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Rigg's Cabinet of Curiosities

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book review

Ravencry : Ed McDonald

… tremendously satisfying …

grimdark fantasy fiction

Ravencry continues the highly enjoyable story of wounded hero, Ryhalt Galharrow, with his seriously bad tattoo and relentless drink problem fighting his way through a post apocalyptic world. Ed leavens Ryhalt’s grisly existence with a thoughtful generosity Continue reading “Ravencry : Ed McDonald”

Echo Murder : Laura Laakso

… intriguing page turner …

fantasy ghosts finnish

Yannia, the detective, is one of the Wild Folk who should be with her conclave but … it’s complicated. Her father is dying and she is not ready to take her place in the pack – nor at the side of her betrothed, Dearon.

Instead she is in Olde London trying to solve a murder that hasn’t quite happened yet.

Continue reading “Echo Murder : Laura Laakso”

Invisible Agents : Nadine Akkerman

… pioneering archive archaeology …

seventeenth century spies agents women

With this exhilarating and meticulously researched account, Nadine leads the reader through thickets of ciphers and pages of correspondence to highlight the contribution female agents made to the field of espionage during the seventeenth century. Most of these women have been been discounted or silenced Continue reading “Invisible Agents : Nadine Akkerman”

Wilding : Isabella Tree

… fascinating and thought provoking …

wilding wildlife rewilding ecology green nature

This is a fascinating and engaging account of turning a 1400 hectare West Sussex estate into a wild nature reserve.

Passionate, detailed and thought provoking, Isabella argues Continue reading “Wilding : Isabella Tree”

Fallible Justice : Laura Laakso

… tremendously satisfying urban fantasy …

fantasy fiction British wilderness

The detective is one of the Wild Folk, hurting and lonely in the city of an Olde London where magic reigns. Her apprentice is a Bird Shaman. They need to solve the murder and work out how the justice system can be corrupted before an innocent man is executed. They have five days.

Fallible Justice is a joy to read: intriguing characters and deft world building Continue reading “Fallible Justice : Laura Laakso”

The Ghost A Cultural History : Susan Owens

Yesterday I listened enthralled as Susan gave a talk at the Chipping Campden Literature Festival about the book.

Rigg's Cabinet of Curiosities

… a fascinating book to curl up with … 

ghost supernatural spooks halloweenThe Ghost is a thoroughly fascinating book which traces the development of ghosts from warnings from the afterlife, through escapees from purgatory and then the devil’s playthings and finally to delicious, terrifying entertainment purely from the imagination.

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Station Zero : Philip Reeve

… singing trains, strange worlds …

robot love trains

Once again we follow Zen Starling as he travels across the galaxy with Nova, the almost human Motorik, trying to work out their relationship – (How does that even work, a human and a Moto? Zen is asked.) – whilst fighting the Guardians for control of the Great Network. Continue reading “Station Zero : Philip Reeve”

Baking with Kafka : Tom Gauld

… a delight … 

zombie apocalypse skeleton

Baking with Kafka is a delight – full of whimsical musings on reading, writing and how to get a publishing deal after a skeleton apocalypse.

I can’t really do justice to the range over topics Tom covers with his clean, flat drawings and economical writing style so here’s some titles of his cartoons to give you a flavour :

  • War and Peace Clickbait
  • Keyboard Shortcuts for Novelists
  • JG Ballard’s Books for Children were not a Success
  • Dystopian Road signs.

Highly recommended.

Tom Gauld grew up in Scotland and now lives with his family in London. His work is regularly published in the The Guardian, The New York Times and New Scientist. To learn more about him, click here for his website. You can also go to the Guardian website’s profile of him for his latest cartoons for the newspaper.

But really, Tom‘s latest hardback needs to be bought.

Baking with Kafka, Comics by Tom Gauld was published by Canongate Books in September 2017.

Thornhill : Pam Smy

Congratulations to Pam Smy – Thornhill has been nominated for The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018. This is the only British prize to solely reward children’s book illustration.

Rigg's Cabinet of Curiosities

… perfectly paced and other worldly …

halloween ghost thornhill

This is a perfectly paced ghost story about a girl living next to a derelict orphanage.

Pam Smy carefully weaves together the stories of two girls in a beguiling mix of diary and illustration. The ghost, Mary, writes heartbreaking entries of her bleak childhood in the diary which is discovered years later by the lonely Ella, whose story is told entirely through unscripted illustrations. With no narrator to help, we are left to piece together the gaps in each story.

Pam then intersperses the diary entries and cartoon narrative with heavy black pages to represent sleep. The cumulative effect of these blanks, combined with the silent illustrations, recreates the detachedness of a lonely childhood and gives the reader delightful pause to think about and guess (deliciously) what might happen next.

The whole effect is intriguing, creepy and otherworldly by turn and builds to…

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