Category Archives: New Releases

Released next month: The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby

Due for Release in September 2012

The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby

The Corpse-Rat KingThe Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby

Marius don Hellespont and his apprentice, Gerd, are professional looters of battlefields. When they stumble upon the corpse of the King of Scorby and Gerd is killed, Marius is mistaken for the monarch by one of the dead soldiers and is transported down to the Kingdom of the Dead.

Just like the living citizens, the dead need a King — after all, the King is God’s representative, and someone needs to remind God where they are.

And so it comes to pass that Marius is banished to the surface with one message: if he wants to recover his life he must find the dead a King. Which he fully intends to do.

Just as soon as he stops running away.

UK/RoW
6 Sep 2012
B-format paperback
£7.99 UK
ISBN 9780857662866

US/CAN
28 Aug 2012
mass-market paperback
$7.99 US $8.99 CAN
ISBN 9780857662873

eBook
28 Aug 2012
£5.49
ePub ISBN 9780857662880

The ebook is available from The Robot Trading Company once The Corpse-Rat King is released. The print books I presume will be available in all the usual places; the publishers don’t say!

Published by Angry Robot, The Corpse-Rat King sounds to be an intriguing story with plenty of action, both natural and supernatural, on the way. This is on my “look-for” list!

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Waiting on Wednesday (3): Wednesday 22 August 2012

Welcome to
Waiting on Wednesday!!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. You can click on the picture at the top of this post to take you to the host’s blog.

Here are some upcoming books from Strange Chemistry, a relatively new imprint specialising in YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

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Emilie and the hollow world by martha wells

No Art Work Available

While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.

Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.

With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.

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I think that Emilie and the Hollow World sounds like a cross between Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.  It sounds exciting and entertaining.

Emilie and the Hollow World is published by Strange Chemistry and is released in April 2013 in the UK and the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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zenn scarlett by christian schoon

No Art Work Available

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 15-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.

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Can’t wait to read all about the alien animals as Zenn Scarlett solves the mystery of how the animals are escaping.

Zenn Scarlett is published by Strange Chemistry and is released in May 2013 in the UK and the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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Two exciting books to look forward to seeing in the shops.  If you want to know more, the links under “Strange Chemistry” will take you to their pages about the books in question where you can find links to your favourite online shops – and can pre-order.

Tuesday Totals (8) 2012: Week 33

Tuesday Totals – 13 to 19 August 2012

Here is my weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned – that I use to try to keep myself on track, focused and with a sense of achievement! There are seven sections of activities; this post details their status for the weeks 13 to 19 August 2012.

Currently Reading

The books I’m reading as I post.

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)

This is going on the back burner for a few weeks; I have some other books that have run up the list.

2. Luke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood and others (FR)

I think a few of these before bed will be a nice treat.  I try not to read too many in one go, so I can savour each piece.

3. The Consul at Sunset by Gerald Hanley

We’ve now met a different character – at odds with the Establishment types, but bound to play by the rules.

4. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock (NG)

Totally absorbing – I couldn’t believe I’d read nearly half of it in one sitting – over dinner!

Finished This week

1. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright (AG)

The story is totally absorbing.  The writing style is a little ponderous, but the universe building is good.  I enjoyed the ethical dilemas that afflict the characters..

2. Timepiece by Myra McEntire (NG)

 I enjoyed this.  Although having read Book 1 in the series might have helped, it works as a standalone book.

Reviews in Manuscript

I like writing with a pen (or pencil) and paper. In addition, it is more convenient to write by hand, since in the time available, I don’t have access to a computer 🙂
Look out for these reviews coming soon:

1. Defying Drakon by Carole Mortimer
2. Hot Girl’s Friend by Lisa Scott
3. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
4. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
5. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
6. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord
7. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy
8. Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer
9. A Vampire’s Dominon by V. M. K. Fewings
10. Bone Machine by C. N. James
11. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo
12. Catestrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird
13. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
14. Darker by Degree by Keri Knutson & Susan Branham
15. Sanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild
16. Seven into the Bleak by Matthew Iden
17. Redhead by Ian Cook
18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
19. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright

Reviews Posted

 The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

TBR Shortlist

I’ve had a rethink on choosing my next book.  I have been approved for quite a number of NetGalley (NG) book, so I’ve decided it’s time to boost some of these up the list and get posting reviews!  The other books from my list generally come under the headings of author gifts (AG), which usually get priority; First Reads (FR) wins; and authors’ time limited free offers (FO).  I sprinkle in some bought books and free ebooks too, as I fancy.

My immediate reading list is:

1. For That Day by Low Kay Hwa (AG)
3. One Moment by Kristina McBride (NG)
4. Monkey with a Pin by Pete Comley (FO)
5. Hound Dog Blues by Virginia Brown (NG)
6. The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel (NG)
8. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb (NG)

Blog updates completed

1. Tuesday Totals – I’m on Number 8
2. Bookish Funny Friday – 15th posted
3. Waiting on Wednesday – 2nd posted
4. Released Next Month – 2nd posted

Blog Updates Planned

1. Review Policy – mostly written, partly typed
2. Reviews: My thoughts and philosophy – written, partly typed
3. Tuesday Totals – explanation page to be written, a logo would be nice, but not sure what (and how)
4. Rose’s Ramblings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed (was Monthly Musings, but I decided that keeping it random was better!)
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list
6. Visitor Counters – need to add them!

I’m gradually making progress with blog updates and reviews.  I’m hoping to join Bloggiesta this year and get some of my updates done then. Having this list to come back to is useful as it keeps me on track and stops me heading off in random directions! 🙂
What do you have planned for your blog?  How do you decide which book to read next???

Released next month: Shift by Kim Curran

Due for Release in September 2012

Shift by Kim Curran

ShiftShift by Kim Curran

When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not so average after all. He’s a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.

UK Print
Date: 6th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844033
Format: Medium Paperback
R.R.P.: £7.99

US/CAN Print
Date: 4th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844040
Format: Large Paperback
R.R.P.: $9.99

Ebook
Date: 4th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844057
Format: Epub & Mobi
R.R.P.: £5.49 / $6.99

UK Print & Ebook
Amazon.co.uk | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

US Print & Ebook
Amazon.com | BarnesandNoble.com | IndieBound.org

Published by Strange Chemistry, Shift sounds to be a facinating time travel novel; I enjoy the mental juggling involved in dealing with the paradoxes that can result from time travel.  I wasn’t lucky enough to win a copy on Goodreads, so I’m going to buy myself a copy (if I can’t persuade someone to buy it for me as a present!).  With the striking cover art, I think I’ll be looking for a physical copy, rather than an ebook.

The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke: review

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

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How good is The Assassin’s Curse? It’s so good I read it in a day!

The Assassin’s Curse is an otherworld fantasy story that can hold its own with the best of the genre. The Assassin’s Curse has about it the feel of Robin Hobb – although this instalment is shorter than one of a Robin Hobb trilogy, however, I suspect that there will be four or five books in this series (if you read The Assassin’s Curse, let me know if you agree!). Since I really want to know what happens next and how Ananna and Naji deal with the challenges they’ve been given, I shall be keeping a watch on Strange Chemistry’s blog for the next in series, although since The Assassin’s Curse isn’t released until October 2012, I suspect I will have a bit of a wait!

The story begins with our heroine running away from her betrothing ceremony – and I can’t say I blame her. Thus begin her adventures and her meeting with the eponymous assassin. One of the things that I particularly liked was that  it has a strong female lead. It’s funny how fantasy books much more often have strong, independent female leads than a number of other genres. Perhaps that’s why I’ve read fantasy (and Sci-Fi) books since I was a girl. One of my favourite authors was Andre Norton; Ms Clarke is most definitely in Ms Norton’s league.

The adventures the pair of unwilling co-travellers share follow logically from one to another, although there were a few points when I felt there was a tad too much running around without purpose and without Ananna and Naji growing further. I think there may have been some over-exuberant editing or revising around the storm sequence, since the plot progression got a little mushy around there. For me, a veteran of many sail-era naval novels, the lack of detail in, and slightly inaccurate, telling of the actions on board ship (I am being intentionally vague to avoid giving any of the story away) was a minor irritation – a very minor one. I would have liked more details about the Isles of the Sky – my mental pictures there was rather sketchy.

The telling of the developing relationship between Ananna and Naji is mostly well done – and I enjoyed that it is not too much of a formulaic romance. All of the characters are well drawn and believable. I hope we meet the wizard again – he is a character with much potential.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Assassin’s Curse and found the standard of world building by Ms Clarke to be well executed. I would have liked a little more detail on the various peoples and their cultures & religions to be worked into the tale. Had the book been somewhat longer, this and the other additions I have mentioned could have been included. The key to adding these details is to do it as part of the story and not for the author to tell the reader directly. I suspect that the publishers, Strange Chemistry, have a standrd format in which they publish and that the books they publish are edited to this format. I hope that as time goes by, they are able to offer a range of book formats (i.e. lengths).

I really liked the cover…the script’s font and the skyline are reminiscent of ancient Arabia and get the reader in the right frame of mind for the world they are about to visit.

I think this is a debut novel for Cassandra Rose Clarke and I have great hopes for her future books.

I thank Strange Chemistry for my opportunity to read The Assassin’s Curse, as a NetGalley ARC for kindle. I also thank them for introducing me to a new (to me) author. Details of the release dates for The Assassin’s Curse can be found in my WOW post.

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View all my Goodreads reviews

I’m claiming this book as No. 121/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge; and No. 6 in the First in Series Reading challenge..
[All links in right hand sidebar]

I particularly liked was that

Waiting on Wednesday (2): Wednesday 15 August 2012

Welcome to
Waiting on Wednesday!!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. You can click on the picture at the top of this post to take you to the host’s blog.

Here are some upcoming books from Strange Chemistry, a relatively new imprint specialising in YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

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Broken by A. E. Rought

Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetary and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she’s intrigued despite herself. He’s an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely…familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very wrong with Alex Franks.

And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks’ estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.

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Oooh! Spooky! I do love a paranormal mystery! Broken definitely looks to fit that particular penchant if mine. This will probably sound pedantic, however, I do think that last sentence of the blurb ought to read: “… creatures she surely knows should have died…” since in the first part of the sentence we’re told they are in fact living and the “… must have died …” implies they are dead.  Well, I did warn you!

Broken is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 03 January 2013 in the UK and 01 January 2013 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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Pantomime by Laura Lam

R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimeras is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

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Pantomime sounds like an other world novel in the tradition of Ursula Le Guin and Andre Norton. Other world stories are my favourite style of sci-fi novel; I’ve devoured many of them in my time!

Pantomime is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 07 February 2013 in the UK and 05 February 2013 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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The Holders by Julianna Scott

No Art Work Available

17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother – from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland’s “problem” and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.

She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece find out information about their family’s heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they’ve been waiting for—but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

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I’m intrigued by the precis of The Holders and am looking forward to reading it.  Hidden potential stories are always peculiarly satisfying.

The Holders is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 07 March 2013 in the UK and 05 March 2013 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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Three exciting books to look forward to seeing in the shops.  If you want to know more, the links under “Strange Chemistry” will take you to their pages about the books in question where you can find links to your favourite online shops – and can pre-order.

Tuesday Totals (7) 2012: Week 32

Tuesday Totals – 06 to 12 August 2012

Here is my weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned – that I use to try to keep myself on track, focused and with a sense of achievement! There are seven sections of activities; this post details their status for the weeks 06 to 12 August 2012.

Currently Reading

The books I’m reading as I post.

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)

This is going on the back burner for a few weeks; I have some other books that have run up the list.

2. Luke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood and others (FR)

I think a few of these before bed will be a nice treat.  I try not to read too many in one go, so I can savour each piece.

3. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright (AG)

The story is totally absorbing – I had to stop right in the middle of a very exciting bit to go to work this morning. The writing style is a little ponderous, but the universe buildong is good.

4. The Consul at Sunset by Gerald Hanley

I know this is a product of its time, and looking back to see how far we’ve come is a useful exercise, but the attitude to women and “foreigners” is shocking!

Finished This week

1. Desperate Housedogs / Get Fluffy by Abbey Sparkle (NG)

I have read Desperate Housedogs before (it’s one of my early reviews) however, when I received it in a two volume NetGalley ARC with its sequel Get Fluffy, I thought I’d do a quick reread. Enjoying the second time through!!

2. Poltergeeks by Simon Cummings (NG)

I I really enjoyed this

3. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke (NG)

Amazing, brilliant book.

Reviews in Manuscript

I like writing with a pen (or pencil) and paper. In addition, it is more convenient to write by hand, since in the time available, I don’t have access to a computer 🙂
Look out for these reviews coming soon:

1. Defying Drakon by Carole Mortimer
2. Hot Girl’s Friend by Lisa Scott
3. The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsey (40% typed)
4. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
5. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
6. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
7. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord
8. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy
9. Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer
10. A Vampire’s Dominon by V. M. K. Fewings
11. Bone Machine by C. N. James
12. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo
13. Catestrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird
14. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
15. Darker by Degree by Keri Knutson & Susan Branham
16. Sanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild
17. Seven into the Bleak by Matthew Iden
18. Redhead by Ian Cook
19. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
20. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Reviews Posted

 Poltergeeks by Simon Cummings

TBR Shortlist

I’ve had a rethink on choosing my next book.  I have been approved for quite a number of NetGalley (NG) book, so I’ve decided it’s time to boost some of these up the list and get posting reviews!  The other books from my list generally come under the headings of author gifts (AG), which usually get priority; First Reads (FR) wins; and authors’ time limited free offers (FO).  I sprinkle in some bought books and free ebooks too, as I fancy.

My immediate reading list is:

1. Timepiece by Myra McEntire (NG)
2. For That Day by Low Kay Hwa (AG)
3. One Moment by Kristina McBride (NG)
4. Monkey with a Pin by Pete Comley (FO)
5. Hound Dog Blues by Virginia Brown (NG)
6. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock (NG)
7. The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel (NG)
8. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb (NG)

Blog updates completed

1. Tuesday Totals – I’m on Number 7
2. Bookish Funny Friday – 14th posted
3. Waiting on Wednesday – 1st posted
4. Released Next Month – 1st posted

Blog Updates Planned

1. Review Policy – mostly written, partly typed
2. Reviews: My thoughts and philosophy – written, partly typed
3. Tuesday Totals – explanation page to be written, a logo would be nice, but not sure what (and how)
4. Rose’s Ramblings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed (was Monthly Musings, but I decided that keeping it random was better!)
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list
6. Visitor Counters – need to add them!

I’m gradually making progress with blog updates and reviews.  I’m hoping to join Bloggiesta this year and get some of my updates done then. Having this list to come back to is useful as it keeps me on track and stops me heading off in random directions! 🙂
What do you have planned for your blog?  How do you decide which book to read next???

Released next month: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

Due for Release in September 2012

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

BlackwoodBlackwood by Gwenda Bond

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.

UK Print
Date: 6th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844064
Format: Medium Paperback
R.R.P.: £7.99

US/CAN Print
Date: 4th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844071
Format: Large Paperback
R.R.P.: $9.99

Ebook
Date: 4th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844088
Format: Epub & Mobi
R.R.P.: £5.49 / $6.99

UK Print & Ebook
Amazon.co.uk | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

US Print & Ebook
Amazon.com | BarnesandNoble.com | IndieBound.org

Published by Strange Chemistry, Blackwood sounds to be just the kind of sci-fi/fantasy novel I enjoy, and have been reading for some time.  I wasn’t lucky enough to win a copy on Goodreads, so I’m going to buy myself a copy.  With the lovely cover art, I think I’ll be looking for a physical copy, rather than an ebook.

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings: review

PoltergeeksPoltergeeks by Sean Cummings

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.

In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.

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Poltergeeks is a YA witch-themed fantasy novel that will appeal to fantasy fans of all ages. It is a fast-paced and absorbing. book I really didn’t want to put Poltergeeks down, but I had to do that in order to sleep.

Sean Cummings spins a fabulous yarn, with vivid descriptions of the phenomena and battles. The various relationships are described in realistic terms; I felt that all of them rang true and were consistent throughout the book. I’m very impressed at how well this middle-aged Blackburn Rovers fan got inside a 15-year-old girl’s head. Or should I be worried…LOL…seriously, whilst reading Poltergeeks I imagined a female author, the “voice” was that good.

There are a few really clichéd phrases uttered by the characters, along with some pretty cringeworthy phrases, but somehow they fit. Marcus is a stereotypical geek, and is bullied by a stereotypical jock, but I found I was able to ignore those formulaic bits. The witchy parts of the book are well worked out, and consistent. The story itself is internally consistent: it is set in the Calgary of the here and now – how wonderful to have a book set outside the US! There’s nothing wrong with the US, it’s just nice to be treated to a different locale – and takes the view that magic is all around us but most people don’t notice it. Witches are charged with keeping the rest of humanity safe from the “bad guys”. These two aspects – normal everyday and magical – are expertly woven together. Since Julie, our heroine, has been kept in the dark about many magical society details for most of her life, we learn about the rich details of the society with her. This kept the book interesting; I wanted to know more, I made guesses based on the clues received so far and was not bored when we got to the explanations because they happened as part of the story, either as direct speech or as part of the action rather than large passages of exposition directly from the author to the reader.

Poltergeeks absolutely races along, sometimes leaving the reader almost out of breath; there are few points where the reader thinks “Ah! I can put the book down knowing all are safe for a bit”. I admit that partway through, I worked out who – but I didn’t see the why. This looping interweaving sleight-of-hand part of the book was wonderfully woven.

In addition to discovering a new (to me) author, I’ve also discovered a new imprint: Strange Chemistry, who have some fantastic books coming out over the next six months – keep your eyes open for them: check out my WoW posts for details. Details of the release dates of Poltergeeks are also given on the website.

Thank you Sean for an excellent read. Thank you Strange Chemistry for approving me to receive a NetGalley ARC of Poltergeeks. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to subsequent books.

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View all my Goodreads reviews

I’m claiming this book as No. 120/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge; and No. 5 in the First in Series Reading challenge..
[All links in right hand sidebar]

Waiting on Wednesday (1): Wednesday 08 August 2012

Welcome to
Waiting on Wednesday!!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. You can click on the picture at the top of this post to take you to the host’s blog.

Here are some upcoming books from Strange Chemistry, a relatively new imprint specialising in YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

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POLTERGEEKS by SEAN CUMMINGS

PoltergeeksPoltergeeks by Sean Cummings

15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.

In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.

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I have been approved for the NetGalley ARC of Poltergeeks and will be reading it this week, with the review to follow on.

Poltergeeks is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 04 October 2012 in the UK and 02 October 2012 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

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I have the NetGalley ARC for The Assassin’s Curse and plan to read it in the next fortnight, so watch out for my review.

The Assassin’s Curse is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 04 October 2012 in the UK and 02 October 2012 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard

Katya's WorldKatya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard

The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent.

Katya Kuriakova doesn’t care much about ancient history like that, though. She is making her first submarine voyage as crew; the first nice, simple journey of what she expects to be a nice, simple career.

There is nothing nice and simple about the deep black waters of Russalka, however; soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy at first hand, and realise that her world’s future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.

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I hope to get hold of an early copy of Katya’s World; any book combining SF/F and submarines is a winner in my eyes!

Katya’s World is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 08 November 2012 in the UK and 06 November 2012 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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Three exciting books to look forward to seeing in the shops.  If you want to know more, the links at the top will take you to the Goodreads pages and the links under “Strange Chemistry” will take you to their pages about the books in question where you can find links to your favourite online shops – and can pre-order.