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Search tags: australian-authors
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text 2015-09-16 10:00
Waiting on Wednesdays
Zeroes - Scott Westerfeld,Deborah Biancotti,Margo Lanagan

Ethan, aka "Scam," has a way with words. When he opens his mouth, whatever he wants you to hear comes out. But Ethan isn't just a smooth talker. He has a unique ability to say things he doesn't consciously even know. Sometimes the voice helps, but sometimes it hurts - like now, when the voice has lied and has landed Ethan in a massive mess. So now Ethan needs help. And he needs to go to the last people who would ever want to help him - his former group of friends, the self-named "zeros" who also all possess similarly double-edged abilities, and who are all angry at Ethan for their own respective reasons. Brought back together by Scam's latest mischief, they find themselves entangled in an epic, whirlwind adventure packed with as much interpersonal drama as mind-bending action.

 

Release Date: September 23 

Purchase: Booktopia | Book Depository | Amazon

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review 2015-07-21 11:29
A Town Called Dust: The Territory 1 - Justin Woolley

As an Australian, I am an absolute sucker for books set in Australia. When that book happens to be a genre I enjoy and involves zombie-like creatures, there is little that will stop me from getting my hands on it.

 

LUCKILY there was nothing about this book to let me down.

 

I really enjoyed the plot, it was different enough from all those other zombie-like books/movies out there to keep me entertained. As much as I don't mind good zombie-based media, it does get tedious seeing the same thing over and over.

 

It took me a little while to warm up to Lyn, but Squid had my heart pretty much right from the very beginning. The supporting cast are quite intriguing in their own rights - especially the dynamic between state and church as horde shambles towards Alice. I think many people will see real-world parallels in how they interact not only with each other, but the wider populations they're attempting to protect.

 

This is a really great read, even if "zombies" or "dystopia" aren't really your thing. And if I haven't convinced you to drop everything and go buy it yet, stay tuned for a review of book 2 later this week.

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photo 2015-07-18 06:15

About to get stuck into The Word Hunters by Nick Earls and Terry Whidborne.

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review 2015-06-18 15:53
The Wreckage / Michael Robotham
The Wreckage - Michael Robotham

Billions of dollars are missing from Iraqi banks, and journalist Luca Terracini will risk everything to discover where it is. His Iraqi-American background has made it easier for him to infiltrate the darkest corners of the war, but death of his beloved Nicola in a suicide bombing has made him reckless. He has nothing left to lose.
In pursuit of the money, he meets UN representative Daniela Garner, who seems to know more about the heist than anyone else. She's a valuable asset in Baghdad where the possibility of an explosion lurks at every checkpoint. Luca's investigation proves volatile as well, and as he gets closer to the missing money, his actions begin to reverberate around the world.
In London, Richard North, a top-tier international banker and the one person who might be able to explain where the money has gone, vanishes. The manhunt for him will get Luca evicted from Iraq, separated from Daniela, and possibly end both his investigation and his life.
As usual, it's all about the money: who has it, who's lost it, and who's ultimately going to pay, as clandestine agents emerge from the shadows and powerful nations seek to control information and bury secrets, whatever the cost.

 

I picked up this novel because it is the July 2015 choice of my book club. I was dreading it, having read the dust jacket and thinking that it was really not my thing. Once again, I am grateful that my book club compatriots have stretched my reading comfort zone.

Having said that, it still really wasn’t my cuppa tea, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get pulled along for the adventure. Just like the Jack Reacher novel that we read last year for book club, it’s hard to resist finishing the book. I was surprised to find that it was 5th in a series (Joseph O’Loughlin series) and that the guy named in the series doesn’t appear until about 2/3 of the way through the book.

The retired policeman, Ruiz, is the one who most reminds me of Jack Reacher—he always seems to be planning ahead in order to stay one step ahead of the bad guys and always can find something to use as a weapon at strategic moments. The journalist Luca’s sections benefit from the author’s experience in the field, as do the multiple settings (Bagdad, London, Washington). It is refreshing to read a thriller that is not set exclusively in the USA. On the other hand, it is rather depressing to get a glimpse into post-war Iraq. One wonders if there will ever be peace in that area of the world.

Men are certainly portrayed at their worst—most are on the take either monetarily or sexually. If they are half-way good, they are damaged beyond repair. I would like to believe better of the men in my life, one of the reasons why I usually avoid this hyper-masculine type of fiction. You can practically smell the testosterone emanating from the pages!

 

Interestingly, all three women in the book seem to have no friends.  They talk to no other women, they simply focus exclusively on the men in their lives.  I know absolutely no women who are like this.  We all have friends and we talk to them regularly.  In a book with a lot of unrealistic plot elements, I thought this was the most glaring.

Also the banking industry—please tell me it’s not really like this! Like a stately ancient tree that looks lovely and flourishing on the outside, but is rotten and hollow on the inside.

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review 2015-04-15 15:48
The Book Thief / Markus Zusak
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH

It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES
.

 

I have found that reading from book lists is an excellent way to read outside my comfort zone. I think I have previously said that I usually avoid novels set during World War II. This year, I have read four novels (in four months) set in that time period. Three of them have been on recommended reading lists and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them.

Told from the perspective of Death, who follows the story of a young girl in Germany during the war, this book is an important reminder of the hardships suffered, especially by the poor and by those who were not enthusiastic participants under the Nazis. So many of the books set during the war are told from the Allied viewpoint and we forget that there was suffering on the other side as well.

The Book Thief also appealed to my love of books and reading, which play such an important part of the novel. I read the book while at home with a cold—my only complaint was that I cried at the end, resulting in worse congestion than ever.

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