Laini Taylor – Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Karou lives a life of two halves. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in “Elsewhere”, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
With Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Taylor has created a truly original story that takes a familiar landscape and completely reshapes it, challenging readers’ grasp of reality. Serendipity Reviews said that ”Reading this book is like falling through the rabbit hole alongside Alice into Wonderland. You are happily reading the book, thinking you have an idea where this story will lead, then the author whips the carpet away from you and keep falling down a hole into a completely different story”.
Penelope at Fantasy Book Review also praised the novel’s unique premise and ability to suck readers into its magicial world. She says, “This is unlike any novel that I have ever read. Although Taylor uses some Y.A. fantasy conventions … she manages to transform everything into her own uniquely seductive language that both compels and thrills as the reader is swept into the world of Elsewhere.” For Becky from The Bookette, the novel’s portrayals of its non-magical locations were also part of the book’s allure – “I really enjoyed the parts of the novel that were set in Prague. Taylor made it truly come to life and I wanted to leap into the book and walk the streets”.
Kathryn Stockett – The Help
We’re a big fan of reading books before seeing their film adaptations. It allows each reader to create in their mind their own version of the story before characters become tied to actors and locations to sets. So be sure to check out Kathryn Stockett’s fantastic debut novel The Help before it reaches UK cinema screens next month.
Set in 1960s Mississippi, The Help tells the story of three women – Aibileen and Minny, black maids of rich white families, and Miss Skeeter, a young white woman. Though their society separates them, the women start to interact in ways which make them reconsider their own values and beliefs about race, life and love.
Readers have given The Help high praise, with Bookgeeks even going as far as to claim that ”This book will change your life. There is no other way to put it; it will change the way you look at the world, and change it forever”. Although the novel certainly has a strong ethical narrative, Judging Covers maintains that ”Even if you’re not interested in the wider issues the narrative is based on, the story of the friendship between the three women is a beautiful thing to watch unfold over the pages”.
Emlyn Rees – Hunted
Danny Shanklin wakes up slumped across a table in a London hotel room he’s never seen before. He’s got a high-powered rifle strapped to his hands. He hears sirens and stumbles to the window to see a burning limousine and bodies all over the street. The police are closing in. He’s been set up. They’re coming for him…
With only his tech support friend, the Kid, for backup, Danny sets out on a nail-biting odyssey though the panicked city streets, in a desperate bid to escape, protect the people he loves, and track down the terrorists who set him up. But with 500,000 CCTV cameras, 33,000 cops, 9 intelligence agencies, and dozens of TV news channels all hot on his tail, just how long will this one innocent man be able to survive?
Hunted is a full-speed adrenaline ride that will delight fans of thriller authors such as Lee Child and Charlie Higson. Milo’s Rambles describes Hunted as ”a frenetic book and one I found incredibly easy to get lost in … If you’re looking for an adrenaline pumping adventure, believable characters and a few jaw dropping moments then look no further”. Dragons and Fairy Dust agree – “This is an action packed book which will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, frantically turning the pages to find out what happens next …There is an interesting twist at the end which is left ambiguous, setting the scene for another book in the series. A great read, ideal for the holidays”.