Planetfall by Emma Newman

For some reason 2017 wants me to read more Science fiction/fantasy books, dont ask me why but it does!  I’m not arguing though when Planetfall is so bloody good!

In their search for a new and better life than the one that they had on the overpopulated Earth, Suh lead a group of 1000 people – including her partner and lover Ren – to another planet. Then Suh mysteriously vanished, and only Ren and the Ringleader know the truth behind her disappearance. Now, two decades later, a stranger who looks suspiciously like Suh wanders into the colony, flooding Ren with memories of the traumatic event she fought so hard to bury. And if she reveals the secret she has kept for so long, it could ruin everything the colonists built…

 

I reckon that this is an excellent book to begin with if you are just starting to read SFF. It has just the right amount of excitement, suspense, thrills and emotions to keep you reading but not too much technical spacey stuff to put you off.

Renata or Ren is such a great character, flawed but ultimately so realistic. I felt for her on so many occasions which i why i loved the ending so much (read it and see if you agree, well i defy you not to really)

Beautifully written, the pace never slackened off for a second and for someone who hates all the world building in fantasy novels, Emma made this world come alive for me in such a short space of time I was sure I must be reading book 2 or 3 about these characters, so comfortable did i become with them.

Slowly the tension builds and builds until you just cant put the book down for a second or you’ll miss something. I read the last 80 pages in one gulp just to find out what would happen. Oh boy it was just great!

I ‘ve just bought the next book in the Planetfall series which is this baby

and im so looking forward to diving into it.

As i’m new(ish) to SFF what books would you recommend I read to keep my interest going?

What are you reading right now?

Lets chat.

 

Candlestick Press pamphlet reviews

Candlestick Press, who publish gorgeous poetry pamphlets usually containing 10 or 12 poems around a central theme very kindly sent me their latest 3 pamphlets to review.

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Their pamphlets are designed to be sent as a gift card for all manner of occasions. They come with an envelope, a bookmark and a sticky label to seal the flap with, look!

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The pamphlets are beautifully designed and printed and make such an original change from a plain card. Here is a bit more about the three they sent me.


Ten Poems about Friendship

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Of the Ten poems in this pamphlet my favourites were:

  • The Pleasures of Friendship by Stevie Smith (1902 – 1971) so short but just says it all really.
  • Friends by Polly Clark, about an episode of the TV series Friends that is her favourite, so original.
  • Inventory by Lorraine Mariner, All of us of Facebook users will identify with this and its amazing how many different types of friendship there really are.
  • Friends by Alden Nowlan (1933 – 1983) Friends can be so vital in combatting loneliness, I found this very moving.
  • Fiere in the Middle by Jackie Kay, Friends being there for each other in times of need, beautiful words!
  • Friendship and Illness by May Sarton (1912 – 1995) we need friends all the time but when we are feeling unwell they can be the best medicine.
  • Friendship by Elizabeth Jennings (1926 – 2001) The true meaning of friendship, give and take and always being there.

I hadnt heard of most of these poets so its great to have discovered them and their beautiful words.


The Twelve Poems of Christmas

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Now I really love everything about Christmas so this was such a treat, though having said that I didnt like half as many poems in this one, however there are poems here to suit everyone. Here are my favourites:

  • The Christmas Robin by Robert Graves (1895 – 1985) His descriptions of the countryside are always so evocative
  • How I’ll Decorate My Tree by Liz Lochhead, This is so funny and my favourite poem, it speaks to all of us at some time or other and her forced rhyming is just glorious.

 


The Wood in Winter by John Lewis-Stempel

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This is an unusual pamphlet in that its mainly just one short story rather than a collection of poems. Its written by John Lewis-Stempel who won the Thwaites Wainwright prize with his beautiful book, Meadowlands in 2014.

It also has 2 poems: Seven Words for Winter by Nancy Campbell and Winter Heart by Jackie Kay both of which are wonderful.

The Wood in Winter is such a lovely story, detailing a walk through some woods on land that the author once used to own. His descriptions of a cold, snowy day slowly turning to dusk is a treat to read. I felt I was there with him every step of the way, watching the birds, crunching through the snow and shivering with the cold.

People claim they enjoy winter, but what they actually mean is they enjoy winter as a livener, a quick tease of the elements before resorting to their central heating. For anyone working outdoors, winter hurts.

I fear the quote above is way too accurate.

The cover is beautifully designed by Angela Harding


A huge thank you to the lovely folk at Candlestick Press for these. I have plans for the giving of them all.

June book haul – Part 1

I havent done a haul in ages but how could i not when this lot came through my door yesterday!

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Oh the beauty!

2 of them were sent for review and the other 4 were books i just couldnt resist buying.

Books Bought

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I’ve been hearing lots about Sarah Moss from many booktubers so while im waiting for her new book The Tidal Zone to come out I thought i’d get this.

Anna Bennett hasn’t slept in months. Overwhelmed by the needs of her two young boys and opposed on principle to domesticity, Anna is a historian struggling to write without a room of her own. Stranded on a Hebridean island where her husband is researching the puffins, Anna’s work changes when her son finds a baby’s skeleton buried in the garden. As an investigation begins, Anna must confront the island’s past while finding a way to live with the competing demands of the present.

I love the sound of this and cant wait to get reading.

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I first learnt of this from another favourite booktuber, Jean at Jeanbookishthoughts

Go check out her channel, she’s so damn enthusiastic and she sold this to me in seconds

Its about Elizabeth I and faeries! I mean how can you not like that combination?

England flourishes under the hand of Elizabeth I, last of the Tudor monarchs. But a great light cast a shadow. In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above.

Flicking through it feels like an exciting fantasy ride but not too simple a read

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I saw this on Jen Campbell’s and also on Leena’s brilliant channel JustKissMyFrog

Leena’s review left me in no doubt that she adored it and she really should go back to book selling coz she convinced me to rush out and buy a copy.

Its a short story collection and i’m trying to read more short stories right now. Here is a quote from the back cover:

Dance like nobody gives a crap. Drink like you don’t have a family to go home to. Love because what else is the point.

They’re quite small stories some just 4 pages long so i’m really looking forward to this one.

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Check out this cover! Its shiny in parts of the design, can you see at the top left corner? This is a contender for cover of the year and the back is just as cool.

The tree design is also on every new chapter page too. Lushness abounding!

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I’ve been looking at this book for ages and just had to get it.

The babies were born as the clocks struck twelve. The spell had been cast.

I know i’m gonna love this book!

Books sent for review

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This was one I requested from and was kindly sent by Quercus books and MacLehose Press. Again we have another stunner of a cover. Its so shiny and lovely isnt it? *hugs book*

Sophie is haunted by the things she can’t remember – and visions from the past she will never forget.

Sounds suspenseful and exciting, not one to be read in the wee small hours though im guessing.

and last but never least we have

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This was a lovely surprise and is a re-packaging of a book first published ten years ago in a gorgeous new commemorative edition.

I havent read it but I do love Gabrielle’s work as I read ‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by her last year. See HERE for review.

Liz isnt even sixteen when she is killed in a hit-and-run accident. It’s not fair. Liz will never get a job, never get married, never have children. She will never fall in love. Or will she?

Loads of folk are saying how wonderful it is so i’m really thrilled to have been sent this by Bloomsbury.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them?

Let me know and we can chat about them or tell me about your latest hauls, im so nosy when it comes to books

 

3 Books that have let me down

Now I don’t expect to like every book i buy or receive for review, its a rare person that does in my opinion but there have been 3 books recently which I felt certain I would love, not like, love.

Sadly that didnt happen.

What books were they?

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After buying and adoring her first book, In a dark dark wood last year I was so excited to hear she had a second book coming out soon. I was even more excited to receive an early copy of it the other week.

Imagine then my disappointment when i discovered that its such a let down. *sighs and puts head into hands*

It begins fine, really good in fact. Gripping, fast pacing and with heart stopping moments of genius but then it just all went downhill. The main character, ‘call me Lo’ (Lauren) seemed to lack any kind of common sense or good judgement and was never a fully rounded person. The story descended into a third rate Agatha Christie novel but with less polish and plot. I could almost guess what was coming next which was a shame. Im hoping her next book will get things back on track.


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I hadn’t read any Anne Tyler before so combine this with it being one of the Hogarth Shakespeare re-tellings to celebrate Shakespeare 400 and I badly wanted to read it. I was kindly sent a copy by them and it made my day.

Now this is the book i’m least disappointed with really out of the 3 but it just feels so empty and flat. Its like the mad craze for fluffy egg white omelettes, no substance. I keep waiting for something to happen but it just idles along. Its very funny in places i’ll grant you that and a nice gentle read but its just not what i was expecting thats all.


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This book promised so much and when i was asked if i’d like to review it i jumped at the chance. I mean just look at that cover, front and back is gorgeous (seen here being modelled by my cat, Meg).

I just didnt gel with this, it was just another YA, love story, triangle, boy/girl heartbreak story. Nothing special happens that i can see and the ending was waving at me from about page 10.

Have you read any of these?

Am I being too hard on them?

Let me know what you think.