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Reviewsday: Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

Tempests and Slaughter was the Tamora Pierce book I wasn't sure I needed but ended up really loving.

I adore Tamora Pierce. I've been reading her since the age of ten, and her books dominated my early teens. Among my favourites was her Immortals sequence, in which we first met the powerful mage, Numair. Tempests and Slaughter is the first installment in a series that will reveal his backstory - and that of Ozorne, the Emperor Mage, and Numair's greatest enemy.

I was worried to start off with. I would have been happy to let Numair's past remain a mystery - but I couldn't NOT read it. The boy Numair (referred to in this series by his birth name, Arram) has lots of power but no safe way to use it, so the first couple of chapters seemed light on magic and heavy with childish uncertainty.

What we did establish, however, was Numair's friendship with Ozorne, who shows few signs of the tyrant he will become. As they and their friend Varice catapult into their teens, their abilities increase and they all become much more interesting. Arram starts to attract trouble, usually in the form of magical creatures - and these have always been a highlight of Pierce's books, as they are full of personality (and since they often talk, snark).

The later chapters take a dark turn, which may be a little bit of a shock to younger readers but will gratify older fans. I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment! Pierce definitely still has it!

- Amy, QBD Strathpine

QBD Reviews: The Secrets At Ocean’s Edge by Kali Napier

Meet our February Book of the Month!

The Secrets At Ocean's Edge has been likened to Australian classics like M.L. Stedman's award-winning novel The Light Between Oceans, and Rosalie Ham's The Dressmaker.

1932. Ernie and Lily Hass, and their daughter, Girlie, have lost almost everything in the Depression; all they have keeping their small family together are their secrets. Abandoning their failing wheat farm and small-town gossip, they make a new start on the west coast of Australia where they begin to build a summer guesthouse. But forming new alliances with the locals isn't easy.

Into the Hasses' new life wanders Lily's shell-shocked brother, Tommy, after three harrowing years on the road following his incarceration. Tommy is seeking answers that will cut to the heart of who Ernie, Lily, and Girlie really are.

Inspired by the author's own family history, The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is a haunting, memorable and moving tale of one family's search for belonging. Kali Napier breathes a fever-pitch intensity into the story of these emotionally fragile characters as their secrets are revealed with tragic consequences. 

This novel will break and warm your heart! The story of this Australian family will hit close to home for many, as they struggle to find where they belong. As family secrets break these beautifully vulnerable characters, I thought of my own family history and how lives evolve and change. If you loved The Light between Oceans, you will fall hard for this family's tale.
- Kaitlyn, QBD Kotara

The Secrets At Ocean's Edge is available online & in all QBD Books' stores now.

Reviewsday: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Explosive from the first kindling down to the last ember. Krysten Ritter has a detailed imagination and, in her debut novel, she weaves a mysterious web.

Protagonist Abby Williams returns to her small county hometown of Barrens to investigate a case of corporate pollution in the reservoir. This case burns a little too bright and hits a little too close to home for Abby, and the fire begins to entrance her, leading her on a downward spiral towards the truth. She didn't really come home for the case, she came home in search of her missing school friend turned tormentor- Kaycee. And she'll walk through fire to find out what happened to her. Did she simply walk away from their hometown of Barrens? Or is there a dark secret waiting to be uncovered?

- Erin Glover

 

Reviewsday: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I love contemporaries, and "Anna and the French Kiss" is up there with the best of them.

Fluffy, cute, beautiful, real, brilliant and imaginative; "Anna and the French Kiss" is an absolutely adorable read that will have you hooked and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

I love how Anna and Étienne didn’t just have chemistry, but friendship too. They are absolutely adorable together and I just following their relationship – all the little things he would give her, the way they laughed together and confided in each other, the days out and movies – brought tears to my eyes. They were each other’s rock. If I had a relationship, I’d want it to be like theirs (minus the complications with Ellie).

I love how Stephanie made every character important. The “side” characters made you love them (or hate them, it depends) and were brilliantly well developed. They were deep – each with their own story to tell. The beauty of it is that they weren’t just there, a prop the author needed in order for the protagonist to do something or get somewhere, but they were important – they could tell their stories and they did. Not one character was overlooked.

I just – it was perfect. The scenery; the character development; the giggly, mushy feeling in your chest as you followed the story, and which you were left with; the overall ease of reading.

"Anna and the French Kiss" isn’t just about romance, but family, friendships and life – dealing with it, enjoying it, finding people who will stick by you no matter what and making mistakes along the way. It is about endings and beginnings, possibilities, the future, relationships and practicalities and forgiveness. "Anna and the French Kiss has lessons in it for us all.

- Melissa, QBD Plenty Valley

As an added bonus we have hunted down a deleted chapter from the book! Check it out on Stephanie Perkins' blog here

Reviewsday: Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

 

Step boldly into a Wundrous new world of magic with Nevermoor!

"Nevermoor is the first book in a magical new series and is set to become one of the biggest children's books of the year. The story is at times reminiscent of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, A Series of Unfortunate Events and more recently A Most Magical Girl. Despite these likenesses, Nevermoor is wonderfully original and captivating read for all ages.

Morrigan Crow is a true underdog; a cursed child shunned by all, including her family. An extraordinary rescuer comes to her aid and thus launches Morrigan and us as readers headlong into a 'Wundrous' new world where she must remain long enough to discover her awesome true calling. A secret society, a magical hotel, a vampire dwarf and a giant talking Magnificat are just a few enchanting elements of this riveting series that will leave you wanting more." - Nola, QBD Fountain Gate

Nevermoor is available in store and online now.

Can't wait to get started? Read an excerpt here.