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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

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.

Reviewsday: The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

Let me start by saying how much I enjoy reading local Australian content novels. There's nothing wrong with overseas titles but an Aussie title always draws me deeper in. It's not the sometimes over-the-top outback dramas I'm talking about (which I do love!) but the ordinary settings and situations. Things like the seasons being the right way around; the sounds; the localities and the references to society, events & culture. Even Australian crime seems a little bit more believable...

Gemma is a detective in the same regional town that she grew up in. Sometimes that can be beneficial to investigations but at others it can all get just a bit too close to home & personal. This is one such case. The victim is a teacher at the local high school, the same school Gemma attended ten years back- with Rose as one of her classmates. There was some type of connection between the two back then but Gemma swears that her personal feelings will not effect her impartiality to the investigation. Rose appears to have been well liked so who could be responsible for her death? Is it random or personal?

The investigation drags along like the long, hot days of pre-Christmas summer. For Gemma, the case opens up old wounds that she tries to keep hidden from her partners- work & life , but even here the lines are blurred. Gemma is a great detective but will this be the case that breaks her?

A solid debut from Sarah Bailey and one that I really liked.

~ Susan, Eastlands QBD