Staff Blogger

Catalyst for Excitement: Review of a Rogue One Novel


As we count down the days until Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released into the cinemas, what more could one want but to be already immersed in the very story that will be shown? Star Wars Catalyst: A Rogue One Story is the prequel book for the upcoming movie and it makes sure readers are well aware of the stakes as it takes its readers to the corners of the galaxy. The book places us nicely in the timeline, as readers see the Clone Wars ends and the Empire rise, and have the curtain raised as they witness the birth of the Death Star. Star Wars Catalyst: A Rogue One Story covers and gives a background to all the characters we expect to see on the big screen, including appearances from a young Jyn, and even making Grand Moff Tarkin an important part of the story.

The story does not follow the movie cast, instead it sets the stage for both Rogue One and for Star Wars IV. This novel applies layers of conflict and is a wonderful appetizer for the movie. The plot is very much character driven, focusing on the tension between Jyn's father, Galen, and Republic Lieutenant Commander Orson Krennic. A fantastic read, wonderfully woven and full of many Star Wars moments, this is an amazing read for all Star Wars fans and while it does not spoil the upcoming movie, it is a definite must for all who are excited it.

Have you met Annabeth Chase?


Please note, the following Character Profile does contain spoilers from both the Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

: Annabeth Chase
Father: Fredrick Chase
Mother: Athena (Minerva)
Fatal Flaw: Pride. Annabeth's fatal flaw, which suits her well, is her pride - the thought that if she could do the same thing, she would do it better.
First met: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Character Overview: As a daughter of Athena, Annabeth Chase is extremely intelligent. She was the only one to be trusted with Daedalus' final inventions. While she is proud, her quick wit and courage have gotten her out of a lot of sticky situations.

She was the only one to follow the Mark of Athena to the Athena Parthenos, even standing up to Tartarus with Percy Jackson in the underworld. Ambitious and proud, Annabeth is certainly a child of Athena.

Reviewsday: Tales of Beauty & Madness by Lili St Crow


In the never ending parade of fairy tale adaptions, there's always something unique and clever about each and every one but we all know there are a few stand outs in the bunch that bring such a rich, engrossing interpretation to the table that they have to be raved about. This trilogy would probably rate in my top five fairy tale adaptions because whilst some elements of the stories read the same, the tweaks and changes compliment the original tale in a breathtaking manner.

Nameless, Wayfarer and Kin (Snow White, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood respectively) wayfarertell the tales of Cami, Ellie and Ruby, an unlikely group of friends each facing their own struggles. As if trying to make it through high school unscathed wasn't enough, Cami is battling her mysterious, unknown past and parentage, Ellie is dealing with her demanding stepmother and her gruelling, never-ending list of chores and Ruby's fighting an arranged marriage, a compulsory undertaking to keep her clan alive. With each other's support, they must face the trials and tribulations that face them or their world may crumble beneath their feet.

kinWith danger lurking around every corner and foes disguised as friends, the Tales of Beauty and Madness are mystifying and heart-wrenching takes, stirring up drama, adventure, romance and just a touch of magic to keep you spellbound.

QBD Reviews: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman

city of masks

It’s time to pay tribute to one of the unsung heroes of my childhood book collection: City of Masks reads like The Fault in Our Stars and Outlander had a child and passed only the good genes on. There was nothing about the Stravaganza series that was ever disappointing or boring and the first journey to sixteenth century Talia, a parallel-world country similar to our Italy, was possibly the best of them all.

After acquiring an old, vibrantly covered notebook from his father’s worksite, Lucien falls asleep one night and awakes to find himself smack bang in the main square of Bellezza. Thinking it a dream, Lucien is quickly corrected by a series of accidental encounters that not only lead him to discover that he is a Stravagante – able to transport himself in time and place with the use of a talisman – but reveal a dangerous plot against Bellezza’s Duchess. Despite finding himself in the middle of all the secretive chaos, the real danger to Lucien is the leukaemia he’s battling in his reality. In Talia, he no longer feels the effects of his chemotherapy treatments and feeling whole and healthy again is a temptation that may prove to be more hazardous than the assassination attempts he finds himself mixed up in.

With action, adventure and plots constantly afoot in the streets of Bellezza, Lucien’s journey is equally breathtaking and bittersweet. The companions he collects during his trips to Talia make his ventures all that more engaging and the grand, sweeping country of Talia is almost a story element in and of itself – the customs, culture and citizens of the imaginary realm burst from the pages with startling clarity and sneakily suck you in. Lucien’s tale is just the beginning of the adventure that is this 6 book series. Each book brings a new Stravagante, a new city of Talia and new issues to the table that will keep you engulfed until the very last page.

Historical fun for everyone!

Are you interested in history but find facts, figures and dates boring? Want a little bit more pizzazz and adventure with all the educational mumbo jumbo? Then historical fiction is the genre for you and I’m going to give you the scoop on some of the amazing titles floating around out there for all ages!

9781847374592The Lady of the Rivers  by Philippa Gregory:
Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen, she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou’s close friend and a Lancaster supporter – until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV.

A Waltz for Matilda by Jackie French:
In 1894, twelve-year-old Matilda flees the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm. But drought grips the land and the shearers are on strike. Her father’s turned swaggie and he’s wanted by the troopers. In front of his terrified daughter, he makes a stand against them, defiant to the last.
Set against a backdrop of bushfire, flood, war and jubilation, this is the story of one girl’s journey towards independence. It is also the story of others who had no vote and very little but their dreams.

9780552775311Two Brothers  by Ben Elton:
Berlin 1920. Two babies are born. Two brothers. United and indivisible, sharing everything. Twins in all but blood.
As Germany marches into its Nazi Armageddon, the ties of family, friendship and love are tested ot the very limits of endurance, and the brothers are faced with an unimaginable choice. Which one of them will survive?

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden:
The extraordinary tale of Sayuri, a young girl who grows up to become and acclaimed geisha, spanning a quarter of a century, from 1929 to the post-war years of Japan’s dramatic history and opening a window into the half-hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation.

9780141014081The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman:
One for the graphic novel lovers, Maus is an adaptation of the author’s fathers experiences in Nazi Germany and the concentration camps. Using cartoonish depictions of cats and mice to the tell his father’s tales which Spiegelman’s detailed black and white illustrations add interesting dimensions to, Maus is ultimately a survivor’s tale which endeavours to help us understand the horrors experienced by the Jews under Nazi reign.

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah:
A semi-fictionalised version of her breathtaking biography Falling Leaves for younger readers, Chinese Cinderella recounts Adeline’s childhood in a strictly traditional Chinese household where she was considered bad luck after her mother died giving birth to her.