Call Number: F TEM
Publication Date: 2010
At the close of a long day, Inspector Stephen Villani stands in the bathroom of a luxury apartment high above the city. In the glass bath, a young woman lies dead, a panic button within reach. So begins Truth, the sequel to Peter Temple's bestselling masterpiece, The Broken Shore, winner of the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for Best Crime Novel. Villani's life is his work. It is his identity, his calling, his touchstone. But now, over a few sweltering summer days, as fires burn across the state and his superiors and colleagues scheme and jostle, he finds all the certainties of his life are crumbling. Truth is a novel about a man, a family, a city. It is about violence, murder, love, corruption, honour and deceit. And it is about truth.
My Review - Truth
I loved Peter Temple's The Broken Shore (a brilliant, Australian crime story with so many interwoven secrets) so when I heard there was a sequel that focused on one of the minor characters I had to read it. However, I found this book frustrating to read: there were a multitude of characters to try and keep track of, there was a large amount of cop slang/banter that was difficult to follow in places, and a lot of time was spent on the personal life and troubles of the main character, whom I didn't really care about, instead of solving the crimes. The last 100 pages did focus on solving the crimes and they were fast-paced and riveting - it was a pity the rest of the book wasn't the same. Truth does contain explicit violence and language which could be disturbing to some readers.
Call Number: F ALT
Publication Date: 2016
Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back - with no idea of where they've been. A riveting mystery for fans of We Were Liars and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Eleven years ago, six five-year-olds went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to. Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mother she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother - dead or alive - and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.
My Review - The Leaving
The Leaving started in an intriguing manner with the memory-wiped teens being dropped off in the middle of nowhere with maps to their houses. However, the switching point-of-view between three of the characters made the story slow and it was hard to connect with any of them. The ending also felt quite unsatisfying because, after expecting some big reveal, the author suddenly wraps everything up within a matter of a few pages.
The red queen
Call Number: F CAR
Publication Date: 2015
The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her quest, she must find a lost key; and although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she imagined. This is the final, dramatic volume in series of books that undoubtedly shines as one of the most fantastic, and fantastical, tapestries ever woven.
My Review - The Red Queen
After waiting 29 years for a conclusion to the Obernewtyn Chronicles, this was the most disappointing end to a series that I've ever read. A ridiculous amount of time was wasted in the habitat (essentially an entirely separate story in itself), the book spends a ridiculous amount of time developing minor characters at the expense of central characters (particularly the two main villains), the amount of exposition was mind-numbing, and the book was clearly unedited. After a journey spanning seven books, Elspeth sleeps through the major event that the entire series has been leading towards, and her apparent 'reward' for undertaking the journey was ridiculous.
The Sending (Obernewtyn Chronicles Book 6)
Call Number: F CAR
Publication Date: 2013
It came to me then, like a chilly draught from an unseen gap, that I had always known in my deepest heart that it would be like this, a slipping away from a life full of people I had come to love, in a place I had helped to shape, in a land I had helped to free. The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her journey, she must find a lost key. And although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she anticipated. Elspeth's search will take her where she never thought to go, and bestow upon her stranger companions than any she ever imagined. It will lead her far from her destination to those she believed lost forever. And it will test her, as she has never been tested before.
My Review - The Sending
The second last book in the series, this novel focused heavily on Elspeth's journey to fulfil the prophecy. The journeying also included a lot of conversations between Elspeth and her companions as she revealed all the details of the prophecy and her journey so far - this was a little frustrating as it's already known to the reader. I'm glad I didn't read this volume until the final book in the series had been released because it ends on a cliffhanger.
Call Number: F RIT
Publication Date: 2015-09-01
Nox is an arts graduate wondering what to do with his life. Taylor and Lizzy are famous indie musicians, and Rocky works the checkouts at Target. When they find themselves trapped in a giant shopping centre, they eat fast food, watch bad TV and wait for the mess to be sorted. But when days turn to weeks, a sense of menace grows.
My Review - Carousel
I remember that when I was growing up I thought it would be pretty cool to be locked in a shopping centre overnight because of all the things you would have access to, so when I discovered that this novel was about fourpeople being trapped in Carousel Shopping Centre here in Perth I was intrigued. Nox, Taylor, Lizzie and Rocky are delivered to the open yet abandoned shopping centre, seemingly by the same taxi. When the employees fail to appear, they go to leave the centre only to discover they're locked in. So begins the fight for survival and escape, an experience which affects each character in a unique way and reveals their strengths and weaknesses. I found it frustrating that the genre wasn't identifiable and the story was left open-ended - throughout the story I was guessing that it was either a social experiment similar to The Truman Show or dystopian fiction and the world outside had been destroyed by some kind of apocalyptic event.
Go Set a Watchman
Call Number: F LEE
Publication Date: 2015
Set during the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.
My Review - Go Set a Watchman
Purported to have been written by Harper Lee prior to To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman was poorly marketed. Rather than being advertised as a great summer read, the book should have been presented as a literary curiousity through which one could study the development of an author's writing ability. It is also possibly a revelation of the impact an editor can have on a final product. I believe there is enough similarity in the writing style to confirm it was written by Harper Lee but the writing feels quite juvenile. Additionally, very little happens in the first 100 pages or so, rather it is a collection of childhood anecdotes. It is no wonder that the editor asked Ms Lee to focus on telling the story of young Scout instead.
The Girl on the Train
Call Number: F HAW
Publication Date: 2015
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train…
My Review - The Girl on the Train
The story was a little slow to start with as the main character, Rachel, was difficult to connect with due to her pathetic, alcoholic behaviour. However, following the suspected murder of a person Rachel regularly observes on her daily commute into London, I became intrigued by the multiple perspectives that were introduced to build a complete picture of both current and past events, and the characters who were shaped by them. Recommended for people who enjoy crime and mystery stories.
Call Number: F BRO
Publication Date: 2014
Red Rising Trilogy Book 1
The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope. Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all al lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought. Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda. Break the chains. Live for more.
My Review - Red Rising
Set in a future Mars colony, class continues to determine people's place in society. Everyone's place is determined by their colour, from the Golds who rule to the Reds who mine deep beneath the surface, ignorant of the fact that Mars was colonised hundreds of years before and that they are being used as a slave labour force. After witnessing a family tragedy at the hands of a Gold, Darrow is smuggled out of the mines and endures great pain as he is physically transformed into a Gold in order to infiltrate the ranks of the ruling class and lead an uprising from within. Recommended for fans of science fiction, particularly those interested in space exploration and colonising new planets, and also for people who enjoyed movies such as Total Recall.
Time and Time Again
Call Number: F ELT
Publication Date: 2014
If you had one chance to change history...Where would you go? What would you do? Who would you kill? It's the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be. Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history. Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century? And, if so, could another single bullet save it?
My Review - Time and Time Again
This was one of the best books I have read for some time and I would consider one of my top three reads. I chose this book because it sounded similar to Stephen King's 11-22-63, however the plot is much quicker as Hugh Stanton arrives two weeks before the event he must prevent. Elton also provides fantastic descriptions of early 20th century life and travel in Europe. While reading the book you will make one major assumption that will be completely blown out of the water and once you reach the last 50-odd pages you won't be able to put the book down until you've finished it. Recommended for people who enjoy science fiction (time travel), historical fiction, and war stories.
Call Number: F SAN
Publication Date: 2015
Reckoners Book 2
They told David it was impossible - that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart - invincible, immortal, unconquerable - is dead. And he died by David's hand. Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realise he has questions. Big ones. And there's no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs. Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic - Firefight. And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.
My Review - Firefight
An enjoyable continuation of the battle with 'epic' evil. A little angst-ridden as the Reckoners of Babylon Restored cope with the death of one of their own but it has action-packed battle scenes when the forces of good and evil collide. A great choice for people who enjoy Marvel/DC graphic novels and who are looking for something similar in a novel format whilst remaining in the science fiction genre.
Publication Date: 2015
Elsie Bovary is a cow and a pretty happy one at that. Until one night, Elsie sneaks out of the pasture and finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer's family gathered around a bright Box God - and what the Box God reveals about something called an 'industrial meat farm' shakes Elsie's understanding of her world to its core. The only solution? To escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Shalom, a grumpy pig who's recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave turkey who can't fly, but can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport ... Elsie is a wise-cracking, slyly witty narrator; Tom dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny's charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance the world desperately needs.
My Review - Holy Cow
Another book club book, this was the most bizarre book I've ever read. In serious need of editing, clearly the publishers are relying on Duchovny's celebrity status to sell this book. Inconsistencies abound (one minute the cow is watching movies and the next it doesn't understand what a television is) in this mixture of excessive pop culture references, asides to the reader, and constant 'gangsta'/'hip' language. Duchovny has no idea who the target audience is; the illustrations, length and slang indicate it's for children yet the profanities and descriptions of abattoir practices, high density farming and circumcision suggest an adult audience. I would not recommend this to anyone.
I Am Juliet
Call Number: F FRE
Publication Date: 2014
The world's most famous love story told by one of Australia's most respected authors Ages: 10+ This is the well-known story of Juliet Capulet and her love for Romeo. It also the story about the increasing helplessness Juliet feels as she realises that unlike young men her age, her life will effectively be determined and controlled by others, who see her having an arranged marriage of alliance and becoming a breeder of sons. I am Juliet closely follows the well-known and loved plot of the play, but we also see the point of view of Rob, the thirteen-year-old boy who is the first to play the role of Juliet on the Elizabethan stage. Like many young people today, he too is overwhelmed by 'all those words' that Shakespeare wrote. But Rob realises that the story of love and tragedy is a somewhat simple one and the words are there for their extraordinary beauty and meaning. He will be Juliet and let the power of the words sing - as they still do today.
My Review - I Am Juliet
I was disappointed when I read this book. I was hoping that in retelling the story from Juliet's perspective the author would present a more rebellious, feisty character. However, Juliet is very timid and simply accepts her position in the patriarchal society, longing merely to follow in her mother's footsteps, become a mother and manage her own household. The characters of both Romeo and Juliet are quite bland and their relationship does not feel like "the greatest love story every told".
Call Number: F LIP
Publication Date: 2014-09-23
The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this action-packed debut thriller with a Katniss-esque heroine fighting to regain her memories and stay alive, set against a dystopian hospital background.Sarah starts a crazy battle for her life within the walls of her hospital-turned-prison when a procedure to eliminate her memory goes awry and she starts to remember snatches of her past. Was she an urban terrorist or vigilante? Has the procedure been her salvation or her destruction?The answers lie trapped within her mind. To access them, she'll need the help of the teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, and a pill that's blocked by an army of mercenary soldiers poised to eliminate her for good. If only she knew why.
My Review - Tabula Rasa
An enjoyable, slightly futuristic thriller that has a similar beginning to Slated by Teri Terry in which the main character is hospitalised and treated to make her forget who she is. The plot is action packed, beginning with a military invasion during a snow storm and continuing with a deadly hunt through a hospital which hosts small number of uniquely dangerous patients. Whilst there is a reasonably satisfying conclusion, the story is left open-ended enough for a potential sequel.
Day 21 (The 100 Book 2)
Call Number: F MOR
Publication Date: 2014
In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan's The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can - together. It's been 21 days since The 100 landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries... or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.
My Review - Day 21
This series is quite a unique experience for me as it's the first time I've liked the development of the television series instead of the books. The entire first book is covered in the first episode of the television series and then the plot of the series was developed independent of the books. The premise for this series was great, however, the author spends too much time on unnecessary teen angst and hormone-driven behaviour. The weakest, most hopeless character, Glass, has thankfully been left out of the television show. The scenario I liked most in this book was the discovery Clarke and Bellamy made about a particular event that happened before their arrival, and more focus should have been given to this.
Big Little Lies
Call Number: F MOR
Publication Date: 2014
Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
My Review - Big Little Lies
This book was chosen by a friend for book club and it was a highly entertaining expose on parental relationships, and parent-child relationships, in an Australian private school setting. The plot revolves around the death of a parent at a school function and is told as a series of flashbacks, interviews and gossip, providing insights into the situation from multiple perspectives. Conflict, secrets and betrayals abound as the novel satirises working mothers who think they can easily juggle family and careers, and affluent mothers who lord their 'status' over others.
Call Number: F TIN
Publication Date: 2013
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Wren's favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she's ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he's always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there's something about him she can't ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line - or she'll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she'll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum. The perfect soldier is done taking orders.
My Review - Reboot
A unique take on zombies whereby a virus kills and reanimates children and teenagers; the only way you can tell they are dead is that they have iridescent eyes. The longer a person is dead, the less human emotion they experience upon reanimation. As a result of their emotional state they become the perfect soldiers for a totalitarian government that is only concerned with retaining its power and control. The one thing that would have made the plot stronger is if Wren 178 had remained devoid of emotion, similar to the T-800 in Terminator 2 who could learn but could never feel. As a result of trying to humanise Wren 178, the description of the character's thoughts and actions becomes inconsistent. Recommended to people who enjoy dystopian, science fiction novels.