Mar 282014

George Duncan appears to be a perfectly safe, perfectly ordinary man, divorced, schlepping towards middle age, and passing the time with a moderately successful business that gives him ample time. He is presented with a choice: venture into the cold and dark, friendless and alone to aid an anonymous cry for help, or back to sleep.

George plunges into the unknown and is literally touched by divinity, taking his role in a complex blend of history and myth, touching on the endless cycle of creation and destruction. It’s a terribly ambitious whirlwind that gets more right than it gets wrong.



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Aug 212012

Patrick Ness brings the Chaos Walking trilogy to a stunning conclusion by bringing out the monstrous in men – and women.

Three points of view swirl around two groups of people and one group of aliens.

This is a book about the evil that we do to ourselves, to each other, to those we care about and those we hate.

This is a book about choices, revenge, about hunger, and fear.

This is a book about forgiveness and redemption of others and of the self.

This is a book about the cost of everything that we do as a species.


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Aug 132012

This stunning follow-up to The Knife of Never Letting Go continues the stakes-raising. We dig into the dark corners of Todd, Viola’s, and humankind’s minds showing the ugly truth about the way we live.

Everything keeps getting darker, through the thousand compromises that we make with ourselves. We are ugly and dark, but glimpse our potential; we make hard choices about how to live, the price we pay for living as we will, and coping in the face of harsh realities.

The best science fiction uses ideas to examine what it means to be human; these books go beyond that.


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Aug 052012

Todd Hewitt is the last child in Prentisstown, the last human settlement on New World, where all the women are gone while men grind out a hard hopeless life. He’s approaching his 13th birthday when he’ll become a man.

Then he learns that everything he knows is wrong.

The first of a trilogy holds sprawling ambition and attention to detail – holding your attention with relentless suspense. The pace starts high and the stakes keep getting higher – and the choices harder.

This is part of the vanguard of new young adult literature, and you’d be glad to read it.


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Jul 082012

Patrick Ness writes true things.

Conor’s nightmare scares him awake; a monster comes calling. The monster tells him true things. Uncomfortable important things. The world we live in can be a difficult, unforgiving place. Things get better, sometimes. Events move to their conclusions; everything does not turn out OK.

Which is OK.

This book is those who have lost someone, those who might lose someone, for myself, my friend Jane, my friend James more recently, and you.

This will remind you of the pain and what it takes for it to get batter.

Eminently readable, accessible, important. Read this book.

Get it here (UK) or here (US). And do yourself a favour and get the version with the pictures.