Brian Catling’s The Vorrh (2012, Honest Publishing) has been on my radar for a long time. I’d never heard quite the right things said of it to make me take that last step into actually reading it, that is, until last month, when I found out Catling will be visiting Blackwell’s bookshop in Edinburgh. His visit will coincide with the release of the sequel to The Vorrh, The Erstwhile (in March, details here). Eager for the chance to go to an event for a book I’d actually read, I borrowed a copy from my flatmate and got to work. Continue reading
I picked up Grace of Kings (Ken Liu, Simon & Schuster, 2015) originally because I was enticed by the idea of an epic high-fantasy story not set in a thinly-veiled version of western Europe. The setting of Grace of Kings is a refreshing blend of ancient China and Polynesia, and the un-Europeanness of the story is apparent from the very first page, with an elaborate culture and social hierarchy laid out in clear terms, and sustained throughout the book. Continue reading
First of all, happy holidays and new year to all of you! I’m reading something new for the new year. I got this copy of Claire North‘s The End of the Day (Orbit, April 2017) from work, our fiction buyer handing it to me and saying “can you read this for me please?”. I was sceptical, usually the proofs that get fobbed off on me (with some notable exceptions) aren’t that great (simply by the rules of trickle-down economics, I usually receive the dregs). I’m happy to say that this book is another exception to that rule. Continue reading
Hot Milk, (Deborah Levy, Hamish Hamilton, 2016) represents another among quite a few recent departures from my usual fare of genre-fiction, a foray into the literary. The prose was rather jarring at first but I grew to like it as the story went on, especially as the main character changed and developed. Continue reading
Since moving to Edinburgh last year I’ve been wanting to read more Scottish books. This has been surprisingly difficult, since my general reading list has also been growing at a similar pace. But I’d been hearing so many good things about The Sunlight Pilgrims I felt I had to make time for it. Continue reading
I have quite mixed opinions about The Ice Lands (by Steinar Bragi, Macmillan, 2016), which is relatively rare for me: I’m normally quite good at picking books that I know I’ll like. This one I’d seen in the shop in hardback and thought it sounded interesting. I read a preview online and made a mental note to pick it up at some point. A couple weeks ago I found a proof copy in the staff room and just like that, it ended up at the top of my list, for better or for worse. A lot of my criticism of this book stems from the content and structure of the ending, so while I’ll try not to go into specifics, there may be a few spoilers near the end.