Petit : The Ogre Gods – Hubert Boulard & Bertrand Gatignol (Review)

The giants are getting smaller. Once, they were titanic near-immortal beings, warriors and philanthropists. Now, each inbred generation is smaller than the last, and as they decline physically, they decline morally as well, becoming more brutish, more cannibalistic, and more obsessed with restoring their diminishing size. They rule swinishly over a half-ruined city where humans are food and servants.

Petit is the youngest and smallest of the giants, shunned by his own race and feared by the humans for his violent outbursts and occasional consumption of human flesh. The book follows his growth to adulthood in a decaying society, navigating the brutal ogre court and his own divided nature.

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The Nest – Gregory Douglas (Review)

The small fishing community on Yarkie Island leads a peaceful, picturesque existence, far from the bustle of the modern world. Simple, honest folk lead the same simple lives as the generations before them

The only part of Yarkie that isn’t picturesque is the local dump. Here, modern pesticides have created something far worse than the squabbling rats. Something organised, and hungry, and filled with hate.

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Corona Crime – Robert Pimm (Review)

Book cover for Corona Crime. A baby's hand with a hospital tag reaches out from a background of glittering blue and orange squares.

I’m very proud to announce that this is possibly the first book I have reviewed in the same year that it was released. Normally, here at IP, we prefer to be at least a couple of decades behind the times. Corona Crime is a very new novel – but it is set three centuries into the future. (I don’t like 2020 and I refuse to stay in it, literarily or otherwise.)

Sadly, based on this novel, things will not have improved much by the 24th century. A lot of science fiction is intended to be a mirror of our own world, showing us what democracy (or communism, or free markets, or racism, or nuclear war) would look like in another galaxy far, far away. Corona Crime does something much more direct: we have the same problems, in the same world, except they’re a lot worse because we’ve done nothing to fix them. The rich still live off the poor, male lives are still more valuable than female, and countries like Poland and Vietnam are still getting it in the neck from countries which are larger and better-resourced.

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Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi (Review)

If you only looked at Western bestseller lists and film rankings, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Egyptian mummies are the only fantasy storyline which Africa has ever produced. But you’d be wrong – and I was thrilled to see that Children of Blood and Bone has brought a long-neglected mythology into young adult fiction.

We need more African stories. There’s an incredibly rich tradition of storytelling across the continent, which remains largely unrepresented in Western publishing. Tomi Adeyemi’s novel seems to draw mainly on Nigerian culture and mythology for inspiration, but I hope it heralds a great variety of stories from a great many more countries.

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Bone Dungeon – Jonathan Smidt (Review)

After an unjust execution, Ryan returns to consciousness as a dungeon core – a sentient lump of rock with the power to shape its immediate surroundings. Paired with Erin, a celestial fairy, Ryan’s goddess-given task is to challenge adventurers, stocking his dungeon with monsters so that questing heroes can gain experience.

There are complications to this though; Ryan has a magical affinity to darkness (necromantic energy), which is not only totally opposed to Erin’s magic/morals, but also a beacon to higher-levelled evil beings who seem him as an ally or a pawn. Living up to Erin’s expectations involves not using the full scope of his power, but living at all means he needs to get stronger, fast.

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The Wedding Party – Jasmine Guillory (Review)

Despite hating each other, Maddie and Theo share a best friend. When she gets engaged and enlists them to the bridal party, Maddie and Theo are suddenly faced with having to see each other far more often.

This is further complicated by the knowledge that the last time they spent time together, it ended in an alcohol-fulled hook up that neither of them has stopped thinking about.

With the sexual tension rising, they agree to a secret enemies-with-benefits set-up that starts to build into something more…

By this point, it’s fairly clear that I’ve really enjoyed all of Guillory’s novels. The Wedding Party, however, is absolutely my favourite. I think it’s actually the first one I read before realising it was third in the series and swiftly reading all the others as well, but it’s also the one that’s stuck with me the most.

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The Proposal – Jasmine Guillory (Review)

When Nik Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her boyfriend, the last thing she expects is for him to suddenly propose to her on the Jumbotron. Not least because he can’t even spell her name right…

Also at the game, Carlos Ibarra and his sister Angela witness her swift refusal, and quickly rescue her from the prying eyes of 45,000 baseball fans and the camera crew that just showed up.

After the video goes viral and Nik’s ex starts harrassing her, Carlos becomes a valued friend, confidant, and extremely fun rebound. Although both Carlos and Nik aren’t looking for anything serious, can either of them ignore that their feelings are getting stronger?

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