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QBD Reviews: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The people of Norta are divided by class, by ability, by blood – red or silver. Silvers are the elite ruling class, endowed with god-like powers. The Reds are commoners, powerless and destined to serve the Silvers. Seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow is one such Red, living a bleak existence with her family in the Stilts. Mare hates the privileged Silvers, even as she finds herself with a job in the Silver Palace, surrounded by those she despises. Then, a shocking discovery – though she has Red blood, Mare has a spectacular Silver ability. Afraid of what Mare’s power might mean, the Silvers declare her a long-lost Silver princess, and arrange her marriage to the Prince. Mare knows one wrong move means death – but when a member of the resistance group the Red Guard approaches her for help, she cannot deny them. Mare must learn to control her new ability, and navigate a world of betrayal and lies, all the while supressing her growing feelings for an enemy.

Red Queen is a fresh and fun addition to the YA Fantasy genre. Mare is a great protagonist – fierce, flawed, brave, and angry with the injustices of her society. The Silver abilities are cool too, with everything from telekinesis to super speed. The Silver Princes, Cal and Maven, are both potential allies or enemies for Mare, and each of them have different motives.  It’s a fast-paced, entertaining read, perfect for fans of The Hunger GamesDivergent, and Red Rising.

~Sarah, QBD Support Office

Check Out Charlestown’s Latest Reads!

 
Check out all the great books our Charlestown team have been reading!

A Dogs Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron:

This book is about 'mans best friend' but with a spin...it is told entirely through the dogs eyes.
The best part though is the fact that throughout the book the dog gets reincarnated a few times and as the reader you get to experience what life is like for a dog in a number of circumstances and how these may play a part in the dogs experiences in life. I will admit...I did cry (a couple of times.)
Your heart strings will be pulled (tugged hard in some places.) We’ve all had a best friend who identified in the canine or feline persuasion so we can all relate to what the book is trying to say, whilst giving us a new angle of the story to consider. A fascinating read for all animal lovers and an ode to the most humble, reliable and dedicated member of our families. -Belinda

The Hotel on Place Vendôme by Tilar J. Mazzeo:

Mazzeo’s unique mixture of gossipy non-fiction with historical research is more for the historically interested than the historian. Painting a picture of intrigue and scandal surrounding the guests and patrons of the Hotel Ritz in Paris during the era of Nazi occupied France, The Hotel on Place Vendôme reads more like a soap opera than a history book. From Coco Chanel’s jewel encrusted gas mask being carried by her servants on a satin cushion, to the assassination of Hitler being planned across the bar, images of espionage and opulence drive the rich and captivating story of The Hotel on Place Vendôme. -Jack

The Road by Cormac McCarthy:

The intense apocalyptic story line combined with McCarthy unique writing style creates the most unpredictable and well written novels I’ve ever read. It’s quite a sophisticated text about a father and son taking on a troubled new world, together. This text is 5 star quality with lots of hidden meaning, I would highly recommend to mature readers! -Carter

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas:

The deadly Celaena Sardothien is offered a chance to win back her freedom on one condition: she must compete to become the King's champion.
But what other evil does she stumble across in the King's castle? Get lost in a world of fantasy extravaganza full of love, action and betrayal. - Alyssa

The Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn:

The tale of a son left orphaned, with a murderous uncle intent on taking the family land. Boy turned warrior, turned sorcerer, Shikanoko grows through his own skills and societal traditions to become one of the most powerful men in the nation. In a search for the missing child emperor, Shikanoko becomes the centre piece to a host of people lives and they will all meet their end unless Shikanoko can find the emperor and return him to the Lotus Throne.
Prequel to the Tales of the Otari series, the Tales of Shikanoko is a twisting novel that portrays the folklore of Feudal Japan, as well as a compelling narrative that will have you on the edge of your seat. -Daniel

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis:

This extremely honest memoir is an essential read for Red Hot Chili Peppers fans. Kiedis explores his failures and successes in this no holds barred retelling of his life. Kiedis has had an adventurous life, from overdosing on heroin to meeting the Dalai Lama. -Remy

Noose by Xavier Duff:

A very interesting read on a part of Australia’s history that is not often talked about. Featuring about a dozen different stories of those who were sentenced to the gallows and how they got there, the author also challenges whether all of these people were actually guilty of their crimes and did they actually deserve to hang? Ranging from the first man hanged in 1788 to the last in 1967 this book gives a great overview of capital punishment and how it largely controversial yet had not power in deterring those from committing their crimes. - Amorette

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QBD Reviews: Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba & Taskeshi Obata

Death Note is a manga that is full of suspense, action, intelligence and wit. It follows the story of university student, Light Yagami, a brilliant boy who is well on his way to becoming very successful when he finds a note book, called a Death Note. A Death Note is a book owned by a Shinigami, or God of Death, and it has the power to kill anyone whose name is written inside. Struck with a vision of the perfect future, Light believes he can make the world a better place. A place where those who do wrong are punished. However, that is not as easy and simple as it sounds and Light soon becomes power hungry and ambitious enough to try and make himself a God. Every God needs an enemy and, in Death Note, the role falls to the brilliant, incredible and slightly insane, L.

I absolutely love Death Note. It held so much suspense, action, intelligence and wit. The plot was really well thought out, really intricate. My favourite character is L, purely because he is so smart, yet so insane. I definitely recommend Death Note to anyone who wants a fast paced, engaging and absolutely suspenseful read.

- Stephanie, Strathpine QBD

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Reviewsday: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Long Days and Pleasant Nights Await in "The Gunslinger"!

The first book in King's seven-book 'The Dark Tower' series, 'The Gunslinger' will be nothing like anything you've read before. 'The Gunslinger' introduces us to Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, on his quest to reach the mysterious Dark Tower. Western Gunslinger 'knights' meet interdimensional travel in an eery dreamlike narrative. You'll never be able to predict what turn the book takes next. Far from being disorganised chaos, you will need to pay particularly close attention when reading 'The Gunslinger' and the rest of The Dark Tower series to truly appreciated just how incredibly finely-woven this story is. Not a single detail is mentioned without reason - everything comes back to the Dark Tower in the end...

A seamless blend of fantasy and Western, it won't be long until you'll be back for the second book, 'The Drawing of the Three'.

- Caitlin, QBD West Lakes

QBD Belconnen’s Favourite Ladies

Today our Belconnen team introduce us to some of their favourite ladies... lady authors that is!
From classic fiction to true crime add these great female authors to your shelves today!

Monstress by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda:

Monstress is about disembodied heads, magic, horror, and of course, monsters. Set during a cease fire between humans and Arcanics, a race of Magic users, this book has some really amazing women. In a society where women are in charge, it follows a Arcanic woman, Maika Halfwolf, as she tries to find out about her mother. The story explores the inhumanities of war, and the crimes that are committed by the winners. I really loved this book, the art is really beautiful and pleasing to the eye.
All the characters are fully formed beings, you can feel their history and strength. Plus there's an adorable kitty that I love. - Laurence

Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein:

This is one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time. Sarah Epstein crafted such an amazing debut book that I read it all in one sitting, desperate to get to the end of the book and thankful that I didn't have to work the next morning.
The story centres around Tash, and a case of a missing girl from 10 years before. The girl, Mallory, was found safe after 6 days, but what happened to her? Why does Tash feel like she has a key to unlock Mallory's trauma? Are they connected somehow, like kindred spirits? Why don't the people closest to Tash believe that she knows something?
This book is a fantastic example of an unreliable narrator, and if you follow it, you can see why. It made me question my memory of small events as a child, looking through it with the eyes of an adult. Bonus points for this being the first thriller I've read in a long time that doesn't victimise women or children. - Karina

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein:

'Code Name Verity' drew me in with promises of strong female characters and it delivered! As someone who is not a huge fan of historical fiction, this book really surprised me with how engaging the story was and how real the characters felt. I finished this book in 3 days and as I am a really slow reader but once you get into it you can't put this book down. There were many plot twists that I did not see coming and just as I thought I knew what was going to happen, Wein would throw a curve ball again.
This is a book about two young British women who are undertaking a secret mission in German occupied France in 1943. It begins with one of them writing a confession for the Gestapo after they were captured. For the first few chapters of the book very little information is given but as you continue reading you realise that everything is part of a bigger more intricate picture. The book switches between both the main characters being the narrators, and the reader is able to slowly piece together what happened. You gain and lose hope with the characters as they try to complete the mission and plan an escape. You never really know what's going to happen until the last page. - Rina

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy:

The God of Small Things is a multi-generational family drama, that explores those often fleeting moments that end up shaping our lives. The world that Arundhati Roy creates for the reader is an immense achievement not just for its scope but for the incredible level of detail with which she litters it. A rich and complex novel, The God of Small Things is a rewarding read sure to stay with you long after you’ve put it down. - Lachlan

Joe Cinque's Consolation by Helen Garner:

Helen Garner recounts that terrible crime committed by Anu Singh, when she kills her boyfriend, Joe Cinque. The book is full of court transcripts and interviews with those close to the people in the case, as well as Garner's outrage at the justice system and criminal sentencing. - Jess
3.5 stars

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule:

Ann Rule's 'The Stranger Beside Me' tells the chilling tale of serial killer Ted Bundy. Rule herself, a former police officer and suicide hotline worker (where she met Bundy), recounts the events of Bundy's rampage, and her personal connection to him. “You just can't see the mask of a killer if they're right beside you.” Rule's first hand account of her friendship with one of the most prolific serial killers, her realisation of who he really was and even copies of letters Bundy had sent her from jail makes her tale a terrifying and eye opening recount of the events between 1975 to 1978. - Stella

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:

Crackling with humour and personality, Pride & Prejudice is often considered one of the best novels ever written - and fair enough too! Sporting a straightforward (yet ever influential) narrative injected with a relatable protagonist, the supporting characters and situations that Elizabeth Bennett finds herself in provide just enough ridiculousness to elevate Pride & Prejudice well above the countless soap-opera-romances that have tried to ape it. Austen’s writing has survived the test of time and will continue to do so in this hilarious and classic novel. - Mitchell

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