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QBD Reviews: Khaki Town by Judy Nunn

A new drama from Australian's best historical fiction author!

Khaki Town, Judy Nunn’s exciting new novel, is inspired by a true wartime story that has remained a well-kept secret for over seventy years.

Khaki Town is the fantastic new novel from Judy Nunn, set in the north eastern town of Townsville during the second world war. It's the story of hostile race relations between the black and white American soldiers stationed in the town and features a host of both American and Australian characters who are vivid and well developed.

The A and C Companies of the 96th division of the American Army are in Townsville to build a new base and an airport, but not everyone is happy to have them there. The White Australia Policy is in full effect and the Australian government is hesitant to have Negro soldiers on Australian soil. The locals though, tough publican Val, girlfolk Betty and Jill, Aunty Edie and intrepid reporter Pete, are happy to bring the new soldiers into their lives. Tensions still arise though and when the soldiers are banned from the town, the situation explodes in a violent and deadly riot.

A fictionalised account of true events, Nunn's latest book demonstrates her amazing skill at character building. Well researched and very realistic, Khaki Town will stick with you for a long while.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Shannon, QBD Books Rockingham

Get your copy of Khaki Town in store or online here.

QBD Reviews: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

As singular entry in Brandon Sanderson's growing collection of novels, Warbreaker is a fantastic addition to what some may say are some of the best Fantasy novels written to date. Impressive in scope and execution Warbreaker explores a new form of ethereal magic known as Breath. It is this form of magic that sets up the premise of the story. Breath enables the holder to not only obtain talents such as enchanced colour sight and perfect pitch, but Breath may also be used to animate objects to perform tasks unimaginable. With a power such as strong as Breath one can imagine that it is highly sought after, and you'd be right.

In this story you will follow the lives of two princesses as they lives are turned upside down on a quest to save one another from the God King, a being of untold power who's Breath is to be rumoured as unmeasureable, in the ever colourful yet unfamiliar city of Hallandren. Come explore the reasons by Breath is so powerful, yet so very dangerous in Sanderson's stand-alone novel Warbreaker. You'll love it the twists and turns, I promise!

Fans of authors such as Terry Pratchett and Patrick Rothfuss will absolutely love this novel. It would also be suitable for teenagers with a growing ability to comprehend more mature concepts found in adult sci-fi and fantasy novels.

- Liam, QBD Carousel

Reviewsday: Armada by Ernest Cline

Pew Pew Pew!!!

Hurry reader we must find shelter from the laser fire….

Phew…that was close!

You might be wondering where these lasers are coming from…well perhaps it’s time to read Armada by Ernest Cline to find out! Cline’s second novel after his smash release Ready Player One will have you dodging destruction in this alien-infested sci-fi tale. Follow Zack Lightman as he begins to uncover the unsettling truth behind a government cover-up to protect the world from annihilation at the hands of the Europeans…I mean Europans, who’ve made it their sole purpose to destroy Earth and all its inhabitants.

A story fit for teenagers and young adults Armada pays homage to Cline’s personal favourite pop culture references and sources such as those created by the famous sci-fi directors Stephen Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick. Set your phasers to kill reader and pray to god you aim is better than a Stormtrooper's - this is going to be a fight you won’t soon forget.

~Liam, Carousel QBD

Reviewsday: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I’ve only read a couple of Holly Black’s books before picking up The Cruel Prince and while I enjoy the books before, I adored The Cruel Prince. From the very first page, I was entranced with the Fae world that Holly created. Second, guessing everything and not knowing what was going to happen next.

The Cruel Prince follows protagonist Jude ten years after she and her sisters witness their parents murder, are kidnapped and taken to the Fae world. Now they live in the High Court of Faerie and in a world that doesn’t accept them. Jude doesn’t fit into the Fae world and the fey don’t let her forget it. With the current King ready to step down, things are about to get more dangerous in the world that Jude lives.

One of my favourite things about The Cruel Prince was Jude. While she isn’t the most likeable protagonist out there, her voice and perseverance – just made the book. Jude is such an interesting protagonist and like most characters in the book, you don’t know what to believe. She has gone through a lot. Her parents were murdered in front of her, she lives with the murdered and is taken to a foreign world.

Her strength was a really big theme of the whole book. I loved seeing Jude stand up and be strong, no matter what was throw at her. And gosh she was pushed hard. At times it was really hard to read some of the things that Jude went through. What got me through it was Jude herself. I loved seeing another strong female character not only be challenged physically but mentally.

Jude’s family. There isn’t much I can say here without spoiling anything. But what I hoped wouldn’t happen did and that broke my heart. You can see that Jude does care for her sisters and what went down was so damn hard. It’s also a really interesting concept of family. She has her sisters, yes. However, she also lives with the man that killed her parents. It was intriguing to see the dynamic of this.

The Cruel Prince is filled with unreliable characters and it was fantastic! Seriously, I didn’t know what was going to happen next, because I didn’t know who to trust. Holly Black made her characters do things that I thought she would never do. You think one character is your friend and then bam! It’s not something that you get in YA and it was different to see.

Another thing that I loved about The Cruel Prince was the world. It’s fantastic and pulls your right in. Holly Black created a lot of layers in this world, with the basics of fae laws. I really enjoy that as it’s a great way to compare and contrast to other fae worlds. While at the start of The Cruel Prince it took me a little to get into the world, it wasn’t long before I was in love.

As I’ve said before, I had no idea what was going to happen throughout The Cruel Prince. You think something is going to happen and then it doesn’t. Then you think ‘oh she won’t do this’ and it does. It takes you on a world wind of emotions.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince. It’s addicting, dark and messes with your emotions. It’s a world of court intrigue and the conflict between Fae and humans. It explores the notion of being human and the emotions that come with it. It’s fast-paced with many twists and turns that throw you off. The Cruel Prince has set up a fantastic new series for Holly Black.

~Angelique, QBD Chadstone

Reviewsday: A People’s History Of The Vampire Uprising

A People's History of the Vampire Uprising is a stunning debut that puts an eerie spin on vampirism in modern society. Explored through the perspective of key, invested individuals, it's a journey that weaves its way through fascinating locales, from American to the heart of Vatican City, portrayed with stark realism that simultaneously enchants and horrifies. Villareal builds his haunting world through a collection of first hand accounts, interviews and news pieces, staggering forward from ground zero to bring to life a world not so far removed from our own.

This is not your average vampire tale; the contents of this novel are chilling in a way that's almost too close to home and will stay with you long after you put the book down.

~Karen, QBD Tweed Heads