Friday, 31 August 2018

Quickie Reviews

It's that time again to round up all the books I've read but not reviewed. These are a mix of readathon reads and books I picked up for challenges and didn't feel compelled to write full reviews for. Links go to Goodreads for more information.


Angelic: Heirs and Graces is an adorable comic about the genetically engineered animals left behind after a war which destroys the human race. As well as being fun with some of the cutest characters ever, it also looks at themes of patriarchy, behavioural programming and prejudice.

Run, Riot is Nikesh Shukla's first young adult novel, set in a tower block in an un-named UK city (but I think it's Bristol). The action takes place in the 24 hours following the murder of a youth by the police, with a group of friends trying to flee the tower and release the evidence. It tackles themes of gentrification and corruption as well as racism and it was great to see this from a British perspective.


Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson was my choice for the Popsugar prompt "fruit or vegetable in the title". I liked the idea of a post-apocalyptic world run by the banks where environmentalists time travel to the past. However I found it confusing and a lot was not very well explained; plague babies, fat babies, billable hours and fakes? A third of this novella was dedicated to the team's bid for the project (is the author a project manager by any chance?). The ending was also unfulfilling, not my favourite Tor novella by a long way.

I listened to David Suchet narrate Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile for a book that is also a stage play (Popsugar). It was a bit cheesy with slightly camp voices but I don't mind this for Poirot, they are hardly highly realistic to start with. I did think the socialist character was overly horrible, was Christie a hardened capitalist? With them travelling to Egypt there is some casual racism flung in too.


Paper and Fire is the second book in Rachel Caine's Great Library series. Jess unearths more conspiracies in a bid to rescue one of their own from the clutches of the library. I really like that the library is a corrupt power in these books, but still reminding now and then of its potential to be a power for good. It wasn't as good as the first book but I will continue the series. I'm using this for Popsugar's book involving a bookstore or library.

Affinity by Sarah Waters was my pick for a bestseller from the year I graduated high school (Popsugar). I dislike this prompt muchly, but I did convince myself that this 1999 novel about Victorian prisons and spiritualism would count. The descriptions of life in the women's sections of Millbank Prison were fascinating. It seemed very much like the asylums of the time, when women were locked up for the smallest things. Not my favourite of her books but better than The Paying Guests.


I listed to Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave by Zora Neale Hurston for Read Harder's posthumous prompt. The short account of Cudjo's life is an important slice of history and Robin Miles' narration is suberb. However this book has so much padding. A dreary 40 minute introduction repeats some of what is in Zora's work and then focuses on accusations of plagurism, not exactly inspiring you to carry on. At the end are also some folk stories as told by Cudjo.

Remember choose your own adventure books? My Lady's Choosing is a choose your own regency romance. It's a bit of fun and tongue-in-cheek, but don't expect anything too amazing from the plots. For my first read through I favoured adventure and ended up with Lady Evangeline. I suspect this might be the best story of the bunch, but I only did one more "adventure" which took me towards the Darcy type character. This one wasn't as good and the characters just felt like they were going through the motions. I would still like to see more of these choose your own adventure books!

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Time's Convert

Marcus and Phoebe are to be mated, but first Phoebe needs to become a vampire. She must be separated from Marcus as she learns how to control her new body and thirst for blood. As Marcus waits out the separation with Diana, she gets him to speak of how he became a vampire, his past spanning the American and French Revolutions.

Time's Convert works as a companion book for those eager to revisit the world and characters of the All Souls trilogy. I liked the details of Diana and Matthew's domesticity with raising their kids. The "birth" of a new vampire seems to be something which draws together all the family members meaning you get cameos from most the surviving cast.

The book alternates between, Phoebe and Diana in the present and Marcus in the past. Phoebe spends most of her time indoors, until she stops being light-struck, and her part explores the mythology of the vampires in this world. It's quite detailed in the process of learning how to be a vampire without much dramatic tension, other than worrying about the cat.

We are, all of us, asked to grow up too quickly. It is the way the gods remind us that life, no matter how long, is still but a breath.

The substance is provided by Marcus' backstory. You can tell Deborah Harkness is a historian as it encompasses a lot of historic details from the American Revolution, which was where Marcus came into contact with Matthew. There was pestilence, injury and death in abundance and here he became known as Doc, despite not being a real doctor.

The parts told in first person are from Diana, who is dealing with the fact her children are coming into their powers. Baldwin is watching them and wants them to be spellbound should they become unmanageable, but she doesn't want to repeat what her parents did to her. There's a theme of controlling parents throughout, and a suggestion that if you leave things be, children will make the right choices for them, eventually.

I thought I was trading a life of powerlessness for one of freedom when I became a vampire. But I was wrong. I simply exchanged one patriarch for another.

It just seems to lack purpose and the momentum isn't there. I knew Marcus would be OK because here's there to tell the tale. I enjoyed reading it but never felt I had to rush to get back to it. I didn't really know enough about either revolution to pick up on the historical characters, other than Monsieur Guillotin, but there are a few more to pick up on.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Inferior

In Inferior, Angela Saini looks at the bias at work in science, specifically when it comes to studies in sex difference. From Darwin's frankly appalling (but of his time) attitude to women to modern day studies, Saini looks at their evidence and takes apart theories that have been used to demonstrate how women are the inferior sex.

As a woman, it's hard not to be outraged by some of the interpretations of results. It often appears that the male scientists are using their work to reinforce their own prejudices, making leaps from the evidence to come up with theories that fit their own world view. They don't seem very scientific.

Science doesn’t operate in a political vacuum. I think there are some sciences which can be more objective than others. But we are dealing with people, we’re not the Large Hadron Collider.

I am willing to accept that there are small differences in our brains, but I don't understand how someone calling themself a scientist can go from seeing more baby girls look at a photo of a face and more boys look at a mobile, to intpretating that means women will enjoy coffee mornings, being carers and manning suicide hotlines. Whilst, you guessed it, men will enjoy things that will result in better paid and more respected careers.

Many of the studies used in the book are observations from other species. Some of it is fascinating but it also shows how unreliable comparing animal behaviour to human behaviour is. You can find both sides of the debate displayed if you look far enough.

I love how the book tries to explain the ways that women are stronger, with our better immune systems and longer lives, our pickiness over mates and contributions to a community that mean we cannot be less evolved than men. Sex differences are so slight that cultural and societal influences must explain most the gaps between the genders seen today.

The scientific picture emerging now is that there may be very small biological differences, but that these can be so easily reinforced by society that they appear much bigger as a child grows.

Studies into the changes in the brains of London cabbies, help us understand the elasticity of the brain and that comparing adult brains of men and women can't be relied on to prove an underlying biological difference. If women's lives are shaped by a society that oppresses them, when men have freedom to do whatever, the theory is that their brains will adapt differently.

Inferior is very accessible science writing and I highly recommend it, especially to young women embarking on a career in STEM. It will arm you well for any man who should argue that biology means you are less capable.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 15. A book about feminism
Read Harder: A book of social science

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Book Source: Purchased

Monday, 20 August 2018

After the Fire

Seventeen year old Moonbeam has spent most of her life in the compound of the Lord's Legion, until the government come to take her away, the very people she has been taught are servants of the serpent. Now in the clutches of the enemy, Moonbeam must face the events leading up to the raid and decide who to trust.

After the Fire is based on the Waco Siege and the Branch Davidians cult, however Will Hill created a new organisation and characters in order to remain respectful to the survivors. Father John takes wives according to who the Lord chooses and the other men must vow to a life of celibacy. Before him there had been a much more benevolent leader, who let them leave the compound in order to spread the word. They were allowed to read and watch TV before the purge.

The story is told in chapters alternating between Before and After. After is when Moonbeam is being held in a government facility, being interviewed by a psychiatrist and an FBI agent, as well as her interactions with the other children who were freed. They have traded one prison for another, but it's not like they can just be released into the world.

In the Before chapters, she tells of life in the compound, how her mother was banished and her growing disillusionment at the cause. The Centurions are appointed by Father John to serve him and carry out punishments, some of which could be considered torture, but the children know this as justice and the will of the Lord. They are always men and they abuse their power nearly as much as the prophet.

Because nothing is ever only good and nothing is ever only bad. Everything is somewhere in the middle.

I liked that it looked at a cult from the perspective of someone who had been freed. Moonbeam and her "siblings" need to be deprogrammed after a life of what is essentially domestic abuse. Father John controlled them through fear. He claims to be a prophet, that the Lord speaks through him, meaning he can get away with anything he likes. To question him, is to question the Lord.

I would have liked it to explore the reason why people join cults a bit more but, being told from Moonbeam's point of view, it was never her choice. Her mother took her there as a child, and it turns out it was really her deceased father's choice. Once assimilated into the cult, it is easy to see how people were made to stay compliant.

Listening Notes

I feel that if you want an audiobook narrated in a Texan accent, you get someone from Texas to read it. The accent just sounded fake to me throughout and it hadn't the added annoyance of the narrator trying to sound young. Maybe should would have been whiny and gasping, but I didn't like the narration. I think she used her natural accent for Dr Hernandez as I could hear it in Moonbeam's voice now and then, but the doctor was meant to be a man and the voice was much more feminine than the girl.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 32. A book from a celebrity book club

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Book Source: Purchased

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

My Favorite Thing is Monsters

My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a beautiful brick of a graphic novel. It's in the format of 10 year old Karen Reyes's journal, drawn on ruled paper. She loves horror B-movies and wishes she was a monster rather than a girl. She draws herself as a little (kinda adorable) werewolf, rarely acknowledging the reality.

Sometimes a thing happens that's so bad that it feels like things should be made to look on the outside, the way they feel on the inside.

Set in 1960's Chicago, against the backdrop of political turmoil, real-life events creep in around the edges but are not pivotal to the plot. When Karen's neighbour, Anka, is found dead in a kind of locked room mystery scenario, she sets out to find answers.

Anka's history takes the reader back to 1940's Germany, where she lives with prostitutes and becomes the focus of a creepy Nazi who likes children. It bounces between historical and surreal, with Karen grappling with her sexuality in her present day.

I loved the fake horror magazine covers that separate out the main story. I felt each one was connected in some way to what was going on. It would definitely be worth a re-read, if only to gaze again at the gorgeous artwork. I'm not sure I know what the hell happened at the end but it there is a volume two coming soon which I hope will provide answers. I did read it during readathon though, so it might just have been my tired brain!


Emil Ferris worked on this book for fifteen years, including her recovery from West Nile Virus, which left her drawing hand temporarily paralysed. It's had a bumpy journey into the world, with financial collapse of the shipping company leaving the books stranded in Panama, basically held hostage by the government there. Like its characters and author, it's a survivor and well worth the trouble it took to bring it to the world.

If the paperback edition is a bit too expensive, I highly recommend seeing if your library has it before you buy the ebook version as it has stunning production worth seen in person.

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Book Source: Purchased

Monday, 13 August 2018

Ghost Wall

Sylvie's dad is obsessed with the past. She's been forced to spend her summer in a recreation of an Iron Age settlement, wearing scratchy tunics, peeing in the woods and eating meagre rations found in the hedgerows.

Ghost Wall has a slow build tension, as it becomes clear that Sylvie's dad is abusive, controlling every aspect of his wife and child's lives. The camp is being run by a professor, with students who don't take things too seriously, a sore point with her dad. It doesn't take much to set him off and it isn't the students who are the focus of his wrath. I feel like Sarah Moss set out to write a father that was the opposite of Adam in The Tidal Zone.

It's told from the perspective of Sylvie, who makes excuses for her dad. I think deep down she knows what he does is wrong, but she doesn't know any other world. She takes a shine to Molly, one of the students who is confident and carefree. Molly can see through Sylvie's excuses, but what can you do when help is refused?

Cranes reared above us like ceremonial pillars of a lost civilisation, intricate with rust and disintegration.

This all takes place against a backdrop of faux survivalism. As the group try and live the life of ancient Britons, you see how useless modern day humans would be if they really needed to live like that. Has modern farming made things harder?

I enjoyed the parts about what we think life would have been like back then. The professor is academic enough to make it clear we don't know things for certain. Sylvie's dad is quite interested in the bog people, those sacrificed to the peat. The book opens with a scene of from the distant past of a girl being sacrificed, perhaps the one who now resides in a Manchester museum.

Mum often spoke of sitting down as a goal, a prize she might win by hard work, but so rarely achieved that the appeal remained unclear to me.

It also touches on class and what it means to be British. Sylvie's dad is not too keen on thinking about his ancestors coming from all over the place, but Britons didn't just appear on this island. The students are from the south and Sylvie's family from the north. At times she feels like the students are mocking them, she wants to defend her family even if they are far from perfect.

I did see the end coming, it seemed a logical conclusion, even if I do wonder why certain people went along with it. My heart was in my mouth, although it did end a bit too suddenly. I think open endings are very much a thing Sarah Moss does.

Ghost Wall is published by Granta Books and will be available in hardback from 20th September 2018. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 4A. A book tied to your ancestry

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Record of a Spaceborn Few

The Exodus Fleet carried humans from a broken Earth to new planets, but not all chose to leave those ships. A Record of a Spaceborn Few explores the lives of those who live on board the Asteria and the customs developed over centuries of life in space. It's about belonging and the journey you take to find where you belong in the universe.

From the ground we stand. From our ship we live. By the stars we hope.

It starts with tragedy, an explosion on board one of the fleet's ships, witnessed by a little girl. This develops into a phobia for her, living on a ship yet scared to go near walls, to look out the windows and the great expanse of nothingness. Yet she is not the only one who craves life on solid ground. Kip is a teenage boy, constrained by life on board. He wants to experience the full breadth of life, and he can't do that here.

This tragedy introduces the job of caretaker and the death rites on board a ship. What do you do with bodies in space? Use them to grow crops of course, to be part of the cycle of life and help feed future generations. Eyas is respected yet lonely as a caretaker. She visits a tryst club for companionship and sex, the sex workers having as much a valid place in the workings of the fleet as anyone else.

We destroyed entire worlds - entire species. It took a galactic war to stop us. We learned. We apologised. We changed. But we can't give back the things we took. We're still benefiting from them, and others are still suffering from actions centuries old.

A Harmagian is visiting the Asteria, on a anthropological mission to learn more about Exodans. We see them through her eyes as part of her logs, and learn about the prejudice afforded humans, the newcomers to space. It acknowledges the affects of colonialism as science fiction can do, not bound by the history of Earth. If humans did go out into space and find intelligent life, we would be treading on toes, and we might not be the top species any more.

It's really a book exploring culture, there's not much of a grand plot, but Becky Chambers is so good at this sort of thing. It loosely follows Sawyer, an outsider who is looking for something different and has come to stay in the Exodan Fleet to see if he can find it there. He's feeling isolated, apart from the community and viewed with suspicion by some. Just a tourist, they think.

Knowledge should always be free. What people do with it is up to them.

He's then offered a job, a place where he could belong. He's very trusting and I was immediately suspicious of the situation. Close communities are all very well when you're inside them, but it can be hard being an outsider.

If you're already a fan of the Wayfarers then you'll love this book. They are all standalone but would I suggest reading them in order to get the most out of them.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

The Diviners

It's 1926 and Evie O’Neill has been packed off to stay with her uncle in New York. It's meant to be punishment but Evie cannot wait to escape her provincial life and discover the delights of the Big Apple. Her crime? She's a seer and she shared something she shouldn't have at a drunken party. But she can't just tell her parents what really happened.

There were few things worse than being ordinary, in Evie’s opinion. Ordinary was for suckers.

Prohibition is in force but that won't stop Evie having a good time. She meets Ziegfeld girls and shows off her gift in speakeasies. But whilst she's being young and frivolous, a dark force has been released into the city. Her uncle's called in to consult on a string of murders showing elements of the occult and she's eager to help out.

It's set against a backdrop of prejudice, a reminder that America has always been a country of immigrants, a melting pot of culture and there was always someone to blame for society's ills. The cast is diverse too, with a black family and LGBT+ characters (I think the second book will focus more on them).

Evie is one of the diviners of the title. A group of people with special gifts, who have had to hide them in fear of persecution. Not everyone's gifts are the same and as you meet more characters, you soon learn that many of them are diviners too, they just don't know who else is and keep it close to their chests.

I thought research would be more glamorous, somehow. I'd give the librarian a secret code word and he'd give me the one book I needed and whisper the necessary page numbers. Like a speakeasy. With books.

I liked the murder mystery element and it's been ages since I read this kind of urban fantasy. Uncle Will runs a museum of the supernatural and their attempts to solve the murders reminded me of Buffy's Scooby gang. Evie hides her supernatural powers from the rest but this means no one takes her seriously when she reveals her theory.

The fact that Evie uses a lot of twenties slang in her speech is in keeping with the fact that she's trying to fit in with a more cosmopolitan crowd than she's used to. She's probably overdoing it but she seems so naive and sweet, you can forgive her.

It is a bit long and meandering at times. There are a lot of aspects about New York at the time that the author has tried to include, and it all adds to the mood, but it does kill the pace at times. It also felt that a lot of back stories were included for characters who I suspect will have a bigger part to play in the rest of the books, but it just felt like their stories didn't go anywhere.

When the world moves forward too fast for some people, they try to pull us all back with their fear.

I remember when this book was all over the blogosphere and it's taken me a few years to get to it. It stands the test of time but I'd like to think it would have had a tighter edit, if published today. I'll definitely be listening to the second book sometime.

Listening Notes

January LaVoy's narration was loads of fun, with lot's of (probably cheesy) twenties accents. I liked that the accents were restricted to the dialogue, so it didn't go over the top.

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Book Source: Borrowed from library

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

When I heard that The Bumblebee Flies Anyway was about reclaiming a decked over garden for the wildlife, I thought this is my kind of gardening book. When we moved into our house, the small garden (front and back) had been covered in concrete paving and gravel, not a bit of green in sight except for the occasional resilient dandelion. Why do people hate living things so much?

It's a garden made from cuttings and stolen seed, dead turf and bits of root. Broken rules and a broken heart.

When Kate Bradbury moves to Brighton her budget is tight but she manages to find a basement flat with a small patch of garden. She sets about removing the decking and installing her bee hotels, planting species that will attract wildlife back into her garden. On either side, the gardens are all the same, barely any sign of life, does urban wildife stand any chance of finding her?

She talks about the different species who call Brighton home, how modern lifestyles and the ever increasing need for housing has made life difficult for wildlife. There are a vast variety of different bee species and I learned a bit about our resident solitary bees that are nesting the the holes left by a satellite dish. We thought they'd abandoned it but now I know they will stay in there over winter and emerge in spring.

In the garden it's been winter for thirty years. It doesn't change.

Whilst Kate wants to give over her whole garden to wildlife, she also highlights how even little things can help. A small pond will attract frogs soon enough. A few climbing plants or shrubs can give small birds privacy. A hotel made out of hollow stalks and a few bee-friendly flowers will soon get helpful bees hanging out to pollinate your veg.

I loved the gardening and wildlife bits, but like most nature memoirs these days, there is a large portion about personal tragedy. Kate's mother suffers a stroke, and the change in the woman is heartbreaking. Yet it's not really what I wanted to read about when I picked this book up.

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway is published by Bloomsbury and is available now in hardback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

Read Harder: A book about nature

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

A Canticle for Leibowitz

I first heard about A Canticle for Leibowitz at a blogger event for The Fire Sermon. I had picked up on the influences from Wyndham but not Miller, so now I know how much this work shaped Francesca Haig's trilogy.

Listen, are we helpless? Are we doomed to do it again and again and again? Have we no choice but to play the Phoenix in an unending sequence of rise and fall?

It's split into three parts. Fiat Homo (Let There Be Mankind) follows Brother Francis, a young novice in the Albertian Order of Leibowitz in the 26th century. This is 600 years after a nuclear war. The human race very nearly died out and many are born with birth defects. In a backlash against technology and learning, the Simplification destroyed books and killed scientists, leading the world into a new dark age.

The monks preserve Memorabilia, relics of Leibowitz who they are trying to get canonized. As a reader you soon realise what these relics are, but the monks have no idea of their meaning. It shows the importance of preserving knowledge but also the context.

Brother Francis is a bit of a nervous, naive chap. He discovers a fallout shelter in the desert, in which he believes he's found a relic, a drawing made by Leibowitz himself. The Abbot isn't too keen on miracles right now, they'll only interfere with their petition to New Rome for Leibowitz to be made a saint. It pokes fun at the Catholic church but also ponders how religion and science co-exist. It's actually quite amusing in places and some of the characters wouldn't feel out of place in Discworld.

Men must fumble awhile with error to separate it from truth, I think- as long as they don't seize the error hungrily because it has a pleasanter taste.

Fiat Lux (Let There Be Light) is set in 3174, where scholars are starting to take an interest in recreating the technology of the past. At the abbey, one monk has used the teachings of Leibowitz to generate electricity. Whilst some view this with suspicion, others see the potential.

Fiat Voluntas Tua (Let Thy Will Be Done) takes a much sadder turn. The year is 3781 and mankind has not learned from their mistakes. Perhaps the point is that as history was destroyed and forgotten, no one remembered how bad it was last time. It's very much a Cold War era book.

To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law—a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security.

In what I imagine was quite shocking at the time it was published, it talks about the right to die. I found it quite upsetting how the Abbott resisted the state sanctioned suicide for those suffering with no hope of recovery. A mother just wants her daughter to not be in pain and the Abbott is forceful about how God wants her to suffer and they must carry on to avoid hell.

A satire that starts out with humour definitely ended on a much more sombre note. I'm glad I read it and I can see its influence on other, post-apocalyptic, works.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 31. A book mentioned in another book (Among Others)

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Book Source: Purchased

Monday, 6 August 2018

Bright Ruin

Bright Ruin is the final instalment in the Dark Gifts trilogy and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books. If you'd like an idea of what they are about, read my review of Gilded Cage or this interview with Vic James.

Fear was the superpower they all possessed.

After the Blood Fair, Luke is fleeing the capital with Silyen and Abi is hiding out with Gavar, Daisy and Libby. The fates of the Hadleys and Jardines are forever entangled and the future of Britain, for better or worse, is in their hands. Will the privileged Equals squash the rebellion for good or can a compromise be made? Will enough bad people die so the sort-of-good people can be left in charge?

Things are escalating. The fact that the official hashtag was #dontkillmyfave gives you a hint of how brutal this series can be, with plenty of surprising deaths. If you've been wondering why the Skilled weren't in charge of Britain all along, you will find answers too.

I loved the trio of Silyen, Luke and Dog in this final instalment. Silyen's character arc across the trilogy is fantastic. You start off thinking he's cruel and only interested in experiments with Skill, and slowly you find out he's been trying to get the bottom of something he did by accident as a child. He doesn't have much time for the political manoeuvrings of his family, and he shows kindness that I think was more than just convenience, although he always has that excuse.

I wasn't that keen on Luke at the start but his relationship with Silyen is one of the high points of the final book. The flirting, the denial, the looks. I think the very end is left open to interpretation but I know what I have decided.

You learned in school about countries that went backwards. Peaceful nations that flared up in civil war. Democracies that fell under the sway of fanatics. You never imagined such a thing might happen here in Britain. But it could.

Even Dog turns out to be not that bad, he reminds me a little of Game of Throne's The Hound, which might be the inspiration. Gavar's forced by his family to infiltrate the resistance, and you never quite know where his loyalties lie, except for his love for his baseborn daughter who he so desperately wants to protect from his toxic family.

The villains are suitably villainous. Whittam is just horrible and it explains a lot what is revealed about him at the end. It also explains some things about other characters which might otherwise be unforgivable. You find out how nasty and petty Corvan really is (beyond the torture that is). Bouda is never good but she does sometimes seem the best of a bad bunch, like she might just be open to reform if Whittam is removed from her path.

What an ending! I wasn't expecting, to be honest I had no idea how this would be resolved but I think it's the only way it could have worked. At least to leave us happy that change had happened. There were gasps a plenty on the journey and I'd thoroughly recommend this trilogy to anyone a bit bored of the usual urban fantasy fare.

Bright Ruin is published by Pan Macmillan and is out now in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

Science Fiction vs Fantasy Bingo: Rebellion

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.