Archive for March, 2017

PC Grant Press Release – new novella

March 22, 2017 - 1:50 pm No Comments

A new adventure in Ben Aaronovitch’s bestselling PC Grant series, for September 2017
Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of THE FURTHEST STATION, a brand new novella in the bestselling PC Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch, for publication in September 2017.

 

Publishing Director Gillian Redfearn acquired world rights (excluding the USA, France and Germany, which are represented by agent) from John Berlyne of the Zeno Literary Agency.

THE FURTHEST STATION is Ben Aaronovitch’s first PC Grant novella . . . and there’s something going bump on the Metropolitan line. And when commuters start reporting encounters with ghosts up and down the track – encounters which they forget entirely within minutes – Peter Grant gets a call to investigate. And the very first interview leads to a ghost-hunting expedition . . .

The unabridged audio edition – read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith – and ebook edition will be published simultaneously with the hardback.
Ben Aaronovitch said: ‘This is my first novella and I suddenly understood the appeal of the form to both writers and readers. Novellas allow you to tell a story in a very elegant, streamlined fashion. Something you can read quickly but without feeling cheated at the end. I may write more’

Gillian Redfearn said: ‘THE FURTHEST STATION is brilliant. Powered by a gripping mystery, brought to life by Ben Aaronovitch’s wit and wisdom, it’s a story of modern London and modern families – as well as a future bestseller’

John Berlyne said: ‘Readers far and wide have enjoyed Ben’s work thanks to Gollancz’s brilliant publishing. This wonderful novella will delight each and every one of them’

THE FURTHEST STATION | BEN AARONOVITCH | 21 SEPTEMBER 2017
£12.99 | B–Format HB | 9781473222427
Ben Aaronovitch grew up as part of a famously engaged and lively North London family. He has written for many TV series including Doctor Who, and worked as a bookseller for Waterstones. All six of his Peter Grant novels have been Sunday Times and Audible bestsellers, and are sold in twenty territories around the world, and he now writes full time in addition to being actively involved in charity work. He still lives in London, the city he likes to refer to as ‘the capital of the world’.
Gollancz is the oldest specialist SF & Fantasy publisher in the UK. Founded in 1927 and with a continuous SF publishing programme dating back to 1961, the imprint of the Orion Publishing Group is home to a galaxy of award-winning and bestselling authors. Through our long-running SF and Fantasy Masterworks programme, and major digital initiative the SF Gateway, Gollancz has one of the largest ranges of SF and Fantasy of any publisher in the world.

The Dragon Finds Forever: Nocturne Falls 7

March 22, 2017 - 1:41 pm No Comments

The Dragon Finds Forever
Nocturne Falls Book 7
Author: Kristen Painter
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Page count: 240pp
Release Date: 21st February 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

 

It’s back to Nocturne Falls again. Where supernatural creatures (vampires, werewolves, Valkyrie, gargoyles – the list goes on) hide in plain sight in the town which celebrates Halloween 24/7. This time, we have a dragon.
It starts with Monalisa (don’t sing please!) Devlin, watching her father play with the gold coin that’s supposed to be hers; her birthright given to her at eighteen. But Padraig Devlin, father and king of the Leprechauns could be crafty, sneaky and greedy.
She should’ve got her coin twelve years ago as she turned eighteen, but no, no matter that she’d done what he asked, there was still that ‘loose end’.
As soon as she got her coin she’d be able to leave, which is why the king held onto it tight, as blackmail – there was something he wanted her to do.
Her parents were known worldwide for the casino, The Shamrock, and the fights held beneath the venue. Monalisa’s manipulative father wanted her to persuade a certain dragon to fight in their arena. Urging her to use her ‘will-o-the-wisp’ skills to get the Dragon in her thrall.
Van, Dragon in metaphorical hiding, is determined to leave fighting behind and settle down in Nocturne Falls. Close friends with Pandora, she helps him choose a dog as a new companion as he heals on crutches; a dog he hopes to bond with. His life in the fighting arena over. He just wants to mope, recover and read and pet his new timid Doberman Grom. He’s in no place for female relationships.
Too bad the ‘rehabilitation therapist’ ‘Lisa’ (Monalisa’s cover to lure back Ivan the Hammer) is easy on the eyes, he is not interested in women – at all! But he also doesn’t want her getting in Trouble and getting sacked for not doing her job, after all, she seems desperate. So reluctantly he agrees to the therapy.
With the therapy comes an interesting aspect of the book. Van has been severely injured by a manticore’s poison and is suffering a form of sports PTSD or injury-related trauma as a result.
Painter seems to have really grasped what trauma feels like and through the therapy sessions between her two protagonists, leads the reader through the recovery process, exploring the emotions involved. As Monalisa helps Van deal with the physical and emotional scars from his fight, the two, inevitably, become closer.
Painter also deals with perceptions in the novel; how Van is seen by the tourists as something or someone to be feared because of his size and shaved head, juxtaposed with his sweet nature, his sense of humour, and how the locals and Lisa see past his exterior.
Overall, this is another fun, romantic romp from a Painter in the Nocturbe Falls series, with a cameo of Jayne Frost. The more I read of this Halloween town, the more I’d love to move there!
4/5

Flying Away (The Flykeeper Chronicles Book1) by Caroline Gill

March 16, 2017 - 9:21 pm No Comments

Flying Away (The Flykeeper Chronicles Book1) by Caroline Gill

Published 12th January 2016

204 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After losing her parents Iolani moved in with her cousins and her grandparents. From the outside, they were your typical family but Eleanor and Iolani were special. Eleanor was a happy child but she glowed until one terrifying night at the lake, Iolani with the help of her buzzing friends tried to save her but Eleanor lost her sparkle. Trying to make it right, Iolani stumbles across something far worse and knows that to help her cousin she need to fight against a force that is strong, bigger and more powerful than her.  With her horse and a comatose Eleanor, she treks through the country to find her only true friend, an old-school friend who she knows will help her.

At the beginning of this book I was so confused, I had not a clue what was going on, but this got me intrigued to read more. The author had a knack of telling a story, every bit that was confusing at the beginning was explained throughout, making this an addictive read. Iolani was very family orientated and knew what she had to do, even if it meant putting her own life in danger.  The use of flies as the magical beings to help Iolani was unique and I loved the way she got the flies to work with her, protect or even save her. With near death experiences, kidnapping, and an epic journey across the countryside and desert made this action packed and a fast read. The back story of the loss of her parents was moving and you could feel Iolani’s grief and pain, but I think this made her a stronger girl and her being 15 made it more exciting especially when she came across someone bigger and stronger than her.

Book 2 and 3 are already out and I hope I get to find out more about Iolani’s gift and what has happened to Mr Chong and the green lanterns.

I never judge a book by its cover, however I think this cover is gorgeous and shows just how talented the author is, as she designed this herself. If you want a fantasy book with a difference then read this, you will not be disappointed.

Shattered Time Anthology by J. L. Clayton, Carissa Ann Lynch, Niki Livingston, Regina O’Connell, Ashlee Shades, Bradon Nave, Jeremy Simons, Joe Pranaitis, Genevieve Moultrie, T. Guthrie, D. A. Roach, Grace Charles.

March 13, 2017 - 12:52 am No Comments

Shattered Time Anthology by J. L. Clayton, Carissa Ann Lynch, Niki Livingston, Regina O’Connell, Ashlee Shades, Bradon Nave, Jeremy Simons, Joe Pranaitis, Genevieve MoultrieT. GuthrieD. A. Roach, Grace Charles.

Published 13th March 2017

475 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I love reading anthologies as a way to find new authors, and although I have read quite a few of these authors there were a couple I did not recognise.

For this review, I will write about each story

Lines of Time and desire by JL Clayton: Londyn and Scott becomes friends, when Scott sends a text to the wrong person, over time their friendship becomes complicated. The way JL Clayton writes you can imagine the smaller details in the story, the giddy school girl smile when Londyn receives the texts, the desperation to meet. JL Clayton has got the knack when it comes to short stories and this was no different. Keeping the story interesting right to the end and still adding a gasp moment. Think a modern-day Lake house.

Homecoming by Carissa Ann Lynch: Astrid is in mourning, her life completely changed when her younger brother died, but with the help of an eccentric old lady, can she heal her family’s heartbreak. Whilst reading this story I felt so sorry for Astrid and her dad and could not imagine losing a child. Using the good old faithful old lady/ witch just added to this story because it was not until the end that you knew what her purpose was. The ending was an added shock as I had not got a clue how her brother died and what was the cause. A great story and I would love to read more stories about Alexandra.

A Web Through Time by Niki Livingstone: The first story with a sci-fi element. The year is 2025 Alex’s life is in danger and she does not know who to trust, can her going into the future save her life and the lives of others. Full of action and drama this had me turning the pages to see if Alex survives. Even though a future time, somethings like racism and segregation never change. As a short story this is a great introduction to Alex and I was left me wanting to read more of her story.

Willow and The Forbidden Portal by Regina O’Connell: Willow is an herbalist, with the help of her herbs she spends her time trying to save people’s lives. However, one day it all goes wrong and she is running for her life, after being branded a witch. The story flows smoothly and due to the descriptive writing, you can imagine following Willow on her journey. A magical romance that will make you look at ancient trees differently.

Cassandra’s Choice by Ashlee Shades: Cassandra was a strong-willed woman who met her match when she woke up in the 19th century. An historical romance, I enjoyed this story very much as I liked the mixture of attitudes between the centuries. The Duke was your typical 19th century gent who although had an attitude, still knew where his manners were. Hopefully Cassandra got her HEA

The Secrets Crows Keep by Bradon Nave: Mildred was haunted by secrets and it was not until a visitor came, that she had to come to terms with what she did. Throughout this story, my mind was trying to work out, how she travelled in time and why did she have a hatred for her husband. Whilst reading this story I found Mildred to be one dangerous lady. I love the spin with Time travel and explanation of Mildred and the visitor’s connection. Although if you went into the Secrets Crow keep, you would get quite a shock.

Bridging the Gap by Jeremy Simons: Not happy with his life, all Garrett wanted to do was to kill himself by jumping off a bridge, but when he finds a portal that could help change is future, he gets more than he bargains for. This was one of my favourite stories and whilst reading it I found Garret to be a self-indulgent petty person and he should have been grateful to have Terry as a friend. This story use the theme that there are consequences when you use time travel to change your past. A great ending which tied up this story perfectly.

Time’s Launch by Joe Pranaitis: Another Sci-fi theme. Captain Dyson was commanding the 1st ship with Time travel technology and on its maiden voyage, it all goes terribly wrong. This story had a Star-Trek feel to it, from the ship’s technology to the captain who is curious to investigate what is going on. I liked the idea that he found a source of information that would explain what went on with the ship and that the ending left it open for the reader to imagine what happened next, or is there more to this story.

The Salesman by DA Roach: Melanie had an accident and since that day she cannot forgive herself. After a chance meeting with a salesman can she move on with her life. The way the author told Melaine’s story had you willing the purchase to work. With every change to Melanie’s life explained, the twist at the end was a total surprise. A moving story, that you won’t want to finish.

One Cockroach left by Genevieve Moultrie: Ratsor, an alien botanist, was filming another species but after a nasty accident she stumbled on something that changed her whole attitude on life. Ratsor was a likeable character who due to her job loved to explore and valued life. The description of her land was beautifully written and you could imagine all the vibrant colours of the creatures that she saw. Yet another story that had a surprise ending but I could only imagine what happened after.

Time by Grace Charles: To aid the discussion between Space, Creation and Time the love story between Vida and Mort was used. This was a well written story, with love at first sight, a number of twist and an ending where you can imagine what happened next, this kept me turning the pages. The relationship between Vida and Mort was genuine and although complete opposites made a really great couple. A new author to me

Whispers of Forever by T Guthrie: Layla was summoned to her Great Aunt’s Victorian mansion, suffering with Déjà vu, can her visions and her fascination with the man of her dreams, help her solve the mystery. You are drawn into this story from the moment that you start to read, an old mansion, the creepy butler and the tragic deaths, having you wondering what Layla has let herself in for. The visions that Layla has help explain the story and the author has a way of keeping the secret till right at the end. Even with clues scattered throughout the story. I still did not guess, what/who had caused the tragedy. I am looking forward to reading more from this author

With a mixture of genres, it just goes to show that not all time travel is Sci-fi. This anthology should please the majority of genre lovers and if like me, you love finding new authors then this anthology is for you.

SLOW BULLETS by Alastair Reynolds.

March 10, 2017 - 9:02 pm No Comments

SLOW BULLETS by Alastair Reynolds.

Gollancz, London. 16th February 2016. £12.95 paperback, £6.99 e-book.

182 page. ISBN: 978-1-473-21842-0

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan.

 

There is almost a sub-genre of SF which deals exclusively with war scenarios. These might be between aliens and humans or between human colonies. As with all these adventures, various assumptions are made, one of which being a method of interstellar travel which gets ships from one place to another quickly. There is no point in sending out the troops when the enemy may have extinguished itself before the force arrives. Readers don’t worry about the technology involved; it is the action that counts, and the number of corpses that results. This is not normally the territory that Alastair Reynolds usually ventures into so it is refreshing to find that in this novelette, this is just the background against which the characters have been shaped.

As the story opens, a ceasefire has been declared. The factions are no longer officially at war. Always, though, there are renegades who will push the limits, feigning ignorance about the actual state of affairs, simply because they enjoy what they do and don’t see why they have to stop. Orvin likes hurting people. On the cusp of peace he has captured Scur, a soldier from the other side. He knows all about her because all soldiers are fitted with slow bullets. These devices are a futuristic version of dog tags. They contain all information about the person they are inside and it can easily be read. Normally, they move at a very slow speed through the body so that the tissues are barely disrupted. Orvin’s method of torture is to insert one going faster and causing excruciating pain during its passage. When Orvin has to leave in a hurry she has the opportunity to try and cut it out.

This is just a precursor to real action and an introduction to the device which is to play an essential part in the plot. Scur wakes up aboard a military prison shop. She and the other ‘passengers’ are being transported as cargo to Tottori in hibernation. What initially seems to be a simple problem with the ship becomes more serious as she and the remnants of crew discover that they have been drifting in orbit for hundreds of years, that all the surviving sleepers are being revived. Amongst them are war criminals from both sides, as well as civilians, and to them the reasons (basically very trivial) of the conflict are clear in their minds as well as the hatred for their perceived enemies. Among them is Orvin. Scur and her new colleagues have multiple problems to solve if they are to survive, the biggest one is to overcome the problem that the ships systems are slowly leaking information and they need to find ways of preserving it. To do that a compromise needs to be found so that the different factions are able to work together.

In this book, Reynolds wraps a number of themes in a relatively few pages. Some of them will feel like familiar tropes from the SF catalogue but it is the way that he deals with them that is original. For those who do not want to face one of Reynolds’ huge tomes as an introduction to his work, this a good place to start to get an idea of his style and ingenuity before embarking on such as Revelation Space series. Then get stuck in to the rest of his oeuvre.

Originally published in 2015 as a chap-book by Tachyon Press, it has already accumulated a number of well-deserved awards and nominations.