Monthly Archives: July 2016

Angela Slatter : Vigil (Review) Blog Tour.

Angela Slatter

Angela Slatter's picture

Specialising in dark fantasy and horror, Angela Slatter is the author of The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, andBlack-Winged Angels, as well as Midnight and Moonshine and The Female Factory (both with Lisa L. Hannett). She has won five Aurealis Awards, one British Fantasy Award, and a World Fantasy Award, as well as being a finalist for the Norma K. Hemming Award.

Angelas short stories have appeared in Australian, UK and US Best Ofanthologies such The Mammoth Book of New Horror (Stephen Jones, ed.), The Years Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (Paula Guran, ed.), The Best Horror of the Year (Ellen Datlow, ed.), The Years Best Australian Fantasy and Horror(Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, eds.), and The Years Best YA Speculative Fiction(Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios, eds.).

She has an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing, is a graduate of Clarion South 2009 and the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop 2006, and in 2013 she was awarded one of the inaugural Queensland Writers Fellowships.

Her novellas, Of Sorrow and Such (from Tor.com), and Ripper (in the Stephen Jones anthology Horrorology, from Jo Fletcher Books) will be released in October 2015.

Angelas urban fantasy novel, Vigil (based on the short story Brisneyland byNight), will be released by Jo Fletcher Books in 2016, and the sequel,Corpselight, in 2017. She is represented by Ian Drury of the literary agency Sheil Land.

 Blog tour poster
Vigil  (2016) (The first book in the Vigil series)
vigil

Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds.

The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength – and the ability to walk between us and the other – as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us.

But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane.

And Verity must investigate – or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.

Review
I couldn’t resist reading this when the kind people at Jo Fletcher asked me if i would be part of the blog tour, the cover art alone is totally intriguing, that angelic, yet slightly disturbing image, something added to when you hold the book, not sure if its intentional but it has a waxy, almost slightly slimy quality to it which adds to the weyrd nature of the book.
When reading the book i could not help but make some comparisons to the first time i read Ben Aaronivitch, that sense of something a bit different but also something excellent in the making. While Vigil lacks the humour of Ben’s books (its supposed to)  it has a much more open and in your face Weyrd world, which requires more from the author in making the real world and the Weyrd blend and work hand in hand.
Angela Slatter managed it perfectly, not only did the narrative flow, but it was believable. Thats not an easy thing to accomplish when talking about Sirens, angels, boatmen and many other creatures of Weyrd origin.
Using a half breed (Verity Fassbinder) to cross the boundaries between worlds is a stroke of genius, an understanding of both worlds, and yet retaining that outsider hero element. Every chapter pulled… drove you to the next. I was forcing myself to put it down every night, wanting to see how all the threads of this plot would pull together, so i could finally see the whole Machiavellian plot that the author had kept shrouded until the end.
This series has huge potential for a long run, the characters have so much rich history (not just Verity) there are creatures as ancient as time, knowledge stretching over centuries all of which will lead to some very twisted ideas. The location was exotic and yet familiar, and the clash of normal to Weyrd culture so apt with all the modern culture clashes that the whole book resonates with the reader on a very real level (which is a surprise given the story). Bring on book 2…and 3 and many more.
(Parm)

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Tom Lloyd: Stranger of Tempest (review)

Tom Lloyd

Tom Lloyd's picture
UK (1979 – )

Tom Lloyd has born in 1979, and spent most of his childhood believing his mother was a witch – a white witch. He followed his degree in Politics and International Relations with a series of jobs in publishing. When not writing, he works as a contracts manager for a major London literary agency.

Stranger of Tempest: Book One of The God Fragments

Stranger of Tempest  (2016)
(The first book in the God Fragments series)
A novel by Tom Lloyd

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Lynx is a mercenary with a sense of honour – a dying breed in the Riven Kingdom. Failed by the nation he served and weary of the skirmishes that plague the continent’s principalities, he walks the land in search of purpose. He wants for little, so bodyguard work keeps his belly full and his mage-gun loaded. It might never bring a man fame or wealth, but he’s not forced to rely on others or kill without cause.

Little could compel Lynx to join a mercenary company, but he won’t turn his back on a kidnapped girl. At least the job seems simple enough: the mercenaries are less stupid and vicious than most he’s met over the years. So long as there are no surprises or hidden agendas along the way, it should work out fine.

Review

I’ve been a fan of Tom Lloyd’s writing for some time, his is an easy fantasy, that’s not to say simplistic, because the world building is deep, complex and utterly believable. Its more that the narrative and flow of the story is paced to perfection, carrying the reader, making the reading effortless, its pace increasing with the pace of fight and flight and then smoothing down to a calm laconic pace when the protagonists are at rest, tense and gripping in the dark places and light and funny at the camps fireside.

Its this quality of writing that makes you not want to put the book down, but also makes the book dictate its own reading pace, at 480 pages its not a short read, but this lovely HB fits snug and light in the palm late at night and kept me entertained until the wee hours for several days.

For me there is a touch of the Gemmell in the characters, (so easily said when talking about really good fantasy), but all of our mercenary company have that complicated Gemmell character quality, a past that is in many cases shady, in some just outright nasty and yet they all have the inherent nature to die for a comrade, be that an act of good ( or not in the readers eyes), these men and women willingly walk into the firestorm for one of their number no matter  how new. The mercenary band element of the plot means that the diversity and complexity of characters is broad and makes for some really great reading. The wit and humor resounds across the group in sharp, bitter angry retorts but is a delight to read. The creatures of this world provide yet another layer of depth to the plot, and also a tantalizing view of future plot and past history of the world, of which more  i’m sure will unfold later in the series.

This; book one is just the start of the journey for our band of mercs….. this series looks set to be an amazing treat for all… i cant wait for the next one.

(Parm)

 

Twilight Reign
1. The Stormcaller (2006)
2. Twilight Herald (2007)
3. The Grave Thief (2008)
4. The Ragged Man (2009)
5. The Dusk Watchman (2012)
The God Tattoo (2013)
The Complete Twilight Reign Collection (omnibus) (2014)
The Twilight Reign (2014)

Empire of a Hundred Houses
1. Moon’s Artifice (2013)
2. Old Man’s Ghosts (2015)
God Fragments
1. Stranger of Tempest (2016)
2. Princess of Blood (2017)
Honour Under Moonlight (2016)
Novellas
Fear The Reaper (2015)

 

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