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Graft – Matt Hill

Book cover: Graft - Matt HillManchester, 2025. Real food is scarce. Public services are run by crime syndicates. Drones guard the motorways. And someone is trafficking people across dimensions, stealing their memories, their voices, their names in the pursuit of profit. As dystopian near-futures go, Graft cuts close to the bone in every sense.

Sit back and prepare to be disturbed (minor spoilers)

Comparative lit: Star Wars as Norse saga

Obivan. Oh, okay. Statue of Leif Eriksson, ReykjavikIn a galaxy far, far away, a young director created an epic that dominated the imaginations of generations. But what if Star Wars were based on earlier literary traditions? This week, I’m taking a look at the Tattúínárdøla saga: all six Lucas films as Old Norse saga.

Blood, runes and honour

Top Ten Tuesday: looking forward, looking back

Top Ten Tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, in which we all get to talk about a bookish topic and have fun making lists. This week, it’s Historic and/or Futuristic Settings. And I’m indecisive, so I’m going with half and half.

Now I wouldn’t necessarily want to LIVE then, but…

Is it (nearly) February already?

January has felt very episodic as I started the year travelling around Iceland (I’ll write about it at some point, but instagram has day by day scenery porn picspam), had to take unexpected trips north and work has been fragmentary. Sadly, this hasn’t resulted in READING ALL THE BOOKS, because exploring Iceland was distracting and Lagoon took longer than expected (a sure sign I’m not enjoying something).

Reading round-up, Stacking the shelves and goal progress

The Masked City: regarding fae, dragons, librarians and glee

Book cover: The Masked CityIrene is a Librarian with a capital L – a secret agent who recovers books of note for the Library, hopping from one alternate reality to another. Irene settled down in a Victorian steampunk alternate when her apprentice is kidnapped by local Fae. But Kai is actually a dragon prince. If Irene can’t get him back, this will be the opening move in a multiverse-wide war between order and chaos.

Unexpected flailing enthusiasm

I’m looking forward to joining a read-along of Joyce Chng’s The Tale of Yin duology (Of Oysters, Pearls and Magic and The Path of Kindness) starting later this month. If you fancy a set of linked short stories exploring women, magic, privilege, and compassion in a fantasy setting, you might like to join us.

Lagoon

lagoonWhen an alien spacecraft lands in the lagoon off Lagos, the world changes. As the panic-stricken city tears itself apart, three people are chosen to make first contact. They will have to confront their deepest secrets, if they – and the rest of Lagos – are to survive.

I joined Claire and Nikki of Bitches with Books for this month’s Bitches Book Club read.

Warning: spoilers and too many parentheses

Top Ten Tuesday: crime tropes I can’t stand

Top Ten Tuesday banner

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s a freebie this week, so I’ve decided to have a little look at rant about tropes following some disappointing reads over the past year.

Top crime tropes I can’t stand

MuirsHistoricalAtlas.jpg

What’s all this then?

Top Ten Tuesday: top of Mount TBR

Top Ten Tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted byThe Broke and the Bookish, in which we all get to talk about a bookish topic and have fun making lists. This week, it’s the Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR, which for me means books I already own and am queuing up to read, not books I’m really excited to get my hands on.

So, from 200 books on the pile…

The Greenhouse: a rose by any other name

greenhouse22-year-old Arnljótur is leaving Iceland. Adrift following his mother’s untimely death, he has persuaded a remote European monastery to permit him to resurrect their once-famous rose garden. He hopes to find himself in solitary horticulture, far from the poor soil of the lava fields and the pressure of his father’s expectations. But no matter how far he goes, Arnljótur will find that the world is full of unavoidable responsibilities.  Continue reading “The Greenhouse: a rose by any other name”

Bite-sized books: A Reaper of Stone

reaperofstoneIf the goal of a short story is to leave you wanting more, A Reaper of Stone is a stunning success.

Elinor is the King’s Reaper, duty-bound to demolish the ancient keeps of the marches to prevent them falling into hostile hands. When the Lady of Timberline dies, Elinor is sucked into the vicious politics of Resa’s grasping nobility. Will she confirm the new Lord who seeks the title, or investigate the Lady’s unexpected death?
Continue reading “Bite-sized books: A Reaper of Stone”

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