Composite Creatures Tour – Review

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About the Book

In a society where self-preservation is as much an art as a science, Norah and Arthur are learning how to co-exist in their new little world. Though they hardly know each other, everything seems to be going perfectly—from the home they’re building together to the ring on Norah’s finger.

But survival in this world is a tricky thing, the air is thicker every day and illness creeps fast through the body. And the earth is becoming increasingly hostile to live in. Fortunately, Easton Grove is here for that in the form of a perfect little bundle to take home and harvest. You can live for as long as you keep it—or her—close.

Review

This book is just so interesting and wild and such a good read! Plus that cover should be enough to intrigue you. I really am a sucker for a good cover and will willingly admit that that is what first drew me to this one. And I’m glad I listened to that because it’s also a really great story.

So, surprise surprise, this is another book that I don’t really want to get much into. It’s just something that you have to let unfold around you as you read it. But just be prepared for an extremely ephemeral and haunting read. It’s one of those books that is just so well written that you could see the events actually unfolding.

This book is both an excellent read as well as one that will make you take a moment to think once you’re done. And that moment might turn into something longer because it’s really one of those stories that will stick with you long after. So this is definitely one that I recommend you pick up!

About the Author

Author. Poet. Novelist. Occasional librettist. Sporadic puppeteer.

Caroline Hardaker lives in the north east of England and writes quite a lot of things. She earned her BA (English Literature) and MA (Cultural and Heritage Studies) from Newcastle University, and her main problem is limiting herself to one idea at once, or maybe two ideas, or three…

Caroline’s debut poetry collection, Bone Ovation, was published by Valley Press in 2017, and her first full length collection, Little Quakes Every Day, was published by Valley Press in November 2020. 

Caroline’s debut novel, Composite Creatures, will be published by Angry Robot in April 2021. It’s available to pre-order now (please do take a look!)

Caroline’s poetry has been published worldwide, most recently in Magma, The Interpreter’s House, The Emma Press, Neon Magazine, Shoreline of Infinity, Eyewear Publishing’s Best New British and Irish Poets, and Contemporary British Poetry from Platypus Press. This blog was set up in late 2015 and you can see some of her publication credits since then via the Poems and Stories section.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

The Second Bell Tour – Feature

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About the Book

To the world you are an abomination; a monster with unholy abilities. You’re shunned and left to fend for yourself. Your only chance of survival is to tap into that dark potential – would you do it?

In an isolated mountain community, sometimes a child is born with two hearts. Such a child – a striga – is considered a dangerous demon, which must be abandoned on the edge of the forest to protect the community. The only choice the child’s mother can make is whether to leave her home with her infant, or stay behind and try to forget.

Miriat made her choice. She and her nineteen-year-old striga daughter, Salka, now live a life of deprivation and hardship in a remote village, where to follow the impulses of the other heart is forbidden.

But Salka is headstrong and young, and when threatened with losing everything, she is forced to explore the depths of her true nature, testing the bonds between mother and child.

File Under: Fantasy [ Breaking Taboos | Hidden Shadows | Hungry Like the Wolf | Slavic Story ]

Pre-Order Incentive

The Broken Binding bookshop will be selling signed coloured bookplates – designed by Gabriela – with pre-orders of The Second Bell.

About the Author

Gabriela was born and raised in Poland, brought up on a diet of mythologies and fairy tales. She spent her summers exploring the woods, foraging and animal tracking with her family. At 19, Gabriela moved to London to study English Literature and obtained an MA in Literature and Modernity. She has worked as an assistant editor and as a freelance writer. Gabriela’s short stories have been selected for the Editor’s Choice Review by Bewildering Stories and have been featured on the Ladies of Horror Fiction podcast. She lives in London with her husband and two children.

Tour Schedule

The Rush’s Edge Review

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About the Book

With the help of his commanding officer, a genetically engineered ex-soldier fights back against the government that created him and others like him to be expendable slaves.

Halvor Cullen, a genetically-engineered and technology implanted ex-solider, doesn’t see himself as a hero. After getting out of the service, all he’s interested in is chasing the adrenaline rush that his body was designed to crave. Hal knows he won’t live long anyway; vat soldiers like him are designed to die early or will burnt out from relentlessly seeking the rush. His best friend and former CO, Tyce, is determined not to let that happen and distracts him by work salvaging crashed ships in the Edge. But after a new crewmember—hacker-turned-tecker, Vivi—joins their band of misfits, they find a sphere that downloads an alien presence into their ship…

Review

It’s space time! And what The Rush’s Edge does that I feel a lot of other sci-fi books is that it actually has A LOT of character development! And I feel like that’s where I always struggle to become invested with sci-fi books since they’re often all action and not much else. But this one actually gave me some depth and I loved having the chance to learn all about this misfit gang!

And I mean, how much of a space opera would it be if our story didn’t revolve around a ragtag gang of misfits going against the grain. And while we got a lot of character development like I mentioned, there was still PLENTY of action! It was that harmonious blend between the two that made this such an interesting read. And while this book was set in space there were still those social issues present that we deal with and see on a regular basis. And seeing this team struggle with having everything they thought they knew turned on its head gave such an interesting plot!

You can tell that Smith has a lot of knowledge and love for science fiction because all of that went into this book. And I think that’s why I found this one so enjoyable, I could see how much thought and effort went into weaving this expertly crafter story. And I really look forward to seeing where Smith goes from here!

About the Author

Ginger Smith has worked as a record store employee, freelance writer, bookstore assistant manager and high school teacher of English. In the past, she has played in many tabletop RPG groups and even run several of her own. She collects vintage toys, sci-fi novels and comic books, as well as mid-century furniture. She currently lives in the southern USA with her husband and two cats, spending her free time writing and watching classic film noir and sci-fi movies.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

The Sensation Review

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About the Book

Last time she investigated the saints of the Solme Complex. This time it’s the sinners of the Sensation… Presenting the second Salvi Brentt novel from award-winning author, Amanda Bridgeman.

A series of brutal murders has the homicide division of San Francisco’s Hub 9 working overtime. But as the bodies mount, they begin to question whether the attacks are random or somehow connected.

When one of their own falls victim, Detective Salvi Brentt and the Hub 9 homicide team join forces with the narcotics and cyber divisions to track down those responsible. They soon discover a volatile new drug-tech experience, involving black market neural implants, has hit the streets, causing the epidemic of violence and missing persons.

With the clock ticking and the bodies piling up, Salvi must go deep undercover in the seedy Sensation club scene to found out who is behind it. But in the secretive playgrounds of the rich and powerful, some will stop at nothing to protect their empire…

Review

I’m backkk with book two and I’m seriously obsessed with this cover! Just like with the first book (you can read my review on my blog!) I was instantly engaged and involved in the story. And it doesn’t fail to live up to the first book in the series, The Sensation definitely stands on it’s own as another outstanding part of this series.

This second installment in the series continues to expand on our knowledge of the world and introduces us to new and old characters. And while there are the familiar aspects in this book, there is still plenty of new things to draw our attention. But I can’t talk about it too much because I don’t want to give anything away!

I find that oftentimes the second book in a series falls into the “sophomore slump.” But The Sensation definitely didn’t fall into that trap and really stands out! I loved being able to go further into this world and get a deeper understanding of all of the horror in the series.

About the Author

Amanda is a Tin Duck Award winner, an Aurealis and Ditmar Awards finalist and author of several science fiction novels. Her works include the best-selling military SF/space opera AURORA series (previously published by Momentum Books/Pan Macmillan Australia), alien contact drama THE TIME OF THE STRIPES, and sci-fi crime thriller THE SUBJUGATE (published by Angry Robot Books, UK) which has been optioned for TV by an Oscar and Golden Globe nominated production company.

Born in the seaside/country town of Geraldton, Western Australia, she moved to Perth (Western Australia) to study film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University, earning her a BA in Communication Studies. Perth has been her home ever since, aside from a nineteen-month stint in London (England) where she dabbled in Film & TV ‘Extra’ work.

She was a finalist in the Universal AU/Screenwest Pitch competition (2019) and a finalist in the AACTA Regional Landscapes Pitch in partnership with Screenworks Pitch (2020).

She is a versatile writer who enjoys working across different genres and creative formats, be it novels, screenplays, short stories, etc, and creating both original and tie-in work.

She has a short story in the WARHAMMER 40K universe coming mid 2020 through Black Library (UK).

Her new novel PANDEMIC: PATIENT ZERO will be the first novel set in the award-winning Pandemic tabletop board game universe, and will be released worldwide in September 2020 through Aconyte Books (UK).

The sequel to her hit The Subjugate, called THE SENSATION will be released worldwide in October 2020 through Angry Robot Books (UK).

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

The Subjugate Review

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About the Book

In a small religious community rocked by a spree of shocking murders, Detectives Salvi Brentt and Mitch Grenville find themselves surrounded by suspects. The Children of Christ have a tight grip on their people, and the Solme Complex neurally edit violent criminals – Subjugates – into placid servants called Serenes. In a town where purity and sin, temptation and repression live side by side, everyone has a motive. But as the bodies mount up, the frustrated detectives begin to crack under the pressure: their demons are coming to light, and who knows where that blurred line between man and monster truly lies.

Review

This book is just so incredibly amazing! It’s one of those combinations where if done incorrectly it wouldn’t work at all. BUT, it was done better than correctly and just: wow. I think what made this book for me is that while it is sci-fi, it is very easy to see that this could be a plausible downfall to society. Plus I’m a sucker for crime novels and it’s been far too long since I’ve read one. So this was a perfect blend of genres for me!

I have a weird interest in cults, and this story just screams cult-y. So you know I was hooked right from the start. And this society was just so interesting to learn about! I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s wild and scarily plausible. It’s got new things we would expect to see in the future, yet as we see even today, the people believe that a simpler (and more restrictive) way of life may be better. There are so many nuances that seem to have been pulled from some of our more “closed off” communities.

Outside of the strange individuals we meet in this story, we also get an intense murder mystery. But that’s all I’m going to say on that because you just need to read it. And for those of you who may not explore the sci-fi genre all too often this might be the perfect fit! There are some sci-fi elements, but there is also so much more to this story!

About the Author

Amanda is a Tin Duck Award winner, an Aurealis and Ditmar Awards finalist and author of several science fiction novels. Her works include the best-selling military SF/space opera AURORA series (previously published by Momentum Books/Pan Macmillan Australia), alien contact drama THE TIME OF THE STRIPES, and sci-fi crime thriller THE SUBJUGATE (published by Angry Robot Books, UK) which has been optioned for TV by an Oscar and Golden Globe nominated production company.

Born in the seaside/country town of Geraldton, Western Australia, she moved to Perth (Western Australia) to study film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University, earning her a BA in Communication Studies. Perth has been her home ever since, aside from a nineteen-month stint in London (England) where she dabbled in Film & TV ‘Extra’ work.

She was a finalist in the Universal AU/Screenwest Pitch competition (2019) and a finalist in the AACTA Regional Landscapes Pitch in partnership with Screenworks Pitch (2020).

She is a versatile writer who enjoys working across different genres and creative formats, be it novels, screenplays, short stories, etc, and creating both original and tie-in work.

She has a short story in the WARHAMMER 40K universe coming mid 2020 through Black Library (UK).

Her new novel PANDEMIC: PATIENT ZERO will be the first novel set in the award-winning Pandemic tabletop board game universe, and will be released worldwide in September 2020 through Aconyte Books (UK).

The sequel to her hit The Subjugate, called THE SENSATION will be released worldwide in October 2020 through Angry Robot Books (UK).

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

The Phlebotomist Review

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About the Book

War brought the Harvest. Willa Mae Wallace is a reaper.

To support herself and her grandson Isaiah, Willa works for the blood contractor Patriot. Instituted to support the war effort, the mandatory draw (The Harvest) has led to a society segregated by blood type. Hoping to put an end to it all, Willa draws on her decades-old phlebotomy training to resurrect an obsolete collection technique, but instead uncovers an awful truth.

Patriot will do anything to protect its secret. On the run and with nowhere else to turn, Willa seeks an alliance with Lock, a notorious blood-hacker who cheats the Harvest to support the children orphaned by it. But they soon find themselves in the grasp of a new type of evil.

Review

You guys, where do I even begin with this book? Like wow, it was the atmospheric dystopian sci-fi I didn’t know I needed in my life. And then add in the amazing female characters throughout and it’s truly just a drool worthy book. I mean, that cover should be reason enough to pick this book up, but the story was just so much more than I ever expected.

So, one of my goals this year was to read more sci-fi. It’s just one of those genres that seems to be hit or miss with catching my attention but I have been DETERMINED to love this genre. However, when I find sci-fi books that mix in a little bit of fantasy they become some of my favorite books ever. And then add in some dystopian, which seems to pair perfectly with sci-fi, and I’ll be obsessed. So, The Phlebotomist quickly caught more and more of my attention as it started to tick off more and more of my “what I like in sci-fi” boxes.

Now, this book is extremely atmospheric. So some things will become clearer the more you read and some of your questions may never be answered. But this is one of my favorite styles of writing. I love a book that leaves me reeling and thinking. One that might make a lightbulb go off in my mind weeks later. Because I think that’s what makes a book a lasting one!

About the Author

Chris lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, daughter, and a fluctuating herd of animals resembling dogs (one is almost certainly a goat). He writes short stories and novels, “plays” the drums, and draws album covers for metal bands. As a lawyer, he goes after companies that poison people.

Chris’s short fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from Metaphorosis, The Molotov Cocktail Magazine, Ghost Parachute, The Ginger Collect Magazine, Tales To Terrify, Trembling With Fear, Ellipsis Zine, Defenestration and others.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire Review

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About the Book

An ex-Spitfire pilot is dragged into a race against a shadowy government agency to unlock the secrets of the lost empire of Atlantis…

In post-war 1952, the good guys are supposed to have won. But not everything is as it seems when ex-Spitfire pilot Captain Samantha Moxley is dragged into a fight against the shadowy US government agency she used to work for. Now, with former Nazis and otherworldly monsters on her trail, Captain Moxley is forced into protecting her archaeologist sister in a race to retrieve two ancient keys that will unlock the secrets of a long-lost empire – to ensure a civilisation-destroying weapon doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what will she have to sacrifice to save the world? 

Review

Ok, I told myself a while back to stop talking about how much I love the covers of books in my reviews but I just cant hold back with this one! I mean, LOOK AT IT! It gives me all of the Indiana Jones and Mummy classic movie poster feels and I’m just so in love with it. It’s just one of those covers where I took one look at it and decided that I HAD to read the book. And then as soon as I started reading the book I instantly connected with the author because of his snarky dedication. I mean it’s just something that I could see myself telling my own mother, especially the last line: “This book is your fault.”

So yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed this book to say the least. I will however admit that it did take me a few chapters to get into the story. It was honestly a bit more gritty than I expected going into it. And while I really liked that aspect, it took me aback and that is why I had to adjust my brain to the book. But once I did this I couldn’t stop reading as I fell into the adventures that ensued.

Now, archeological based adventure stories hold a very dear place in my heart. But I (sadly) feel as if they have fallen out of popularity recently, so I was beyond happy to see this new piece out in the market. And like I’ve said before: I loved this book from the moment I set eyes on it. So I hope that Captain Moxley can be the catalyst for more stories like these. Because I think we all could use a bit of adventure right about now!

About the Author

Hi, I’m Dan, and I write books about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, usually involving archaeology, mythology, sarcastic quips, and a little bit of travelling between worlds.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*