QBD Reviews: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

A sequel to Illuminae, Gemina follows the story of what happened at the space station Heimdall, where the refugees from the attack on Kerenza were hoping to find sanctuary in Illuminae.

In the second book of the Illuminae series we hear from two different heroes. Hanna Donelly is the daughter of the space station commander whilst Niklas Malikov comes from a family of criminals – a very unlikely pairing.

The BeiTech Corporation is intent on covering up the attack on Kerenza, and to this end send a team in to “cleanup” (read, attack and purge the station) with a backup drone fleet if the humans don’t fix the problem. Gemina is all about Heimdall, and Nik and Hanna’s journey to save their home and the people in it. The evil Director Leanne from BeiTech is back and desperately trying to distance herself from knowledge of events at Kerenza in an official Inquiry.

I really like the unique format to this series. You would think that reading journals, memos and instant chat dialogue would be disjointed, yet it flows well and is surprisingly easy to read.

I enjoyed this instalment in the series just as much as the first. It was quite different having the action on a space station instead of a ship. At first I was disappointed that the story didn’t continue with Kady and Ezra on the Hypatia. However, I soon came to see that Hanna and Nik brought a really interesting side to the story. Nik’s cousin Ella is a genius hacker and together how the three teenagers try to thwart a surprise attack on their home is very engaging.

Ezra, Kady and AIDEN do make an appearance as the Hypatia gets closer to the Heimdall station, however it’s not until at least two-thirds of the way into the story. As they near the station and communications open on a private comm-link we find out what “Gemina” means - very cool idea.

I was really involved in this story; in the last third particularly I was very vocal with my “oh no” and “oh my gosh” as well as leaping out of my chair in parts – my husband thought it was hilarious watching me. The surprise twist in Gemina reminds me of the Claudia Gray Firebird multiverse novels I just finished.

I wonder how Amie and Jay are going to make the third novel even better, there is an obvious lead in to another instalment. Can’t wait! - Kerryn, QBD Northland

QBD Reviews: Paris For One and Other Stories

From the author of Me Before You comes a story exploring real life with humour and heart.

Paris For One is a novella following Nell and her adventure in Paris.

Nell is a very organised person, planning her life down to the last minute, weighing the pros and cons of every decision very carefully. She impulsively books two tickets to Paris for herself and her boyfriend as she has never travelled before – he has backpacked extensively. At the train station he texts her and says he can’t make the train and will meet her in Paris.
Nell’s adventure begins there, completely out of her depth, not speaking the language – a fiasco! Should she stay, or turn around and come home?

I loved this light romantic story. I also liked the other bite-sized snippets of different stories in this volume. From how new shoes can give confidence, to how seeing an old boyfriend can affirm your current relationship choice. Paris For One is a very enjoyable collection of stories.

~ Kerryn, Northland QBD

Have you read The Poet?

Michael Connelly's The Poet is our April Book Of The Month! At only $12.99, it's great value!

What an experience! The Poet is a rollercoaster ride - a whole bunch of twists and turns and tiny, misleading drops that build up to the final plummet. This is a novel that kept me turning page after page, wanting to puzzle out whodunnit. I thought I was oh so clever following the hints in between the lines but boy was I wrong! A definite must read for lovers of John Grisham and David Baldacci! - Karen C., Tweed heads QBD

Storm into these great reads!


Our marvellous Blacktown book worms have been reading up a storm!


The Handsome Man's Deluxe Cafe by Alexander McCall Smith:

The Number One Ladies Detective Agency is my favourite series of all time and book 15 didn't disappoint!
As Mma Ramotswe goes about day to day life in her beloved Botswana she is presented with a bizarre case of a woman who has no idea of who she is or where she is from to try and solve.
Mma Ramotswe's husband Mr J.L.B Matekoni has his own problems of trying to save his beloved business, the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors.
Like the rest of the series this book is a good light-hearted read that doesn't involve too much thinking and showcases the African culture superbly. - Wade

The Girl Before by J P Delaney:

This book follows 2 women's lives in the pristine 1 Folgate St.
After a traumatic experience Jane (NOW) needs to feel safe where she lives and 1 Folgate St seems like the perfect haven, despite the very extensive list of rules & requirements.
After moving in Jane learns the story of Emma (THEN) who was also a tenant and met an untimely and mysterious death in the house. As Jane delves into the story of Emma she questions whether her safe haven really is safe.
A great psychological thriller that will have you intrigued on every page.. - Mel

Trials Of Apollo Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan:

Set in the same world as the beloved Percy Jackson novels, The Trials Of Apollo is a follow up series well worth your time. The god Apollo is ejected from Olympus after angering his father Zeus and stuck in the body of a teenage boy, and must find a way to regain Zeus's favour. Enlisting the help of everyone's favourite demigod, he travels to Camp Half Blood and faces off against ancient foes. Written with Riordan's signature humour, this story brings characters we know and love together with new ones that will certainly become favourites. This book is perfect for old and new fans alike! - Danielle

Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Honestly I only read this because I had to for a school assignment but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This psychological classic revolves around lawyer Mr Utterson and his interest in Mr Hyde and his connection with the wealthy doctor, Dr Jekyll. What he finds is certainly not what he expected. The consequences of his findings could cost him his life. This book had me hooked from the beginning and I'm glad I was made to read it - Toby

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb:

Meet Fitz in the first installment of Robin Hobb's extensive collection. Prepare to be absorbed into the dark tale of a coastline plagued by mysterious red vessels and a kingdom being destroyed from the inside. The inventive magic, the intrigue, the action, it all works to form the best the Fantasy epic you will ever read. - Elijah

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Reviewsday: The Last Showman

An excellent Aussie autobiographical yarn of Fred Brophy and his boxing tent, an old institution banned almost everywhere in the western world ... as well as in Victoria and New South Wales here (Fred will often wish visitors from these two states a happy ‘Welcome to Australia!’). As a boxer, the tent-boxing idea has fascinated me for a while, particularly how important it is for someone like Fred to be able to match up the volunteers with his fighters, sell the judgements on the contests to the crowd so that he makes a dollar and doesn’t cause a riot, and also for the fighters to out-fight their opponents ... but not by too much, so they’ll be welcome back next time.

Sue Williams does an excellent job of appearing to be absolutely absent from the text; Fred’s laconic humour and often contradictory recollections and ideas-on-life come through just as though he was sitting next to you at a bar in Birdsville over a XXXX beer. Deliciously, what is left out or brushed over is often where you think the meat of the story may be, but there’s still enough in there to marvel at and tickle your funny bone. There’s a bit of repetition and a few editorial misses here and there, but a good unpretentious read about a larrikin ‘old mate’.

-Jeremy, Doncaster QBD