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Latest Reviews

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Night flights / Philip Reeve ; illustrated by Ian McQue.
Author: Reeve, Philip, author. -- McQue, Ian, illustrator.
Publisher: Lindfield, NSW : Scholastic Australia, 2018. -- ©2018
Review by: Azaelia  on: 3/08/2020 8:55:16 AM
Member Rating:
3.5 stars. This is the backstory of Anna Fang, my favourite character from the Mortal Engines Quartet and the movie!. I enjoyed seeing how Anna started out, as she is sort of an enigma in the first book. Its a quick read, so theres not much world building, but still worth the read to see Anna in action again. I also liked the style of the artwork scattered throughout the book. Even though this is technically book 0.5, I do recommend reading it at least after book 1 as you already know the character and the world shes in.
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Ten doors down : the story of an extraordinary adoption reunion / Robert Tickner.
Author: Tickner, R. E. (Robert E.), author.
Publisher: Brunswick, Victoria : Scribe Publications, 2020. -- ©2020.
Review by: bookgirl76  on: 29/07/2020 10:22:17 AM
Member Rating:
I picked up this book because I remember Robert Tickner from his days in parliament and the story sounded intriguing although when I say remember I mean his name is familiar. I was a teenager growing up in the country and didnt care or take any notice of politics in those days.
This story is told in a very tender and sensitive way. I felt that Robert was respectful of all the people involved. While he was lucky and had wonderful adopted parents and an idyllic childhood, his birth mother suffered after the adoption. Robert talks about his mothers experience with sensitivity and gentleness but it is still heart wrenching to read about the damage that was done. Overall though, I felt uplifted by his story as in their reunion they were able to start repairing the damage.
I am constantly amazed at how brutal we can be to other people, especially those perceived to be less than us. The forced adoption of children born to single mothers is just one example of this, along with the Stolen Generation, and the Child Migration Scheme of the British government. There are lots of good books on these topics such as My Place by Sally Morgan, Sister Heart by Sally Morgan, Little Exiles by Robert Dinsdale and the movie Oranges and Sunshine.
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The gospel of Loki / Joanne M. Harris.
Author: Harris, Joanne, 1964-, author.
Publisher: London : Gollancz, c2014 -- London : Gollancz, 2014.
Review by: Azaelia  on: 27/07/2020 2:58:42 PM
Member Rating:
3.5 stars. This was quite fun and enjoyable, but I did find it dragged on a bit sometimes. I dont know much about Norse mythology, so it was interesting to read about the different gods and their antics. Joanne did such a great job of telling the story from Lokis point of view, I really did feel sorry for him in the end - hes just terribly misunderstood! I loved the wit and humour presented through Loki, giving his character substance, making him feel relatable. And I appreciated the modernized narration from Loki too, rather than just simply being presented as short stories. Overall a good read.
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Spin the dawn / Elizabeth Lim.
Author: Lim, Elizabeth, author.
Publisher: New York : Alfred Knopf, 2019. -- ©2019.
Review by: Azaelia  on: 14/07/2020 12:58:24 PM
Member Rating:
An intriguing read. Its been labeled Project Runway meets Mulan, but thats really only the first half of the book. The second half focuses more on the romance, intertwining Chinese culture with fairy tales, and the seemingly impossible task set before our main character. I think this was done quite well. Scenes were described beautifully, and as I like reading about quests, I enjoyed the idea of what Maia had to do and how she did it. It is a slow paced story, focusing mainly on the characters. I will definitely read the sequel.
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A stolen season : a novel / Rodney Hall.
Author: Hall, Rodney, 1935-, author.
Publisher: Sydney, New South Wales : Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia, 2018. -- ©2018.
Review by: buckethead  on: 13/07/2020 2:23:35 PM
Member Rating:
A Stolen Season Rodney Hall
Its not often that I find myself in awe of someones writing skills well till now Id have said never. I have to say that for the first time ever I am a fan of an author. There is just something about the way Mr. Hall 2 times Miles Franklin award winner uses his words. Its showy, floral, poetic, enthralling, and it captures my imagination. The last book I read of his was Silence, a collection of interconnected short stories that showcased the depth of Rodney Halls talent in different writing styles. I was really impressed.

A Stolen Season is beautiful words in beautiful sentences creating beautiful paragraphs in 3 well-written stories about one topic. I loved this book in its entirety.
Adam's life has been ruined by war . . . A veteran of the Iraq conflict who has suffered such extensive bodily trauma that he can only really survive by means of a mechanical skeleton.
Marianna's has been ruined by men . . . A woman who has had to flee the country after her husband lied to the wrong people.
John Philip's by too much money . . . A man who inherits the lost erotic drawings of J. M. W. Turner in the evening of his own life.

This book is not an easy read, and the author in his vast and lengthy descriptions might lose some readers. I know that by the time I had finished the book and it came time to write this review I had just about forgotten John Philip as the stories are not given equal weight But then I also have the attention span of a goldfish. Some might find this a slow paced book others not, it was medium paced for me and would have been slow if not for the fact that it is broken down into 3 stories. The settings are Melbourne for Adam, Belize for Marianna, and London for John.

A Solid 4.8 stars out of 5

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Far from the madding crowd / Thomas Hardy.
Author: Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928.
Publisher: London Vintage Books, 2010.
Review by: Azaelia  on: 8/07/2020 3:49:19 PM
Member Rating:
4.5 stars. Im not much for classics the only other one Ive read being Persuasion by Jane Austen but I found myself engrossed in this tale and in love with the characters. Even though it is a hefty book with tiny writing, the story kept my attention, and I never felt the urge to put it down. Hardy is a master of the character, all are written superbly, even the minor ones. I love Bathsheba, her spirit and determination. Yes she has her flaws, but shes bold and isnt one for resting on the charity of men. Gabriels quiet steadiness shines and contrasts nicely against the foolish youth of Sergeant Troy. I was also intrigued to see the slow downward spiral of Boldwood as a result of Bathshebas flighty actions. The story does have some dark moments, but is definitely lighter compared to Hardys other novels. I do recommend the 2015 version of the movie it has a great cast and interprets the novel well.
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Don't let the pigeon drive the bus! / words and pictures by Mo Willems.
Author: Willems, Mo, author, illustrator.
Publisher: London : Walker Books, 2018. -- ©2003.
Review by: Vuong, Nhi Mai Mrs  on: 8/07/2020 7:39:28 AM
Member Rating:
It is funny !!!
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The simple wild : a novel / K.A. Tucker.
Author: Tucker, K. A. (Kathleen A.), 1978-, author.
Publisher: New York : Atria Paperback, 2018. -- copyright2018.
Review by: Azaelia  on: 29/06/2020 10:19:57 AM
Member Rating:
This is actually the first romance book that I have ever read. Im not really a big fan of romance, although I dont mind if its part of a story, but I just dont like it to be the main driving force of the plot. Which is why I am so surprised I really liked this book and am eagerly awaiting the sequel! Yes, the romance does play a big part of the story, naturally, but its also a story about family relationships, how misunderstandings and untold truths can take us on different paths and change our lives, and the healing that forgiveness brings. The characters took a while to get used to. At first, Calla really annoyed me and I couldnt connect with her, but I was glad to see her grow and change as the story progressed. Jonah also seemed like an immature brat, but when he started using his words like a grown man I ended up liking him. This is an enemies to lovers romance, and I thought this trope was written well. The banter between the two was quick and fun, and didnt seem forced. It was also just quick and enjoyable to read, and had good plot flow and character growth. The only thing I really didnt like was the situation with Callas mum and her second husband. Sometimes it was disheartening to read, but life and love isnt always how we want it, right? And I feel Callas father needed to take more responsibility for what happened when she was young, a lot of blame was placed unfairly on Calla. It was also difficult at times to read about her father's illness, and how they both deal with that in the face of their estrangement. I also loved the descriptions of the Alaskan landscape and life, and it showed that the author researched the life of bush pilots. There is some negativity from readers around how Tucker stereotyped Alaskan people as having simplistic lives and values only to highlight the emptiness of materialism and looking good for others to see kind of lifestyle isnt always as it seems, and happiness wont always be found there. Overall, I really enjoyed this story, and I can definitely see myself re-reading this in the future.
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Star Wars : myths and fables / written by George Mann ; illustrated by Grant Griffin.
Author: Mann, George, author. -- Griffin, Grant, illustrator.
Publisher: London : Egmont UK Limited, 2019. -- © 2019.
Review by: Azaelia  on: 29/06/2020 10:16:35 AM
Member Rating:
3.5 stars. As a Star Wars fan I did enjoy these short stories as they brought a little background to people and planets we've seen before, but I wouldnt really call them myths or fables. They didn't really explain or analyze the mysteries of the Universe or the Force, and only a few had thin ties to moral behaviours. All stories were executed well, but my favourite was the first one a story about the Sand People of Tatooine and a Jedi Knight fighting off a dragon. Mann does a great job of bringing atmosphere to each story, they truly felt like real tales parents would tell their children as they tucked them into bed. Also, the illustrations are quite beautiful and add to the feeling of each story. Overall, its a fun, quick read, but hard core Star Wars fans might be disappointed due to its simplistic nature.
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Dragon's Green / Scarlett Thomas.
Author: Thomas, Scarlett, author.
Publisher: Edinburgh, Scotland Canongate, 2017. -- ©2017.
Review by: Azaelia  on: 19/05/2020 3:51:13 PM
Member Rating:
I really enjoyed this book. It is a fantastic, well-written read with an absorbing plot. I enjoyed Thomas sense of humour and imagination, which pokes fun at the ways of the modern world, and presents a fun and exciting idea of fantasy. I also appreciated the love of books she shows in her story the power you can receive from reading a book and the act of burning a book as darkening your soul a little highlighted this. The characters are lovable and work well together, each playing to their strengths and learning and growing together. About a third of the way in there is a sudden change in plot which had me thinking What is going on here? but it all made perfect sense in the end, and was actually quite a smart plot device to use. The worldbuilding was decent, but I still have questions about certain things, which I think will be fleshed out in the next books in the series. Overall it was an exciting and engaging read, and I will definitely get straight to the next book as soon as I can!
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