Review: The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe

Heir of Night – Helen Lowe (Wall of Night #1)
2010, Orbit Hachette
480 pages
RRP: AU$24.99
ISBN: 9780356500003

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

The Heir of Night is the first installment of Helen Lowe’s Wall of Night series, and the second novel has been released recently. The series follows Malian, daughter of Lord of the House of Night, one of the great Derai families in Haarth as she is threatened by the Darkswarm. There are prophecies, monsters, forbidden lands and magic: everything needed for a tale that lands smack bang in Fantasy land! The plot is very traditional for the genre -  young girl is under threat and finds she has a special gift of some kind; she and her friends must save the world from a terrible fate.

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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)
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Review: The Workers’ Paradise by Russell B. Farr and Nick Evans (ed)

The Workers’ Paradise – Russell B. Farr and Nick Evans (editors)
2007, Ticonderoga Publications
224 pages
RRP: AU$20
ISBN: 978-0-9586856-7-2
Reviewed by Kate Smith

Australia is still a relatively new nation and principles that existed in the beginning, such as workers’ rights and conditions, are still very important. However they have changed and will continue to, particularly considering the current world economic environment.  Such an important concept of the worker in Australia’s future is an important one and is not only intriguing but also appropriate to consider.

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Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)
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Review: Timeless by Gail Carriger

Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate #5)- Gail Carriger
Hachette Orbit, 2012
384 pages
RRP: AU$19.99
ISBN: 9781841499871

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

Gail Carriger’s previous Parasol Protectorate books are all witty, engaging, and really, just a lot of fun. Timeless is no exception, as Alexia and her erstwhile entourage travel to Egypt to investigate the God-Breaker Plague and to pay a pressing social call on the ancient Queen of the Alexandria vampire Hive. Those who have adored the series over the past three years will be saddened to know that this is the last we see of the Protectorate, but will certainly not be disappointed in the send-off Alexia has been given by Carriger.

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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)
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Fictions: The Goodbye Message

Alan Baxter

 

Simon stared at the answering machine on his study desk, the small red triangle beating like an electronic heart. He pressed the button. “You have one new message,” said the mechanical female voice. There was a pause and a click, then:

Goodbye.”

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Rating: 4.3/5 (12 votes cast)
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Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)

Review: Rogue Gadda by Nicole Murphy

Rogue Gadda (Dream of Asarlai #3) – Nicole Murphy
Harper Voyager, 2011
408 pages
RRP: AU$22.99
ISBN: 9780732291631

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

All three stories in the Dream of Asarlai series from Nicole Murphy shared interesting characters, saucy love stories and an added spice of the intrigue surrounding Asarlai’s story as she tried to take down the gadda, the magical beings inhabiting Murphy’s world. Rogue Gadda, as the last in the series, is fittingly about the most powerful of the magical guardians, the Sabhamir, the protector of all the gadda. Like the others in the series, Rogue Gadda is a light but compelling read: a lovely way to while away an afternoon or two.

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Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)
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Review: The Wicked Wood edited by Isobelle Carmody and Nan McNab

The Wicked Wood (Tales from the Tower #2) – Isobelle Carmody & Nan McNab
Allen & Unwin, 2011
356 pages
RRP: AU$27.99
ISBN: 978-1-74237-441-3

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

After reading the first instalment in Isobelle Carmody and Nan McNab’s stellar reworked fairytale anthologies The Wilful Eye, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on The Wicked Wood. This volume certainly didn’t disappoint. With a selection of retellings that were generally less recognisable than the first, this anthology really opened my eyes to the possibilities offered by revisiting some of the old tales.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

Review: The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss

The Spider Goddess (Pandora English #2) – Tara Moss
Pan MacMillan, 2011
348 pages
RRP: AU$22.99
ISBN: 9780732290733

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

The second in Tara Moss’s Pandora English series, The Spider Goddess continues the adventures of intrepid (and Talented) young journalist hopeful, Pandora, as she comes across the usual and unusual traps of living and working in the fashion industry in New York. Like the first novel The Blood Countess, this is a fast-paced, easy read that will appeal to teens and adults alike.

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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)
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Review: Swimming without a Net by MaryJanice Davidson

Swimming Without a Net (Fred the Mermaid #2) – MaryJanice Davidson
Jove Penguin, 2007
281 pages
RRP: US$7.99
ISBN: 978-0515143812

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

The second in MaryJanice Davidson’s Fred series, Swimming Without a Net continues half-mermaid Fred’s trials and tribulations with her family and dating, and asks the big question: should mermaids reveal themselves to humans? This is the question being discussed at the mer-people “family reunion” Fred is invited to, and since she’s half human, she’s supposed to be able to tell them a definitive answer! However, the big question Fred seems to be spending all her time pondering is which of her paramours she actually wants.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
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Review: Roil by Trent Jamieson

Roil – Trent Jamieson
Angry Robot Books, 2011
432 pages
RRP: US$7.99
ISBN: 978 0 85766 184 5

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

Roil is set in a dystopian world where the Roil, an evil force thriving on darkness and heat, is advancing. It is told from multiple perspectives, centring around Margaret Penn, daughter of Engineers in Tate in the south, and David, son of one of the politicians of Mirrlees to the north. Those who enjoy harrowing apocalyptic stories will enjoy Roil, although at times I found it a little too dark for my taste.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
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Review: Twilight the Graphic Novel Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim

Twilight The Graphic Novel Volume 1 – Stephenie Meyer, Art and Adaptation by Young Kim
Hachette Yen, 2010
224 pages
RRP: AU$19.99
ISBN: 9781907411526

Reviewed by Kate Williams

I have never seen the appeal of graphic novels and this one hasn’t done anything to convert me, however it is possible to respect the amount of passion and effort that has gone into bringing the first half of Twilight to life.  Young Kim’s background in animation is clear in this incredibly detailed interpretation of the popular novel as is Stephenie Meyer’s guiding hand.

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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)
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