Rewriting the Script: Outlander/Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon

Cross StitchOutlander









Series: Outlander #1 | Genre: Romance/fantasy | This edition: Paperback (UK) | Publisher: Arrow Books | Publication date: March 4th 2002 | My rating: 4/5

In 1945, Claire Randall is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands and finds herself in a violent skirmish taking place in 1743. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and by clan feuds.

A wartime nurse, Claire can deal with the bloody wounds that face her. But it is harder to deal with the knowledge that she is in Jacobite Scotland and the carnage of Culloden is looming. Marooned amid the passion and violence, the superstition , the shifting allegiances and the fervent loyalties, Claire is in danger from James Fraser, a gallant and courageous young Scots warrior. Jamie shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire, and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

I’ve been giving this book a lot of thought since I finished it, and it’s proved to be one of those books that gets more interesting the more I think about it. It’s taken me this long to write this post, mostly due to Real Life but also due to the fact that with all of the thinking, I’ve come to realise that it’s a better book, and perhaps even more important, than I first believed…

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Spotlight: Sword Sisters by Tara Cardinal & Alex Bledsoe

Whew! Life is returning to something resembling normal here at Fort Rainbow, and with it, I am settling back in here at the blog. Good thing too, because there are all these great-sounding books to talk about!

Let’s start with this – a very interesting sounding collaborative effort being published by Ragnarok…

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Review: The Card Sharp by Laura Lam

The Card Sharp


Series: Vestigial Tales #4 | Genre: YA, fantasy | This edition: Kindle | Publisher: Penglass Publishing (Laura Lam) | Publication date: September 15th 2014 | My rating: 4/5

“He always mourned that moment, when the high began to fade. It was like he moved from who he wanted to be to having to face the reality of who he was. He’d rather feel supernatural. More than Drystan Hornbeam, a seventeen-year-old-boy who had made a lot of foolish mistakes and didn’t seem to be changing his habits anytime soon.”

Before Drystan became the White Clown of R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic, he was a Lerium addict struggling on the streets of Imachara. When a mysterious woman gives him a chance at a new life, he takes it, even if it means falling even deeper into the dark underbelly of the capital of Ellada. Drystan knows that selling Lerium to the powerful men and women who bet at the high stakes card tables is perilous, especially when he still battles his own addictions. Yet when he meets a man who can help him learn to cheat at cards and swindle them out of enough money to start a new life, he dives headfirst into more danger.

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Review: City Of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

City Of Stairs

Genre: Fantasy | This edition: Hardcover (ARC) | Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books | Publication date: 2nd October 2014 | My rating: 5/5

You’ve got to be careful when you’re chasing a murderer through Bulikov, for the world is not as it should be in that city. When the gods were destroyed and all worship of them banned by the Polis, reality folded; now stairs lead to nowhere, alleyways have become portals to the past, and criminals disappear into thin air.

The murder of Dr Efrem Pangyui, the Polis diplomat researching the Continent’s past, has begun something and now whispers of an uprising flutter out from invisible corners. Only one woman may be willing to pursue the truth – but it is likely to cost her everything.

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Review: Gleam, by Tom Fletcher



Most people live and die in luxury inside the Black Pyramid at the centre of the Gleam, but there are others who eke out a precarious living outside, in the lawless wilderness of the Discard.

Alan’s family was massacred by Pyramidders when he was a child. In an act of mercy, one of the soldiers took him back to the Pyramid to be raised there. But Alan has never been able to let go of the past; he has grown up angry, resentful and desperate for answers. When his continued questioning of Pyramid authority gets his wife beaten up and their son threatened, he has no choice but to return to the Discard.

When his voluntary exile isn’t enough to pacify the Arbitrators, he is given an ultimatum: bring them a mushroom with great powers, or see his son suffer.

Wild Alan is about to to embark upon a journey far deeper into Gleam than he ever wanted to go… and discover more than he bargained for.

Series: The Factory Trilogy, #1 | Genre: Fantasy/horror | This edition: Hardcover (ARC) | Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books | Publication date: 4th September 2014| My rating: 4/5

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Review: The Mysteries, by Lisa Tuttle

The Mysteries

Laura Lensky’s daughter has been missing for two years. For the police it’s a closed case – Peri wanted to run away – but for Laura, and Peri’s boyfriend Hugh, it’s a different story.

In a last-ditch attempt to find her daughter before she leaves for America, Laura hires private investigator Ian Kennedy.

Drawn by strange parallels to an obscure Celtic myth and his first, almost inexplicable case, Ian takes the job. But his imagination is about to be stretched to its limit, for there are darker and more devious forces at work here than any of them could ever have imagined.

Genre: Fantasy/mystery/paranormal | This edition: Hardcover, review copy | Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books | Publication date: 4th September 2014 | My rating: 5/5

Quickie review time again, because I remain looking down the barrel of Doing All The Things, but some things need to get out of my brain to make room…

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Spotlight & Competition: City Of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

Some extra goodness today courtesy of Jo Fletcher Books, who are publishing Robert Jackson Bennett’s latest novel City Of Stairs in the UK. The book is released here on Thursday, October 2nd (review coming soon, I swear!), and to celebrate they’ve got a neat competition running!

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Review: Apex Magazine Issue 64

apex 64


“Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief” by Sigrid Ellis
Apex Magazine Presents: Steal the Spotlight Micro Fiction Contest


“Last Dance Over the Red, Red World” by Gary Kloster
“Economies of Force” by Seth Dickinson
“Soft Feather Dance” by Liz Argall
“Enemy State” by Karin Lowachee
“Danceland” by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly (eBook/subscriber exclusive)
“Soulminder — Excerpt” by Timothy Zahn (eBook/subscriber exclusive)
“Jack Strong — Excerpt” by Walter Mosley (eBook/subscriber exclusive)


“Superman Bound” by Amanda Lord
“Ghosts of Oz” by irving
“Synesthete” by Marsheila Rockwell


“How to Live Safely in an Online Universe” by Charles Tan
“Apex Author Interview with Seth Dickinson” by Andrea Johnson
“Apex Cover Artist Interview with Jeff Ward” by Loraine Sammy
“Clavis Aurea: A Review of Short Fiction” by Charlotte Ashley

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Rewriting the Script: a review of Engraved, by Karina Cooper


Series: The St. Croix Chronicles #5 | Genre: Urban fantasy/steampunk | Format: Kindle | Publisher: Carina Press | Publication date: August 11th 2014 | My rating: 5/5

Cherry St. Croix returns to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London, where the balance of power threatens all that she loves.

I will not wither without laudanum. Sober and determined, I have chosen another way— alchemy, and the pursuit of wellness it embodies. My name is Cherry St. Croix, and though freedom is finally at my fingertips, I return to the blackened streets intent on righting the wrongs I’d left behind.

All is not well in London low. Caught in a war between gangs, men are torn limb from limb, and I am called on to ascertain how. The immoral Karakash Veil is no doubt involved, and Micajah Hawke, a prisoner in his own Menagerie, cannot soften the danger this time.

Armed with the alchemical arts I have learned, my ever present guardian, and what few friends are left to me, I embark on a campaign to rescue the ringmaster I cannot abandon, save the Brick Street Bakers from annihilation, and finally face that which frightens me the most—my own heart.

Note: the review below will likely contain mild(ish) spoilers for previous books. Proceed with caution if you haven’t read them yet!

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Guest Post: Little Dead Riding Hood, by Mercedes M. Yardley

It’s no secret by now, I’m sure, that I love me a good fairytale – but I like them to be dark and creepy. In my book this is how they should be. So with this in mind, I’m pretty excited to be presently reading the latest such effort from Mercedes M. Yardley – Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. Murder and whimsy, people. It’s tea and cake for my brain.


So! While I’m reading that, have a bit of musing from the lady herself on her own favourite things about fairytales, and one in particular that’s inspired her…

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