Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

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“The point is—as far as the Society is concerned—if you are not honest, and determined, and brave, then it doesn’t matter how talented you are.”

Morrigan Crow is cursed as a result of having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest time for a child to be born. Not only is she blamed for all misfortune that befalls the people of her town, the curse also means that she is to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. When the time draws near and Morrigan awaits the inevitable, a strange man named Jupiter North appears at her home. He gives her the choice to come with him to the mysterious land called Nevermoor, and with shadowy hunters on their tail, they set off from Morrigan’s home and the only place she has ever known. Soon she learns that Jupiter has selected her to compete for membership to the very prestigious, the Wundrous Society, for which she must successfully complete four dangerous trials. Hundreds of children compete and each have to demonstrate an exceptional talent, which is something that Morrigan does not believe to possess. However, her being able to stay in Nevermoor depends on her acceptance into the elite organization, otherwise she must return to her former home and confront her deadly fate.  Continue reading “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend”

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

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“You waste everything because you’ve always had everything.”

Now that is an attention grabbing title! Undoubtedly when I came across this novel while browsing my local bookstore I couldn’t help but reach for it to see what it was about. This was before the hype surrounding it really hit, and quite honestly when a book is so hyped up and I begin to see it absolutely everywhere, my interest wanes quite a bit. I ended up really enjoying this book and it is one I would easily recommend. So, what is it all about?

Nikki is the daughter of Indian immigrants and has spent most of her life distancing herself from the culture and traditions of the Sikh community, instead opting for a more Western life. She dropped out of law school and got a job bartending, intent on finding her way in the world and discovering what she truly wants to do. After the unexpected death of her father, Nikki takes a job teaching, what she believes is a creative writing course, at a community centre in the close-knit Punjabi community in London. Because of a misunderstanding, the Sikh widows who show up believe that it is a class for English literacy not creative writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories and shares it with the class, it leads to the women creating stories of their own, and Nikki guides them in sharing their stories and expressing their creativity. The class becomes immensely popular even with attempts to keep it a secret, as there are many who would be against such a thing. Particularly the Brotherhood, a group of young men who deem themselves to be the community’s “moral police.” As the class grows and the gossip flows, Nikki slowly discovers the answers to a death that shocked the community, and finds herself amidst a possible scandal. Continue reading “Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal”

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

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“I hate this world. People are small. They’re ignorant, and they’re happy to stay that way. They make an effort to. They’ll spend time and energy finding ways not to learn things just to feel comfortable with their beliefs.”

The third novel in the Themis Files trilogy, Only Human picks up ten years after the events of Waking Gods, and brings the series to a conclusion. In the first novel, Sleeping Giants we learned of Rose discovering a giant metal hand as a child, which over the years led to more discoveries of metal parts that eventually resulted in the assembly of a giant robot. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin was a key figure in bringing the robot to life, and along with linguist, Vincent Couture, pilot, Kara Resnik, and an unnamed, mysterious interviewer, she helped protect Earth from an alien invasion in Waking Gods.  Now, after ten years on an alien planet, she returns to a home in chaos. While attempting to make sense of what has occurred, she must also figure out a way forward.  Continue reading “Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel”

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

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“Magic, at its heart, starts with sacrifice. You have to give up something to get something, and because magic is big, with all that it allows you access to, what you give up has to be big. It has to be meaningful.”

Within New York City lies a world of magic, the Unseen World. It is open only to those with magical ability, but the degree of that ability varies from person to person. Every twenty years this magical world must participate in the Turning— a series of duels between established Houses, their champions and various challengers, with the winner gaining control of the Unseen World. However, the Turning has arrived early this time around and there is something strange happening in the Unseen World; the magic is weakening. Sydney has seemingly come out of nowhere and proven herself as a force to be reckoned with. She is one of the few people who know what is occurring and why, and is intent on winning control in order to destroy the existing system. Continue reading “An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard”

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

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“Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?”

Five women compose one of two teams taking part in a corporate retreat, which has them setting off into the wilderness to navigate their way to the finish line. One of the women never makes it back, and the slightly different accounts told by her colleagues deepens the mystery of her disappearance. Federal Police Agent, Aaron Falk has a connection to the case and finds himself swept up in the investigation that takes him into an isolated region, which holds many secrets from both past and present.

“Later, the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things. One: No-one saw the bushland swallow up Alice Russell. And two: Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you.” Continue reading “Force of Nature by Jane Harper”