Sunday, 6 October 2019


Lucille is a place free from monsters, without prejudice or danger. But when a creature climbs out of her mother's painting, Jam is faced with the idea that maybe there are still monsters in this world. The only problem is, no one believes in them any more.

It was no small thing to try to restructure a society, to find the pus boiling away under the scabs, to peel back the hardened flesh to let it out.

Akwaeke Emezi's first young adult novel is a fantastic little moral tale about what happens when we become complacent. Lucille is a wonderful place to live, free from fear. This is seen in the way everyone just accepted when Jam announced she was a girl, that she chooses to sign rather than speak. It's nice to see a trans character in a book that's not about the challenges of living as trans, she just is, and she's got more important things to be doing, like hunting monsters.

You can't tell a monster by looking at them, so they can hide in plain site. The problem with Lucille is that people have forgotten what monsters did, and how to be aware of the signs. They are also adamant that they are gone. Who is going to believe a couple of kids?

It’s not the same when the monsters are gone. You’re only remembering shadows of them, stories that seem to be limited to the pages or screens you read them from. Flat and dull things. So, yes, people forget. But forgetting is dangerous. Forgetting is how the monsters come back.

There's a poignant moment when the librarian shows Jam and Redemption some leaflets from the olden days. These are basic information that would be available in any school, doctor's office or community setting. Things like the signs of abuse and how to seek help. These are now restricted documents, no one wants to cause distress by telling kids about them. But knowledge is power, and not knowing about the bad things, is not knowing how to do something about it.

Her mother, who refused to believe in keeping animals indoors and never let her get so much as a goldfish, had gone and painted a thing with goat legs and ram horns, a thing that could have fallen out of some apocalyptic last pages of an old holy book, a furry, goldfeathered thing that was squatting in the studio like no man’s business.

Note, the UK paperback is not out until November but you can buy the ebook now.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 32(b). An author from Africa

Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones | Hive | Wordery | Blackwell’s

Book Source: Purchased

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

The Month That Was... September 2019

I'm in a bit of a blogging slump these days, I haven't even managed to post my mini reviews for the Magical Readathon which was in August... I don't think I want to give up blogging, maybe I just need to get back into a routine.

I have been reading loads, and chugging through my reading challenges. I only have a handful of prompts left on both ATY and Popsugar. Out of the 12 books I read last month, 4 were 5 stars reads! If you've like to know what I've been reading in a more timely manner, do add me on Goodreads.

Here's what did make it onto the blog...


Blogged about:

On My Radar: October

Also read:

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Science Fiction - Earth Based - Aliens
Verdict: I loved this so much and went out and bought the rest of the books straight away.
ATY: 46. A book with a (mostly) black cover

After Atlas by Emma Newman

Science Fiction - Earth Based - Mystery - Indentured Labour
Verdict: Better than Planetfall, a great mix of murder mystery, corporate exploitation, cults and tech. All these books are standalone within the same series, and I can't wait to read the others.
ATY: 19. A book by an author who has more than one book on your TBR

Tiger by Polly Clark

Contemporary - Conservation - Tigers - Addiction
Verdict: I enjoyed the first part about Frieda's addiction and working at a small zoo but I got a bit lost when it switched to Siberia or the tiger's perspective. I'm not sure this was the best audiobook, the Russian accents were a bit dodgy.
POPSUGAR: 33. A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in title

Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

Urban Fantasy - Witches - TV Tie-In
Verdict: I watched the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the 90's but haven't seen the Netflix one from which this is based. Was a fun and easy read, though I do miss Salem!
POPSUGAR: 2. A book that makes you nostalgic

Monday, 30 September 2019

On My Radar: October

October is another month chock-full of new releases, from big names to debuts. As always, inclusion here isn't an endorsement and books may be available on different dates in different territories/formats (and sometimes they just change). Dates stated are generally for the UK print edition unless otherwise noted.


Monstress: The Chosen by Marjorie Liu + Sana Takeda
The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht (US)
The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis
We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund (US)
Poisoner in Chief by Stephen Kinzer (US)
The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring (US)
Crier's War by Nina Varela (US)


In Pain by Travis Rieder


The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
The Body by Bill Bryson
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart
The Divers' Game by Jesse Ball
SLAY by Brittney Morris
Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
The Places I've Cried in Public by Holly Bourne


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh


The Grace Year by Kim Liggett


Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma
Soon by Lois Murphy


The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson
Impossible Causes by Julie Mayhew
The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman
Doing Time by Jodi Taylor
Stillicide by Cynan Jones
Angel Mage by Garth Nix


Life Is Strange: Waves by Emma Vieceli, Claudia Leonardi;Andrea Izzo
Supernova Era by Cixin Liu


The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz
I Carried a Watermelon by Katy Brand


The Sea Inside Me by Sarah Dobbs


Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather (US)


The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde
The End is Always Near by Dan Carlin
So Lucky by Dawn O'Porter
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
Love, Secret Santa by S.A. Domingo

(US) = no official UK release scheduled but US edition readily available
(e) = UK ebook release