Monday, December 15, 2008 -- Delusionism by Anthony Marais
With a wink and a nudge, he delivers essays on topics ranging from Originality and The Quest For Happiness to Pet Rocks and Books vs. Movies.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008 -- Read by Dawn (Volume 3), edited by Adèle Hartley
"Read by Dawn" arrived in pristine condition, but will be leaving here in a less-than-perfect state (there was one of those ominous cracks when I bent the spine a little too far back). But if the book's been changed by being read, so have I by reading it.
Monday, December 1, 2008 -- Mourning Meadow by Larion Wills
Kari is a woman with a secret and a mansion on a large estate. Steve is a man with a secret and a desire to develop mansions on large estates. Oops, that might be his secret.
Monday, November 24, 2008 -- Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco
Normally I would start a review with a summary of the plot, but having only read "Ocean Sea" once, I don't feel competent to summarise it. Suffice it to say that some characters get together at a hotel by the sea, and there's a chap painting the sea with sea-water, a woman who's going to die unless the sea can cure her, another woman who's trying to choose between her husband and her lover, and a lot of strange children.
Monday, November 17, 2008 -- The Lone Star Stories Reader, edited by Eric T. Marin
There is so much beauty here, densely packed yet woven like gossamer thread.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 -- Going Down South by Bonnie Glover
This is a reading- group book. You can tell because it's about mothers and daughters, because it has race- and gender-based complications, and because it has Reading Group Questions at the back.
Monday, September 29, 2008 -- Sound + Noise by Curtis Smith
Curtis Smith’s "Sound and Noise" is a fascinating portrayal of two people trapped in lives of stagnant frustration.
Sunday, September 21, 2008 -- Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek
Tomato Girl is a fairly standard coming-of-age story, occasionally daring in some aspects, but, on the whole, rather mediocre.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 -- The Silk Palace by Colin Harvey
Ancient gods, cultish murders, royal intrigue, and sapphic love--The Silk Palace has it all.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008 -- Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco
In this post- PeaceMaker world, humanity is divided between those who consider technology to be the tool of the devil, and those who still think it has a useful role to play in our lives. There are some great moments and some nice twists...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 -- The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé
The chapters are brief, often terse, and the story progresses swiftly--at times a little too swiftly, in that I felt the characters bounced a bit too much in mood and disposition. At the same time, the quick pace kept me turning pages.
Monday, August 4, 2008 -- Stone Masters: A Vampire Reckoning by VMK Fewers
"Stone Masters: A Vampire Reckoning" is a vampire novel told from two perspectives, in the form of diary entries. Both of the main characters, Orpheus and Jadeon, start us off with an entry from June 2006 as the set up to tell the story of how they became what they are, several hundred years earlier.
Monday, July 28, 2008 -- Words From a Glass Bubble by Vanessa Gebbie
"Words from a Glass Bubble" by Vanessa Gebbie is a collection of nineteen of her short stories, compiled in a handsome hardback from Salt Publishing. There's no overarching narrative, but although the stories are very different, some themes and images crop up more than once.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008 -- The Fireborn Chronicles by Mary Andrews
A "psionic sci fi" romp with tinges of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat and tinges of Babylon 5...
Monday, July 14, 2008 -- Last Dragon by J.M. McDermott
"Last Dragon", published as the first of the Wizard of the Coast Discoveries, is like no Fantasy novel I've ever read. It's non-linear, told as a series of letters? reminiscences? campfire tales? that flit about events and times yet slowly and inexorably bring the reader to the book's conclusion.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 -- Eternal Vigilance by Gabrielle Faust
When I know a book is going to be part of a series, it has to be pretty darn good for me to consider forking out for future instalments. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t work so well as a stand-alone novel, and that was disappointing.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 -- Bloodshot Monochrome by Patience Agbabi
It's a thin book. However, if you're about to become the romper room for someone else's narratives, neuroses and hang-ups, it's cheery that the book is at least thin. They won't be here long. Maybe you can cope.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 -- Dangerous Games, Edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois
It's a lot of story (and a lot of stories) for your buck, and none of them are duds.
Monday, June 16, 2008 -- The Tea House by Paul Elwork
Paul Elwork's "The Tea House" is a bold first novel, entering the strange, secretive world of two children who discover a way to convince others they can contact the dead.
Sunday, June 8, 2008 -- The Recruit by Debra A. Kemp
I found that shortly after I entered the flashback that made up 99% of the book, I was well and truly hooked.
Monday, June 2, 2008 -- I Will Rise by Michael Louis Calvillo
For the first forty-five pages or so of this novel, nothing much happens. Instead of a plot, we're treated to an apparently endless stream-of-consciousness tirade from the first person narrator.
Monday, May 26, 2008 -- We, Robots by Sue Lange
Humans fear the Singularity and take Steps to prevent a robot rebellion. Their fear, of course, accelerates the process. If that whets your curiosity...
Monday, May 19, 2008 -- Echoes of Terror, edited by Katherine Smith et al
This Horror anthology is nicely presented, with an introduction that gives the reader a small taste of what's to come. The stories are topped by short commentaries from the authors on how they came to write their stories, and tailed by their biographies.
Sunday, May 11, 2008 -- Amityville House of Pancakes: Volume 3 edited by Pete S. Allen
AHOP is an annual collection of humorous specfic wrapped up in "hot buttered weirdness".
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 -- Coop by Jack Teeter
Jack Teeter's Coop is the story of a blackballed baseball coach making a comeback seventeen years after a car crash robbed him of his voice--and his livelihood.
Monday, April 28, 2008 -- Bound In Skin, edited by Sonya M. Shannon
Bound in Skin is a collection of seven short gothic romance stories that mostly stick to formulaic plots. There are, however, two stand-out stories in this collection--the title piece 'Bound in Skin' by Janine Ashbless and Carole Lanham's 'Cleopatra's Needle'.
Monday, April 21, 2008 -- Traversa: A solo walk across Africa, from the Skeleton Coast to the Indian Ocean by Fran Sandham
It's hard to read many travel books without a sense of 'Why? Why are you putting yourself through all this?' and Traversa is no exception.
Monday, April 14, 2008 -- EZ Lovin' by Elaine Charton
EZ Lovin' is a slightly modern romance in a modern setting, but it follows the old formulas with only a small nod to up-to-date ideas about gender relations.
Monday, April 7, 2008 -- The Gender Divide by David Boultbee
I enjoyed this book--it's something of a romp, although possibly that obscures a serious purpose. But, oh dear, it's often unintentionally hilarious as well.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008 -- "Mend Your Misery" by Kristofer Dommin
Mend Your Misery is a collection of twelve poems largely focused on love and heartbreak. Kristofer Dommin seems to have channeled that spotty teen-angst phase that drives people to poetry, and honed it to its core.
Monday, March 24, 2008 -- Personal Demons by Stacia Kane
Sparks fly in this hugely-enjoyable paranormal romance. When central character Dr Megan Chase takes a job as a counsellor on a radio show, the tagline, "how can I slay your personal demons?" attracts unwanted attention from, yes, personal demons.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 -- The Oblivion Society by Marcus Alexander Hart
"The Oblivion Society" is a hilarious post-dot-com, energy-drink-fueled apocalyptic romp with some fun science (somewhat abused) and clever characterizations. You want to win our review copy!
Monday, March 10, 2008 -- Vacation by Jeremy Shipp
I had to take a step back after reading Vacation to realize it really is as imaginative as it's advertised as being, because it's not so much the usual suspects, like the crazy plot antics or the political interpolations, that impressed me, but the parts that were presented more matter-of-factly, the characters and the interactions.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008 -- Hannibal by Ross Leckie
This is a nasty book. If you're expecting to read about Hannibal the famous general, Hannibal who crossed the Alps and gave the Romans the thrashing they deserved, forget it.
Monday, February 25, 2008 -- Witching Hour Theatre by Craig Sheffer
Starlight Cinema presents Witching Hour Theatre: "a shadowy world of hauntings and serial killers, werewolves and cannibals, slaughter and mayhem." Once a week, Starlight Cinema flips its marquee and presents a triple-feature of silver-screen horror: something recent, something classic, and something obscure.
Monday, February 18, 2008 -- MEAT by Joseph D'Lacey
MEAT is a strangely compelling read. Despite weaknesses in the narrative, it draws the reader in, shows them a bizarre yet intriguing world, and makes them read to the very last page.
Friday, February 8, 2008 -- Cooking Your Way to Romance by Carl R. Wendtland
This is a great book for the epi-curious romantic, but also stands on its own as an inspiration for the more experienced. The humor, full-meal suggestions, and anecdotes make this much more than a simple collection of recipes; and it's further enriched with a guide to wine selection, a guide on setting the table, unit conversions, and a glossary of terms.
Monday, January 28, 2008 -- "Ten Plagues" edited by Ian Donnell Arbuckle and Justin Conwell
This "Collection of Deadly Stories" sets itself the difficult task of having one short story for each of the plagues in Exodus. Read the review and see the first comment for how to win our review copy!
Monday, January 21, 2008 -- Shutterbug by Daniel I. Russell
Daniel I. Russell's Shutterbug is a readable novella.
See comments for how to win a .pdf of Shutterbug--contest open to all!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 -- Downstage Dead by Bevan Amberhill
Downstage Dead by Bevan Amberhill is a marvelous book which I highly recommend. In the States/Canada? See the comments for how to win our review copy!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008 -- Eden Waters Press Home Anthology, Edited by Anne Brudevold