insists he is Merlin, awoken from a long sleep. His defence at court is 'rookie' barrister George Winsome and this is as much his story as it is Merlin's.

The actual trial takes up a lot of the book and, if I'm being honest gets a little wearing after a while. The trial is farcical, and also slightly ridiculous but it all leads nicely into the final third of the novel where Merlin's identity becomes clear, as does the 'life path' for George and his partner Heather.

As a big fan of Arthurian legend I was really looking forward to this and, although I found the trial section a bit trying at times (but judge for yourself, don't take my word for it) the final pay off was worth the perseverance.
 Thank you, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this Blog Tour and supplying me with a copy of the book. Of you get the chance please take a look at the other review blogs on this tour.