Teen Arotake

Book Reviews

Salt Creek – Lucy Treloar


25875360.jpg

Salt Creek is a real place in South Australia and some of the characters who appear on Treloar’s novel are historical figures. The story however, is fiction.

Set between 1855-1875 the story follows the lives of early Australian settlers, the Finch family – their misfortunes and fascinating times in the remote and harsh landscape of Salt Creek.

 

European attempts at farming destroy the natural habitat of the first inhabitants – the Ngarrindjeri. The social conscience of these early Australian settlers is soon taken over by the stronger desire to survive in their own terms.

The narrator, Hester Finch, tells the story as a series of flashbacks after her return to England, where despite everything she had to endure at Salt D=Creek, she misses the beauty if the landscape and the people.

Worth reading.

 

Advertisements

Dreamfall – Amy Plum


31371729.jpgI’d read a couple of not so good reviews of this before I started reading, but to be honest, I thought it was a pretty engaging read.

7 teens who have severe insomnia (along with a multitude of other disorders) are brought together for an ‘experimental’ cure. Needless to say, something goes horribly wrong and the 7 are locked in what looks to be coma-like dream state. What the scientists are not aware of though is that the 7 are experiencing each other’s ‘nightmares’.

Enough of a ‘back-story’ was provided (cleverly through the use of a student intern ‘reading’ the case files) to enable me to be invested in wanting to know the outcomes for the characters.

Now I’ll have to read the sequel!

The Diabolic – S J Kincaid


Yet another dystopian sci fi fantasy!

26836910.jpg

Set in the far distant future the known universe has expanded BUT many planets are seen as being unsafe places to live and only the space station that supports the Emperor and his supporters is seen as a safe haven.

Genetically modification is the ‘norm’ and diabolics are bodyguards created to protect the young of the senate, human looking but devoid of independent human thought or emotion – or so it seems!

The first in a new series. Complex, but I’m sure fantasy fiction lovers will enjoy.

 

All the Rivers – Dorit Rabinyan


 

35126186.jpgBanned in the author’s home nation of Israel, All the Rivers tells the story of Liat (an Israeli) and Hilmi (a Palestinian) who meet while she is studying in New York.

The story is largely Liat’s and while their romance is passionate and all-consuming, she knows that the relationship has no real chance of surviving when she returns home.

You can read her thoughts on the banning of her novel here 

The Fireman – Joe Hill


25816688.jpg

Joe Hill’s writing skills are as strong as his father’s Stephen King, and this is clearly apparent in his latest piece – The Fireman. 

The novel is set in a dystopian near future. A unexplained virus which causes it’s sufferers to self combust at some point in the future, has ravaged parts of the USA. A small group of the infected have managed to ‘tame’ the dragon scale disease and manage themselves in a secret hideaway, with the help of the mysterious ‘fireman’. He looks for those who are able to be ‘saved’. However gangs of the un-infected roam the streets looking to exterminate the infected ‘self-preservation’.

A weighty tome! But an engaging and action packed read.

The Hypnotist – Laurence Anholt


23548144The Hypnotist tells the unusual story of Pip, an orphaned black boy who is ‘fostered’ to a poor white farmer and his eccentric, bed-ridden wife, Lilybelle. As the story is set in the deep South there’s the expected backdrop of bigotry and the Klu Klux Klan. However the double narrative – Pip’s mirrored by Irish immigrant hypnotist and psychologist Jack Morrow – and the story of mute Hannah make for a complex and interesting romance and drama.

An interesting and well-crafted read.

 

Under a Pole Star – Stef Penney


imgres.jpgThis is a complex book, set in the time of exploration of the North Pole at the end of 19th century.

It deals with multiple issues – exploitation of the Inuit (first people); the role of women; obsession and the corrupting desire of ambition.

It is a fascinating portrayal of a specific time and place, but one that would be suited to senior readers due to some content.