Friday 26 September 2014


by Marcus Sakey

A conspiracy thriller in a Heroes/X-Men-type setting. Except no one's flying or teleporting; the "Brilliants" in this story are born with gifts, but they're much more to do with exceptional pattern-recognition skills - so, reading people's intentions, honesty or even their movement by their body language, or reading the patterns in the stock market so easily they rack up $3 billion before anyone catches on...

Sakey's main character, Nick Cooper - a Brilliant himself - is very convincing as a federal agent who truly believes that he is helping to keep the balance between Normals and Brilliants by hunting those of his kind who become dangerous... until his world crumbles around him and he's forced to make a decision that could plunge the country into a devastating civil war.

While the concept's not anything new, the world Sakey has built here is much more believable than that in Heroes, X-Men, etc. He also does an amazing job of pulling you into the events through the sometimes agonizing decisions his characters have to make, which always makes for a great read.

The sequel - A Better World - also just came out, so that's my next read!

Tuesday 23 September 2014

by Tom Rob Smith

Either Daniel's mother has gone mad, or his father is involved with a serious criminal conspiracy. All he has to go on is his mother's story and the evidence she brought with her on her escape from custody.  Who would you believe?

The Farm is a truly original, emotionally charged thriller that kept me thoroughly engrossed the whole way through. I devoured it in two sittings, although it would have been a one-sitting read if I hadn't been interrupted by dinner :)

This was recommended to me by another staff member, so it's a double-staff-pick!

Thursday 4 September 2014

The Bees

The Bees
by Laline Paull

Get a glimpse into the lives of bees. From the Queen bee to the lowly sanitation bee - Laline Paull has created a rich, complicated and intriguing world. This world feels so real that you'll probably never look at a bee the same way again!

Wednesday 3 September 2014

The Crane Wife - a review by Lee Anne Smith

By Patrick Ness

The Crane Wife is not a re-telling of the Japanese folk tale in the usual sense but Ness’s unique and powerful novel makes me want to read folk tales again.

I loved this book for many reasons: the lyrical, poetic writing, the fully dimensional characters and the meditation on love and truth. But I also loved the book for the fully bits that root the book in the reality of life here and now as well as for the description of the art work that the two main characters are creating throughout the book. There were times that I put down the book and just lingered in the moment created by the author and other times when I reread a passage over and over.

This dedication by The Decemberists also drew me in;

And all the starts were crashing round

As I laid eyes on what I’d found.

Review by Lee Anne Smith