Top 15 Friday | The Best of British (Authors)

fish_and_chips


Today is National Fish and Chips Day, which is all about celebrating this iconic British dish, as well as everyone who works hard to get it from the sea to the table. Fish and chips is a staple takeaway food in my house (I’ll certainly be having it tonight!) and I started thinking of what other British greats make my life as enjoyable as my delicious battered cod. As always, my thoughts turn to books. This post was initially going to be my Top 5 British authors but I simply couldn’t whittle it down to that small number. So, here are my Top 15 British Authors instead…
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Top 5 Friday | Favourite Fantasy Trilogies

They say bad things come in threes, but some novels are proof that very good things can as well. Book trilogies are quite commonplace these days, especially in fantasy. It seems like a three-book arc is simply what’s needed to cover the scope of world-building and character development. Yet, this is not always the case… sometimes they can suffer from ‘Middle Book Syndrome’, which means the second book has no real story of its own and merely serves as a link between the first book and the last.

Well, here are my top 5, which I believe are solid gold the whole way through…
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Assassin’s Fate is out! | Meeting Robin Hobb

hobb signingLast night, I headed over to Shaftesbury Avenue for a Robin Hobb book signing. It was pouring with rain but trivial things like terrible weather have never stopped me celebrating my geekdom. Robin Hobb, for me, is the Holy Grail of fiction writers and apparently I’m not alone in thinking that. When I got there, the queue was very long. Fortunately my friend Maria had arrived in plenty of time to save a space for us. S.E. Berrow rocked up a short while later, bringing clear skies with her, and the door to Forbidden Planet opened.  Continue reading

Top 10 Tuesday: Children’s stand-alone novels

Last Sunday was International Children’s Book Day, so this week’s Top 10 Tuesday is, of course, about children’s books. There are lots of excellent series out there for children but sometimes stand-alone novels get left in the dust. Several publishers and editors have commented on the difficulty of selling a stand-alone novel due to lack of ‘shelf-presence’, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less worthwhile.

Here are ten of my stand-alone recommendations for children: Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Heroines in Children’s Fiction

It’s International Women’s Day on the 8th March, so today’s Top 10 Tuesday is all about female inspirations in fiction. I’m a big believer in children’s fiction setting an example for developing girls and young women, and seeing strong, independent female characters is a huge part of that representation in literature. Here are a few of the characters who inspired me when growing up.


10 – The Wrestling Princess – The Wrestling Princess by Judy Corbalis


wrestlingI remember the Wrestling Princess as my earliest fictional role model. This was in the very early nineties, when I was just starting to read by myself and I wanted something a bit meatier to sink my teeth into. Cinderella and the other Disney princesses (with the exception of Belle) never really caught my interest as a youngster, but this princess did.

She’s smart, and strong, and she doesn’t like being ladylike or proper, and she has absolutely no interest in finding a handsome prince to settle down and marry. She loves dirty engines, and fixing things, and wrestling, and all the things that princess shouldn’t like at all. Exasperated by her behaviour, her parents decree that if someone can beat their daughter in a wrestling match, then she will have to marry them. Many try, many fail, until the Wrestling Princess finds and chooses her own husband: someone who she can respect exactly the way he is, and who respects her, exactly how she is.

Also she could throw grown men over her head. What’s not to like? Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW | Taking Up Serpents by Ian Sutherland (4 stars)

sutherland_takingupserpents_ebook-600Verdict: Intricate and well-written, with a page-turning ending, this great tech-crime novel surpasses its predecessor in ambition and delivery.

Brody and Jenny are back!

Still recovering from the dramatic events of the last book, and the subsequent loss of Leroy as a friend, Brody is seeking purpose and professional legitimacy. His growth from white hat pen-test hacker to his application for the Vorovsky Mir take-down team at GCHQ is no doubt helped by his relationship with Jenny, who requires honesty (and legal compliance) from him in order to continue their romance – despite the complications this job would bring geographically. But Brody receives another offer which sorely tempts his secretive side, and it might be too early to put his online persona Fingal to rest.

Jenny herself is facing trouble at work. Her boss is relentlessly penalising her for how the last case went; punishing her for making the final arrest and, in his view, making him look like a fool. She too is entertaining a career change, one that might place her relationship with Brody in jeopardy, but then something happens that throws both our favourite hacker and kick-arse policewoman back together, whether they want to be co-workers or not. Continue reading