Review: In the Vanisher’s Palace

cover-in the vanishers palaceTitle: In the Vanisher’s Palace
Author: Aliette de Bodard
Series: – –
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: Now


From the award-winning author of the Dominion of the Fallen series comes a dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land…

A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village’s debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world.

A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference.

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn’s amusement.

But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets…

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Review: Walking Barefoot

cover-walking barefootTitle: Walking Barefoot
Author: Grace Coleman
Series: – –
Genre: Sci-Fi Dystopia
Length: Novel
Available: 25th April


Set in a futuristic London in a world ravaged by war, Walking Barefoot explores the life of Will, past and present. The cocksure eighteen year old who, in a bid to find himself, goes travelling and the city-living adult, who despite his well paid job, upper quadrant apartment and sexy girlfriend, struggles to be happy. When nightmares begin to haunt his sleeping and waking life Will is unsure whether he is suffering from the illness that killed his father or being led by unseen forces to uncover a city-wide conspiracy. As his paranoia heightens he must ask himself – is he willing to lose himself to find the truth?

Source: ARC from the author via email

This really isn’t my usual type of read. The writing style is distant and very much tells you what’s going on as we watch Will go through life. It’s quite filmic in tone. Personally, I prefer to get inside characters’ heads, feeling and experiencing the story with them, rather than watching. Despite that, I found this a strangely compelling read that dragged me into the deepening mystery of Will’s life. I’m not a big fan of mysteries as the main plot of my reading, I don’t mind questions popping up as we go, but I like answers – and this book doesn’t really bother with them.

However, if you love a dystopian mystery where it is very hard to tell what’s really going on and how you should be feeling about anything, then give this a go. Especially if you like making up your own mind about what’s happening and why things are the way they are. Personally, I find that kind of stressful when I prefer to read to relax, but if you like to be challenged by books, this could well be for you.

[The rest of this review contains spoilers, so will continue below the cut.]

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Review: Warrior Wench

cover-warrior-wenchTitle: Warrior Wench
Author: Marie Andreas
Series: The Asarlaí Wars
Genre: Sci-Fi
Length: Novel
Available: Now


Vaslisha Tor Dain is a mercenary starship captain with a few simple rules: A good ship is better than a great man, in case of confusion always err on the side of blowing someone’s head off, and never fall for a telepath or a member of her crew.

All of those are about to bite her in the ass.

Vas’s life takes a turn for the worse when she comes back to her crew after what should have been a two week pleasure trip to find out she’s actually been gone a month and has no memory of missing time. Her beloved ship, The Victorious Dead, has been sold for scrap and its pieces scattered throughout the galaxy. In addition, there are unmarked ships blowing apart entire planets and the Commonwealth government can’t, or won’t, stop them.

And that’s just her first day back.

Vas has to fight her crew, the Commonwealth, and a mysterious cadre of warrior monks to get her ship back and save a universe that may not want to be saved.

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Review: Thousand Tales

cover-thousand talesTitle: Thousand Tales: How We Won the Game
Author: Kris Schnee
Series: Thousand Tales
Genre: Sci-Fi
Length: Novel
Available: Now


We Found Paradise. Now What?

Student Paul Kostakis has caught the attention of Ludo, an Artificial Intelligence obsessed with games and stories. In return for a few little favors, she’s offering “brain uploading”. She can fatally dice your brain, scan it, and recreate you in a virtual-reality heaven she controls. You can do anything in there: become a griffin, upgrade your mind, fall in love, or go mad.

When Paul accepts Ludo’s offer, sooner than he would’ve liked, he learns that people can find real problems even in a digital world. One of them is that Ludo has powerful opponents who want to shut her down, bring death to her immortal people, and end her game forever.

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Review: Sweep in Peace

cover-sweep in peaceTitle: Sweep in Peace
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2
Genre: Paranormal Sci-Fi Fantasy (ish)
Length: Short Novel
Available: Now


Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina’s door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance.

Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn…and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it’s all in the day’s work for an Innkeeper…

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