Waiting on Wednesday : Clockwork City (Delphic Division #2) by Paul Crilley

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Clockwork City (Delphic Division #2) by Paul Crilley
clockworkCop. Drunkard. Low-grade magic user. My name is Gideon Tau, but most people just call me London.

Three years ago, someone killed my daughter. I sacrificed everything to learn his name – and then allowed that knowledge to be erased from my mind.

It was for a good cause: I was saving the world, after all.

But now I have to start over from scratch, with only my boss and my dog to help me find my daughter’s killer. The reanimated corpse of my boss, and my alcoholic, foul-mouthed demonic sidekick dog, that is.

Our journey will take us from Durban, South Africa to London, England.

And once we’re there… well, if things seemed dark before, they’re about to get a lot darker.

I really enjoyed Poison City so eagerly await the next instalment.

Publication : December 14th 2017

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Thankful for books?

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Every Tuesday over at  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Reasons I’m Thankful For Books

This week’s top 10 was ‘books we’re thankful for’ but I’ve altered it slightly to 10 reasons I’m thankful for books:

  1. They’re so entertaining!  Reading is my hobby (you may have guessed) and I prefer  it to many other forms of entertainment.  It’s fun – do it.  Pretty please.
  2. You never feel lonely – firstly, you will fall in love with well written characters, you will care for them and worry about them.  Secondly, if you blog or interact on social media then you’ll find a whole new space where like minded people, authors, bloggers, publishers, will be more than happy to share their thoughts with you about books they love – this is perfect.  Especially for me. I can be a bit vocal about my love of books and I think I was turning into that person that would yap away about books to people who, well, just didn’t care and would therefore try to avoid me – or at least that’s the reason I’m sticking to when I see people dive into their houses or behind posts when they see me coming.
  3. Visit weird and wonderful places – when are you ever going to visit such great places.  Feed your imagination and go travelling – literally, the sky is the limit and no pesky queues at airports, worrying about if you turned the iron off or ‘did you lock the back door’ – just crack open the pages and you’re away.  Like having your own personal transportation device – ‘beam me up Scotty’
  4. Educational – perhaps a boring choice – or maybe not (I don’t think so), but by reading you improve your grammar, your vocabulary and pick up all sorts of random bits of information that stick in your brain much easier than facts and figures used to do at school.  Who knew.  Perhaps this could be a new teaching tool for logarithms…. and then on second thoughts maybe not.
  5. Watch great adaptations – how many films have you watched, or series for that matter, that come from books?  Too many to list here is all I know.  A lot.  A whole lot.  TV and cinema would be a lot less entertaining without them there books!  The is all.  Dusts of hands, stands and departs, feeling smug…
  6. Never short of choice – yeah, we all know this one.  I’m sure I read somewhere that if you read a book a day for a year you’d only have read 1% of the available books (published that year) – I could be making that up though.  As we know 79% of all statistics are made up on the spot 😀  Regardless we all know what our TBRs look like – and they’re serious are they not.  If TBRs could develop personalities mine currently looks like a curmudgeonly so and so – if TBRs could move about mine would follow me around the house and try to kill me by toppling over.  What a scary thought – death by TBR stalker.
  7. Something for everyone – no matter what you need to know about there’s probably a book been written to help you out.  I dare say everyone will come up with some special problems to prove that wrong now but at this moment in time I’m convinced it’s bang on.
  8. You can multi task – you can read a book whilst doing other things – like having a bath – the counts as multi tasking.  Or, you can do a whole host of things by listening to an audio book. I’ve found a new love for this even though I resisted it for so long (don’t know why).
  9. Your very own wormhole – this is the best so I saved it for last.  There’s nothing like that book that sweeps you away, everything else around you dissolves into background nothingness and you’re in your very own wormhole.  Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
  10. This one is blank for why you love books???????

#SPFBO Thoughts on my fifth batch of books

Posted On 20 November 2017

Filed under Book Reviews
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I’m getting a bit ahead of my schedule at the moment as I’m hoping to announce the book I will be putting forward to round 2 by mid December at the latest.  So, I’ve read my alloted portion (20%) of each of the last batch of books and my thoughts and my final pick from this batch are below.  I will post my final batch of books in the next couple of days.

Without further ado here are my books from batch No.5:

Faerie Fruit – by Charlotte E English

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Faerie Fruit, as far as it goes in the first 20% that I read, was quite a lovely read, with a whimsical and period feel.  Set in a small rural town it starts out with somebody experiencing an illness and having a hankering for a piece of fruit – an apple.  No apples, or other fruit, have grown in the town of Berrie on the Wyn for many years and yet of a sudden, a golden, plump apple appears on one of the trees.  This is followed by a succession of other delicious sounding fruits, a lot of strange out of character behaviour by those who have eaten said fruits and the appearance of a quirkily dressed character who plays the pipes.  I have to admit that this one is intriguing and I like the writing.  It’s a pity that the plot didn’t move a little bit quicker as up to the point I reached things hadn’t really started to happen although there is a definite sense of anticipation.

Spark of Defiance (Games of Fire #1) by Autumn M. Birt

 

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The story starts off with a young man, Zhao, returning to his home village.  Zhao is an Air Elemental and he is accompanied by a friend with similar abilities.  Upon arrival he is immediately detained in the village and although he could quite easily break free of this confinement he wishes to stay in the village until he’s seen his sister.  At the same time another POV character’s storyline is developing – one that I imagine will cross paths with Zhao at some point although by the point I broke off I can’t really be sure.

To be honest I thought that this read well but, I felt a little like I was reading a story that had dropped me into a world that I should already know about.  Don’t get me wrong, I was picking things up as I went along but by 20% I didn’t feel like I had a strong enough handle on things and the relationships and back histories of the people involved.

The Dark Realm (Feyland #1) by Anthea Sharp

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I was quite pleasantly surprised by The Dark Realm.  This is a story that combines gaming with the world of the fey.  Jennet is from a very well to do home and leads a life of privilege.  Through her father’s high tech job she has access to the latest in new games (not just at pre release stage but also before they’ve been thoroughly checked) and she pretty much lives in the lap of luxury.  Unfortunately two things in quick succession lead to her life spiralling into turmoil – her father’s place of work is moved and because Jennet has got herself into a spot of bother playing a yet unreleased game – she will not only need to move with him, and switch schools, but will also need to recruit somebody to help her in this new game realm.

What I read of this was good.  I liked the concept.  The writing is clear and I was keen to enter the fae world (although this hadn’t happened by the 20% mark – apart from the prologue that is).  The original set up takes us into the school environment where Jennet makes the acquaintance of Tam.  Tam is the exact opposite of Jennet  He comes from a poor family and his life is tough although I won’t pretend to know exactly why at this point other than he seems to be the responsible one and takes care of his younger brother.  I didn’t really get a sense of the world here – there’s a lot of disparity between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ and it wasn’t made clear why, likewise this is set in some version of the future although I’m not sure when exactly.  There’s an element so far of just expecting the reader to run with things and not question too much the whys and wherefores.  Up to the point I left off I didn’t think this was a problem but I would probably become disgruntled if I read on and things remained unanswered.  Also, this has quite a young feel to it which I don’t really mind although in some ways it had a feeling of things just working out too easily.

The Rogue King (The Rogue King Saga, #1) by Aldrea Alie

 

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The Rogue King got off to an intriguing start.  We make the acquaintance of Koral who seems to have been genetically modified as part of some pact between humans (and I’m not sure who else).  When he runs away from the only home he’s ever known he manages to fall in with others of his kind – although they’re not quite the same.  Unfortunately Koral’s fate doesn’t lie with the pack – he’s to be offered to one of the Gods – known as Lorric after which he will become one of the Rogue.  Rogue’s are feared by all and it seems that Koral is going to become legendary.

I’m not sure that this one is for me – it certainly had elements that I enjoyed, the start of Koral’s story was well done but then seemed to jump quite quickly in that he ran away and was immediately taken into a tribe of similar beings.  Similarly, when Koral was taken by Lorric the whole thing felt rushed somehow as did Koral’s sudden acceptance of his new situation and his vow to seek revenge.  There are definitely strong elements here but there is also a feeling of certain aspects being just skimmed over which leaves me with the feeling almost of unfinished business, like the author wasn’t sure himself how to take certain areas forward.  I also have plenty of questions but having read only up to a certain point some of these may be answered later on.

Everwinter (The Wrath of the Northmen #1) by Elizabeth Baxter

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Everwinter shows a lot of promise up to the point I’ve read to.  A story of old Gods breaking free of imprisonment and the everlasting winter that ensues.  The main protagonist so far is a young man called Bram, an engineer who seems to sit at the centre of things.  I’m keen to carry on reading this one so it will be my choice from this batch.  More information to follow.

Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Posted On 20 November 2017

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dogs of warDogs of War is one of those books that turned into a very happy surprise for me.  I requested a copy of this because I’ve read this author before and liked his style of writing and so whilst the theme worried me a little, because I imagined it was going to maybe be a bit more military style than I would normally attempt, I had faith that Tchaikovsky would win me over.  I wasn’t wrong.  Dogs of War is so much more than a military style story, in fact after the first few chapters of action and warfare it turns into a different style of drama completely.  This is a thought provoking story that really packs a punch.

Rex is a bioform. I’m not going to try and describe all the mechanics of this but basically he’s a genetically modified dog, part human and with heavy duty warfare installed for good measure.  He’s the controlling unit for a Multi-form Assault Pack, an incredible fighting team that includes the characters Dragon, Honey and Bees.  Each of these have their own unique abilities that I won’t dwell on here but take it from me, this is a deadly team of bioforms that you don’t want to tangle with.  Now, Rex controls the unit and Rex’s master controls him.  Rex wants to be a good dog.  He’s programmed to obey not to think and if he’s told to kill he fulfils his orders with ruthless efficiency.  Unfortunately, whilst his actions and motivations are easy to discern those of his master have gone a little awry and Rex and his unit eventually go rogue.

The story then changes tack completely, it moves through a courtroom style drama and then goes on almost into a conspiracy theory style story but at it’s heart and soul is a discussion about rights.  Do Rex and his team have any rights basically, a similar theme to those explored recently in stories concerning AI.  If you create something, a weapon, a machine – does it have ‘rights.  Should Rex and his team, and in fact the hundreds of other bioforms created be allowed to live if they’re deemed dangerous.  Of course Rex is dangerous, everything about him is threatening, his size, his speed, his voice – don’t even get started on the weapons.  No doubt you’ll have heard the phrase ‘there’s no such thing as a bad dog – just bad owners’ – is there any such thing as a bad weapon and isn’t Rex so much more than just a weapon?  Clearly in this instance he and his team are intended as the scapegoats.

I really enjoyed this book.  It’s incredibly compelling, it does jump around in a most surprising fashion and it’s told from a number of POVs but it’s crazily addictive to read and I could barely put it down.  If I was to pin down what really made this book so good for me I’d have to say the characters and the way in which it really makes you think.  I felt near to tears on a couple of occasions – which is not something I ever expected when picking up a book about warfare and bioforms involving 7 or 8 foot tall dogs, and I kept thinking about it for days after completion.  That to me spells out a winning book.

I think it really speaks of the author’s writing chops that he can make me love a team of fighting bioforms.  Honey is amazing,  Dragon, maybe more briefly sketched and yet still easy to picture and Bees – I won’t go there because I don’t even know where to start.  I cared about them all but I absolutely loved Rex and I was consumed with an equal desire to shout at him for being idiotic and scratch behind his ears (which, apart from the fact I couldn’t reach could be a dangerous thing to do).

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this.  If, like me, you find yourself maybe not drawn to a military style story then be assured that isn’t really the main focus – of course, there’s some warfare involved and to say it’s a dirty war would be an understatement but this book has much more to offer than that.  It makes you think and it definitely provokes strong emotions.

I’m going to leave it there.  I don’t want to give too much away about the nature of the surprises in store, this is a great novel because of the surprising way it adapts, much like the bioforms and other creations within the story.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this.  I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, through Netgalley, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

This review was initially published on The Speculative Herald here.

Weekly Wrap Up : 19/11/17

Posted On 19 November 2017

Filed under Book Reviews

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This week has been good.  We’ve started watching American Horror – binge watching it (maybe not a good idea to binge watch such things – particularly just before you go to bed but….)!  This was a recommendation so we thought we’d give it a shot.  The first one was all about ghosts.  We’ve moved onto the asylum episodes now – not enjoying it quite as much as the first but will press on because I think each series is different?  Have any of you watched it?  What did you think?  Any good series recommendations for something fairly new(ish)?  Anyway, I’ve not had a bad week although I had an awful migraine which pretty much knocked me out and so no posts for a couple of days.  I’ve managed to read two books and I’m part way through Hero Risen.  I’ve also read the first 20% of all five of my fifth batch of SPFBO books so I’ll be posting about that shortly.  I’m a bit ahead of schedule so will hopefully manage to fit in my final five by the end of the month.  I’ve kept December fairly clear so I can then read the six books I’ve chosen (one from each batch) and come up with my final choice to go through to the next round.  Then onto stage 2.

Anyway, hope you all had a good week.

  1. The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
  2. The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne
  1. Complete: Hero Risen, Seeds of Destiny by Andy Livingstone
  2. Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
  3. The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen

Upcoming reviews:

  1. A Matter of Blood by Sarah Pinborough
  2. Starborn by Lucy Hounsom
  3. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  4. Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren
  5. The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
  6. The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne

Let me know what you’re reading this week.

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