Feb 242015
The Peripheral, by William Gibson (Viking) (Red Tentacle)

A short distance into the future – the American economy an d its environment is busy collapsing and, somewhere further down the line, the “jackpot” has struck and the world has recovered, somewhat. Gibson does lots of things rather well: inventing language that feels real, perversely not letting you know what’s going on, making you […]

Feb 232015
Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith (Egmont) (Red Tentacle)

In a small, midwestern American town called Ealing, Iowa two boys are misfits who are bored, in the way people can only be bored growing up in a small town. Modern suburban-style rural sprawl clash with high school jock politics and the underage smoking of cigarettes and drinking of beer. Smith paints a very clear […]

Aug 202014
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 […]

Aug 042014
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 […]

Jul 312014
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 […]

Jul 242014
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 […]

Jul 202014
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 […]

Jun 302014
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 […]