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The Fireman – Joe Hill


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.


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – David Shafer

It took me awhile to get into this book, mainly because of the compex plot lines – but one in, I really enjoyed WTF (yes, that’s the coloured first le25222743tters of the book’s title – and that should have given me a clue as to the nature of the plot!)

Set in the present, or near future, WTF is about a group of seemingly disconnected men and women, who are drawn together in an attempt to foil the a plot by a global network who is aiming to ‘gather’ all private information stored online and in the cloud, in order to gain world domination.

So part thriller, part sci-fi and computer action adventure, part dystopian…….

As I said, complex, for a very capable reader.

Blackfin Sky – Kat Ellis

One of my favourite teen reads of the summer. BfS GIF

Skylar fell from the pier and died. 3 montjhs ago. So how can she be back? Why can she not remember the intervening months? What really happended at the burnt out circus? And who is watching her every move?

An engaging, paranormal mystery adventure and mystery – who does actually undertsand the 4th dimension?

Read the author’s comments here – Blackfin Sky 


The Jade Boy – Cate Cain

The Jade Boy reminded me of the Clockwork Angel series – but set in an earlier time, the early 1700s.

Jem works as a servant in the London house of the of Duke Bellingham. His mother sews for the Duchessjpeg. Life is difficult – hard dirty work with no time for the fun that a normal 13 year old might have.

However a series of suspicious event and the appearance of the sinister Count Carazon, soon changes the world that he has come to know.

An interesting array of characters populate this book (and series) – Ptolemy and Cleo – the ‘mute; African slave and his monkey and Ann an apprentice witch aid Jem on the mission he has to carry out.

Suitable for junior teen readers.

Girl with all the gifts – MR Carey

A zombie story with a difference!

The zombie apocalypse has brought the world as mankind knows it toThe-Girl-With-All-The-Gifts an end. Small pockets of survivors exist, barely. In a military base not far from a main city in England, a small group of unusual children are held captive – locked in cells during the night, chained to wheelchairs during the day. Except that during the day they participate in lessons and tests.

Melanie is one of these children. Somehow the zombie ‘gene’ has morphed into something else in them. They can speak, they can move normally, they can think – but they are still dangerous and to be feared.

An attack on the base by a group of ‘junkies’ (survivors who exist by scavenging) leads to an unlikely group of allies working together to survive – zombie, soldier, teacher and scientist.

After a slow start, this is a fast paced and action packed story – where we are asked to question what it is to be human.


Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

A society where every c10576365hild who survived the ‘mystery illness’ has a been given colour code, dependant upon the level of ‘powers’ that they now have.  A society where any level of power is viewed with fear by all adults, including parents. A society where under 16s are placed in detention centres and the most powerful ones are ‘cleansed’. That is the world of that Ruby exists in.

Fast paced and action packed. A new dystopian vision – where Ruby’s gift challenges her basic need for friendship and companionship – where she has to make some very difficult choices.

Definitely written for a sequel and very readable.

The Bunker Diary – Kevin Brooks

‘ The Bunker Diary is the seemingly straightforward tale of Linus, a teenage runaway fooled in to the back of a van, subsequently chloroformed and imprisoned in a nuclear bunker. Initially alone, he’s soon joined by several others, ranging from a nine year old girl to an overweight businessman, also kidnapped against their will. Forced to coexist in order to survive, the group finds themselves at the mercy of some particularly nasty mind games, and tensions soon begin to pull them apart. Do they have any hope of escape?

This is a thrilling read but not for the faint hearted.  Remember that you are never guaranteed a happy ending.  This is no Fairy tale