Thursday, 21 September 2017

[discussion] Books With Artists


Some books are just art themselves, unlike my photography skills



Books With Artists




Or, Some Characters I Love & Books I'm Unashamed to Drool Over



This article is a companion piece of sorts to my article about books with sport, but as much as I like doing sport, reading about it can be kinda dull. Art and artists, however, are almost always awesome to read about. Characters that write, characters that paint, that draw, that sculpt, characters that are works of art themselves, that's what this article is about!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

I Am Traitor, Sif Sigmarsdottir

I was a traitor. I was a traitor to my country. I was a traitor to my people. I was a traitor to my planet


London has been targeted by extra-terrestrial life; large pipes fall from the sky, sucking teenagers up into a world that is entirely unimaginable. Amy Sullivan surrenders in a quest to save the teenage population. But nobody can prepare her for what's on the other side of the pipes; a grim and gruelling dystopian world run a specialised government. In order to save the human race, she must literally fight the other species. 


Then Amy meets Caesar, a boy who doesn't seem entirely normal. Amy must decide what's more important - saving planet Earth, or following her heart - wherever it might lead.  
* * 
2 / 5

I've never read anything quite like I Am Traitor, it's an imaginative book if nothing else. We have an alien invasion, teenagers being kidnapped, and a sense of foggy mystery that pervades the book so I never felt quite sure what was going on. Whilst interesting and keeps the reader on their toes, this also made it a very confusing and difficult read for me, not helped by the fact that several key elements of the book were not quite my thing.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Management Style of the Supreme Beings, Tom Holt


"Ho, ho, ho?" Then he grinned, ear to ear. "He's back,"
When the Supreme Being and his son decide that being supreme isn't for them any more, it's inevitable that things get a bit of a shake-up. It soon becomes apparent that our new owners, the Venturi brothers, have a very different perspective on all sorts of things. Take Good and Evil, for example. For them, it's an outdated concept that never worked particularly well in the first place.
Unfortunately, the sudden disappearance of right and wrong, while welcomed by some, raises certain concerns amongst those still attached to the previous team's management style. In particular, there's one of the old gods who didn't move out with the others. A reclusive chap, he lives somewhere up north, and only a handful even believe in him. But he's watching. And he really does need to know if you've been naughty or nice.
* * * 
3 / 5


When I first laid eyes upon the cover of The Management Style of the Supreme Beings, I thought it was one of those slightly weird self-help books. You know the kind, the Seven Habits of the Highly Effective Worker, or How To Get Rich Quick, and Sell Your Soul To The Devil That Is Capitalism kind of book. Obviously, this is intentional, and the content of The Management Style of the Supreme Beings is every bit as weird as its cover. 

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1), S. Kincaid


Everyone believed that Diabolics were fearless, but in my earliest years, all I knew was fear
Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator's daughter, Sidonia. There's no one Nemesis wouldn't kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.


Now one of the galaxy's most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she's been told she doesn't have - humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire

* * * * 
4 / 5

For some reason, perhaps I'd previously read a bad review, I wasn't expecting much when I opened The Diabolic. I was completely wrong. This book was amazing and it took my breath away. The Diabolic is brutal and clever and full of conspiracies, power plays, and revolution. It's such an inventive world, so rich in characters and politics, with the character of Nemesis at the fore. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1), Scott Reintgen


Babel pushes us over cliffs and expects us to fly. Sometimes we do.
Emmett Atwater isn't just leaving Detroit; he's leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. Forever. 


Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden--a planet that Babel has kept hidden--where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. But Babel's ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human.

* * * * *
5 / 5

Wow. This book completely blew me away. It reminded me a little of Ender's Game - kids recruited for some mission in space by a vaguely nefarious company, set against each other in a series of games, always loomed over by a massive scoreboard - and whilst Ender's Game does have a massive twist near the end, I enjoyed Nyxia a heck of a lot more. Reintgen crafted such excellent characters, there's so much emotion in this book, but also so much badassery, and I was even rooting for the romance! I can't even remember the last book I read where I wanted the romance to work out.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Antisocial, Heidi Cullinan





Belief is powerful and important. Without it, we’re nothing but ants crawling across the dirt


Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist.

Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.

Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another.

* *

2 / 5

When I read the last page of Antisocial, I really wasn’t sure how to feel about what I had just read. At all. Antisocial is a male/male romance novel that reads like a fanfiction with original characters; the characters begin as archetypes, the whole book is weirdly into Japan yet, as far as I could tell, has no Japanese characters, it’s really cutesy and then exceedingly sexual, it’s serious and deep and then all about the *power of love and friendship* (tm). Antisocial is an odd book, it’s one that I rolled my eyes at one page, awkwardly turned my Kindle off when I was on the bus another page, and then almost cried at. 

Saturday, 9 September 2017

[discussion] Books With Sport, It's More Fun Than It Might Sound


Excuse my super flash running trainers



Books With Sport




Or, I Actually Like Sport Quite A Lot, But Never Read Much About it




I realised the other day that, despite doing a fair amount of sport myself, I never find myself reading either books that are focused around sport, or even books with characters that do a lot of sport. The few that I have read, I have enjoyed. So what are these books and why have I not read more?