Short Story collections/Novella’s.

Novella’s and short stories can be found here.

Publication Date: 28th Feb from Macmillan Tor-Forge

Source: Netgalley

A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.

In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible — the Children of the Next Level — and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.

A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from ‘other’ sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.

And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.

Wow this is short but really powerful stuff here, my first introduction to this author and its making me want to read everything.

So, this is dark fantasy/scifi and the general plot could described as Alien Invasion with loopy time travel shenanigans and  a basis in authentic scientific fact. If you can cope with the creepy try googling Zombie Fungus.

The characters are extraordinarily well drawn for a novella, Caitlin R Kiernan has the magic touch when it comes to getting across personality and depth through very few words which is important within the short story format – in fact I don’t think I’ve seen better. This is totally absorbing, scary as anything and genuinely thought provoking. I loved that it is open to interpretation – perhaps I should caution that if you like definitive answers this won’t be for you.

It really was horribly good. So beautifully written, so intensely descriptive and telling a really rocking tale of secret agents trying to save the world. Its like an episode of the Twilight Zone, one of the more excellent ones, but in novella form.

Highly Recommended.

You can purchase Agents of Dreamland HERE

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Publication Date: 3rd November from Randomhouse UK Cornerstone.

Source: Netgalley

The No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs is renowned for suspense and fascinating forensic detail. Now she brings that same artistry to her first volume of collected short stories.

In First Bones, a prequel to Reichs’s very first novel, Déjà Dead, she at last reveals how Tempe became a forensic anthropologist. In this never-before-published story, Tempe recalls the case that lured her from a promising career in academia into the grim but addictive world of criminal investigation.

Three more stories take Tempe from the low country of the Florida Everglades, where she makes a grisly discovery in the stomach of an eighteen-foot Burmese python, to the heights of Mount Everest, where a frozen corpse is unearthed.

No matter where she goes, Tempe’s cases make for the most gripping reading.

Now I’m a huge fan of Kathy Reichs, not just of her writing either, so a collection of novella’s featuring the ever durable Tempe Brennan was a dream read for me.

And they were GREAT too especially First Bones which takes us back to the start of it all – these were all new to me although I believe they are not all newly published here. Each one was a mini thriller, with the usual forensic fascination (I love how compelling all the detail is in the cases Tempe takes on I always go google mad after reading anything from this author) and twisty turns in the plot that keep you on your toes.

I never like to put this series down so it was great to be able to start and finish a story in one sitting, although to be fair I did  want to read the next immediately but then you know. Thats how it goes. The writing is immersive as ever, the authenticity shines for obvious reasons and each one was as gripping as any of the full length novels.

Talking of which I can’t wait for more. This series for me has only grown stronger, I can’t imagine that I will ever get bored of it. Hope we get a good few more yet.

Highly Recommended.

You can purchase The Bone Collection HERE

 

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Publication Date: Available Now from Tor

Source: Netgalley

Time is a weapon wielded by the rich, who have excess of it, against the rest, who must trade every breath of it against the promise of another day’s food and shelter. What kind of world have we made, where human beings can live centuries if only they can afford the fix? What kind of creatures have we become? The same as we always were, but keener.

In the ancient heart of Oxford University, the ultra-rich celebrate their vastly extended lifespans. But a few surprises are in store for them. From Nina and Alex, Margo and Fidget, scruffy anarchists sharing living space with an ever-shifting cast of crusty punks and lost kids. And also from the scientist who invented the longevity treatment in the first place.

A short sharp read from Laurie Penny here in a novella length story which I banged through during a working break – intriguing premise, nicely done, but I wanted more to be honest.

One thing that worked for me particularly was the Oxford setting which I know well, living as I do just outside of it, so the sense of place was strong and the Oxford Laurie Penny creates is a compelling one. In a world where you can have longevity of life if you have enough money to pay for it whilst everyone else lives in a rather ravaged world (global warming very current social comment there) a group of activists set out to change things.

Of course things don’t go entirely to plan.

I loved what I read but it felt slightly unfocused because it was so short. The concept here could easily be a full length novel which would have allowed for more character development (although in fairness the author gets the sense of them across very quickly) and for more of the scientific speculative element which was so fascinating.

All in all though I enjoyed it very much. Quite thought provoking and a good way to kill some time when you only have a short reading while.

Recommended for the idea.

 

You can purchase Everything Belongs to the Future HERE

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Publication Date: 1st October 2015 from Jo Fletcher

Source: Netgalley

NOVEMBER, 2019

I’ve never believed in any kind of god.

But that’s a problem when they start manifesting.

It was a problem for everyone else too, especially those whose gods did not appear. We are divided, a fractured globe, because you’d question everything you’d believed, wouldn’t you? Or would you fight?

Because I don’t think these really are the gods we’ve worshipped – Zeus, The Mórrígan, Thor, they can go to hell. We’re in the middle of an invasion, and I’m the only one who believes in that reality.

My name is Malleus Bourreau, I’m an atheist, an investigator, and I will find the answers.

Aera serves as a short novella, a taster for The Return of the Ancient Gods series presumably and as such works very well because I’m definitely hook line and sinkered.

We follow Malleus (a really excellent character with some ironic insights that will delight) on a murder investigation – where everything is not as it appears. There are hints about things to come – a presence in his life that he is unaware of and that will I assume be fleshed out in future instalments (or novels this remains unclear)

The world building is intriguingly gorgeous – imagine if all (ok, well most anyway – a few are missing which causes friction) the God’s descended and became part of the mortal world – embroiled in almost every part of society. Uproar right? Plus some intense scrutiny from those of no religion – such as Malleus Bourreau.

As a starting point this was fabulous and has a contained story within it as well – I immersed myself in it yesterday afternoon and completed it in one sitting, it has a highly readable quality that sucks you in quick smart.

A fast addictive read that will draw you in and leave you wanting more. So lets have more please….

Happy Reading Folks!

 

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Publication Date: Available Now from Momentum Books (Pan Macmillan)

Source: Netgalley

Here in the west they know a lot about hope. They know how to ration it just as they do with food and water. 
Josephine is at last free of the blood moon. But in a desperate rush to find help for a comatose Luke, she discovers the strange and dangerous world of the resistance, and it is unlike any world Josi has known.

So for me, Fury was one of the stand out books I read last year in that it stayed with me for ages after reading it and when I noticed Melancholy (Episode One) available on Netgalley I immediately remembered everthing about Fury including all the nuances. So to say I was excited to read the next part would be putting it mildly.

Melancholy is great. Really great. At the end of Fury, Luke was down and Josephine was in a difficult positon – having survived the Blood Moon she ends up away from the city living with a group of supposedly like minded individuals, desperately hoping for Luke to recover.

I love the absolutely gorgeous flow of the story – I was hooked back into it immediately, no waiting and as we hear from Josephine, Luke and others, exploring this new situation Josephine is in, it is completely gripping. I especially liked Raven who is a highly engaging character, enigmatic, seemingly not that nice but occasionally showing flashes of somebody you may like to know. Quinn, the head of the community I really did not like at all – he is cleverly drawn, difficult to get a handle on his motivations. So characterisation wise this has a very high standard with plenty to love and hate.

The concept for Fury was highly intriguing – what if we could cure emotions. You would think it might be a good thing, but with “Melancholy” Charlotte McConaghy has explored that theme further, with Josephine being a bit of an emotional mess, questioning everything and even considering taking the cure herself to stop the desperate level of feeling she is having. This layer of the plot was beautifully woven and very compelling.

Of course this is just Episode One – with Fury I did not read until it was released as a complete novel – I did consider doing that here but you know me I HATE waiting. And in fact when I came to the end of this part I did curse the author for where she left it but also found a delight in looking forward to Part Two, and the idea of episodic narration is actually one I quite like.

Overall this was excellent then, keeping up the pace and passion of Fury yet adding some great new layers and plot developments and I for one cannot wait to get my teeth into the next part.

Highly Recommended.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

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Publication Date: Available Now from Mulholland Books.

Source: Bookbridgr

These are edge-of-your-seat tales: A prison guard must protect an inmate being tried for heinous crimes. A father and son set out to rescue a young couple trapped during a wildfire. An ex-con trying to make good as a security guard stumbles onto a burglary plot. A young father must submit to blackmail to protect the fragile life he’s built.

One of my New Year Resolutions this year was to return to my once avid love of short stories – this seemed like a good place to begin and I’d say that was a brilliant choice on my part. Hey modesty ain’t my thing.

Every  story to be found in this collection is, without exception, absolutely compelling and beautifully written…the book travelled around with me and every time there was coffee there was a story.  They all have a dark side, a deliciously enticing yet grounded prose that draws you into the lives of a bunch of eclectic people and situations and gives you a snapshot of a particular moment that changes them.

I loved them all, would not give anything away by describing each one in detail, but have to give an honourable mention to “Sweet Nothing” and “Must Come Down” my favouritesof the bunch. There is a whole lot of heart here, quite a bit of soul and they will give you pause for thought on many occasions as some of the characters you meet make decisions you want to yell at them for. I DID yell at them sometimes. It will suck you in.

Terrific stuff. Really captivating. Lets have some more please.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

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Publication Date: Available now from Headline

Source: Purchased Copy

The eighth in a collection of eight short stories to run alongside the second series of ITV’s BAFTA award-winning show, Broadchurch. This story will be released at midnight following the broadcast of episode eight.

So here we go then, the last one. I shall be sad to see them go but at last we get round to seeing a bit more from Alec Hardy, played impeccably by the lovely David Tennant. And as we go full circle, this covers the 13 hours or so before Danny Latimer’s body is discovered on Broadchurch beach.

Giving a little more insight into what drove Alec to hide Claire in the cottage and showing their early interaction there this was an intriguing little add on to both of their personalities, given extra resonance of course because now we know what comes later for both of them.

Once more Erin Kelly captures the essence of the show and the characters we have grown to love (or hate) during the course of the series. A little hint of Alec’s attitude towards Ellie before he had met her made me smile, especially knowing how that friendship ends up developing and overall I thought this was a terrific way to end what has been a truly pleasurable bout of early morning reading for me. What shall I do next week I wonder? With a series 3 now confirmed one can only hope that the powers that be are clever enough to snap Ms Kelly up to do this again.

Absolutely recommended for fans of Broadchurch.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

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Publication Date: Available Now from Headline

Source: Purchased Copy

The seventh in a collection of eight short stories to run alongside the second series of ITV’s BAFTA award-winning show, Broadchurch. This story will be released at midnight following the broadcast of episode seven.

Time to find out more about Claire then, as we head back to her roots and find out why she left Wales in the first place. Tied into one of the main plot points involving Sandbrook in this series of Broadchurch this is a wonderful little insight into Claire’s character and background.

Once more Erin Kelly captures the atmosphere perfectly and gives us a beautiful little insight into the characters we watch every week – as the drama unfolds on screen you can come to these afterwards and get a real sense of the people. I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot but it is worth saying again how much more fun Series 2 of Broadchurch has been for me knowing that I have these little gems to look forward to the next morning.

We are heading into the finale now – I can’t wait to see what happens but it is also with a sense of sadness that this is coming to an end. I will have to find something else to read with my Tuesday morning coffee from now on…still, one more to go then! Can’t wait.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

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Publication date: Available Now from Headline

Source: Purchased Copy

The sixth in a collection of eight short stories to run alongside the second series of ITV’s BAFTA award-winning show, Broadchurch. This story will be released at midnight following the broadcast of episode six.

My usual Tuesday morning treat with a cup of coffee, I’m going to miss these when they are done – so anyway, time to delve a little deeper into Beth and how she is getting on, juggling a new baby with going to court and managing her grief.

Last nights Broadchurch was as dramatic as ever, as Beth had to deal with finding out yet another secret. In this short Erin Kelly captures the depth of feeling this has evoked in Beth and touches on the beginnings of healing her relationship with Ellie, I’m still loving how these little stories are adding depth to each character, taking us behind the scenes of the tv show in a way to see what happens when we are not watching.

An another excellent add on – I’m really hoping that we get a full length series two novel as we did series one – I loved the first one, in fact read it before I watched so doing it the other way round this time seems like an idea.

Highly Recommended for Broadchurch fans especially if like me, you wonder what the characters do when they have made their dramatic exits..

Happy Reading Folks!

 

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Publication Date: Available Now from Headline.

Source: Purchased Copy

The fifth in a collection of eight short stories to run alongside the second series of ITV’s BAFTA award-winning show, Broadchurch. This story will be released at midnight following the broadcast of episode five.

This week it is Sharon’s turn to be under the Erin Kelly spotlight as we get to see a snapshot of her thoughts and feelings behind the realities of the current court case and her stay in Broadchurch.

Once more the sense of the show is captured perfectly, the things we see on screen taking a deeper and more resonant meaning as we get inside the head of one of the participants and learn more about their attitude. In Sharon’s case having read this I like her a little more – Ms Kelly having managed to show that what you see isnt always necessarily a realistic image of the inner soul of the person you are facing.

Again I will reiterate that these little “coffee break” stories are a perfect companion to Broadchurch the series. I wish more tv drama would do additions such as this, it really does make the whole experience more rounded and enjoyable. Definitely highly recommended if you are a Broadchurch fanatic. As I am.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

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Publication Date: Available Now from Headline

Source: Purchased Copy

The fourth in a collection of eight short stories to run alongside the second series of ITV’s BAFTA award-winning show, Broadchurch. This story will be released at midnight following the broadcast of episode four.

So anyway last week I said that “Old Friends” was my favourite so far but now this instalment has taken over. This time we are in Sandbrook territory, following Tess, Alec’s wife, in the time leading up to the discovery of the girl in the river.

As well as being my favourite I also feel like this one added the most flavour to the episode previously watched – the nightmare Alec experiences in Episode Four is given a basis in fact here. Add to that some insight into what he was like back then as seen from the point of view of someone who should have been the closest to him, it was a fascinating little read over my morning coffee.

This really is a super idea and is working so well in the safe hands of uber author Erin Kelly – I find myself almost looking forward more to these than I am to the new episodes. Together, the television drama and the story drama make Broadchurch terribly addictive – and despite the odd moan appearing in the press about the lack of realism in places, I continue to enjoy it as much as I ever have and really can’t wait to see what is next.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

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Publication Date: Available now from Headline.

Source: Purchased Copy

The third in a collection of eight short stories to run alongside the second series of ITV’s BAFTA award-winning show, Broadchurch. This story will be released at midnight following the broadcast of episode three.

Who is under the spotlight this week? Well its Jocelyn, with a gorgeous little back story from her past, solidifying her ties to Broadchurch and giving a little insight into another reason she may have come out of retirement to take this case.

I think this is my favourite so far of these brilliant little tales that expand the current run of Broadchurch – Jocelyn being a new character this series, it was great to find out a little more about her and her background. Once again Erin Kelly captures the character we see on screen and translates her into written form, allowing us to see more clearly the ebb and flow of the undercurrents that run through the town of Broadchurch, affecting the current timeline.

Once again a great way to start the day, a cup of “WAKE UP NOW” coffee and a Broadchurch story to go with it. I’m not sure what I will do with my Tuesday mornings when its all over.

Highly Recommended if you are a fan of the show.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

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Publication Date: Available Now from Headline.

Source: Purchased Copy

The second in a collection of eight short stories to run alongside the second series of ITV’s BAFTA award-winning show, Broadchurch.

So this time it is Maggie’s turn to go under the Erin Kelly spotlight as she prepares to cover Joe Miller’s trial in Broadchurch. Considering resignation, Maggie gets caught up in a side story, after all the Miller trial is not the only thing going on in Broadchurch.

Once again this is a lovely little insight into what is going on around the events shown on the television show that we are all so addicted to and a nice addition to offset the need to see the next episode. In this case capturing a little more of the spirit of Broadchurch and reminding us that while our focus is elsewhere there is still other stuff going on. I liked seeing more of Maggie as well, who is one of the more intriguing “peripheral” characters we see on screen.

I love these, they are a perfect companion to what is turning into a most terrific series two, again a perfect length coffee break read that I whizzed through over that first cup of coffee of the day. I went to sleep with Broadchurch and then woke up with it as well. Excellent.

Definitely Highly Recommended for fans of the show.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

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Publication Date: Available now from Headline.

Source: Purchased Copy

The first in a collection of eight short stories to run alongside the second series of ITV’s BAFTA award-winning show, Broadchurch.
The stories, written by bestselling author Erin Kelly in close collaboration with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall, will consist of 100% original plotlines that are tied closely to that evening’s episode. The stories will offer an unrivalled opportunity to spend more time with the characters, allowing you to delve deeper into their lives, histories and secrets in order to find out what really makes them tick.

Note: Spoilers for S2 Episode 1 of Broadchurch

The first short “extension” story set in the Broadchurch world from Erin Kelly, this is a short, sharp read, giving a greater insight into what Ellie has been up to since her husband was arrested for the murder of Danny Latimer. Set before the dramatic courtroom events that we saw in Episode One, this is Ellie beginning her new job in Devon and showing us her path up to the point we find her again in that police car at the beginning of Series Two.

Already I can tell that this is going to be a terrific add on series to the show, in this case giving Ellie a voice beyond that which the fantastic Olivia Coleman does in the visual medium, filling in some of the background and letting us know some of her thoughts and feelings hidden underneath the exterior of a woman who is desperately holding on to some sort of future. Erin Kelly, as she did in her novelisation of Series One, has captured the character we see on screen perfectly, allowing for a greater understanding of what she is going through.

It is short – took me about 10 minutes to read – a coffee break story that will allow you to revisit Broadchurch in the days following each episode and expand the experience in a terrific way, I think it is a great idea and I will look forward to having each one to ease the usual frustrations of having to wait a week between each instalment. Certainly this has given me an even better feeling for the first episode after it has aired – seeing Ellie in that window of time before Joe throws yet another spanner in the works with two simple words, it was highly enjoyable and beautifully written.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

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Publication Date: Available Now from Penguin Random House UK Childrens.

(61 pages e-book)

Source: Netgalley

Set in the months before Half Bad, Half Lies takes the form of a diary written by Michele, the sister of Gabriel, Nathan’s Black witch friend. Having fled Europe for Florida, Michele falls in love with a local White witch boy. There, she finds that the divide between the Black and White witch communities is just as dangerous as it was in the life she’s left behind.

Half Bad was one of my favourite books read this year, way back in January and I have been very excited for the sequel, Half Wild, coming in March 2015 to a bookshop near you, so when I spotted this “prequel” short story featuring Gabriel and his sister I was very pleased. As a way to wet your appetite for the new book this worked really well.

Told in Diary form, Michele talks about losing her mother, running away to Florida and attempting to settle into a new community. Even here though, the White Witch/Black Witch divide is dangerously close and when Michele meets Sam there are problems ahead for both of them.

I actually found this to be quite an emotional tale considering its short length –  Ms Green manages to pack a lot in there without making it over complicated and it flows along beautifully as we read a young girl’s thoughts as she falls in love, realises the chasm that exists between people and tries her best to make it work anyway.  The mythology of the “Half Bad” world is solidified here, a different perspective from that of Nathan as we watch Michele grow up in a world where love and loyalty can often be at odds.

The ending floored me, a real emotional tug on the heartstrings and gosh I am now VERY impatient for Half Wild – I want more from this eclectic and well imagined universe as soon as possible. This was a perfect teaser and just confirms my original feeling that this is going to be one of my favourite YA series ever. Also my love for Gabriel is complete. More Gabriel please.

Happy Reading Folks!

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