Review: Hatched – moved

Hatched
Hatched by Asphyxia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While The Grimstones are creepy kooky characters, something has been lost in the translation from marionette puppets to book form. The diary format isn’t entirely successful, especially when a single event happens on two different days, and the voices switches disconcertingly from past to present tense, and is, at one point, omnipresent!
That said, the main character, Martha, is an endearing little goth, who tries her hardest to do her best and fix things – often without any input from her odd collection of relatives. Martha’s heart is in the right place at all times, and come to the fore when her spell-created egg hatches. A sweet story for younger readers.

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Review: Bitter Greens – moved

Bitter Greens
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This intricate weaving of history, the Rapunzel fairy tale, and witchcraft and intrigue is a triumph. Kate Forsyth takes these seeming disparate elements and draws them together to create a coherent and compelling story. Beautifully written, and, despite it’s hefty page count, 576, a real page-turner. Charlotte-Rose de Force is the darling of the court of Louis XIV. She is witty, charming and a little bit naughty. But the capricious King’s fickle tastes and open ears prove to be her downfall, and Charlotte-Rose is banished to a nunnery. At first a defiant guest, Charlotte-Rose’s will is gradually broken down into submission, until Soeur Seraphina begins telling Charlotte-Rose the tale of Margherita, a young girl given away as payment for a minor crime, stealing a handful of bitter greens from the witch-courtesan, Selena Leonelli.
Told from the points of view of Charlotte-Rose, Margherita and Selena, Bitter Greens is recommended for mature readers with an interest in the machinations, intrigue and myth of a time gone by.

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Review: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf – moved

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a really, really good example of Australian post-apocalyptic speculative fiction. Ashala is an Illegal – a person with special powers. In Ashala’s case, she has the gift of Sleepwalking: being asleep and yet in control of her body. With this story set in the time of the Reckoning, Illegals are shunned by the government, and some escape the towns to live free in the Firstforest. Ashala is a great heroine – strong and fiesty, and yet, as a young person, she is still full of doubt about her abilities and the path that she is taking her Tribe on.
The editing could have been a bit tighter – there are some slow bits that could have been tightened up – but overall The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a great read.

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Review: The Shattering – moved

The Shattering
The Shattering by Karen Healey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mind blown.
With such a complex story to bring to fruition the setup of this novel is methodical and necessary. But the tipping point arrives – and the story soars! I read this until I was done, in the dark of the night.
The characters are all so wonderfully drawn that you become part of their story. The twists and turns come thick and fast, and the relationships crackle with electricity.
Recommended!

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Review: Angel Creek – moved

Angel Creek
Angel Creek by Sally Rippin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this family-based fantasy.
Jelly is struggling with moving away from her primary school friends, She is worried about starting high school, doesn’t get along with her cousin, Gino, and there a family undercurrents that are making her very uneasy.
It all adds up to one very unusual Christmas.

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Review: Factotum

Factotum
Factotum by D.M. Cornish
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is just one of the most complete, extraordinary, thoroughly written series of all time. Cornish’s attention to detail is mind-blowing, and his world-building is on a par with Tolkien (I know, I know. Please don’t email me. It’s just MHO).
Rossamund is true, and brave, and real.
Who doesn’t want to be beautiful, fearsome and clever Europe?
And I could hug Freckle to death.
Exceptional writing.

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