Cosmogony (A romantic drama)

CHRIS WHEAT Cosmogony follows an interracial newly-engaged couple as they uncover the secrets of their new home, the conservative small town, Goldwater, California. The novel is a quick, easy and engaging read. The writing is solid, although at times it can overuse the word, “and.” The characters feel authentic and the relationship between Isaac and Ruth is romantic and satisfying. Perfect for the romance genre.    This book packs a lot into 117 pages. There’s drama, shoot-outs, bank-robberies, government secrets, social justice, and romance. In other words, everything exciting is jammed into this short novel. However, the storyline never feels too busy, which can be a potential problem when reading complex plotlines.   What I love most about this book is the empathy. Although it’s easy to preach on sensitive topics, such as racism and sexism, this book still manages to maintain a non-judgemental tone and trusts the story to open the discussion with the reader. Overall, Cosmogony is definitely worth the [ . . . ]

The Enchanted

J.C BRENNAN As a fan of fairytales, I was excited to pick up J.C Brennan’s The Enchanted, which tells the story of Rebecca Gentry who, not only discovers her late Grandmother’s bedtime stories are real, but also that she is of royal ancestry and comes from a long line of witches.  At first, I found the book difficult to read as some of the descriptions, particularly regarding the grandmother, dragged on. There were also moments where the writing shifted tenses. However, as the book progressed, the prose improved, and the pace quickened.  The protagonist Rebecca is very fitting for the fairytale genre, particularly regarding how she is “the chosen one.” While some reviewers weren’t fond of the cliché characterisation, I thought it worked in this book because of the presence of other classic fairytale tropes, such as the difficult stepmother, the evil witch, Rebecca gaining special powers on her 16th birthday, and the inclusion of other fantastical creatures such as vampires and [ . . . ]

The Dark Chorus

ASHLEY MEGGITT Before I begin this review of the horror novel, The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt, I would like to give some trigger warnings for this book. There are graphic scenes of psychosis, and psychiatric patients being mistreated in a mental health facility. For readers who are sensitive to these kinds of topics, I wouldn’t recommend this book. The Dark Chorus follows a boy without a name who can see and collect lost souls from the Dark Chorus, which is where the dead who are unable to move on to the afterlife remain – a limbo if you like. His mother is one of these lost souls and he attempts to save her from limbo by trapping her inside another woman, only unintentionally to drive that woman mad. He then kills the woman to get his mother’s soul back, but the murder lands him in an asylum for the criminally insane. The boy must find another way to save his mum’s soul, [ . . . ]

SHADOW OF THE RAVEN

BY MILLIE THOM When I finished reading Shadow of the Raven, I put the book aside for a week before writing a review. Not because I had nothing to say, but because it made me think. Most period novels I’ve read make me want to travel to the past and experience what it’s like to live in that time. This book, however, made me very happy to be living in the 21st century. Shadow of The Raven is the story of Eadwulf, a Mercian Royal who is betrayed by his brother and enslaved by Vikings. What the author, Millie Thom, manages to capture is the horror and uncertainty of everyday life in 7th century Europe. One day you could be a free aristocrat, and the next you could find yourself a thrall to the Danes with no rights and dependent on the master who buys you.  There’s no judgement of any of the characters in the book. Thom puts the reader into the mind of [ . . . ]

Shadow and Friends’ Costume Party

Mary L. Schmidt, S. Jackson and A. Raymond I was gifted Shadow and Friends’ Costume Party by the author, Mary L. Schmidt in exchange for an honest review. Although I’m an adult and this is a children’s book, I ended up buying it because I loved the illustrations so much. They’re quirky and the scrapbook style reminds me of the Spot What books.  The story is about a squirrel named Digger who invites everyone to a costume party. I do wonder why the title is Called Shadow and Friends’ Costume Party and not Digger and Friends’ Costume Party. However, the writing is so tight and flows effortlessly, I find the issue with the title not a deal breaker.  One of the highlights is when the narrator asks the reader if they know what the word “perplexed” means, and proceeds to give the definition. Making the reader an active character is a good way to keep children’s focus. Plus it teaches the child a new and complex word that [ . . . ]

Evolution of Eve

BY THADDEUS ARJUNA I’ve received this book in exchange for an honest review.  Evolution of Eve is about a human colony on Mars. Raphael and her husband Tom discover that their daughter, Eve, a clone – an experiment to battle the human sterility pandemic – is a Martian. This complicates the husband-wife relationship because Raphael wants a human colony, but Tom believes that Martians are the next stage of human evolution.  There’s a lot happening in this book from rogue cyborgs to shady military and if you’re someone like me who enjoys epic tales with complicated plots and several povs, this narrative structure would likely work for you. However, if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, you will probably find this book a challenge.  I am going to begin with what I found compelling. The premise is strong and believable. I can imagine that we will at some point in the future have to face the ethical and economical question of whether [ . . . ]