Posted in book review

#37 Mortal engines

mortal

As you already know, as part of my quest to read the Carnegie shortlist earlier in the year, I came across the wonderful Railhead by Philip Reeve. It was completely out of my comfort zone and completely brilliant. When a colleague of mine suggested I try Mortal engines– in her opinion, the better of the two- I jumped at the chance.

Mortal engines is set in the post-apocalyptic future. ‘Traction Cities’ have been literally uprooted and spend their days chasing and consuming smaller, weaker cities across the Great Hunting Ground. The biggest and most renowned of these is London; home to Thaddeus Valentine, Head Historian and much adored archaeologist. One day Tom- third-level apprentice- saves Valentines life. “Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw” insists the disfigured assassin, minutes before they both fall from London into the Out-Country. Will Tom be able to find out the truth before it’s too late?

Keep on reading!

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#37 Baby doll

baby

Everyone needs a guilty pleasure. Mine come in many forms (reality TV, Disney films, cheap white toast and butter…), but in book terms it equates to nasty psychological thrillers. After reading some real crackers of late- prizewinners, worthy, thought-provoking reads- I needed a break. An easy read of sorts. Hollie Overton’s debut novel Baby doll fitted the bill.

It’s been eight years since Lily, Abby’s twin, disappears from the face of the earth. A community and family is left shocked to the core. Then the unthinkable happens; Lily escapes, battered and abused, and returns home. But what happened to her? And more importantly, what happens now?

Escape is just the beginning.

Keep on reading!

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#36 The aftermath

aftermat

Rhidian Brook’s historical novel- The aftermath– was my next book group read. I’ve read a lot of historical fiction of late, particularly books set around WWII (All the light we cannot see, Salt to the sea, The light between oceans, Wolf Hollow…), so I wasn’t sure how it would hold up.

It’s the bitter winter of 1946 in the war torn remains of Hamburg; people are displaced, starving. British Colonel, Lewis is tasked with the re-building of the once great city and the search for Nazis. Gifted a grand house, compassionate Lewis decides not to evict its previous tenants- German architect Lubert and his troubled daughter Frieda- much to the dismay of his wife, Rachel and remaining son Edmund. What follows is a story of loss, love and choices. In varying shades of grey.

Keep on reading!

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#35 One of us is lying

lying

I do love a good whodunnit book. Karen M. McManus’ debut YA novel- One of us is lying– looked right up my street:

A Geek, A Jock, A Criminal, A Princess. A MURDER. Who would you believe?

Five high school students enter detention; only four make it out alive. Simon- creator of the infamous gossip App- has dirt on all of them. And now he’s dead. Before he had a chance to tell. All of them protests their innocence, but who is lying?
Keep on reading!

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#34 The light between oceans

light

I’ve had to read a lot of books over the years that I would never have picked myself; some have been gems, others not so much. The light between oceans is absolutely a book I would never have considered had it not been on my book group list this year. The synopsis was promising:

The light between the oceans is the story of Tom, lighthouse keeper on the remote island of Janus, and his wife Izzy. One day a boat arrives. Inside is a dead man and a baby. Tom and Izzy have to make a choice. But is it the right one?

“This is the story about right and wrong and how sometimes they look the same…”

Keep on reading!

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#33 Time travelling with a hamster

hamster

Shamefully, I’ve had hold of this book for ages. I first heard about it after reading The bombs that brought us together (such a good book). I’ve always been a big fan of the Costa book awards (both adult and children), so I was curious about the rest of the shortlisted titles. Ross Welford’s Time travelling with a hamster instantly caught my eye.

Everyone dreams of time travelling, but for Al Chaudhury it becomes reality. On his twelfth birthday, Grandpa Byron gives him a letter from his late father. It’s a mission. With Alan Shearer the hamster in tow, and an unlikely time machine, Al is in a race against time to change the past. But at what cost?

Keep on reading!

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#29 Salt to the sea

salt

Salt to the sea by Ruta Septys was my last book from this year’s Carnegie list. Talk about saving the best ’til last…

The story opens in 1945, with a mismatched bunch of refugees trekking across the unforgiving, frozen, barren landscape. All with different stories, different fears, terrible secrets, but with a common aim; to escape the approach of the Russian army. Their aim? The coveted Wilhelm Gustloffa ship that promises to save them.

Keep on reading!