34 Following

Figgy O'Connell

Currently reading

See You in the Cosmos
Jack Cheng
Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond
Stephen Biesty, Martin Jenkins
The Terranauts: A Novel
T.C. Boyle
A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Sara Barnard
Gumnut Babies
May Gibbs
Progress: 42/264 pages
Highly Illogical Behaviour
John Corey Whaley
Progress: 82/249 pages
Alastair Reynolds
Progress: 75/425 pages
See What I Have Done
Sarah Schmidt
The Dog, Ray
Linda Coggin
Forgetting Foster
Dianne Touchell
Book Hall - 20/02/17-24/02/17
Book Hall - 20/02/17-24/02/17

All proofs except Poor Louie.


Others are (L-R):


Windfall / The River Sings / Release / Vigilante / The Impossible Story of Olive in Love / Finding Nevo

BOOK REVIEW: Good Morning Midnight by Lily Brooks Dalton

Good Morning, Midnight: A Novel - Lily Brooks-Dalton

When going into this book, it is important to take into account the literary tag.

This is a book in which not a lot happens, where the two main characters are people who were emotionally on the out with society, and physically far removed from everyday life even before the world ended. We never do find out how the world ended, we just know that these two people are stranded, with few people to talk to, and they each have their own troubles to face, but very very little happens in the first 65-70% of this book.

I read the first 100 pages of this book back in August, and while I could appreciate the beauty of the writing, and while it’s only a short book (at 253 pages), there was a certain lack of drive or urgency for me. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t dread returning, I just didn’t have any great incentive to do so.

This was one of my most anticipated titles of 2016, and I put it down for nearly six months with the idea that I would get back to it someday, but without any kind of serious concern for how it was going to wrap up and where it would leave the characters.


The rest of this review can be found HERE!


Lucy's Book

Lucy's Book - Natalie Jane Prior, Cheryl Orsini Review to come.

Maybe a Fox

Maybe a Fox - Kathi Appelt, Alison McGhee Review to come.

The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms and Fakes

The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms and Fakes - Malachy Tallack, Katie Scott The title of this book refers to a very specific type of island; not one that is yet to be discovered, but one was believed to be real at some point but is no longer on the map. These are the products of imagination, deception and simple human error. They are phantoms and fakes: an archipelago of ex-isles and forgotten lands.

Gathered in this book are two dozen islands, each covered in a 3-4 page mini-essay within one of several categories:
- Islands of Life and Death
- Setting Out
- The Age of Exploration
- Sunken Lands
- Fraudulent Islands
- Recent Un-Discoveries

To be fair, some islands could appear in a cross-section of these categories, and one cannot envy Tallack the choices he had to make when dividing these islands. And the book itself, while not going too deeply into the history of each island as to lose the reader, also offers an interesting cross-section of information, from geography, to myths and legends to, of course, history.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

Pointe, Claw

Pointe, Claw - Amber J. Keyser What a bizarre concept!

I hadn't thought to imagine that something like this existed, and now that I know it does I am desperate to read it!

Me, All Alone, at the End of the World

Me, All Alone, at the End of the World - M.T. Anderson, Kevin Hawkes Review to come.

MWD: Hell is Coming Home

MWD: Hell is Coming Home - Brian David Johnson, Jan Egleson, Laila Milevski, Karl Stevens Review to come.

Good Me, Bad Me

Good Me, Bad Me - Ali Land There is a lot of talk about how this is set to be “one of the most extraordinary, controversial and explosive debuts of 2017”, and to be fair there is a lot here that pushes boundaries.

This is a story centered around the daughter of a serial killer; a female serial killer who steals and kills children and abuses her own children. Milly, the daughter, is bound to be damaged after the way she was brought up, and it’s clear for the reader to see in the way she interacts with those in her new, protected witness life, clear in the way she speaks, the words she writes, the fact that this whole book is essentially a letter to the mother who never treated her like mothers should.
It’s the chapter on the children of psychopaths that interests me the most. The confusion a child feels when violence is mixed with tenderness. Push and pull. A hyper vigilance, never knowing what to expect, but knowing to expect something. I recognize that feeling, I lived it every day with you.
There are definitely some things alluded to (though not actually said outright) that are controversial and which would leave many a reader squeamish if said outright, but unfortunately these same things, when the author avoids details at any cost, somehow dull the whole experience.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful - Eric Lindstrom Once again, Eric Lindstrom brings us a story that’s kinda cute and fluffy and is bound to make you laugh, but which has a decent helping of meatiness, too.

At first glance, there are some things that can seem a little shallow, and though it’s true that overall this feels like it has a little less heart than Lindstrom’s previous book, Not If I See You First, and the friendships feel a little less developed, there is still plenty here to love, and his second offering is one that is as easy to get caught up in as his debut.

One of the things that felt a little odd early on in the book was the fact that Mel, a self-described antisocial underachiever, seems to find it so easy to make conversation with people.
We’ve had this conversation countless times, when Mom’s not around to stop her. Except I know the drugs are a scapegoat. Like how Dad thinks I’m unambitious and unmotivated and blames it on being surrounded by underachievers. Aunt Joan thinks I’m antisocial because of the meds. They’re both wrong. I’m naturally an antisocial underachiever.
But perhaps this was part of the message of this book; just because they need time away from people in order to recharge, people with anxiety and other mental health disorders don’t always struggle in a way that is outwardly visible.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

The Boy on the Bridge



History of Wolves

History of Wolves - Emily Fridlund The reader knows, right from the first page, that Paul dies.

We haven’t yet met him of course, not properly, but we will spend the rest of the book getting to know this cute, imaginative, loving but picky and temperamental four-year-old in between glimpses of the court case following his death; Linda’s school life; and Linda’s life between then and where she writes from now, at 37 years old.

Linda is not the easiest character to like, but on some level she will likely appeal to any of us who have gone through periods of loneliness, any of us whoever felt like they didn’t belong, and especially anyone who suffers from compulsions.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

Carve the Mark

Carve the Mark - Veronica Roth Actual Rating 1.5

So Veronica Roth, author of Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and subsequent short stories in the same universe is back!

There is a lot of hype around this book and so many elements that showed potential. Surely, after the success that was Divergent, this would be good quality at the very least. Right?

Carve the Mark, they’re claiming, is for lovers of Star Wars and Divergent, and is billed as “Science Fiction” first and “Fantasy” second (where the latter is mentioned at all).

But this sci-fi lover and sometimes hesitant fantasy reader really has to wonder where the sci-fi even was.

Sure, there are a couple of science-ish elements, like the spaceship cobbled together from recycled parts, the fact that there is a governing body based on a ship orbiting the sun, and that the Shotet people travel to another planet once a year to scavenge materials to be reused. But that’s it.

Oh, no, wait… They also travel across the planet in hovering vehicles they call floaters (which carries its own set of problems/hilarity).
“Can we get into the floater while it’s still warm?’ Eijeh said, a little bit of a whine in his voice.

The floater eased up the hill, drifting over stony Hessa…

There were floaters everywhere, strips of colored light wrapped around their fat bellies, parked in clusters on the hillside or swarming around the domed roof in search of a touchdown.
But the few space-related scenes are incredibly brief, and everything else in this story is more on the side of fantasy and magic, which is totally fine, but it should really be marketed as such.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

After reading, prior to review
So... the cover is gorgeous, though I have to wonder exactly where it fits in the story, what with it being blue and seeming to suggest kill marks. Was it hinting at Avatar?

Anyway... additional thoughts on things besides the cover to come.

Overall a little meh.

Prior to reading
As Karen shared in her review, and as the letter that came with this book said, I'm not allowed to comment on the plot, characters or any of the content online, so I will be tabbing quotables for later posting.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

Traitor to the Throne

Traitor to the Throne - Alwyn Hamilton Really want to get my hands on a copy of this... hoping the quote from my review of the first book stays in the final copy!

Snow Man and the Seven Ninjas

Snow Man and the Seven Ninjas - Matt Cosgrove Actual Rating 3.5

The premise of this series of retellings is an interesting one. Stuck at home for the holidays with nothing to do, our narrator-of-sorts “borrows” his sister’s copy of Snow White, and decides to make some improvements.

The end result is a story as far away from Snow White as one might possibly imagine.

Here we have a super strong and talented Snow Man, adored by the people.
Little Snow Man grew up and became bigger and hairier, and with each push-up was more muscly than before. All those who saw him marvelled at his sixpack and were certain that never before had such abdominals existed.
Surely, no act could compete with the beefcake Snow Man, they though.
Super Dude is jealous of Snow Man’s strength and fame and wants to destroy the Yeti so his mirror will stop insulting him.
‘You may have a nice sixpack,
But you also have a hairy back!
The one with abs that make me blush,
Is the young Snow Man, you toilet brush!’
And so he enlists the stunt man, to embarrass and then slay the Snow Man.
The stunt man was horrified by the super dude’s command, but he was so frightened of his powers and what he might do to the stunt man’s pet goldfish that he promised to do as ordered.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

Defender: The Voices Book 1

Defender: The Voices Book 1 - G X Todd Actual rating 2.5

The premise of Defender is a fascinating one, there’s no denying that.

It sounds like it might have some of the same elements as Bird Box, with, of course, a decent helping of The Stand, and supposedly a little Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. The blurb talks a mean game.

And sadly the book doesn’t live up to it.

What the blurb doesn’t tell you is that the story takes place seven years after the voices started making people kill themselves en masse, so the world we enter is more akin to reading part two of The Passage, without first having read part 1, picking up when the country is largely deserted, rather than while there are still enough people for there to really be any kind of battle between those who can hear voices and those who cannot. The bicameral concept is there as background more than anything, rather than something central to the plot. It features, and adds value to some characters, it’s the catalyst for the world of Defender being the way it is, but essentially this is a book about a world gone mad, and the reader has missed all the fun stuff.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!