Railsea: A Review

Look at the acknowledgments at the end of the book & you’ll see just how wide a base of influences this work of art has drawn from. The influence from Herman Melville is the most prominent of the lengthy list of writers Miéville has acknowledged, being another author who wrote a book about a great white beast, a hunter’s obsession, & a life at sea.

But this is no ordinary sea. Railsea is, quite literally, a sea of rails.  A great, sprawling expanse of train tracks that criss-cross, weave, & spread out in a tangle of wood & iron. On these rails (you guessed it) are trains of all varieties. Salvage hunters searching for the shiny detritus of a world long gone, an armada of sail-powered wooden trains, & mole-trains which bristle with hunters & their harpoons.

Continue reading “Railsea: A Review”

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street: A Review

This book gave me whiplash.

Set against the backdrop of the 19th century Clan na Gael bombings in London, and 19th century political unrest in Japan, Natasha Pulley’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is nothing short of immense. For a new author to release a debut novel that gripped me so intensely, in a genre I don’t generally read, is nothing short of mindblowing. I won’t lie and says it’s perfect. At one point I found myself slightly lost during a confusing, labyrinthine scene, and a couple of plot points came across as jarring. But on the whole, the book is enjoyable, unique, and smart enough to keep readers guessing all the way up to the end.

Continue reading “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street: A Review”

The Queen of the Tearling: A Review

The Queen of the Tearling is the debut novel, and the first book in a trilogy, by American Author Erika Johansen. Johansen grew up in the San Fransisco area and achieved a MFA from the Iowa’ Writer’s workshop.

Erika Johansen is a fascinating author, with an interesting – and quite public – stance on having more ‘ugly’ heroines in book series. This is certainly reinforced in The Queen of the Tearling with constant references to how ‘plain’ and ‘ugly’ the main character is. In fact, Johansen touches upon a great many meritorious subjects during this novel. But it is for these very same reasons that I’ve come away from this novel quite disappointed.

I hate to give a bad review, especially when everything seems to point at the book actually being good. Johansen secured a seven-figure book and movie deal before the first novel even hit the shelves, the book has sold oodles of copies, and it has drawn comparisons to Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, both widely regarded as fantastic series.

And that’s a problem! Continue reading “The Queen of the Tearling: A Review”

An Unfortunate Thief

Slimy little things burst like filthy pustules between his toes; a carpet of pestilential slug-like things that dwelt beneath the city.

He’d lost his shoes in the mire, the guards short after.

When he checked his bag he found a bullet-shaped hole.

He hadn’t lost them, they’d stopped for gold.

A story in fifty words, every Sunday.

Just a quick request during mid-dissertation panic sweats.

As my deadlines zoom ever closer, I find myself waving a rather large stick around trying to stave off all of the panic demons that are trying to feed off of my stress. I’m nearing completion of my dissertation and was wondering if any of you had the spare time to fill in my dissertation questionnaire. It’s about fantasy literature, so any big fans of it would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18vOgmx-4275a1smBm-BoSe9nhiMeOTSUQdyaN5K8DhA/viewform

Thanks for any time spent on it, and know that you’re helping to keep me sane.


50 word story:

It was the first morn of winter in the pearl glades when we first saw them.

Little sprites, dancing across the outdoor furnishings. Each pirouette spinning rime in curlicues around them. Each footfall leaving shimmering verglas behind, as smooth and glassy as the creatures.

“Rimelings” my brother whispers in awe.