Aug 182015
100 word review: The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard

Paris, after the war. You know. The big one. The one with the massive bombs that ended the age of empires. The one that meant that angels were kicked out of heaven. The first world war. De Bodard has linked the wars to create a postapocalyptic Paris as her backdrop. This is a story of […]

Jun 042015
100 word review: Department 19 – Darkest Night

When I started Department 19 it felt like a very well done but pretty standard hero’s journey story: Young teenager discovers a secret government department hunting vampires and of course he’s got a place in it. What’s evolved over five books is something much richer and much darker – the final volume should be humanity’s […]

Jun 012015
100 word review: All that Outer Space Allows, by Ian Sales

Ian Sales has finished his Apollo Quartet, and the final book is brilliant. You should read the first three first, as they will loop you into this series of worlds all linked by the Apollo programme, all four obsessively researched, in very slightly alternate histories. The fourth book focusses on the wife of an astronaut […]

May 252015
100 word review: The Rock and the River, by Kekla Magoon

1968, Chicago. Thirteen year old Sam is the son of a prominent civil rights activist, a protegée of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but the Black Panthers have come to town; his older brother Stick believes in their message. What’s amazing about this book is how it does not fulfil expectations: Hollywood will […]

May 222015
100 word review: Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle

This is an odd creature of a book: it’s based around Trace Italian, a massive turn-based story game, created by a recluse who became terribly disfigured as a young man. Imagine Zork, but played by post. The world and the game sound fascinating as the story uncovers the past of Sean Phillips – it’s not […]

May 152015 The fourth in Will Hill’s excellent Department 19. Horror and action aren’t really my cups of tea. NEVERTHELESS I’m a fan of Will Hill’s books. They fill the gap that can be read as “mindless fun”, but they’re more than that. The crux of the story: Van Helsing et al were real – and […]