Sunday, 31 January 2016

Review: The Outlandish Companion: Volume 1 by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander)

Title: The Outlandish Companion: Volume 1
Series: Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Pages: 608
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Outlandish

In this beautifully illustrated compendium, Diana Gabaldon opens a door through the standing stones and offers a guided tour of what lies within. Including:

  • Full synopses of Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager and Drums of Autumn
  • A complete listing of the characters (fictional and historical) in the first four novels in the series, as well as family trees and genealogical notes
  • A comprehensive glossary and pronunciation guide to Gaelic terms and usage
  • The Gabaldon Theory of Time Travel, explained
  • Frequently asked questions to the author and her (sometimes surprising) answers
  • An annotated bibliography
  • Essays about medicine and magic in the eighteenth century, researching historical fiction, creating characters and more
  • Professionally cast horoscopes for Jamie and Claire
  • The making of the TV series: how we got there from here, and what happened next (including ‘My Brief Career as a TV Actor’)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Title: The Storyteller
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Pages: 560
Genres: Women's Fiction

The Storyteller

For seventy years, Josef Weber has been hiding in plain sight. He is a pillar of his local community. He is also a murderer.

When Josef decides to confess, it is to Sage Singer, a young woman who trusts him as her friend. What she hears shatters everything she thought she knew and believed. As Sage uncovers the truth from the darkest horrors of war, she must follow a twisting trail between terror and mercy, betrayal and forgiveness, love - and revenge.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Review: How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Title: How to be a Woman
Author: Caitlin Moran
Publisher: Ebury Press
Pages: 312
Genres: Memoir

How to be a Woman

It's a good time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain... Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should we use Botox? Do men secretly hate us? And why does everyone ask you when you're going to have a baby?.

Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin answers the questions that every modern woman is asking.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Review: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Title: Bad Feminist
Author: Roxane Gay
Publisher: Corsair
Pages: 339
Genres: Narrative Non-Fiction

Bad Feminist

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of colour (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny and sincere look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Title: Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 832
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction

Winter

Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She's said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana...

When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin.

But there are stirrings against the Queen across the land. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even find the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter claim their happily ever afters by defeating Levana once and for all?

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 366
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Ugly Love

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future...

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Review: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #3)

Title: City of Glass
Series: The Mortal Instruments #3
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 512
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

City of Glass

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #2)

Title: City of Ashes
Series: The Mortal Instruments #2
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 416
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

City of Ashes

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Review: The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn

Title: The Grown Up
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Pages: 66
Genres: Short Story, Thriller, Suspense

The Grown Up

A young woman is making a living faking it as a cut-price psychic (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke.

Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year-old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home. The young woman doesn't believe in exorcism or the supernatural. However when she enters the house for the first time, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time . . .

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)

Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 256
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction

Fairest

Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all?

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her "glamour" to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story—a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 272
Genres: Graphic Novel

Nimona

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #1)

Title: City of Bones
Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 512
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

City of Bones

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...