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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

Reviewsday: Joelle Charbonneau’s Dividing Eden

Having read Joelle Charbonneau's Testing series (which has a Hunger Games-esque vibe to it for all of you dystopian novel lovers!), I think I can safely say I was jumping up and down out of excitement when Dividing Eden popped up on my radar.

Reminiscent of The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye, Dividing Eden tells the tale of twin royals, Carys and Andreus, pitted against each other in a battle for the crown after a disastrous accident leaves them with equal claim to the throne. Faced with a power hungry council watching their every move and faceless enemies stirring up trouble, the twins can only do what they've been doing their entire lives – stick together, watch each other's backs and, above all, protect the secret that's been haunting them since birth.

The novel was intriguing from the get go but I felt that Carys definitely emerges as the stronger lead throughout the book with Andreus' story taking a surprising turn that, whilst being beneficial to the plot line, was still a little tough to read through (if you find yourself shaking the book in frustration and wailing “Noooo!”, don't say I didn't warn you!). There a quite a few shady characters that appear in and around the castle which left me questioning almost everyone's motives. Even after finishing the book, I'm still suspicious as to who is really on which side.

Dividing Eden is truly an engrossing read – clear your calendar because you won't want to put it down until you've worked your way through all of the secrets, lies and manipulative madness that await you.

New Life for a Beloved Classic

When Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale was released in 1985, it was an immediate and visceral success. Thirty-two years later, the novel is even more terrifying and socially relevant today.

Set in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian theocracy that has overthrown the United States government, The Handmaid's Tale follows the story of Offred - a woman that is prized for her fertility in the same way horsebreeders value a winning horse. Offred is a Handmaid, a woman in indentured servitude to the Commander. She has one purpose only - to bear his healthy children (not as easy as one may think in this near future dystopia) and then to be assigned to her next household. But Offred is not a horse. she is a woman; she can remember a time before Gilead, her husband and young daughter, and perhaps more dangerously...she remembers her own name.

The Handmaid's Tale is a story of survival in the face of oppression, and the strength of the human condition despite all attempts to break it down. Readers today will no doubt identify just as strongly with Offred's plight as they did when the novel was first published. This is a must-read for any fan of thrilling dystopia, or someone just looking to remind themselves why our lives today are so precariously wonderful.

The Handmaid's Tale has just been adapted into a critically acclaimed HBO television series, but as always, there's nothing better than the book!

Reviewsday: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Sarah J Maas is back with the amazing third instalment in the Court of Thorns and Roses series, A Court of Wings and Ruin. War looms as Feyre Cursebreaker must decide who is friend and who is foe in a race to stop the destruction of not only Prythian, but the human world as well.

In my not-very-humble opinion, Maas is one of the best fantasy writers out there right now. The world of Prythian is richly imagined and full of complex, evolving, well-drawn characters. Feyre, Rhysand and friends burst into life the moment you open the book, and the world around them teems with magic and wonder. What I enjoy most about Maas’s writing is the way her characters grow, both over the course of each novel and the entire series as well. Feyre began as a frail human girl, starved both of food and of affection; by this book, she’s grown into the commanding High Lady of the Night Court, full of confidence in herself and her abilities, both magic and otherwise. The story itself moves at a cracking pace; even though it’s quite hefty at 400+ pages, it never feels too slow or too wordy.

Three things I loved about ACOWAR:
1. Feyre.
She’s complex, clever, and fearless. Kicks an inordinate amount of ass.
2. The revelation of the Bone Carver’s history.
And by extension the shared history between him and a few other characters (no spoilers!). I’ve always been intrigued by the Bone Carver, and ACOWAR briefly shines a light on the mysterious character.
3. Rhysand.
Just… a total babe.

Three things that drove me crazy:
1. Feyre.
Yes, she was also on the above “things I loved” list. But she made a couple of seriously questionable decisions early on that had me rolling my eyes.
2. Tamlin.
He’s just so different from the Tamlin we met in A Court of Thorns and Roses. His development makes sense story-wise, but I found the whiplash-inducing shift in his character a bit jarring.
3. The Mirror of Ouroboros.
Not the Mirror itself, but the fact that it’s part in the story felt a little glossed-over. I want to know exactly what Feyre saw in the mirror!

All in all, A Court of Wings and Ruin is a really satisfying conclusion to a fantastic series. And Maas has very skilfully managed to resolve the storyline, but also left room to return to Prythian for more adventures – so hopefully we’ll get to see Feyre, Rhysand and their friends again very soon!