REVIEW: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

EtheringtonHeaders-ReviewsDSC_0936Grief is unquantifiable. It can’t be measured or compared. It isn’t one thing or another. It doesn’t affect everybody the same. Grief can bring people together or rip them apart. I’ve been brought closer to someone through loss and had that same person push me away. It happens, it hurts. It’s something we all feel at some point, and yet we don’t really, because grief is personal and raw. There aren’t a set list of symptoms. There’s no fixed timeline or set route through. Continue reading “REVIEW: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald”

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REVIEW: Elijah’s Mermaid by Essie Fox

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DSC_0937Set in the underworld of Victorian London, Elijah’s Mermaid pulls you into the darker side of society. The places nobody dares to go, or keep to themselves if they do. It’s a world that is ruled by fear and shame, secrets are as common as air. Women have little power and almost no control over their fate; they are passed around, shove aside, locked away. Yet despite the darkness, an unlikely relationship flourishes. Continue reading “REVIEW: Elijah’s Mermaid by Essie Fox”

REVIEW: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

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Anthony Horowitz plays with the idea of the fourth wall in this murder mystery where life imitates art in deadly ways. Susan Ryeland, an editor for a small but established publishing house Cloverleaf, returns from a book tour to find the latest manuscript for the Atticus Pund series. She never liked the author, Alan Conway, their relationship if strictly business, but she is eager to read the next instalment in one of the most popular crime series in the UK. Continue reading “REVIEW: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz”

REVIEW: Fever by Deon Meyer

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What would you do if 98% of the world’s population were wiped out by a deadly virus? It’s a question thirteen-year old Nico Storm and his father Willem are forced to answer in the wake of ‘the fever’. They have lived alone for years, collecting supplies when they can, but always alert because the devastation left behind has pushed many to the brink of desperation. The things that had held the civilised world together- electricity, money, debts, jobs, criminal justice- have gone and the survivors of ‘the fever’ have a choice to make; to rebuild the world they knew or let the new world order take control. Continue reading “REVIEW: Fever by Deon Meyer”

REVIEW: Bitter Eden by Tatamkhulu Afrika

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Bitter Eden is different to most books set during WWI or WWII that I have read. Of those books, the majority were set in Europe, mostly France and often from the perspective of a young British soldier. While these stories were poignant and offered an insight into parts of history the textbooks don’t feature, Bitter Eden felt like a new side to the story. Explicitly describing the experiences in a prisoner of war camp, Afrika’s novel explores the effects long-term imprisonment has on a person. Social dynamics and close relationships develop under this unique set of circumstances. Continue reading “REVIEW: Bitter Eden by Tatamkhulu Afrika”

REVIEW: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

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The relationship between mentor and protégé is often a complex one, founded at least in part on mutual respect and admiration for the other’s work, but it can quickly sour when personal feelings become intertwined. In Sarah Stovell’s Exquisite, successful author Bo Luxton sees the potential in young writer Alice Dark, and recommends her for a full scholarship at a writing retreat. When the two meet they are drawn to each other, and find their fascination with each other goes deeper than the writing itself. Continue reading “REVIEW: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell”

REVIEW: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

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Rebel of the Sands was not the Western, gun-slinging saloon shoot out I was expecting. There were guns, train heists and showdowns, but there was so much more to the story than that. The town of Dustwalk is home to the people who have spent their lives amidst an endless sea of sand. Amina is one of those people, but her blue eyes mark her out as something different. Girls are considered the property of the men in their family, and with both her parents gone, Amina’s future is set to be decided by her uncle. But when she sneaks out at night dressed as a boy, to win a sharpshooting competition so she can escape to freedom, she inadvertently teams up with her opponent, Jin the Eastern Snake, when things don’t go to plan. Their chance meeting pulls her into a rebellion against the Sultan, led by one of his own sons. She has always wondered what the world has to offer, but her journey with Jin makes her consider what she might have to offer the world. Continue reading “REVIEW: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton”