Review – Aliya Whiteley’s From the Neck Up

Book cover featuring a wooden head with mushrooms growing out of it From the Neck Up
By: Aliya Whiteley
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Publisher: Titan Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Award-winning author Aliya Whiteley is certainly no stranger to horror. Her latest collection of short fiction, From the Neck Up, is another foray into this familiar land that marries horror with the uncanny. Sixteen wonderful tales comprise this collection, with something for every reader.

Review – The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura

Woman's face wearing a pink hat with the title The Woman in the Purple Skirt beneath it. The Woman in the Purple Skirt
By: Natsuko Imamura
Translator: Lucy North
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Publisher: Penguin Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Natsuko Imamura’s debut English novel is a story that is at once a slow-burning character study and a tale of obsession and psychological intrigue. The Woman in the Purple Skirt has already won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in Japan, which Imamura was previously nominated for twice before.

Izumi Suzuki’s Terminal Boredom – Review

Terminal Boredom
By: Izumi Suzuki
Translator: Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi, Helen O’Horan
Release Date: April 20, 2021
Publisher: Verso
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Izumi Suzuki is a Japanese author whose science fiction works left a lasting impact on the genre and should have been translated into English long ago. Thankfully, this collection has begun the overdue task of bringing her work to a much wider international audience. Terminal Boredom is a collection of some of her short fiction translated into English and bound together in this 240 page volume.

Review – All the Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter

All the Murmuring Bones
By: A.G. Slatter
Release Date: April 8, 2021
Publisher: Titan Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


The newest novel by A.G. Slatter, All the Murmuring Bones, is a tale that spans a wide gamut of genres and themes neatly packed into a pretty, blue cover whose curling motif hints at the churning ocean waves that permeate the tale. Slatter is no stranger to fiction, with several other books already under her belt, such as Vigil and Corpselight, as well as compilations of her short fiction. She is also quite the decorated author, with a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, a Ditmar, six Aurealis Awards, and an Australian Shadows Award.

Review – Otaku by Chris Kluwe

Otaku by Chris Kluwe Otaku
By: Chris Kluwe
Illustrator: Vault49 (Jacket Art)
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Chris Kluwe’s debut fiction novel, Otaku, hit bookshelves everywhere in March of 2020. Kluwe is a former NFL player, lead designer for the tabletop card game Twilight, and author of a nonfiction collection titled Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.

Review – The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss
By: Amy Noelle Parks
Website: https://amynoelleparks.com/
Release Date: January 5th, 2021
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Rating:


When I saw this book cover on NetGalley I found it cute and simple, a clean cover that drew my eye. A cute story about the chaos around teenage romance made me feel like it was a good idea to jump into a less serious story.

Caleb and Evie have been friends for years, best friends, but everyone around them feels that they have to be more than friends. Evie has never really been interested in dating, instead focusing on her love of math (I can’t relate) and her struggles with anxiety (100% can relate).

When a new guy shows up suddenly Caleb is in a panic, realizing that maybe is finally interested in dating but not dating him. The truth comes out – Caleb is in love. Here comes the love triangle.

Review – The Way Back

The Way Back
By: Gavriel Savit
Website: https://www.gavrielsavit.com/
Release Date: November 17th, 2020
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


As I’m sure most of us can agree, as a reader we love any and all stories. For me my first love was classic fairy tales and folklore so when I saw The Way Back on NetGalley advertised as a historical fantasy brushing the realms of folklore I had to beg for the copy. I was thrilled to receive it and enjoyed every single page.

The Way Back follows a boy named Yehuda Leib and a girl named Bluma as they both chase after the Angel of Death for their own reasons. For Eastern European Jews there is the belief that demons have a land of their own: a Far Country peopled with the souls of the transient dead, governed by demonic dukes, barons, and earls. 

In their adventures we see Yehuda and Bluma struggle towards their goals and face the realities of the realm they find themselves in. I loved the fantastical elements of the story and loved the rich descriptions and interwoven details throughout the book.

Review – The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins #2)

The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins #2)
By: Robert Dugoni
Website: https://www.robertdugonibooks.com/
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Series: Charles Jenkins
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


When we return to the life and world of Charles Jenkins we learn that, luckily, he has been exonerated. All should be well as the retired man focuses on his family, right? Well, that wouldn’t be much of a story. If you haven’t read book one and are looking for an edge of your seat espionage novel, start with The Eighth Sister. Then join me with The Last Agent.

Review – For the Best

For the Best
By: Vanessa Lillie
Website: http://www.vanessalillie.com/
Release Date: September 8th, 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Rating:


What else could I, as a mystery/thriller addict ask for? I’ve never read any of Vanessa Lillie’s works before but this book may have brought me to a new author. Her debut novel, Little Voices is now on my wishlist and I will definitely be picking it up sometime soon.

In For the Best we follow the life of Jules Worthington, a CEO, wife and mother as she wakes up the day after an event, completely hungover after her blackout the night before only to find that she has been connected to and suspected of a murder. Rough way to wake up if you ask me.

Sure of her innocence and not liking the pressure of the police as they zero in on Jules as their only suspect she begins to investigate on her own. The further she digs into that night, and everything that lead to it, the more chaotic things get as Jules learns things that were maybe better off buried.

Vanessa Lillie earned me as a fan for all the successful red herrings, surprises and smooth, enjoyable writing style. I will say that I couldn’t fully connect to Jules but I still wanted the truth that she was hunting for so I was happy to see the story from her point of view, even when things took dark and unexpected turns.

If you like suspense, mystery, thrillers and seeing characters go deeper into their own struggles, face their own past and refusing to give up you should check out For the Best which is available on September 8th, 2020.

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Vanessa Lillie for the chance to read the ARC!