#20BooksOfSummer A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White #bookreview #wtfbcthu

And on to Book 15!! Another one not on my original list – I think this a theme now!! – but one that covers the #large element of my reading challenge at 480 pages long!  Was prompted to pick this one up as the lovely author EliAllison has started a little twitter book club called #What The Fuck Book Club’ that will focus each month on weird science fiction and fantasy books so can highly recommend checking that out if it’s your thing! And if the first pick of book is anything to go by, then we’re in for some fun reads as I really enjoyed this one! What is it about a group of people in space that captures my imagination so much!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she might have stumbled on something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses the murder of a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah only has one lead: the killer also hunts a woman named Boots.

On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.

Published by Orbit Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

Fun, feisty and frenetic! I think that sums this book up well! And though it’s not perfect, it still has a really interesting blend of characters fighting battles with themselves as well as those they meet along their way.

Nilah, is the race car driver who seems to be caught up in a conspiracy to frame her for the death of a fellow racer and she finds herself on the ship the Capricious against her will, alongside Boots who is a bit of a loner and fraudster – not someone you’d want to mess with! Boots also used to be part of the Capricious crew so when she finds herself amongst her old ‘friends’ that stirs up a few memories and it was really interesting to find out her back story. 

Boots and Nilah are very different characters but both are flawed and it’s good to see how the dynamics of their ‘relationship’ changes over time. They all soon find themselves being chased by ‘mother’ who is hellbent on destruction, and also trying to track down The Harrow ship to get answers as to what is going on!

Full of diverse characters and strong female leads, I found there to be plenty to keep me intrigued and entertained throughout – if you liked A long Way to small angry planet, or A chain across the dawn, then this will appeal to you as well as it had all the elements of a space soap opera with a bit of magic thrown in, and I’m interested in seeing how this series pans out!

★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer Lanny by Max Porter #BookReview

Time to play catch up with some reviews!!  And yet another one that wasn’t on my original list – I really don’t know why I bothered with that! – but the mood just grabbed me to pick this up on Cosy Reading Night, and it was perfect for the #little part of my challenge at around 200 pages long and all I can say is WOW!! I adored Grief is the Thing with Feathers, but loved this even more!

ABOUT THE BOOK

There’s a village sixty miles outside London. It’s no different from many other villages in England: one pub, one church, red-brick cottages, council cottages and a few bigger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might do anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs.

This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a figure schoolchildren used to draw green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth. 

Dead Papa Toothwort is awake. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to his English symphony. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, enchanting boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny.

published by Faber & Faber

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon   £7.50

hive.co.uk  £10.35

Lanny by Max Porter  £9.35

MY REVIEW

What a special book! Hypnotic, weird, heartbreaking, quirky, dark, spellbinding – just a glorious reading experience.. I’m beginning to expect nothing else but these kind of stories from Max Porter.

Told from different viewpoints it’s the story of a family – a couple with a young boy who is different to the other children in the village – he seems to have his own way of dealing with the world he lives in and is happy to be amongst nature rather than in the thick of things with children his own age. His actions are overseen by the presence of Toothworth, who watches over the happenings in the village with his own narrative of how the world is changing in front of him, but with special attention given o Lanny who is his favourite. He gets him!

I loved the viewpoints of Lanny and his mother and father – they both have different outlooks on life and how to raise their child – his father is always consumed by work and his commute, his mother is a writer who suffered with depression after Lanny was born so their move to the country was them trying to live a different way. They hire a local art teacher, Pete, to teach him and there is a connection between them. When Lanny goes missing he is the first under suspicion because he’s an outsider too. Watching on as the story unravels you really get to see how the assumptions on people fall under the microscope and how perception affects the reality of the situation.

This was a beautifully written story, the use of language and the way that Toothworth listens to all the dialogue of the villagers was just wonderful and often had me laughing with the randomness of the conversations. Just brilliant!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour Johnny Ruin by Dan Dalton #RandomThingsTours #BookReview #JohnnyRuin @wordsbydan @unbounders

Delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog tour for JOHNNY RUIND by DAN DALTON.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for the copy of the book and letting me be part of the tour.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Depression can be hell. Heartbroken and lonely, the narrator has made an attempt on his own life. Whether he meant to or not he can’t say. But now he’s stuck in his own head, and time is running out. To save himself, he embarks on a journey across an imagined America, one haunted by his doomed relationship and the memory of a road trip that ended in tragedy. Help arrives in the guise of Jon Bon Jovi, rock star and childhood hero. An unlikely spirit guide, perhaps, but he’s going to give it a shot...

P R A I S E

 ‘If you found yourself in a dark wood in the middle of your life, who would you want to lead you out of it? Virgil or Jon Bon Jovi? Dan Dalton chose the latter for a guide and the result is this marvellously strange and sad novel, shot through with a dark gleaming wit’ Jenny Offill

 ‘Strange, intense, brilliant’ S. J. Watson

 ‘A great big howl from the abyss of a broken heart. Incredible’ Richard Skinner

 ‘I read Johnny Ruin with a lump in my throat. It’s raw and beautiful and odd and brokenhearted’ Ali Land

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £8.46

hive.co.uk  £7.49

whsmith  £6.47

Author Website

MY REVIEW

Sometimes life gets tough and you need Jon Bon Jovi to see you through the darker times, and that is exactly what happens in Johnny Ruin as he’s left to mourn a relationship and all the depression and misery that may bring with it.  It’s a brilliant example of how twisted a mind can become as it processes changes and how replaying moments from the past can either clarify the situation or just muddy the waters.

I loved the way this story is told – the voice of the narrator is clearly struggling with his mental wellbeing and you’re taken along for the ride – it’s very dark, often explicit but it’s a process he needs to go through and he uses the ‘help’ of Jon Bon Jovi as that takes  him back to a happier time of his life and remembers how hearing his songs made him feel.  

I found it fascinating to hear the thoughts of a bloke going through depression and grieving the loss of loved ones – it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and seeing how dark the mind can turn when you feel there’s no hope was quite disturbing. I keep remembering the phrase ‘life is consequences’ which features and that becomes very apparent as he looks back over his life and past relationships.  It brings him comfort to remember happier times.

This was a gritty, angry, reflective book full of dark humour and I loved the raw honesty of the character throughout.

★★★★