Review: Tears of the Cheetah


Tears of the Cheetah by T.M. Clark

3 stars

Read from 28 September – 1 October, 2017

Synopsis: The fight to save the cheetahs is a race against time

Mackenzie came to South Africa to escape the trauma of her past and build herself a bright new future: love is the last thing on her mind. But she’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore her feelings for the strong-minded Cole, who runs the game reserve for cheetahs just outside her town. Cole has made no secret of his feelings for her, but he realises that Mackenzie cannot be rushed so he is prepared to wait.

However, neither could have predicted the terrifying events that are about to overtake them. When Cole saves Mackenzie from a vicious attack, it is only the beginning of an ever-spiralling maelstrom of violence.

Someone is decimating Africa’s cheetah population, and when the poaching threat comes to their door, Mackenzie and Cole have only one option: they must fight to save the animals and life they love. Continue reading

Review: The Recipient


The Recipient by Dean Mayes

ReviewStars-4

Read from 17 – 20 June, 2017

Synopsis: Casey Schillinge is a vivacious young woman on the verge of making her mark on the world. While backpacking, she is struck down by a tropical disease and suffers cardiac failure. But at the eleventh hour, Casey receives a life-saving heart transplant and a rare second chance to begin again. Three years later, Casey has become a withdrawn shell of her former self: she is estranged from her loved ones, afraid of open spaces and rides the line between legitimate and criminal work. The worst of her troubles come in the form of violent night terrors; so frightening that she resorts to extreme measures to keep herself from sleeping. When she can take no more, she embarks on a desperate search for the source of her dreams. In so doing, she makes a shocking discovery surrounding the tragic fate of the donor whose heart now beats inside her chest. As she delves deeper into the mystery of her donor, she realizes her dreams are not a figment of her imagination, but a real life nightmare. Continue reading

Review: Welcome to Orphancorp


Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward

five-stars 5 stars

Read from 14 – 15 June, 2017

Synopsis: Winner of the 2015 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize

‘Takes all of your dystopian nightmares and connects them to a mother lode of pure emotional intensity. There’s so much keen detail here about the cruel logic of oppressive institutions, you’ll feel Mirii’s yearning for freedom in your bones – and you’ll rejoice at every tiny moment of escape that she achieves. Welcome to Orphancorp is harrowing, scarily real, and ultimately super moving.’ – Charlie Jane Anders (i09)

‘Punchy, crunchy, sexy and smart, Welcome to Orphancorp is a short, sharp shock of a story with bruised-but-not-broken characters and a bonsai dystopia you can actually believe in. Marlee Jane Ward is a writer of heart and passion, muscle and slow-burning anger.’ – Ian McDonald

Welcome to Orphancorp is an intimate, heartfelt story set in the darkest of places. I can’t stop thinking about these characters.’ – Kij Johnson

‘An object lesson in how to dehumanise young people by locking them up and depriving them of all warmth and care – has never been more timely. This gritty, greasy story is peppered with violence and lit with the slenderest shafts of affection and hope. It will make your jaw clench with fear for the indomitable Mirii Mahoney, and your fist punch the air at her every tiny victory.’ – Margo Lanagan Continue reading

Review: Heart of the Country


Heart of the Country by Tricia Stringer

five-stars 5 stars

Read from 23-24 April, 2017

Synopsis: Heart of the Country is the first book in an epic historical saga of three Australian families. Spanning several generations, this epic tells the story of the Baker, Smith and Wiltshire families forging their paths in a land both beautiful and unforgiving.

Lives are intertwined by love and community then ripped apart by hate and greed but remain always bound to the land they love…

1846. Newly arrived from England, Thomas Baker is young, penniless and alone. Eager to make his mark on this strange new place called South Australia, he accepts work as an overseer on a distant sheep property, believing this will be the opportunity he seeks. But when Thomas’s path crosses that of ex-convict, Septimus Wiltshire — a grasping con man hell bent on making a new life for himself and his family at any price — trouble is on the horizon.

But Thomas is made of stern stuff and his fortunes take a turn for the better when he meets spirited farmer’s daughter Lizzie Smith, and soon he envisages their future together.

But this land is like no other he has encountered: both harsh and lovely, it breaks all but the strongest. When his nemesis intervenes once more and drought comes, Thomas finds himself tested almost beyond endurance with the risk of losing everything he and Lizzie have worked for… even their lives. Continue reading

Review: Thief’s Magic


Trudi Canavan's Thief's Magic book cover

3 stars

Read from March 10 – 31, 2017

Synopsis: FORGET WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE NATURE OF MAGIC.

In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it — should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust.

AN EPIC NEW FANTASY ADVENTURE BEGINS. Continue reading

AWW Review: Leap of Faith


LeapOfFaith

2 stars

 

Read from January 29th – February 2nd, 2017. Recommended for: Horsey people

Synopsis: The highly anticipated new novel from beloved Australian writer Fiona McCallum.

Jessica Harrington is a promising horse-rider who dreams of representing her country. But the recent death of her father – her coach and mentor – has left her doubting her ability to continue in the sport. When she fails at the Adelaide International Horse Trials her fears are confirmed – and her world begins to fall apart.

Unable to bear seeing her well-bred, highly trained horses languishing in the paddock, she makes the snap decision to sell. She’s broken her own heart, but can’t see any other way – now she will just have to focus on a life without them. Her husband Steve and best friend Tiffany, however, can see through her bravado.

Jessica is dismayed when Steve brings home a horse from a clearing sale, a horse so skinny and forlorn he just couldn’t leave it behind. Unwilling to be drawn back into the world of horses, she’s reluctant to get involved. But when a summer thunderstorm brings on a life-or-death emergency, she finds she underestimated the heart of one little horse. Can Jessica put her trust in Faith? Continue reading