Hundreds of HodderWordScape Review: Smiler's Fair, by Rebecca Levene

Hundreds of HodderWordScape Review: Smiler’s Fair, by Rebecca Levene

100 words: Introduction The twelfth, and final, Hodderscape Review project title is Smiler’s Fair, by Rebecca Levene. It’s a big, world-built secondary world fantasy with maps that all three of my regular readers will have some idea that it’s may not be my personal cup of tea. I was still intrigued to read it – [...]

100 word review: Our Lady of the Streets, by Tom Pollock

100 word review: Our Lady of the Streets, by Tom Pollock

Pollock’s third trilogy winds up with a storm raging across fevered streets. It’s very difficult to talk about without spoilers, but let it be said that, although this is a cohesive trilogy, every book stands on, and as, its own beast, fundamentally different from the others, but fitting together in a whole. Mater Viae is [...]

100 word review: The Explorer, by James Smythe

100 word review: The Explorer, by James Smythe

In space, no one can hear you lose your mind. The first of Smythe’s Anomaly Quartet, this brief book completes its story in the first quarter, then invites you to follow it back around to find out what really happened, possibly. It’s a difficult structure to do well, and Smythe handles it. This is the [...]

100 word review: Paper Aeroplanes, by Dawn O'Porter

100 word review: Paper Aeroplanes, by Dawn O’Porter

In a simpler world, before the Internet and mobile phones, in a small village on a tiny island there’s a girl who has problems. Everyone’s got problems, of course, but not like Renée, and not like Flo. Neither of them have any proper friends, and it looks like they’re not likely to get them. Bullies [...]

100 word review: No Harm Can Come to a Good Man, by James Smythe

100 word review: No Harm Can Come to a Good Man, by James Smythe

What does it mean to be a good man, and is that something you can predict? This is the question that Smythe asks through this… I don’t know what you call it. Anti-allegory? To read this is to get caught up in a story that fits comfortably inside a litfic longlist: there’s a man, with [...]

100 word review: The Bunker Diary, by Kevin Brooks

100 word review: The Bunker Diary, by Kevin Brooks

Dark. Grim. Sadness. This is a book for young people won the Carnegie prize, with much controversy. Apparently, children can’t read dark books. Except The Scarlet Letter, Lord of the Flies, or Brave New World. This book is good. It’s astoundingly bleak, but it’s a fascinating portrait of the lives of six people who, one [...]

100 word review: Red.Doc>, by Anne Carson

100 word review: Red.Doc>, by Anne Carson

I wondered often as I read this book if I was clever or educated enough to get it, and I wondered if that even mattered. Reading this book is like tossing yourself into a storm-laden sea, to be battered back and forth by words, astounded by gorgeous, lush fragments of phrase and crystalline images of [...]

100 word review: The Mirror Empire, by Kameron Hurley

100 word review: The Mirror Empire, by Kameron Hurley

Another Hurley, another narrative in which we’re tossed into the deep end and expected to swim. Hurley’s vivid imagination and mad ambition means that she’s once again created a complex world with few, if any, touchpoints. Three empires exist in a fragile peace, while an unknowable cataclysm approaches after two thousand years of silence. Hurley [...]

100 word review: Foreign Gods, Inc, by Okey Ndibe

100 word review: Foreign Gods, Inc, by Okey Ndibe

Ike (EE-kay) is a taxi driver with a cum laude degree in Economics from Amherst. And he’s Nigerian, with an unshakeable accent. He’s never been able to catch a break, until now. He’s discovered a gallery called Foreign Gods, Inc, which sells gods to the über-rich. Ike decides to go back to his village in [...]

100 word review: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

100 word review: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

I shouldn’t be allowed to review the dust on the shoes of this book. It’s beyond a classic. It’s seminal. The Shining wouldn’t exist without it. Eleanor, our sometime protagonist, gets a letter inviting her to come to a place called Hill House, on the outskirts of Hillsdale. Reminiscent of The Awakening, Eleanor discovers her [...]