Genre: Science Fiction

#BookReview Piranesi by Susanna Clarke @BloomsburyPub @RaincoastBooks #Piranesi #SusannaClarke

#BookReview Piranesi by Susanna Clarke @BloomsburyPub @RaincoastBooks #Piranesi #SusannaClarke Title: Piranesi

Author: Susanna Clarke

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on Sep. 15, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 10/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe, Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.


Review:

Unique, memorable, and beautifully mystifying!

Piranesi is an enthralling, moving, creative novel that takes you into the life of a man unsure of his name but known as Piranesi by “The Other”, and who resides in a house, or prison of sorts, where the earth, sea, and sky meet in the vast corridors of time, space, whiteness, magic, statues, tranquillity, and isolation, and mystery lurks around every corner.

The writing is eloquent and sophisticated. The characters are curious, lonely, and intelligent. And the compelling plot sweeps you away into an intricately woven tale of magical realism that touches on life, solace, sacrifice, and survival.

Piranesi is, ultimately, a mesmerizing, haunting, well-written story by Clarke that is a powerful page-turner where the space between the words resonates as loudly as the words themselves.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                  

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susanna Clarke

Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham in 1959, and spent her childhood in Northern England and Scotland.

She studied philosophy, politics and economics at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford and taught in Turin and Bilbao for two years, before becoming an editor at Simon and Schuster in Cambridge, working on their cookery list. She is the author of seven short stories and novellas, published in anthologies in the USA. One of her short stories, ‘The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse’ was published in a limited edition, and her story 'Mr. Simonelli or The Fairy Widower' was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award 2001.

In 2004, her first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, was published. It tells the story of two magicians in early 19th-century London and was shortlisted for the 2004 Guardian First Book Award and the Whitbread First Novel Award.

Susanna Clarke lives in Cambridge. Her most recent book is The Ladies of Grace Adieu (2006), a collection of short stories.

Photography courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain @D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain @D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPress Title: The Dream Daughter

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Oct. 2, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel.

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.


Review:

Enthralling, memorable, and heart-wrenching!

The Dream Daughter is a unique, moving, time-slip novel that takes you into the life of Caroline Sears as she embarks on a perilous journey to save and protect her unborn child.

The writing is eloquent and sophisticated. The characters are genuine, compassionate, and courageous. And the captivating, time-travel plot sweeps you away into an intricately woven tale about life, loss, family, determination, hope, solace, sacrifice, remarkable medical and scientific advances, and a little magic.

The Dream Daughter is ultimately a mesmerizing, creative, well-written story that may be a little different than Chamberlain’s previous novels, but is nevertheless an emotional, satisfying, page-turner of a tale that reminds us that a mother’s love is all-encompassing, selfless, powerful, and everlasting.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martins Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 25 novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane's background in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She also lived for many years in San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home.

Diane received her bachelor's and master's degrees in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, Diane worked in hospitals in San Diego and Washington, D.C. before opening a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria Virginia specializing in adolescents. All the while Diane was writing on the side. Her first book, Private Relations was published in 1989 and it earned the RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel.
Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole. She has three stepdaughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. She's currently at work on her next novel.

#BookReview The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw @claidlawauthor

#BookReview The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw @claidlawauthor Title: The Things We Learn When We're Dead

Author: Charlie Laidlaw

Published by: Accent Press Ltd on Jan. 26, 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Pages: 501

Format: Paperback

Source: Charlie Laidlaw

Book Rating: 8/10

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is about how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, but how we can sometimes get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions.
It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… or does God have a higher purpose after all?
Despite that, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is neither sci-fi nor fantasy. It is a book about memory and how, if we could remember things slightly differently, would we also be changed?

In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home.


Review:

Fresh, fantastical, and unique!

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is an exceptionally innovative adventure that takes you on a journey with Lorna Love as she remembers her life back in North Berwick, explores an afterlife on HVN, meets some outrageous characters, including God, and realizes that every choice, good or bad has a consequence.

The prose is humorous and expressive. The characters are complex, rich, reflective, and intriguing. And the plot written in a back-and forth, past/present style is a well-crafted tale about life, death, emotion, introspection, friendship, acceptance, and second chances.

As most people know, I’m not a huge lover of sci-fi or fantasy novels, but The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is definitely an exception. It’s creative, compelling, and witty and does a tremendous job of highlighting all the quirky intricacies of life, and ultimately reminds us that change is inevitable.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

http://picasion.com/gl/9CQG/

 

 

Thank you to Charlie Laidlaw for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review and for his patience while it made it to the top of my TBR pile!

 

About Charlie Laidlaw

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland (quite near Paisley, but thankfully not too close) and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember.

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in East Lothian.

 

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