A smart, witty spin off from Fangirl, this time we're in 'The Simon Snow & Baz Show' for real. A love story, slash fanfic, Harry Potter only not,A smart, witty spin off from Fangirl, this time we're in 'The Simon Snow & Baz Show' for real. A love story, slash fanfic, Harry Potter only not, with the Big Bad being a lot closer - and a lot more banal - than anyone expects...anyone in the story, that is. Part of the fun of reading this is knowing (because narrative causality) who the bad guy is when the characters don't. Tremendously entertaining - an interesting contrast to another sorta meta fantasy YA - The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which is as clearly set in the Buffy-verse as this is set in the Potter-verse......more
God I loved this book! Claudia is a great character and the story is by turns hilarious, touching and fury-inducing - Claudia is fourteen going on fifGod I loved this book! Claudia is a great character and the story is by turns hilarious, touching and fury-inducing - Claudia is fourteen going on fifteen, and arrives home from school one day to find a note from her mother announcing 'I just can't do this any more. I'm sorry.' Her mum has moved out to stay with her sister and her dad brushes it off as her mum being 'a bit funny...it's her age' - but as the burden of cooking and cleaning increasingly falls on Claudia, she starts to rethink all of the things she's taken for granted about her family and everyones' role within it.
The book absolutely nails the tone of being young and questioning and constantly worrying. It recalled with painful clearness certain diary entries of mine as a teen; very serious and concerned about issues and so, so earnest...
Where to even start with this? I feel like a gibbering wreck - just finished this half an hour ago and I feel like I'm stumbling in circles trying toWhere to even start with this? I feel like a gibbering wreck - just finished this half an hour ago and I feel like I'm stumbling in circles trying to articulate how awesome, brilliant, funny, smart and exciting this is. Started it last night, just finished now.
A proper sci-fi novel that's also YA; a heart-pounding adventure that also ponders stuff about consciousness, artificial intelligence and the meaning of life...there's even a bit of romance thrown in.
Kady is a whip-smart girl who's just broken up with her charming jock boyfriend Ezra; too bad it's the same morning that BioTech spaceships choose to come screaming from the sky to obliterate their settlement on the tiny ice planet of Kerenza.
Hearing their distress beacon, the Battlecarrier Alexander and the Science Vessel Hypatia rescue the survivors while battling the BioTech fleet; while they manage to escape, damaging most of the enemy ships, the Dreadnought Lincoln is still tracking them, determined to eliminate all survivors who might tell the tale of the massacre.
But the danger they face is more insidious than they know - and soon their race to safety is hampered by a terrifying menace on board...
There's many tips of the hat here to sci-fi faves - from HAL to Battle Star Galactica, from World War Z to War Games - yet it works independently of all the influences it so casually wears on it's sleeve. A tremendous, entertaining, engrossing read - and the start of a series, yay! ...more
A tour-de-force - this is brilliant. A bit steampunk, a bit dystopia, pacy and gripping. Detailed yet concise world-building, vivid characters - justA tour-de-force - this is brilliant. A bit steampunk, a bit dystopia, pacy and gripping. Detailed yet concise world-building, vivid characters - just spellbinding. This is obviously the start of a new series, and I can't wait for the next one!...more
This was one of the best YA books I've read in ages - it has so many things I love... A very strong sense of place as it's set in Co Galway - there'sThis was one of the best YA books I've read in ages - it has so many things I love... A very strong sense of place as it's set in Co Galway - there's even a trip into Galway City mentioned where they find a wee shop off Shop Street, an odd shop that they can never find again...I feel like I've seen that shop in Galway!
A heady brew of magic, romance, and ghosts on the one hand, and sharply observed psychological mystery on the other, I can't recommend this highly enough....more
**spoiler alert** Given that I fell utterly in love with The Bone Dragon, this author's previous YA book, my expectations were high - maybe too high.**spoiler alert** Given that I fell utterly in love with The Bone Dragon, this author's previous YA book, my expectations were high - maybe too high. So this probably warrants more of a 3.5 star rating. It's an enjoyable read, and from the second half onwards I began to enjoy it more, but I feel the first quarter is overlong and many of it's minutely detailed descriptions of Cambridge could have been edited more stringently. Nick, the 15 year old at the heart of the book, is starting Cambridge University; his father Michael, away so much of the time, is turning into a full-time absentee parent; and while getting a First is all important to him, Nick would like for once to have friends... I loved this set-up - Nick is snarly and prickly, expecting everyone to dislike him so determined to behave as if they already do, and unsure how to respond when anyone treats him with kindness. The awkward way people stutter over their most painful feelings is captured brilliantly and you feel invested at those times. But then, there's the character you're meant to love, Ange, who Nick first sees dressed as a fairy...yep, she couldn't be more ManicPixieDreamGirl if she tried. ...more
A really intriguing, well written tale set in Victorian England; when Faith's family moves to the island of Vane with with her family, rumours and scaA really intriguing, well written tale set in Victorian England; when Faith's family moves to the island of Vane with with her family, rumours and scandal follow in their wake. Her father, a renowned 'natural scientist' is famous for his fossil finds - curious items that seem to throw doubt on Darwin's newly published Theory of Evolution and back up Bible lore. But there are even darker mysteries on the island - what is in the mysterious box of botanical specimens that her father keeps secret? Who does he go out to visit late at night? And when disaster strikes, who can Faith trust for the truth?
Atmospheric and gripping, this is a brilliant take on a Victorian murder mystery, with a fascinating young woman at it's heart. A fabulous feminist fable....more
Atmospheric and intriguing, the tale begins in Dublin - tenements, back alleys, docks and theatre - before travelling to a decaying big house in the IAtmospheric and intriguing, the tale begins in Dublin - tenements, back alleys, docks and theatre - before travelling to a decaying big house in the Irish countryside. Immortal beings stalk the entertainers of the city in search of prey in a clever twist on vampirism; it is not the lust for blood that fuels the hunt, but rather the need to feed on spectacle and emotions... I loved the characters of Tina and Joe, especially against the background of tenement and theatrical life in Dublin - I would have loved to have spent more time experiencing that lively, filthy world. Also, Harry Houdini ftw! When the scene changes to the big house. we gradually begin to discover the secrets locked within, secrets vital to the continued existence of Corneilius, Vincent and Raquel, the immortals that call it home. It's very difficult to describe this unusual book without giving away important plot points - Gothick. horror, science fiction mingled with gritty realism, all suffused with passion and belief in the power of love. A compelling story....more
I enjoyed this, but maybe I've read too many fantasy ya books in the past year, because I could feel myself playing 'Fantasy YA Bingo' with this one..I enjoyed this, but maybe I've read too many fantasy ya books in the past year, because I could feel myself playing 'Fantasy YA Bingo' with this one...
Love Triangle - check Female protagonist (FP) unaware of her own beauty, although every hot guy lusts after her - check FP's dilemmas/choices boil down to pick one of two guys - check Only other powerful female character = evil scheming bitch - check
But I persevered, because I'm reading this for a book club, and...I started to appreciate other things. Like the way Twylla (FP) is unashamed of and unapologetic about sex - she doesn't plan to have sex, but when she does, it's clear she's happy and not at all guilty about it, so that's good.
I think I really had hopes for this beyond what it delivered - the premise of an untouchable princess sounded great, but felt a bit flat on the page. Also, the whole Sleeping Prince thing seemed a bit thin and tacked on. I do like the way (SPOILER ALERT) she is on her own at the very end of the book...although it's heavily implied that's about to change.
So, despite the stunning cover artwork that so seduced me, this is good but not great. ...more