Friday 25 July 2014

Heaven's Shadow

cover image
By David S. Goyer & Michael Cassutt

There's an asteroid on course for a near approach of Earth.  Both NASA and a conglomerate of Brazilian, Russian and Indian space agencies send crews out to be the first to land on an interstellar objects. 

Both crews learn quickly that all is not as it seems.  The asteroid (named "Keanu") may not be merely an asteroid. And it may contain things, familiar things, that no one could ever have expected.

Authors David Goyer and Michael Cassutt are both screenwriters and it shows in the writing.  This book is very much an action movie on paper. 

The Girl With All the Gifts

by M. R. Carey

My measure of a good book is if it keeps me up way past my bedtime because I just keep wanting to read one more chapter. This one did that for me, and I finished it in two sittings because I couldn't put it down.

It's about a girl named Melanie, whose entire living memory has been spent in two rooms: her cell, and a classroom where she and the other children are taught by a rotation of teachers. Her favourite is Miss Justineau. She loves Miss Justineau, and she knows Miss Justineau likes her, so Melanie's just not sure why she and the other children have to be strapped into wheelchairs by men with guns the entire time they're in class, and when they're travelling to and from their cells. Or why some of the other children disappear and never come back.

Ok, yes, it's technically a zombie book, but this has way more heart and soul (and a better ending) than just about any I've ever read. If you like your sci-fi more on the human side, but don't want to give up the page-turning thrills, this is a great read!

The Quick

The Quick
by Lauren Owen

Delve into the world of vampires in Lauren Owen's first novel. With a Gothic vibe, the reader is immediately immersed into mysterious happenings, damsels in distress, and of course bloodthirsty vampires!

I have a sneaky suspicion a sequel may be in the works.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Postcards from the Dead

Part of the Scrapbooking Mysteries Series by Laura Childs.

Postcards from the Dead was recommended to me by my mother. Mom is an avid mystery reader gobbling up more than a dozen books a week. This series, by Laura Childs, not only includes a mystery to solve but there are scrapbooking tips and recipes included! I love crafting while I watch episodes of Forensic Files so this series was right up my alley.
Our main character Carmela Bertrand owns a scrapbooking shop in New Orleans. During a Mardi Gras parade, while Carmela is waiting to be interviewed for a local radio station, the on air personality is murdered and Carmela is left to solve the crime. This was a fast read and the scrapbooking tips were a fun addition.I am now working my way through the Scrapbooking Mystery series.

Saturday 12 July 2014

The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion

My sister recommended this book to me. I had told her I was looking for something lighthearted and funny, and she said The Rosie Project would be perfect - and she was right!

If you are looking for a laugh out loud read The Rosie Project will not disappoint.

Thursday 10 July 2014

The Beauty of Humanity Movement

by Camilla Gibb 

Don’t let the strange title put you off. This captivating novel by Camilla Gibb spans three generations in Vietnam - during and after the Vietnam War. The “Beauty of Humanity Movement” is a group of artists and intellectuals who question Communist rule. The story follows this artists' collective and their friends and families but the central element of the book isn't a character, but rather, pho, a delicious soup served for breakfast. This is one flavourful novel you won’t soon forget!

Wednesday 9 July 2014

The Martian

cover image It's nice to see some light-hearted science fiction every now and again and Andy Weir's The Martian is a great example.

After being left for dead after a disaster on an expedition to Mars, Mark Watney must find a way to survive on the Red Planet until the next expedition is scheduled to arrive.  A relentlessly optimistic fellow, Mark has to piece together enough tools and supplies from what was left to keep himself alive for over a year.  The worst part? He has no communications- so no way to let anyone know that he is still alive.

No monster or aliens or here; this is an entirely plausible science-based story.  And, given the weight of the situation, it actually has a few laughs, too.

Friday 4 July 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling

by Robert Galbraith

This is a series (I believe 7 books are planned) and the first title is The Cuckoo's Calling. I loved this bookThe main character Cormoran Strike is spot on, and I can't wait to start on the second book in the series The Silkworm - definitely next on my books-to-read list!

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling and I know some of my colleagues are not impressed with her foray into adult fiction, but I am most definitely a fan.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Memory of Water

by Emmi Itaranta

A novel of a future where water is scarce, and tightly controlled by an oppressive military. It's not your average dystopian novel though; it's more meditative than action-packed, and its focus is more on the characters - their motivations and choices - rather than the world itself. Despite that, it's still a page-turner.  I loved the tone of the writing - it's lyrical and elegiac. If you like dystopian books, but are looking for something that doesn't follow the usual conventions, pick this one up.