Category Archives: Speculative Fiction

Review: Gameboard of the Gods

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Dutton Adult via Edelweiss

There is everything to love in this book!

The world: spick & span shiny High-Tech Dystopian country (the Republic of United North America) yet there are primitive settlements surrounding it, not to mention the Romanesque religions (the worship of many gods) incongruously rooted as part of life.

The kick-ass heroine: Absolutely gorgeous chick, intelligent and super strong, she can literally kick ass! I defy you to not love this goddess! um, no, that’s not at all a spoiler

The player hero: With a handsome face and tons of charm, women fell at his feet left, right, and centre. And yet… no one knew of his inner struggles, his dreams, his fears – his charm covers it all up.

The chemistry: The tension was just delicious! The attraction was pretty obvious and I am ever grateful for the alternate perspectives between Mae and Justin. They both have their own secrets that they bury deep inside until one encounter whilst each at their weakest, open a window into their souls exposing parts of the secret selves to each other. They are both experts at hiding their true feelings but how long can you deny yourself of the truth?

I’m sure I have missed a lot in my first reading of the book and I predict that this is one of those books I must own so I can re-read again and again because I’ll find something new at each readings.

A note to Richelle Mead fans, I’ve not read many of her works. I’ve only read the first book of VA (am not a fan of Rose, sorry!) but am enjoying Bloodlines (I love Sydney & Adrian) but Age of the X is more my style! As I understand it, it is quite different from her other works but I love it & I can’t wait for the next instalment!!

Thank you Dutton Adult via Edelweiss for the privilege to read & review eARC

View all my reviews

Review: Alif the Unseen

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The beginning of the book, Chapter Zero, was set in a fascinating long ago time of Persia. The encounter between man and Djinn brought about of The Thousand and One Days into the world of men. From ancient Persia, the setting shifts to current days where Alif, a young man of Arab-Indian descent, is making his living from covering his clients’ sites from the authorities.

At first, I really wasn’t sure whether I like Alif –not the usual hero type, I thought. There were quite a number of frustrating times that I felt like screaming, c’mon, get your act together. However, in the end, he is definitely the type of hero needed in this book once you get to know what you’re fighting against. James Bond cannot win all kinds of battles.

The techie talks just went over my head and it doesn’t affect my understanding of plot much, most times, I ignore it. One part I really enjoyed though was the stories from the secret book. It kinda felt like reading The Thousand and One Nights somewhat with its morals etc. I also really liked Dina – a devout Moslem girl-next-door to Alif. She was unexpectedly strong and courageous. I loved the fast pace of the story and I could barely put it down as something’s bound to happen on the next page.

I reckon if you like Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code or any of his books, you may enjoy this similar work of interlacing modern technology with myths and the supernatural world.

Thank you Allen & Unwin and The Reading Room for providing copy to read & review

View all my reviews

Review: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Angry Robot via NetGalley

I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read from Angry Robot so far and this one, a little weird and caught me by surprise but was still worth the read. That’s what spec-fic is all about though, isn’t it!

The story began when Cat was just a little girl and her parents brought a ‘special android’ to tutor her rather than sending her to school. Being the only child with no other playmate, Finn became not only her tutor but her best friend. As she grew, her relationship with Finn changed and yet, everything is grey. The opinion of the world does not coincide with what she thinks should be and so as Finn struggles with his identity, Cat struggles to understand him and how to relate to him.

I was expecting some sort of YA tale and when it started with Cat’s childhood, I was surprised and was surprised further when it carried on til she was at least late 20s. Can’t really peg this down as YA at all. I have to admit that I don’t particularly like Cat. She seems to me as someone who ignores her inner voice and continued to struggle to do so to comply with the world’s general good opinion even though doing so feels like it denying who you are. She then was like a ghost for quite a long time ‘til the dam broke and she could not deny herself anymore.

The story is told from Cat’s sole perspective and the author has done marvellously well in showing the readers just how like a ghost Cat was. Even though I don’t like Cat, I found myself sympathising with her throughout and it’s rare that I’d sympathise with a character I don’t like. That’s what I found most amazing about this book.

Thank you Angry Robot and NetGalley for the privilege to read & review galley.

View all my reviews