Review: The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan

Bullet-Catcher's Daughter

Series: The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire #1 | Genre: Fantasy/alternate history/steampunk | Format: NetGalley ARC | Publisher: Angry Robot Books | Publication date: 26th August 2014 (US & ebook); 4th September 2014 (UK print) | My rating: 4/5

Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life – as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus.

But when she comes up against an agent of the all-powerful Patent Office, her life and the course of history will begin to change. And not necessarily for the better…

The more I think on it, the more I realise how much I enjoy a good start to a promising series, whatever the genre. The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter is one such good start.

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Review Catch-up: Exile, Indexing & Broken Monsters

(Oh my!)


Yes! So, I’m back on the blog to finally catch up on some overdue reviews, and my poor little drunk-on-holidays brain has decided that this is the only acceptable method of doing so. So, here’s a round-up of what I’ve read recently, and what I’ve thought of it all!

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Guest Review: The Shattered Crown, by Richard Ford

Ooof! Well, it’s Monday again. I landed in that strange and mystical land known as ‘America’ two days past, and while I gather my bearings and recover my mental facilities (I’m bloody tired, innit), during which time I hope to find my way back to my own book-reviewing self, here is a lovely little guest review from a somewhat familiar guest face around here – Joanne Hall has been kind enough to submit a second post to the blog! You can read the first one here, but for today here is her review of Richard Ford’s The Shattered Crown

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Spotlight: Traitor’s Blade Paperback Release

One of the sure signs of a book addict is, in my considerably addicted experience, buying a book in multiple formats. I confess that I get a nice feeling of satisfaction from having print copies, ebooks and even audiobooks (if they’re narrated well!) of my favourite books or series. This one may just be added to that completist list…

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Guest Post: Amongst the Discarded, by Tom Fletcher

Today I’ve got a new guest on the blog – Tom Fletcher has kindly provided a guest post to whet appetites for his latest novel, Gleam. If you aren’t familiar with the title, here’s the deal:

The gargantuan Factory of Gleam is an ancient, hulking edifice where those at the top know everything and everyone else just does as they are told.

Surrounding it are the wilds of the Discard, where the rest of the population eke out a living. But as millennia have passed the population has decreased, and now only the central district is fully inhabited and operational. This decaying, lawless zone was the birthplace of the clever, arrogant, and perpetually angry, Wild Alan.

Now, after years in the Factory, he has to go back to the Discard to protect his wife and son. There Alan finds himself on a mission to save them both from a threat they don’t even know exists. But is he about to uncover more than he bargained for?

*Announcer voice* And now, it’s over to Tom to tell us more!

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Review: Apex Magazine Issue 63

Got a short, sharp little review today, on account of life still throwing All The Things To Do at me, but I wouldn’t forget my monthly short fiction fix, even if it is reeeeally last minute. Here we go!

Apex 63




“Ten Days’ Grace” by Foz Meadows
“Sister of Mercy” by Amanda Forrest
“The Sandbirds of Mirelle” by John Moran
“Jupiter and Gentian” by Erik Amundsen
“The Good Matter” by Nene Ormes (eBook/subscriber exclusive)
“Zombies & Calculus — Excerpt” by Colin Adams (eBook/subscriber exclusive)


“A User Guide to the Application of Gem-Flowers” by Bogi Takács
“Conservation of Energy” by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro


“Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief” by Sigrid Ellis
“The Testosterone Injection That Could Ruin Orphan Black…And how to make sure it doesn’t” by Duane de Four
Apex Author Interview with John Moran by Andrea Johnson
Apex Cover Artist Interview with Cyril Rolando by Loraine Sammy
“Clavis Aurea: A Review of Short Fiction” by Charlotte Ashley

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Review: Beyond The Pale, edited by Henry Herz


Genre: Fantasy/urban fantasy | Format: eARC | Publisher: Birch Tree Publishing | Publication date: July 7th 2014 | My rating: 4/5

Beyond the Pale is an anthology of fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal stories that skirt the border between our world and others. Was that my imagination, or did I hear something under my bed? What was that blurred movement in my darkened closet? There is but a thin Veil separating the real and the fantastic, and therein dwell the inhabitants of these stories.

Beyond the Pale contains eleven dark fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors:

  •  “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela” by Saladin Ahmed (author of Throne of the Crescent Moon)
  • “The Children of the Shark God” by Peter S. Beagle (author of The Last Unicorn)
  • “Misery” & “Shadow Children” by Heather Brewer (author of Vladimir Tod)
  • “Even Hand” by Jim Butcher (author of The Dresden Files)
  • “Red Run” by Kami Garcia (author of Beautiful Creatures)
  • “Pale Rider” & “The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones” by Nancy Holder (author of Wicked)
  • “Frost Child” and “South” by Gillian Philip (author of Rebel Angels)
  • “A Knot of Toads” by Jane Yolen (author of Owl Moon)

The noun “pale” refers to a stake (as in impaling vampires) or pointed piece of wood (as in a paling fence). “Pale” came to refer to an area enclosed by a paling fence. Later, it acquired the figurative meaning of an enclosed and therefore safe domain. Conversely, “beyond the pale” means foreign, strange, or threatening. You are about to go Beyond the Pale.

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Guest Post – Building Fantastic Cultures: Beyond Dwarves and Elves, by Kameron Hurley

The Kameron Hurley Juggernaut (sorry, blog tour) continues with a stop here today! I’m pretty excited to be playing host to a double-Hugo-award-winning writer, so I’m just going to shut up and turn things over to her. Enjoy!

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