I began the year by signing up to lots of challenges, none of which I expected to take terribly seriously – they were intended to help me pick my next backlist read, rather than to be strictly achieved. Just as well really, since I stopped tracking any of them long before summer. But did I accidentally complete any (prompts) at all?

Book cover: Origin Complex - Andrew SkinnerThe old city was ruthlessly quarantined when an ancient virus was unleashed, but analyst Crash knows its secrets and walks its haunted streets. When the company dreadnought sends a secret message from the deepspace anomaly known as the Eye, the city is the only place Crash can pick it up. But what could push the Demiurge to call for help?

Book cover: The God BreakerAs omens and natural disasters assail Narida, people flock to the banner of Nari Reborn. Natan the God-King faces a battle for his birthright – and he doesn’t even know that the Golden is sailing for his shore intent on killing a god…

Cassie was suspended for an antisocial incident at school. Her penance is to read to the ailing proprietor of the town’s esoteric bookshop. When Mr Gussy warns her off a very particular book in his shop, she can’t resist cracking open the ‘dark tome’ – only to find herself whisked far away and long ago to where an Italian has found a staircase to hell…

Book cover: The Immortality Thief - Taran HuntSmuggler and linguist Sean Wren is on a mission he couldn’t refuse: to retrieve a long-lost scientific secret from an ancient ship orbiting a dying star. At least, that was the plan. Instead, enemies must ally as hunters become hunted aboard the deadly spaceship – but when the prize is immortality, treachery is the only possible outcome…

Book cover: The Dark Between the Trees - Fiona BarnettNearly 400 years ago, Roundheads fled a skirmish for the dubious sanctuary of Moresby Forest, long steeped in terrifying legend. Only two survived, spinning wild tales of the devil in the wood. Now, a well-equipped team of scientists are going to trace the squad’s footsteps in search of the truth. But what will they find?