Planetfall – Emma Newman

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Release date: November 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Ace/Roc
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

From the award-nominated author Emma Newman, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown. 

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi. 

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

 

Review:

After reading Emma Newman’s successful The Split Worlds, I was eager to read her new book, Planetfall. It promised to be something completely different and I wondered how I would end up liking that. Planetfall has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. It’s an emotional, intelligent tale about surviving and coping with tragedy. It maybe wasn’t completely what I had expected, but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim

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op Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday bloggers list 10 bookish things according to a certain theme. Today we’re listing ten books that we picked up on a whim. I’m going to interpret this as buying/reading books that I hadn’t heard about before. As a blogger and follower of the online book community it’s hard not to buy based on recommendations, so I really liked this opportunity of looking through my books finding these that I just bought because they stood out on the shelves. They’re mostly older ones that I bought before I got into the book-blogging community. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of them again, a lot of them were absolute favourites of mine when I was a teenager.

 

1.TimeBomb – Scott K. Andrews

I picked up TimeBomb from a table of free books at a convention. I can’t remember if it was Nine Worlds or Fantasycon. I liked the cover and the description of the book and I wasn’t disappointed. I enjoyed the book very much and can’t wait to read the second one (which also has a stunning cover btw).

2. Shadow’s Son – Jon Sprunk

I picked up Shadow’s Son when I was a at big book fair in Belgium. They do a tour of Flanders and the Netherlands with a huge amount of all sorts of books, most at reduced prices. I go every year and because it’s always very busy, the selection of books I buy there are mostly based on covers and quick glances at descriptions. Shadow’s Son was one I bought solely based on the cover and it is basically how I discovered Pyr. It is the first book in a trilogy and I enjoyed all three of them very much.

3. The Demon King – Cinda Williams Chima

Aaah, The Demon King! I bought it at the same book fair as Shadow’s Son and fell in love with it straight away. I bought the other two books in the series immediately after and eagerly awaited the fourth and last book after that. Seven Realms is a series that’ll always belong to my favourite YA series and it’s all because I picked up the first book because I liked the cover.

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Cover Artist: Tommy Arnold

I stumbled across Tommy Arnold’s work when I discovered the books Skyborn and Fireborn by David Dalglish. I was blown away by the beautiful covers and after looking through his other work, I must say he’s a new favourite of mine. I’ve added some examples below, but for more art, prints or to get in contact with the artist you can go to his website.

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All images shown below are copyrighted by the artist.

 

 

Spotlight: The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

About the Book

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Listen.
All the world forgets me. First my face, then my voice, then the consequences of my deeds.
So listen. Remember me.

My name is Hope Arden, and you won’t know who I am. We’ve met before – a thousand times. But I am the girl the world forgets.

It started when I was sixteen years old. A slow declining, an isolation, one piece at a time.

A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher who forgets to chase my missing homework. A friend who looks straight through me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the people I hurt, the crimes I commit – you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life tricky. But it also makes me dangerous . . .

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of the girl no one remembers. But this gripping story – of love and loss, of hope and despair, of living in the moment and dying to leave a mark – is novel that will stay with you for ever.

Publication date: May 19th, 2016 (Orbit)

 

About the Author

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Catherine’s first novel, Mirror Dreams, was completed when she was 14 years old. The book was published in 2002 and garnered comparisons with Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman.

Catherine went on to publish a further seven young adult novels under her own name, earning her extensive critical acclaim and two Carnegie nominations for her novels Timekeepers and The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle.

Under the open pseudonym Kate Griffin, she has also since published a further six fantasy novels for adults. Dubbed the Matthew Swift and Magicals Anonymous novels, these books are set in an alternate modern-day London saturated with magic. They revolve around the concept that the pulse, the rhythm and the heartbeat of the city and the millions of people living within it becomes a palpable form of magic itself.

In 2014, Catherine released The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August under the pseudonym Claire North. It is the extraordinary journey of one unforgettable character who lives his life over and over again. It became a paperback bestseller and was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, the Waterstones Book Club and the Radio 2 Book Club.

A lifelong Londoner, Catherine describes herself as a fan of big cities, urban magic, Thai food and graffiti-spotting, and she is endlessly fascinated by such questions as who leaves copies of the yellow pages on top of bus shelters, how the hidden tunnels beneath the sorting office were built, and why anyone would ever dispose of perfectly good pairs of shoes by throwing them over the nearest telephone line.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten (Actually Four) Websites I Love That Aren’t About Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday bloggers list 10 bookish things according to a certain theme. Today we’re listing ten website that we love that aren’t about books. It has taken this Top Ten Tuesday for me to realise almost all the website I frequently visit that aren’t social media are book-related. I really had to think hard to find some websites that I frequently visit and enjoy that aren’t about books, so this is going to be a rather short list.

 

1.TuneFind

So, starting off with something quite random: TuneFind. This is my go-to website for when I hear an incredible song on a movie or episode and I want to know what the song is called. It has helped me discover some incredible new music and some of the bands I discovered there have become new favourites of mine.

2. Episode Calendar

To stay in theme with number one, Episode Calendar is a website I use frequently to keep track of when episodes of my favourite series air. I watch so many of them that it’s hard to keep an eye on all the dates and announcements. With this website you can make an account, add 20 series you like for free and keep track of when the next episode airs, mark episodes as seen and how many episodes you still need to watch.

3.Celeste Barber’s Instagram account

When I need some cheering up, this woman’s instagram account is what I look at. She copies celebrities instagram photos in her own, ‘mundane’ way. They are hilarious and a good way to not be distracted by the perfect pictures these celebrities post of their perfect bodies in all kinds of ‘sexy’/weird positions. Celeste is the down-to-earth person that girls need to show them that those photos do not represent reality. And they are freakin hilarious.

4.PhD Comics

So, this is a personal one, but one that might appeal to all the PhD students reading this blogpost. PhD Comics makes, as the name suggests, comics about life as a PhD student. They are usually so spot on and make me want to giggle and cry at the same time.

Update: April

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update post, but I thought it was time to start again. I’ve read some great books in the first four months of this year and I have a feeling there will be many more during the rest of the year. These first 4 months have been… strange. 2016 has so far been a strange mix of wonderful and devastating events. Good thing I have my books through all of it.

These last few weeks have been crazy as I started the most important experiments of my first PhD year. It all happened a bit early and rather unexpected, so I’ve been running around like a crazy person trying to wrap my head around everything and getting everything done. Fingers crossed it’ll give me some good results!

 

Read and Currently Reading

Read:

Saint’s Blood – Sebastien de Castell

The book we’ve all been waiting for, the third instalment in the Greatcoats series. After the smashing debut that was Traitor’s Blade and the sequel, Knight’s Shadow, surpassing all expectations, it was no surprise that almost every one of my blogger friends was eager to read this one. And it didn’t disappoint. Scroll down for a link to the full review of the book.

Eagle in Exile – Alan Smale

This is the second book in the Hesperian trilogy. It’s a sequel that went right at every single point the first book went a bit wrong. I very much enjoyed this one and I’m looking forward to the third one to see how Alan Smale will continue on the path he has chosen for his characters. Same as with Saint’s Blood, scroll down for a link to the full review.

Half a King – Joe Abercrombie

I know I’m a bit late to the party. I’ve been wanting to read Half a King for ages now and I finally made some time to do it. Boy, oh, boy, I just couldn’t put it down. I will add my voice to the many already singing praise for this one. Keep an eye out for a full review soon!

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Spotlight: The Silent Army – James A. Moore

About the Book

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The City of Wonders has been saved by nearly miraculous forces and the Silent Army is risen, ready to defend the Fellein Empire and Empress Nachia at any cost.

The power that was hidden in the Mounds is on the move, seeking a final confrontation with the very entities that kept it locked away since the Cataclysm. Andover Lashk has finally come to accept his destiny and prepares to journey back to Fellein. The Sa’ba Taalor continue their domination over each country and people they encounter, but the final conflict is coming: The Great Wave of the Sa’ba Taalor stands to destroy an empire and the Silent Army prepares to stop them in their tracks.

Caught in the middle is the Fellein Empire and the people who have gathered together on the final battlefield. The faithful and the godless, the soldiers and killers alike all stand or fall as old gods and new bring their war to a world-changing end. Some struggles are eternal. Some conflicts never cease. The Gods of War are here and they are determined to win.

Publication date: May 3rd, 2016 (Angry Robot)

 

About the Author

Credit: Stephen H. Moore

Credit: Stephen H. Moore

James A. Moore is the award winning author of over twenty novels, thrillers, dark fantasy and horror alike, including the critically acclaimed Fireworks, Under The Overtree, Blood Red, the Serenity Falls trilogy (featuring his recurring anti-hero, Jonathan Crowley) and his most recent novels, Blind Shdows, Homestead and the soon to be released Seven Forges. He has also recently ventured into the realm of Young Adult novels, with his new series Subject Seven. In addition to writing multiple short stories, he has also edited, with Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, the British Invasion anthology for Cemetery Dance Publications.

The author cut his teeth in the industry writing for Marvel Comics and authoring over twenty role-playing supplements for White Wolf Games, including Berlin by Night, Land of 1,000,000 Dreams and The Get of Fenris tribe book for Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse, among others.  He also penned the White Wolf novels Vampire: House of Secrets and Werewolf: Hellstorm.

Cover Reveal: It Happened One Doomsday – Laurence MacNaughton

I recently received an ARC of this book from Pyr Books, but it’s only today that the final cover has been revealed! It looks like an interesting, quirky book, so I’m very keen to read it. It Happened One Doomsday will be published on July 12th, 2016.

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About the Book

Magic is real. Only a handful of specially-trained individuals can wield its arcane power to protect the world from demons, foul creatures, and the forces of darkness. These powerful sorcerers are descendants of an elite order. The best in the world at what they do.

Unfortunately, Dru isn’t one of them.

Sure, she’s got a little magic potential. She can use crystals to see enchantments or brew up an occasional potion. And she can research the heck out of anything in the library of dusty leather-bound tomes stacked in the back of her little store, sandwiched between a pawn shop and a 24-hour liquor mart. There, she scrapes by quietly selling crystals, incense, and magic charms.

Then she discovers that the Harbingers, seven fallen sorcerers, want to wipe the planet clean of humans and install themselves as new lords of an unfettered magical realm. And when they unearth the Apocalypse Scroll, the possibility of a fiery cosmic do-over suddenly becomes very real.

There’s only one chance to stop them. And it’s about to fall into Dru’s magically inexperienced hands.

Eagle in Exile – Hesperian #2 – Alan Smale

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Release date: March 22th, 2016
Publisher: Del Rey
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 576
Format: E-galley
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

 

In A.D. 1218, Praetor Gaius Marcellinus is ordered to conquer North America and turning it into a Roman province. But outside the walls of the great city of Cahokia, his legion is destroyed outright; Marcellinus is the only one spared. In the months and years that follow, Marcellinus comes to see North America as his home and the Cahokians as his kin. He vows to defend these proud people from any threat, Roman or native.
 
After successfully repelling an invasion by the fearsome Iroqua tribes, Marcellinus realizes that a weak and fractured North America won’t stand a chance against the returning Roman army. Worse, rival factions from within threaten to tear Cahokia apart just when it needs to be most united and strong. Marcellinus is determined to save the civilization that has come to mean more to him than the empire he once served. But to survive the swords of Roma, he first must avert another Iroqua attack and bring Cahokia together. Only with the hearts and souls of a nation at his back can Marcellinus hope to know triumph.

 

Review:

After reading Clash of Eagles, the first book in the Hesperian trilogy, I had some difficulty reviewing the book. I enjoyed the book, but I couldn’t quite connect with the main character and I had some doubts about his role in the new society he discovered. I’m really glad I got an opportunity to read the second book, Eagle in Exile, because all the things that didn’t work for me in the first book worked perfectly now. I started to care about Gaius Marcellinus almost right away and I was glad to see that he expressed the same doubts I had in the second book and tried to do something about it.

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Spotlight: The Emperor’s Railroad – Guy Haley

About the Book

 

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Global war devastated the environment, a zombie-like plague wiped out much of humanity, and civilization as we once understood it came to a standstill. But that was a thousand years ago, and the world is now a very different place.

Conflict between city states is constant, superstition is rife, and machine relics, mutant creatures and resurrected prehistoric beasts trouble the land. Watching over all are the silent Dreaming Cities. Homes of the angels, bastion outposts of heaven on Earth. Or so the church claims. Very few go in, and nobody ever comes out.

Until now…

 

Publication date: April 19th, 2016 (Tor)

 

About the Author

(From the author’s website)

I am, for want of a better Linean-type categorisation for my own peculiar sub-career, a science fiction journalist, and now a writer of the same. The principal difference being once I interviewed people about making stuff up, now I make my own stuff up. The latter is more fun.

I was born in 1973, the eldest of five boys, all of whom are arty media sorts, if short-tempered and, well, short (all except number 4, who is genuinely large enough to ride a horse). We were raised on the moors of Yorkshire, where we all survived to adulthood despite freezing temperatures, angry boggarts and proximity to the volatile Lancastrian border.

I began my career on SFX Magazine in 1997, where I eventually became deputy editor, before leaving to edit notable gaming magazine White Dwarf at Games Workshop. Three years later I ran away to be  involved in the launch of the ill-fated, if bold, SF magazine Death Ray, which I also edited. Since its demise in 2009 I have been wandering the media hinterlands as a pen for hire.

I live in Somerset with my wife Emma, young son Benny (yes really, and no, nobody under 107 years of age remembers Crossroads now), and a Malamute called Magnus.

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