Posts Tagged ‘Gollancz’

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

October 13, 2018 - 10:05 pm No Comments

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Gollancz on 26th July 2018
128 pages

As a 1st timer to this author’s work, I did not know what to expect. With its mixture of crime and technology I knew that it was something I would enjoy.
Davis is a real-life detective, working an unusual beat. He doesn’t have to catch a criminal but spends his time finding evidence. Him and his partner Chaz worked in New Clipperton, living each day in a snapshot. The government used them to walk in a certain day at a certain time to get incriminating evidence, so the real police can make the arrest.
As a police officer Davis was quite non-descript. He did is job every day without a word of complaint. That was until 1st May when he decided to make a difference. Chaz was the complete opposite, he had a temper and had the same level of enjoyment as a young boy pulling wings of flies. But as a partnership they worked well together.
The story was descriptive, and you could imagine Davis walking the beat, feeling more despondent. The addition of a serial killer gave it a thriller edge. The use of technology played a big part in the story and got me thinking, which days would I want to relive, what did I miss on that day.
As it was a novella it was a quick read and a good introduction to this author’s work. The author writes an ending that was unexpected, which took the story to a different direction.
Whilst it is a standalone I would love for the story to continue to find out what happened next.

By the Pricking of Her Thumb by Adam Roberts

September 23, 2018 - 10:02 pm No Comments

By the Pricking of Her Thumb by Adam Roberts
Published by Gollancz on 23rd August 2018
272 pages

Before I start the review, I have to say that I had not read the 1st in the series. What attracted me to this book was the blurb. A woman found dead with a needle in her thumb and one of the four richest people is dead, but no one knows who it is or who killed them. In steps to Alma, a PI, who has a knack for solving difficult cases.
You could tell straightaway that the two cases Alma was involved were complicated. Not knowing who to talk too and only having a small window of time to investigate meant that at times she did struggle to do any work. As sole carer for her partner Marguerite who was seriously ill made the need to solve these cases more important, as they were constantly in debt. Money played a big part in the story especially with the talk of absolute wealth, this emphasises just how serious Alma’s money problems were.
Throughout the story, there were a lot of play on words, usually down to Alma who was quick witted and the two thugs Reg and Ron Krys. They were some of my favourite characters, a dumbed down version of the Krays, who also loved their violence. They were like trained pets who did what they were told for the highest pay out. At the start Stanley was one of the most annoying characters I had read about in a while but the more I read, he grew on me. His love of Kubrick was full on and the world he created in the Shine to immortalize 2001 Space Odyssey, had me reminiscing watching this film with my dad.
As this is sci-fi there was a lot of tech, from smart clothes to personal feeds. There were times that I got myself confused but after a couple of lines I was able to see where the story was going. As the story concluded, the author tied up all the loose ends and the twist at the end was unexpected.
After reading this, I am interested in where this series started, so I am off to read book 1

The Night Lies Bleeding by MD Lachlan

February 26, 2018 - 10:20 pm No Comments

The Night Lies Bleeding by MD Lachlan
Published by Gollancz on 22nd February 2018
447 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

When countries are at war there are plenty of casualties, but when bodies are turning up with strange markings, the London police are baffled. Calling in an expert who has his own secrets, can they find out who is behind it.
Whilst the murders are happening in London, in Germany Dr Max Voller has applied to join the SS. What started out as a bit of a laugh soon got serious when he was accepted to prove his psychic theory.
Craw and Dr Voller’s stories at the start are told separately but as the story continues they soon intertwine. Craw was constantly fighting his inner wolf, whilst also trying to help the police. Plagued with memories of his former lives he was slowly cracking up. Adding to his pressure was Professor Harbard who had his own agenda. Dr Voller was an idealist, Even though he was Nazi, he did not wish to be part of the conflict, but after entering the SS, his was forced to change his way of life. Mixed in with their stories was the history of the Ancient Norse gods and the part they played in the war.
As Craws and Voller’s stories were running parallel it was easy to follow the story. However there were parts that I found heavy going and this did slow me down with my reading. The experiments that Dr Voller did were graphic, but this was what happened in the war and whilst distressing, it did help explain the paranormal fascination that Himmler and Hitler had. The action was full on and the final scenes were a page turner. Whilst I had not read any other stories in this series I did not feel that I missed out as the story could be read as a stand alone. For my first introduction to Craw I really liked him as a character and I am interested in reading his previous stories.

Immortal Unchained Argeneau 25 Lynsay Sands

November 14, 2017 - 10:42 am No Comments

Immortal Unchained
Author: Lynsay Sands
Publisher: Gollancz
Page count: 369pp
Release date: 28th March 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

The Argeneau Vampires rule the world – well, not literally, but they are top players in all forms of modern industry – particularly blood banks.
In Lynsay Sand’s ever expanding world (this is book 25), the Argeneau family is governed by Lucian Argeneau who represents them on a council of immortals – nano engineered ‘vampires’ who are refugees from Atlantis – who need blood to stay at peak fitness level.
There are certain rules the immortals have to follow. To control population they are only allowed to turn one human in their long lives, this person normally being their life mate. They also survive on bagged blood, and eating ‘on the hoof’ or from the tap as it were, is only permitted in emergencies. The immortals can read and control others’ minds, unless drugged, but the single person they can’t hear is their future life mate.
During the last few books, immortals have been mysteriously disappearing. It was at the end of the last big where we had the big reveal – the name of the villain. So – SPOILERS HERE …
No surprise once you start reading – it’s Dr Dressler.
Dressler has invited celebrated chef Domitian to work for him on his island. Domitian is convinced his identity as an immortal is secure, so when a helicopter arrives he climbs on board but is immediately drugged.
Back on the island, police officer Sarita, is growing impatient waiting for a helicopter to take her to the mainland to see her grandmother who has had a fall.
Finally having enough, she storms into Dressler’s lab to find him, but finds a body cut in two instead: the torso strapped down on one small table, the legs strapped to another.
Dressler and his assistant walk in, use Sarita to help put the pieces of the tables back together, like a demented magician, pouring blood on the corpse until the pieces stitch back together to form a screaming, writhing man.
Two seconds later she’s drugged, unconscious, then waking up in the weirdest, white honeymoon paradise lodge stuck in the middle of the jungle island.
She’s alone.
But she won’t be for long.
In this, the 25th Argeneau novel, Sands again delivers a fun blend of romance, sexual chemistry, adventure, danger and humour.
Where it switches up though, is in the inhabitants of this mysterious island where Sarita finds herself imprisoned. Problem is, I just can’t tell you more! Because the surprise in store is worth it. Whole new story arcs will emerge I think, n the back of this book, and the end has another cliffhanger to potentially lead to more avenues.
I loved this book, and can’t wait to read the next one.
5/5

Roboteer by Alex Lamb

October 14, 2017 - 7:09 am No Comments

ROBOTEER by Alex Lamb. Gollancz, London. £8.99 paperback. 426 pages. ISBN: 978-1-473-20609-0
Reviewed by Pauline Morgan.

There is a sub-set of science fiction which is Military SF and written by such exponents as David Weber and David Drake. I was once told that SF was Mills & Boon for boys (I converted that person by giving her Marge Piercy to read) and to a certain extent, that is what this kind of SF is. It is for readers who have a fascination for hardware and like to read about blowing things up.
Alex Lamb’s debut novel, Roboteer, is a well thought out, military space opera. In this very far future, Earth has succumbed to pollution and the mass of humanity lives mostly on the product of prote farms. The planet is united under the auspices of the Prophet of the Truist religion. Other faiths are tolerated but can never rise to ultimate status. As far as enlightenment is concerned, the clock has been turned back millennia. Girls are not educated and the mass humanity, the Followers are illiterate. Yet they are scooped up and sent to fight for their planet. The enemy are the Galateans. Initially human colonists, they have embraced genetic modification to compensate for lack of personnel and help terraform the colony worlds. By the decree of Earth’s spiritual leader this modification is an abomination in God’s eyes. Also there are no aliens. The reason for the war between the two factions is to wipe out the abominations and to acquire what is believed to be fertile worlds to feed Earth’s population. His Honesty the Prophet is mistaken on several counts.
The story is told from three points of view enabling the situation to be seen from both sides. Will is the Roboteer of the title. He is modified to be able to remotely control various aspects of the war ship including torpedoes and drones. He has a bit more initiative than the average roboteer but when he disobeys an order and saves his ship from destruction he is transferred to the Ariel. This has a six man crew and they are given a spy mission to try and find out where the new technology the Earthers have suddenly acquired comes from. Ira is the captain of the Ariel. The third view point character is the Earther scientist Gustav. The new suntap device is his project. He didn’t invent it. He acquired it from an alien artefact known as the Relic.
Ira is able to follow Gustav’s ship to the Relic but when they are discovered, the aliens hack Will’s mods and download information into him. Aliens do indeed exist and they are giving humanity a choice. It is up to Will to prove that humanity is not a disease that has to be wiped out.
The pace of this novel is relentless and the characters have to endure betrayal, despair and torture before a resolution is reached. For most readers, it will not matter that they are dumped into the middle of the action without any explanation as to how the situation has arisen. For Will and Ira, politics are for others, while Gustav finds politics thwarting him as he tries to do the best for his planet. These three are perhaps nobler examples of humanity and not enough space is given to the mistaken, politically ambitious or nasty characters that always exist in any society. These readers will not mind that the space ships can move between star systems at a tremendous rate or be able to visualise the technology. If they are fans of military SF, they will enjoy this.